T Nation

Creating Program for Inmates

Hi all,
I volunteer at a local prison near my college. We do some education programs, but I also thought spending some time getting a fitness program running would be great. A lot of the guys seem really out of shape, and I know that strength training has had great physical and mental benefits for me so I think they would get a lot out of it.

However, the gym is low on equipment. NO BARBELLS OR FREE WEIGHTS. I am going to talk to the athletic department at school and try to get them to donate an old barbell and some weights.
Otherwise the gym has: some sort of universal gym with leg curl, chest press, lat pulldown, row etc. A cable cross over/ pullup bar type thing. an ab wheel, a bunch of medicine balls, a bench that could be used for back extensions.

I was thinking something along the lines of a 2 or 3 day program:
day 1
front squat (cleaning the bar)
Clean and press
lunges
Circuit on the universal gym

Day 2
Deadlifts
clean + push press
Pullups
Abs + Back extensions

Day 3
Front Squat
Overhead Squat
Clean + Press
Barbell Row
(circuit?)

What do you guys think?

Is this a state prison or federal prison? I think the inmates would love to have the weights and a place to vent their need to accomplish goals and feel alive expressing themselves. The weights can provide such a place. I do believe studies have shown that inmates who lift weights generally stay out of trouble so they may lift. Unfortunately Janet Reno and her stupid policies took away weights from federal inmates starting in the mid 1990s and violence did not decrease.

What do you think? Will inmates use weight to hurt each other or guards? Stats show that a very small minority of inmates use weights for violence but all are punished when the minority act in ignorance. What is your stance?

If you can get the guys to follow your routine I think it will make a greatly positive influence and build self esteem as well as muscle.

It’s a state prison in VT. I could also bring in some saw horses to use as squat stands so the guys can back squat. I just emailed the head of our athletic facility. The prison supervisor was behind it, I’ll just have to make sure with her that bringing in the weights is alright. Its a relatively low security prison so I don’t think danger should really be an issue.

needs a squat rack

You want criminals to be stronger??? I say tofu and knitting classes.

Might want to try some team style conditioning drills too, wheel barrows, partner carries etc. Team building is good for rehab and rehab is good for getting outside support of your goals which may help buy equipment.

Inmates seems like they’d like the big lifts.
I used to be a criminal and I love the Big Lifts!

So, Powerlifting FTW.
IMO.
Squats, Bench, and Deads, Heavy.
If you can’t get a barbell, plates, and some racks though, I really think this is going to be a tough sell.

Also, you got a quarter-pounder for post-training nutrition? Or some diet soda?
Cause’ all I need is a diet coke, maybe a can-a-corn (not pre-workout though, don’t wanna get your fingers buttery), and I’m good to go.
Hahahaha!
(Don’t take that part seriously OP, it’s a Longest Yard joke…)

Great idea, rapists and murderers becoming strong and conditioned. I’m pretty sure that prisoners are unhealthy because the state wants them that way though. Shitty food = shitty body = shitty mind = shitty impulses. Might be hard to convince people to let prisoners get swole.

That being said, looks like a decent program. Like another guy said, inmates involved in activities and hobbies usually do better than those who sit around just being a prisoner.

http://www.antirape.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6&Itemid=18

It’s best to go into these kind of things prepared.

^ew.
Its like teeth IRL

i can clearly see all the positive benefits from weightraining, but i think its better with do some other forms of excerise , like the other guys here mentions it would not be the safest thing to make them stronger

I really don’t like the idea of criminals coming out who are bigger and stronger. I really don’t mind basketball programs or just some sort of running and stretching.

[quote]Crippler56 wrote:
I really don’t like the idea of criminals coming out who are bigger and stronger. I really don’t mind basketball programs or just some sort of running and stretching. [/quote]

totally agree :slight_smile:

[quote]dalle wrote:

[quote]Crippler56 wrote:
I really don’t like the idea of criminals coming out who are bigger and stronger. I really don’t mind basketball programs or just some sort of running and stretching. [/quote]

totally agree :)[/quote]
the little guys are the most trigger happy

The inmates should have access but conditioned on good behavior. That should form a strong incentive to stay fit. Also, it would be difficult to get too huge with the calorie intake they get.

Focus on grip strength so they don’t drop the soap.

Yep a bigger and stronger prisoner is a more dangerous one when they get out.

Lucky we live in a world free of guns and knives.

I’ve never been in prison or done anything that should put me in one, but I can tell ya that I was a much better and more productive person after salvation by the iron gods.