A question that has been asked and discussed a lot.
Everyone knows that one guy that ended up in prison and after a few years or more and ended up coming out as buff as ever. His muscular gains would be unbeatable when matched with that of someone on the outside with all the food, protein powder, and supplements imaginable. But given the typical diet of a prisoner, how can this be possible?
Well, let’s take a look at some of the potential reasons.
1) Inmates are active most of the time
We may not think it, but prisoners are often very active people. They have yard time and general population time, so they’re often going in between different activities. Sure, this may not seem to be much unless they have constant access to the prison’s gym, but they often keep busy from within their cells too. Additionally, many prisoners are on work release, which means that they leave the prison to work.
Some examples of training methods that are used when in a cell include calisthenics and isometric exercises. Of course, the traditional bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups and crunches, help out too. This is something that many of us on the outside end up not valuing enough.
2) Their bodies use nutrients effectively
A prisoner’s diet is not perfect, but they usually get a reasonable amount of food in a day. The nutrients from these foods are not gone to waste. Don’t forget, without the access to so-called luxuries such as McDonalds, New York Fries, and Pizza Pizza, and inmate’s diet consists of what should be considered as generally valuable nutrients. When put to full effect with a dedicated training program, this can really support size gains.
3) Prisoners have more time to recover
Sometimes a prisoner has all the time in the world to keep active, while other times they have all the time in the world to recover. Imaginable how effectively a muscle would recover if it had as long as it wanted to do nothing but repair itself. That’s essentially the situation being in prison creates. If the prisoner isn’t keeping active all the time, they could just dedicate all their energy to their workouts and spend the rest of the time recovering.
4) Testosterone is rampant
This one isn’t a tested point at all, so consider it pure speculation, but it may be possible that the testosterone floating around in prisons makes it different for those that lift. It may simply be the “Who’s the Man?!” attitude that makes the person be able to lift more or it may be an inner-body phenomena that’s yet to be discovered or explained.
5) Every workout gets 100%
For most people in prison, workout time is the time of day that they look forward to the most. With a dedication to training, they also take the time to plan their workouts while in their cell. A major focus for this often comes on their strength as it’s an ego booster. So they make an effort to lift more and more and they end up accomplishing these goals and ultimately getting bigger.
So Why Do People Get Bigger in Prison?
There is no one-answer as to why people are able to get bigger in prison than on the outside. There are only potential reasons, such as the increased recovery time, interference-free training environment and schedule, mental dedication, alternative training methods such as calisthenics and isometrics, and the lack of completely horrible food. Heck, prisoners may generally get bigger because their sample pool is made up of people that are genetically more “bodybuilding genes-type” that tie into the genes of criminals, violent people, and the tough-guy.
One conclusion that we can draw though, is that the average lifter in prison is more dedicated than the average lifter on the outside.
While people that spend many years in prison often do get bigger than people that spend many years at a regular gym or fitness club results still come with dedication!
Don’t give up a cubicle for a prison cell…you may get bigger, but it’s definitely not worth it!