The Prison Workout

Prison WorkoutLet’s face it, prisoners are some of the most jacked dudes on the planet.

Yep…they’re gym “freaks”…which is kind of ironic considering how many FREE men out there make lame excuses about why they have weak, flabby physiques…

…and every time I hear guys make lame excuses for their failure(s) in the gym (aka lack of dedication and commitment) I just chuckle to myself on the inside and think about how the average inmate is twice as jacked as this guy…

…twice as jacked without having access to weights, eating a diet that’s comprised mostly of processed food/high fat/barely any protein, literally no access to supplements, and can’t purchase designer workout programs online.

All prisoners usually have to train with are some lame water bags, basic bodyweight exercisesand perhaps a pull-up bar if they’re lucky.

Yet they are still twice as jacked as most guys you see at the gym every day…


Now, prison workouts aren’t anything new; they have been around for literally hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

We’ve all seen pictures or perhaps watched Lockup on MSNBC and seen countless prisoners in amazing physical shape…

…and I’m sure at some point we have all wondered “how the hell do these dudes get so jacked with minimal equipment, no expensive whey protein, and terrible food?”

They literally have almost NOTHING to work with…but there are a few things that separate these bad dudes from the rest of us normal dudes. They are training to survive.

Just imagine being chained up and locked up for 10 or 20 years (or more)…surrounded by dark concrete walls, an impenetrable cage with thick metal bars, barbed wire, violent psychopaths, and armed guards who are constantly on edge…

Now imagine having to go to the “Yard” to train each day…instead of going to your plush, air-conditioned gym, with the fancy equipment and hot chicks in yoga pants…

I’ve never been to the “Yard” (or ever been to jail for that matter) but I hear it can be a very intimidating place…a place where prisoners can get jumped, stabbed, and even killed. It is literally hell on earth – and yet these guys still go out there each day and train with one thing on their minds. Survive.

It’s kill or be killed out there, so these guys HAVE to get big. They HAVE to get strong. They HAVE to train hard. They HAVE to build their bodies for combat.

In a violent world where the weak get eaten alive and only the strong survive…the one thing that can separate a ‘Lion’ from a ‘Gazelle’ who gets eaten is that guys prison workout.

And trust me…you’ll never hear one of these guys crying about “being too tired to train” or “being sore”…or making up any other lame excuse to sit around and chill…

These guys are training to be ass kickers, so they have no choice but to just man up and train like freaks. The ultimate goal is survival. They aren’t lifting to look pretty at the beach or impress some random chick at the gym. They attack their workouts with a relentless aggression because they want to (and NEED to) be bigger, stronger, faster, and more mentally tough than the other guy just in case they get attacked without warning.

So yeah, none of that conventional “pretty boy” fitness magazine advice is going to cut it. Lucky for you though, you are free and not a prisoner. So advantage, YOU.

In fact, you are reading this page right now which means you have access to the internet, so advantage YOU again.

Clearly you have just about every advantage possible over the average inmate…so you can probably see where I am going with this…

PRO TIP for all of you FREE dudes out there: if you dedicate yourself to your training the same way a prisoner is dedicated to his, there is no way you can’t transform yourself into an absolute BEAST using nothing but a few simple moves (done in your own comfy living room, of course, because that’s one of the perks of being free).

You don’t have to go to jail to get jacked; you can create your own prison workout using various combos of the exercises listed below.

Note: steroids are a big problem in the prison system so keep that in mind if you don’t transform into a 275 pound monster after just a few months of training. It’s not that easy, or simple. Be realistic, but train your ass off. 

Here are a few basic prison workout exercises:

Upper Body
Handstand pushups
Handstand holds
Pushups (and pushup variations)
Hindu Pushups
Pullups (my all-time favorite)
Pullup Variations
Dips (use a bench with feet on a chair but this move can be rough on the shoulders)
Muscle Ups

Lower Body
Lunges (and lunge variations)
Prisoner Squats (no pun intended)
Jump Squats
Split Squats
Skater Squats
Pistol Squat
Wall Squat (sit & hold)
Squat Jumps
Glute Ham Raises (cellmate can hold feet)

Hanging Leg Raise (for abs)
Back Bridge
Single Leg Hip Thrust
Mountain Climbers
Plank Variations
Crab walks/tiger walks

Shadow Boxing (and Kickboxing)
Jump rope (use shadow technique since they may not allow ropes)
Run sprints
Giant Killers

For Bad Mofo’s Only
Tai Chi
Squats with cellmate on back
Pushups with cellmate on back
Climb stairs carrying cellmate on back
Sprint carrying cellmate on back
Bedlifts (yes you deadlift your bed)
Fight in the yard (optional)

This is far from a complete list (you can see more advanced bodyweight exercises in this video), but I can’t possibly cover all of the various bodyweight exercises in just one post. This is simply a ‘starter kit’ that was designed to show you the basic premise of the prison workout.

I highly recommend working on mastering the exercises listed above (as well as these advanced bodyweight exercises), and mix in some olympic lifts & strongman exercises as well.

Combining all of the training resources you have available to you as a free man, (nice gyms, custom meal plans, supplements, hot girls in yoga pants for inspiration, the internet, etc) you shouldn’t have a single excuse for not being able to build the gangster physique you’ve always wanted.

Get your mind right.

I’m out.

PS – If you’re looking for a great prison workout resource that will help you get bigger, stronger, and more jacked than you ever thought possible, check out Convict Conditioning by Paul Wade.

Jamin Thompson
Over the past 10 years, Jamin Thompson – actor, sport & fitness model, and former world ranked tennis player – has appeared in or on publications such as Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness,; as well as worked as a sponsored athlete for and/or been featured in commercials and print ads for Nike, Reebok, ESPN, Wilson Sporting Goods, Powertec Fitness, Gifted Nutrition and more. Using his real world, in the trenches experience, writes to help others dominate in the gym, on the field, and in life. His book, The 6 Pack Secret, has been sold in over 50 countries and has helped thousands of folks from all walks of life get cut and jacked the healthy way.
Jamin Thompson


🎬🎥💪🏽 Super Natural / Actor / Creator
Ayyyyyeee that's me ᕦ😆ᕤ (and yes I do all 5 of these regularly, you guys. Add them in if you're not already doing t… - 5 hours ago
Jamin Thompson
Jamin Thompson
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80 Responses to The Prison Workout

  1. silentfades July 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    amazing physiques

  2. Derek Bautista October 26, 2010 at 2:07 am #

    OMG AT 4:42 Scarry

  3. radmcm22 December 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    at 3:11 the guys doesnt lift 315 pounds. His spotters pulling the bar up for him,assisting him

  4. DaBoiJR March 8, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    Billy Hankins @ 6:40 is a NSM from the Northside of Denver, CO, brother knew him when he was at CSP and now at Limon!

  5. the1snuffbox April 5, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    all i could say is if you could make thru the l.a. county jail system you could make it any where

  6. malatement June 22, 2011 at 4:27 am #

    8:10 big l ????

  7. iLuvBarRefaeli September 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    @mryjn420090 I was being sarcastic, seems like your inbred slow mind was too slow to pick up on that.

  8. Cory Wyatt October 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    “That was 215 lbs i only way one 170 that’s like… double my weight.” Gotta love prison math 😛

  9. sltleovyed820 October 19, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    @hypeduponcandy it was 315

  10. Diamhea December 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    bedlifts haha

  11. Stephen Jackson January 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    “That’s about 215lbs. I only weight 170 so that’s about double my weight” (o.0)

  12. luvdahay420 January 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    @Jaxn2Legit he said 315

  13. JohnnyD230 February 5, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    @lovetv13 that’s a wtf moment for ya

  14. Hellio Mavin March 6, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    That dude at 4:42 is so big its insane. Like that’s pure muscle, no supplements, no steroids, and on a minimum diet at that. It takes serious dedication to get a figure like that and that’s the last person you’d wanna get into a fist fight with in prison. Lol

  15. darkwolve16 March 17, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    true emo shit, dawg

  16. Whibble-Bop April 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm #


  17. schapadap April 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    now that i watch it again it does sound like hes saying 215… i guess i just counted the plates myself wasnt really listening lol

  18. IFuckBadBitches April 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm #


  19. John Johnson June 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    no my ass isnt steroid.

  20. Hellio Mavin June 18, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    Which, you can do pull ups pretty much anywhere if you got the muscle.

  21. Mratl131 June 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Yeah he probably works pretty hard, but I gotta say, not everyone can do that. He has some seriously good genetics. The vast majority of people can’t get that massive with just bodyweight exercises and crappy food.

  22. llmasterllp July 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    they have steroids in prison, and he’s on them.

  23. alejandra cruz July 21, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    @yedjuaa yep i agree. Most of my friends had this problem even with hard work no muscles were coming. btw! I heard it from one of my body builder friend, that you can use this method to gain big muscles. i’ve heard legal action is already underway but you can get them for now from here >>>

  24. what13521 July 30, 2012 at 8:10 am #


  25. Pekka Pää August 4, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    it probably takes them 10+ years to get in that shape..

  26. Rocksana Akter August 9, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Hello there, have you tried “Musclegion” (just search on Google for it …)? On their website you will find a good free video showing the right way to build notable muscles really fast. This made it easier for Brandon to break through his bodybuilding stagnation and therefore build up chiseled lean muscle without fat very quickly. I hope it helps you also…

  27. pauseandreset August 31, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    steroids wont do shit if you dont have a strong protein/calorie source. make u a little cut but thats it

  28. Howard Duck September 7, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    meh even he can go down with 1 hit

  29. phreaktor1 September 13, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Only a fag would take anything sexual from that. Look in the mirror.

  30. Christopher Braswell September 16, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    if you knock them out you will be right back in there, duhhhhhhh !

  31. artistforrealart September 24, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    Answer would lobotomy for all of them….animals!

  32. Usher Kowolik September 28, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    4:42 MESOMORPH

  33. IoIocaust September 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    you dont think they can get roids into prisons? they can get drugs and even guns in there!

  34. dick wad October 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    4:40 Arrrrrrrr me HULK

  35. Kajol336987 October 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    Hello, have you considered “Musclegend” (just search Google)? On their website you will find a smart free video demonstrating how to pack on notable muscles easily. It helped James to break through his body building plateau and therefore gain chiseled muscle free of fat super fast. Perhaps it will work for you as well.

  36. abeille1217 October 6, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    the diet thing is what really impresses me… b/c you can lift weights all you want, but you need protein to help build muscles. they are only provided with so much food, let alone so much PROTEIN, and further more, quality protein. it’s crazy.

  37. DDEITZ November 6, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    How often is rec, can he use anything for weights in his room etc etc.. He has 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Also..who said anything about no steroids 😀

  38. speegz11 December 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    no roids huh

  39. Speedsky December 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Not in san quentin

  40. florencelovme January 15, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    they get to buy things

  41. TheAcehd January 23, 2013 at 9:48 pm #


  42. PowerOfRealMusic February 24, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    lmao at you thinking hes natural

  43. yerwrng March 17, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    They get food in prison just like they serve in the Marines , and steroids are alive and well in Prison just like every other drug smuggled and Keistered in .

  44. ukesh suwal April 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    Hello, have you heard about yet? Simply visit this site on There you can watch a smart free video featuring the best way to start building noticeable muscle mass easily. This made it easier for Ryan to overcome his muscle mass building stagnation and then build cut lean body mass free of fat super fast. It may work for you as well…

  45. superbamse April 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    Inmates have no problems getting supplied with drugs, so steroids shouldn’t be a problem to acquire either.

  46. djk28161 April 21, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    Many African Americans are naturally very muscular….Alot of his size is likely genetic…..

  47. Carlos April 22, 2013 at 12:05 am #

    I have been looking for a workout plan like this. I do not have access to gym and need something simple. Many thanks!

  48. Kevin King April 23, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    ahhhaha there so bored they just find stuff to lift

  49. Jamin Thompson (@jaminthompson) April 24, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    The Prison Workout: how to get jacked using bodyweight exercises & minimal equipment.

  50. Travis April 24, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    I wonder what type of meal plan these guys follow. It can’t be too good. 3 meals a day of nasty cafeteria food plus some candy bars I would assume? Weird how they can get so jacked eating mostly crap food…

  51. ThePushMusicLive April 27, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    sure is right. you can make your workout sessions much more productive if your eating the right foods to avoid fat and belly. And In a best female model 2012 exclusive interview she had mentioned about her strong abs with this 7 food items. have a look here –>

  52. RoyalCountessUn0 April 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Look! How good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in Unity!!!! Psalms 133:1 Founding Presidents Tammy PhD, God Bless You all, I love you, Healer, Enjoy that ride, I used to MMMMMMM WOW NICE!!!!! Dr. T

  53. RoyalCountessUn0 April 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    You who are standing in the house of Jehovah, in the courtyards of the house of God, Clean Up can be ahrd, Dr. T God Bless You and Have long lives, Founding Presidents PhD, I love you all. Tammy, Dr. T

  54. Tommy Field April 27, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    yep. You are smart if you understand you need to eat right at your age to kill your belly. But My international body building trainer also recommended this 7 food elements to kill your fat belly. i found it here ==>

  55. SilentMoneyGang April 28, 2013 at 2:29 am #

    not funny

  56. SilentMoneyGang April 28, 2013 at 2:29 am #

    stop hatin aint no steroids

  57. Vegan Edge May 2, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    They have roids in prison, just like they have other drugs. No hate by the way, its just how it is. He still looks crazy though

  58. Sabin Shrestha May 2, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    If you are looking to bulk up, you should do a Google search “H6x Muscle Monster”. They can guide you and help you get the body you deserve.

  59. amr sopno May 23, 2013 at 6:33 am #

    Hi there, have you tried “Musclegend” (search on Google)? On their website you can watch a good free video explaining how you can build noteworthy lean muscle very fast whilst burning unwanted fat simultaneously. Christian is among the many men which experienced positive results making use of this technique. It may help you out too.

  60. Jaro Knoppert June 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    That form god damn…

  61. peartfaldo June 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Those weights are nice. Im sure there are a lot of people out there that would love a set. You know…working, everyday people. How did the prisoners get them? Oh yeah…thats right….

  62. beerrunner81 June 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    One way to keep them from bulking up is to put a Play Station or X Box into every cell. It won’t work on the older inmates, but will on the younger ones.

  63. andrej13mkd June 18, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    Hi, have you considered “MuscLeader” (look on Google)? On their website you can watch a useful free video featuring the best way to gain visible muscles really fast while eliminating body fat at the same time. Steve is one of the numerous men that had great success utilizing this system. Hopefully it helps you also…

  64. J Schwarzenegger June 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    take your advertisement and go fuck yourself.

  65. Psychocide July 13, 2013 at 4:22 am #

    how the fuck is weight-lifting cliche? weight-lifting is good for both the body and your self-esteem.

  66. tyrone stewart July 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    4:42 Uncrowned Mr.Olympia parent conference day… imagine ! lmfao

  67. Shammi Akhter July 19, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Hi there, have you tried “MuscLeader” (have a look on Google)? There you can watch a smart free video showing the right way to build up noticeable lean muscle easily while shedding unwanted fat simultaneously. Brandon and many other guys enjoyed good results making use of this system. Hopefully it works for you too.

  68. mostwantedguru August 12, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    do you know why inmates get so jacked in prison? consistency and routine = results

  69. pineapplepootytang August 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    no steroids? steroids are HUGE in prisons.

  70. Kristian Odgaard August 19, 2013 at 5:49 am #

    If you can get heroin, meth, coke whatever you want in prison, don´t you think you can get steroids?! Lol…

  71. Neo camalia August 24, 2013 at 3:44 am #

    Hello there, have you heard of “MuscLeader” (search on Google)? There you will find a great free video featuring the right way to develop visible lean muscle fast while losing unwanted fat simultaneously. Chris and plenty other guys enjoyed good success by using this approach. I hope it will help you also…

  72. krasnojarkaa August 25, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    the prisoner get stronger than the police XD

  73. krasnojarkaa August 25, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    the prisoner get stronger than the police XD

  74. MidnighWolf August 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Criminal bitches think they lift?That’s adorable, the military is fucking laughing at you children.

  75. aimanazahar93 October 10, 2013 at 5:46 am #

    Fuck u Mike Cheng. Stop selling ur fucking magic drink

  76. Mikuruification October 21, 2013 at 6:07 am #

    seems like a nice place

  77. Michal Mendyka October 28, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    haha 😉

  78. Sumi Khatun October 31, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Hey there, have you heard about “MuscLeader” (have a look on Google)? There you can watch a good free video explaining the way to start building notable muscles fast while dropping unwanted fat simultaneously. James and hundreds of guys with the same goal had positive results applying this methodology. I hope it will help you as well.

  79. magic January 1, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Hows he gonna get that money by doing dips??? Mayne??

  80. Clement Kong February 26, 2014 at 12:35 am #

    No? they take the weights off the yard cuz A: the gov cut funding, & B: they can’t use the weights as a weapon

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