Thursday, June 27, 2013

Redskins Vs. the "N-word"

Redskins' Indian-Chief Defender: Not A Chief, Probably Not Indian
What is a chief and who gets to call themselves one anyway?

If we need any more evidence that this is a crazy world, it's amazing to me that a Food Network "star" can get so much publicity for admitting to using the "N-word" some 30 years ago, and even lose almost all of her retail contracts as a result, yet we continue to say that "Redskins" is a term of honor? Personally, I don't think I am hypersensitive on the issue of Native American names. Names like Braves and Warriors with Native representations for mascots don't bother me and I can even go along the "we are honoring their heritage" argument to a degree. I also don't protest the use to specific tribal names such as Apache or Ute so long as  the tribes involved are OK with it. The Cleveland Indians should get a better mascot then the goofy grinning image they have, but I'm not  offended enough to worry too much about it. In fact, you see a lot their apparel here on the Rez. But of all the terms, redskins is the most offensive and derogatory. Dan Snyder's attitude of arrogance really irks me. Below is a telling story of his organization and leadership. It is all too typical. Being a Native American is generally considered a positive thing, so much so that about 95% (my own unscientific estimate) of Americans claim some sort of Native heritage with most claiming to be 1/32 Cherokee or some such nonsense. It's amazing how so many Non-Native people claim Native roots and try to speak and represent something they have no real experience with. If Paula Deen can be disgraced for using the word "nigger" at some point years ago, then how does Dan Snyder get a free pass for so long?

Lately, the Washington Redskins are having a harder time defending the team's name than the rest of the NFC East had defending the read-option last season. One of the more entertaining parts of Redskins owner Dan Snyder's effort has been his ongoing Indians-love-"Redskins" campaign, whereby the team calls attention to any high schools in tribal areas that don't hate the name, and to any Indian officials who are OK with it, too.

And perhaps the high point of this came with the May 3 broadcast of the Snyder-produced TV show Redskins Nation. The program featured a guest introduced as Chief Dodson, who was described in a press release written up by the Redskins PR department after the taping as "a full-blooded American Inuit chief originally from the Aleutian Tribes of Alaska" who "represents more than 700 remaining tribe members."

Dodson was an enthusiastic and earnest pitchman for the team's name, and he went further than management could have hoped—maybe too far, as we'll see. Dodson told the show's host, Redskins broadcasting boss Larry Michael, that his deceased father, Nigel Lindsay, was also a chief. Dodson said he felt compelled to step forward because he and his family were upset that "people are speaking for Native Americans that aren't Native American."

"Being a full-blooded Indian with my whole family behind me, we had a big problem with some of the things that were coming out [in the debate over the name]," he said. "I think they were basically saying that we were offended, our people were offended, and they were misrepresenting the Native American nation. We don't have a problem with [the name] at all—in fact we're honored. We're quite honored."

Dodson added that all the Indians he knows are fine with "redskins" even in a non-football context.

"It's actually a term of endearment that we would refer to each other as," Dodson said. "When we were on the reservation, we'd call each other, 'Hey, what's up, redskin?' We'd nickname it and call each other 'Skins.' We respected each other with that term. … It's not degrading in one bit."

Dodson got in a big pitch for his employer, Charley's Crane Service, a tow company headquartered in Landover, Md., very close to FedEx Field. (The tow company could use a plug: The Better Business Bureau has given Charley’s Crane Service a grade of F because of consumer complaints and how they were handled.) And then Dodson went on to gush about the team's fight song, "Hail to the Redskins."

"That's a respectful thing," he told the show host. "A lot of people think that's a gimmick or a joke, a good song, but that's a respectful thing, and it's another thing that helps me appreciate everything you're doing." (The original version of "Hail to the Redskins" actually included a verse that contains what to the lay ear sure sounds like a shoo-in for the most racially offensive lyrics in the history of NFL fight songs: "Scalp 'em, swamp 'em! We will take 'em! Big score! / Read 'em, weep 'em! Touchdown! We want heap more!" Though stories differ on when the offensive lyric was removed, one account has team president Edward Bennett Williams ordering the song's scrubbing in the 1970s, during an earlier anti-name wave.)

Just days after Dodson's stint on his infomercial, Snyder, perhaps emboldened, gave USA Today a swaggering interview that included his most dogmatic comments on the name issue yet: "We'll never change the name," Snyder said. "It's that simple: NEVER—you can use caps."

The NFL's commissioner, trying to score points with Congress, leaned on the Redskins' too-good-to-be-true spokesmodel, too. On June 5, Roger Goodell wrote to the co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus, whose members had been urging the team to change its name. On NFL letterhead, the league boss alleged that "Redskins" was "a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect."

Last month, 10 members of Congress publicly called on Roger Goodell to change the name of the Redskins. Now, Goodell responds, in a letter calling… Read…

"Importantly, this positive meaning is shared by the overwhelming majority of football fans and Americans generally, including Native Americans," Goodell wrote. And as Exhibit A, Goodell cited the support of "Chief Steven (sic) Dodson," whom Goodell identified as "an American Inuit chief and resident of Prince Georges (sic) County, Maryland."

Alas, there's a lot of evidence that Chief Dodson—whose real name is Stephen D. Dodson—ain't the perfect pitchman that Snyder and Goodell want him to be. It turns out that the "full-blooded American Inuit chief" is neither a full-blooded American Inuit nor a chief in any formal sense of the term.

Let's start with that last part. Apparently nobody but Dodson says Dodson's really a chief. The work shirt from Charley's Crane Services that Dodson wore on Redskins Nation had "Chief Dodson" stitched into it alongside the company's name. But the only references I could find to Dodson and "Chief" that predate his appearance as "Redskin"-lovin' aboriginal royalty appeared in court records in Maryland. Case files from some of Stephen D. Dodson's scrapes with the law—involving theft, paternity, and domestic violence matters—have "Chief" listed as one of the defendant's AKAs.

When Indian Country Today ran a story about the Redskins Nation appearance, a commenter purporting to be Dodson's relative said that Dodson's native bona fides had been exaggerated. The commenter said Dodson is not a full-blooded member of any tribe and is in fact one-quarter Aleut, not Inuit. And "Chief"? "[T]hat was his nickname," the commenter wrote.

Carla Brueshaber, who identified herself as Dodson's sister, said she had nothing to do with the Indian Country Today comment, but she confirmed that Dodson wasn't as advertised on the Redskins program. "No, he's not a chief, not technically. It's a nickname," said Brueshaber, now living in Bellefontaine, Ohio, where Dodson went to high school, according to his 2000 wedding announcement in the Morning Call of Allentown, Pa.

Asked why she thought Dodson was being portrayed by the Redskins and the NFL as an authentic Indian chief, Brueshaber said, "Somebody made a mistake and called him [Chief]. The Redskins went full steam ahead with it. They didn't check it because it was helping them."

The description of him used by the Redskins—"a full-blooded American Inuit chief originally from the Aleutian Tribes of Alaska"—rings false to folks who've studied the native peoples of that state.

"That is an archaic and incorrect expression: Aleut people and Inuit people are quite distinct and haven't had a common ancestor for at least 6,000 years," says Stephen Loring, an anthropologist with the Smithsonian Institute specializing in Arctic and subarctic archaeology and ethnohistory. "Somebody would say they are Aleut, or they would say they are Inuit."

The phrase "full-blooded American Inuit chief originally from the Aleutian Tribes of Alaska," Loring added, is "incorrect terminology. It doesn't make sense."

What's more, both Kelly Eningowuk, executive director of the Inuit Circumpolar Council-Alaska, an Inuit group, and Larry Merculieff, a prominent advocate for Aleut issues in Alaska, said "Chief" isn't a designation any of their constituents would use now. It certainly wouldn't be used by someone who's not living among Inuits or Aleuts. Both said such a title, if granted at all, would be conferred only upon individuals who were elected by people in their village. That would be tough in Bellefontaine (which, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, had a Native American population of 0.2 percent) or Prince George's County (0.5 percent).

"I don't know anybody out of state who describes themselves [as a chief]," Merculieff said.

Nor does Dodson’s self-description on the Redskins show as "a full-blooded Indian" pass the smell test.

"Aleuts do not call themselves 'Indian,'" Merculieff said. "We are native Alaskans, but not Indian."

And Inuits?

"Inuits don't call themselves 'Indian,'" said Eningowuk.

Eningowuk said she watched Dodson's performance online and laughed at some of his references to native culture. "I heard him say that [he and his family] go to pow wows? That’s not Aleut or inuit," she said. "And he talks about living on a reservation of some sort. There are no Inuit or Aleut reservations in Alaska."

What of Dodson's contention that Aleuts and/or Inuits regularly use "redskin" as a term of endearment? "I have never called anybody 'redskin,'" Eningowuk said. "Nobody I know has ever called me 'redskin.' I have never heard any Inuit call somebody 'redskin.'"

But Dodson isn't ready to surrender any titles just yet. When I called to ask who made him chief, he said the title was handed down by family.

"You have different type of chiefs, voted chiefs and blood chiefs," said Dodson, who identified himself as "Chief Dodson" when he returned a message left at Charley's Crane Service. "I'm the son of a chief. I'm at the shaman level, a different type of chief. You're born into it, and the shaman chooses you. The shaman chose my father. I was born into it. The Dodson family, I'm the head of that family. The chief of that family. It's not easy to explain."

An obituary for Nigel Lindsay, who died in Bellefontaine in 2000, lists "Chief" as a nickname for the deceased.

When I told him that various groups representing Inuits and Aleuts in Alaska question the description of him as a "full-blooded Inuit Chief originally of Aleutian tribes," Dodson said, "I don't get into organizational things like that. We are a people and that's what we need to focus on, instead of dealing with non-profits run by Mexicans."

Dodson said his family had authorized him to talk with only employees of the Washington Redskins about the name issue, and not with any reporters. Then Stephen D. Dodson, imperfect Redskins spokesmodel, hung up.

Oh, and about that middle initial? According to the aforementioned court filings, it stands for Dallas.

Dave McKenna is a writer in Washington D.C.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chinese or Bulgarian?

Which methods? Chinese variety or Eastern European?

Matt Foreman is one of my favorite weightlifting writers and philosophers. I have known Matt since he was a beginning lifter at Northern Arizona University over 20 years ago. He was highly motivated and left to lift under Coach John Thrush in the Seattle area. He later returned to Arizona to pursue his career as a teacher and coach. He is an accomplished lifter and author. We featured a write up of his book, "Bones of Iron" in a past post. It is one of my favorite lifting books. He is an entertaining writer and writes from the point of view of a regular grass roots lifter who, while lifting is very important, has a life beyond lifting.
Below is an article he published recently that I really like. It's smart to watch and learn what the best athletes are doing, but it's not smart to try to copy anyone's training lift for lift, rep for rep. Think in terms of general principles rather than specific programs. Listen to your own body rather than forcing yourself to mimic someone else. As Matt points out, champions have trained in a variety of ways because they have found works for them. Find what works for you.

Ooohhh, this is a good question. Weightlifters and coaches have been debating it for a long time. Let me give you a little more explanation so you know what we’re talking about.

You’ve probably already figured out that there are many different training programs and methods out there. Not all lifters train the same. Hell, not all world champions train the same. A lifter from China wins the Olympics and breaks a world record using a certain type of training program, while another lifter from Russia does the exact same thing in a different weight class and his/her program is vastly different from what the Chinese lifter used. This situation makes it complicated for rookies and intermediate lifters because they’re trying to develop their own training regimen, but they can’t decide who they should listen to and emulate. Everybody wants to learn from the best, but the best don’t always do things the same way.

I’ll focus this on two different approaches:

- Method A- This is where the athlete trains by concentrating almost entirely on the snatch, clean and jerk, front and back squats. The SN and C&J are always done in full competition style, and there aren’t many other exercises in the program. Some people refer to this as “Bulgarian style training” because the Bulgarians dominated the world for many years using this concept as the foundation of their method (there’s a lot more to the Bulgarian program than this, but we’ll just keep it in generalities for this discussion).

- Method B- This is where the athlete trains by using a wide range of lifts and exercises in addition to the full competition lifts. In a program like this, the lifters concentrate on the SN and C&J but you’ll also see a lot of things like snatch balances, lifts from the blocks, push presses, three-position lifts, overhead squats, set/rep variations, different types of pulling exercises, etc. In other words, there’s a lot of variety. The Chinese have become known for this. You see all kinds of freaky stuff when you watch them train.

First, let’s answer the basic questions:

- Which one of these is the best method? Neither. They’ve both produced Olympic champions and world records.

- Which one is used most commonly among the top programs in the world? That’s difficult to answer. Most of the top countries find their own ways to blend both methods together.

Now, let’s look at some positives and negatives:

Method A Positives:

- Simplicity, total focus on skill development in the competition lifts and increasing strength in the squats, little chance of wasting training time on exercises that don’t prove to be valuable

Method A Negatives:

- Monotony, possibility of athletes getting bored and mentally deadened because of the lack of variety, possibility of missing out on an auxiliary exercise that could be helpful

Method B Positives:

- Variety, taking advantage of multiple exercises to develop different parts of the athlete’s body/technique, fun for the athletes to try a lot of new things

Method B Negatives:

- Potential for insufficient focus on the full competition lifts, possibility that assistance exercises could actually create more technical problems with the athlete’s SN and C&J

Universal Laws of Weightlifting:

- If you’re a competitive Olympic weightlifter, the only thing that ultimately matters is that you’re improving your technique and competition results in the SN and C&J. That remains the bottom-line priority, regardless of the strategy used in training.

- If an athlete is talented enough, they can probably be trained using almost any method and they’ll still make progress. They’ll be successful because they have more ability than everybody else, and that ability will override the details of their training program.

General Thoughts:

- One of the risks of Method B is the possibility that the athlete’s program becomes a system of constant experimentation and adding new things. Prolonged, consistent focus on the full competition lifts gets neglected because everybody is so excited to try some new exercise they saw on YouTube. Eventually, you’ve been training for a long time and you’ve tried every new idea known to man…but your competition total hasn’t gone up. That’s not good.

- Method A can get boring for some people. In the United States, it’s possible to lose athletes when they get bored. Americans have so many options available that it’s easy for them to walk away from weightlifting if they’re not enjoying it. In communist countries, the athlete’s boredom and happiness aren’t considered important factors. Training is their government job, and the government doesn’t give a crap if they’re having fun.

- I trained a young lifter who qualified to compete in this year’s Youth World Championship using Method A. For almost two years, her entire training program consisted of these exercises:

o Snatch

o Clean and Jerk

o Front Squat

o Back Squat

o Rack Jerk

o There were a few short time periods where I used some assistance exercises to clear up technique problems she was developing, but nothing extended. Using only the exercises I listed above, she became the #1 under-17 lifter in the US in her weight class. So it definitely is possible to train American lifters with Method A.

Where does this leave you?
This leaves you in exactly the same position as everybody else who decides to pursue this sport. You have to study as much as you can, start your own program (or your own lifting career if you’re an athlete), and develop the method that’s right for you.

NOTE: If you’re an athlete, your best chance of success is being guided by a proven successful coach. Don’t try to go it alone when you’re new or intermediate, unless you don’t have a choice.
You might be in a position where you’ve been an athlete in a highly successful system, and your coaching method becomes largely based on that system. If so, that’s great. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.
Regardless of all the details, remember that it takes a long time and a lot of work to master this sport. If you’re still relatively new, you don’t have it all figured out. You might think you do because you've got a lot of self-esteem and confidence, but you’re not an expert yet. You have to pay a lot of dues and build up a big resume before you get to have that distinction.
It’s complicated, and it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll. But you’ll get there if you do the right things. How do you know what “the right things” are? You don’t…not exactly. You have to work to figure this out, just like the rest of us.

Matt Foreman was a weightlifter for the Calpians team under coach John Thrush. He is a regular contributor to the Performance Menu. Check out his book, Bones of Iron: Collected Articles on the Life of the Strength Athlete.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Another Look at Complex Training

It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I tend to agree. If that is so, then a video is worth ten thousand words.
Here are some great demonstrations of putting togather some complexes like we have featured on our site before. These are great for conditioning, working through weak points, improving technique, and of course, mental toughness. Summer is a great time to put some lifting complexes into your training. Creativity and common sense are your only limitations in designing complexes that are challenging, fun, and will improve your particular weaknesses.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Real Life Challenges

It's been another real tough week with my wife back in the hospital after just a couple of weeks at home.  In the last month we have spent over 20 days in the hospital and it's a battle. Long hours with little sleep and lots of stress. It can be handled much better if you are ready and in shape for it.  Like Rocky says, "Life can knock you to your knees." I have been spending alot of time on my knees lately. It seems that the Flagstaff Medical Center did their best to kill us, but we are still alive and fighting back. Not much time to write anything profound right now, but a little inspiration is always appreciated. Never let go, don't sell out, and be a Warrior. 
Best Wishes.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

How Cool is That?

I love this. I love the fact that he was a migrant worker who found a way to get an education. I love the fact that he performed in a wild and crazy "sport" or act and avoided the typical lifestyle and saved his money. I love the fact that he is using his talents now to be a public servant in a basically unappreciated field. I love his attitude. Long live Tito Santana. He is a Warrior. Thanks for not selling out.

Monday, June 10, 2013

400-Pound Kettlebell Swings?

Kettlebells Cool Duo
Kettlebells with a belt? Give me a break!

Below is an article I read on another site (T-Nation.com). It is one of the sillier articles I have read in awhile. It is re-posted below with some comments in yellow.

by Max Shank – 6/7/2013

Here's what you need to know...
• While kettlebell swings are great for fat loss and conditioning, they're underutilized for building strength and explosiveness.
• Very heavy kettlebell swings have many of the same benefits as the deadlift, the Olympic lifts, and plyometrics.
• If you can ignore the high-rep CrossFitters and perfect-form zealots and swing two and a half times your body weight, you will be unstoppable.
If there's one thing that grinds my gears it's the notion that a kettlebell swing is just a cardio exercise and should only be done with light weight. This stems from a total lack of understanding of what a kettlebell swing can or should be. It's time to ditch the sissy swings and use them to turn human bodies into unstoppable smashing machines.
There is nothing magic about kettlebells. They are an old modality that has been resurrected. They have their uses. I have some in my weight room and enjoy using them for variety from time to time but there is a reason why modern adjustable barbells have replaced the old type solid weights of yesteryear.Kettlebells are just another tool. They don't burn fat any more effectivley than any other exercise that gets your heart pumping and they don't build power more effectivelhy than any other movement that increases the rate of force development.
Deconstructing the Kettlebell Swing
If you look at the positions, the kettlebell swing is not unlike a deadlift. The fact is, when performed correctly, they're identical except for the position of the weight.
Sorry, I don't buy that. That is like  saying a cow is identical to a moose.
At the bottom of the movement, the shins are near vertical, the spine is long, and the shoulders are set down and back. At the top, hips and knees extend and you're standing upright.
As for the movement in action, the kettlebell swing is decidedly simple: explode from bottom position to top position – simple as that.
Yep, simple. You don't need a "certified kettlebell guru"
Full-Body Power and the Olympic Lifts
Training for power is all the rage. Even everyday gym rats are figuring out that training explosively can yield tremendous improvements in both strength and physique development.
The Olympic lifts are fantastic for building explosive power but can take many hours of dedicated practice to be performed safely, and even more hours if you're looking to be competent.
Yeah, so what is the problem? Don't we expect to spend hours training? It's not like we can't train until we master the lifts. We master them as we train. You just need to know how the lifts should be done and practice them. That is training.
Now I love power snatches, but I also live in the real world. Many people don't have the time, patience, or flexibility to do the Olympic lifts well. Maybe an athlete should develop those qualities? You think?: If you have the time and the desire, it's certainly a worthy investment, but if you'd rather just build explosive power in the easiest way possible, then heavy swings are for you. Or even easier, just talk about it and watch Oprah on TV.
To that end, here are the ways I use heavy swings in a session:
For strength and/or power: 5-10 reps.
For conditioning: 10+ reps for many sets, or 25+ reps for a few sets.
What you don't see is any of this in-between crap. It's like what Yoda says – do or do not. Make it heavy and powerful or do something else.
The really cool part about the heavy swing is that you not only get the same benefits as the deadlift, but you also get a killer eccentric and true plyometric action at the bottom of the swing.
What's a plyometric? It's another (often bastardized) fitness modality that's all the rage today. It involves repeated rapid stretching and contracting of muscles – often by jumping and rebounding – to increase muscle power.
"Hey, I do plyometrics, I do box jumps all the time..."
Uh, no you don't. You're jumping on a box. It looks cute, it might even be fun, but that ain't plyometrics, son.
That bottom position of the heavy swing is actually a plyometric. So score one more benefit for the swing over the Olympic lifts. I agree that many coaches do not understand plyometrics, including the author. If he thinks that employing the double-knee-bend pulling technique and rebounding up from a full squat snatch or clean is not a plyometric movement, he either doesn't understand the lifts or the principals of the stretch-shortening cycle. Not to mention the effect of driving up a heavy jerk or push press.
A heavy swing is trying to make you face-plant into the floor. The ballistic momentum of the weight coming down is force that your body must resist, stop, and return in equal amounts. I hope someone will measure the force at the bottom of a 500-pound swing someday, but for now, rest assured that it's a lot.
The Swing Stigma
Kettlebells Cool Duo
All that sounds good so far, right? Again, the problem with swings is the stigma associated with them in the general population.
Weak, fragile people think they're scary and dangerous. Strong people think they're a waste of time, more appropriate for a bootcamp class.
Crossfitters only use them for high-reps swung overhead – they might as well do cardio-kickboxing. Christian Thibaudeau notes that Crossfitters only do it this way so the rep can be officially counted as part of a competition or WOD; however, it's a silly way to swing that ruins many of the benefits.
Then you have the perfect-form zealots, who have a conniption every time you do anything over 30% of maximum. God forbid you do a swing where the angle between your thighs and trunk isn't exactly 90 degrees. Just shut up, put your protractors away, and swing something heavy.
My job is to prove that swings are well worth the time, if you man up. Check out the swing below – it's me having a go with 465 pounds.

You're looking at a swing of two and a half times body weight. Of course, they don't make kettlebells that heavy. Regardless, it's time we rethink the word "heavy" when it comes to kettlebell swings.
Sorry, I have to say I'm not impressed anymore than the girls in the doorway are. This looks like an ego trip to me. It is a silly attempt to move a heavy weight. It would be safer and more effective to do heavy pulls.
Your Challenge

Here's your challenge. Ask yourself, wouldn't I get a hell of a lot stronger and more explosive if I was capable of swinging more than double my bodyweight?
How about cleaning double bodyweight?
It doesn't even have to be that heavy. Truth be told, the above video is on the higher end of what I'd normally do. You could still benefit if you were "only" swinging around 350 pounds, although that's still a lot more than even the typical "heavy" kettlebell swing.
Can you see that maybe having that kind power and explosiveness would benefit both your pulling prowess and your posterior chain development?
So please, ditch the light swings and infinite number of reps and give very heavy swings a try. Your hips, mid-back, traps, and forearms will collectively thank you the next day in that special way thoroughly trashed muscles always do.

Not to mention, if even one lifter switches from wimpy swings to manly swings, it's a win for humanity.
I say it is smarter to lift heavy weights in the standard pull, squat, and press fashion.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lifting in Captivity

Lifting is part of the prison culture, but it's no picnic.

I owe a great deal of credit for my start in weight training to our prison system. No, I was never an inmate and I don't plan to be, but I got my some of my first real weights from the local prison. My father was the foreman for a masonry company that was doing some work at the county jail. One day as he was conferring with the warden about the work they were doing, the warden mentioned that some prisoners had attempted a break out the night before and they were using some of the weightlifting bars to pry apart some bars. He said that he was going to get rid of the equipment. My dad offered to haul it away knowing that his son would be excited to have the stuff. I remember that he brought home a couple of the old style 1 inch exercise bars and a bunch of plates, the largest being a set of 75 pounders that York Barbell used to make. With that huge contribution, our home gym was off and running.
Later, as I lifted in local meets with the Allegheny Mountain Team, it was interesting that a lot of policemen would train and lift with ex-cons and from time to time even inmates were permitted to enter open meets out of the prison. One in particular, Don Blue, was an amazing powerlifting legend in the late 60's early 70's. Heavy lifting is a culture of it's own that spans a wide cut across society. At meets some lifters would show up on their big bikes with long hair and chains around their waists and compete with law officers who came in uniform and sported crew cuts. They would all cheer for and encourage each other, then go their separate ways until the next meet. We had a lot of fun.
There is a myth that prisoners have nothing to do but train and that they come out of prison jacked. The reality is that generally they have very limited time a few times a week to use equipment, although bodyweight stuff can be done in cells. The food is in no way conducive to muscular gains, although in the survival of the strongest atmosphere, the strong find ways to take from weak. The equipment is generally crude and not well maintained unless you are in a white collar crime facility, but you don't see jacked lifters coming out of those anyway. It is hard core and basic training. Most guys in that situation are not the best and brightest so programming is generally lacking. They just go as hard and heavy as they can anytime they can. The truth is, there are some amazing specimens that may never see the light of day outside of prison and there are few who are actually rehabilitated by lifting. As they get control over their bodies, they find they can control their minds as well. Below is an interesting video that gives an inside look at the prison lifting culture. Be glad that we can lift when, where, and how we want.

Bodyweight training is big in the prison yards.

Here is a link to an updated article on prison lifting......