Washboard abs. Lean, rippling biceps. Legs of steel. A body that is easily mistaken for that of a Greek statue…
No, we’re not talking about some fancy boy model on the cover of Muscle Magazine…we’re talking about the boys down on cell block D of your favorite state correctional facility! That’s right…these guys know a thing or two about fitness and they DON’T mess around. For all of you non-gym goers, or really anyone who prefers working out at home (or in other enclosed spaces) the guys in stripes actually have a lot in common with you. While you may not have accumulated multiple felonies just yet, or hide three types of shanks in your mattress, you both appreciate a great exercise routine that’ll help you tighten up, stay sharp, and best of all, can be done in an enclosed space, like your prison cell…or living room.
Today, I’ve put together a body weight only total body conditioning routine that is perfect for anyone wanting/needing to get their workout in when they don’t have the luxury of space and/or equipment. The motivation for this post was spurred by a certain someone’s borderline obsession with a TV show called Lock Up, which I’m often subjected to. Having seen some of these bad boys getting down to business in their little 6 x 12 spaces, I knew there was something I could put together for all of you guys and girls at home. While you may be able to leave your little living space when you want, there are times you just don’t want to. Having a solid, go-to workout, for those days you just can’t make it to the gym is huge. Seriously, don’t underestimate this. Not only is it going to help you stay consistent on days you aren’t making it to the gym, it’s also going to work your body in a completely new way if you’re accustomed to a more traditional workout format.
So for today’s workout, we’re going to hit you from head to toe, keeping an uptempo pace to really burn those calories, all the while getting you into lean, mean, fighting shape. To make sure we’re really hitting your body with someone it isn’t used to, we’re going to go with a unique training format called reverse pyramid sets. Reverse pyramid sets start with the reps high (100 in today’s case) and drop down to 10 reps in the final set. BUT…and it’s a big but…as the reps decrease, the exercises get harder…meaning those 100 reps of exercise A may actually be easier than the 20 reps of exercise B that you’re hitting towards the end of your workout. If it’s not making sense, just keep reading, because I’m about to lay everything out for you in the order in which I want you to complete this convict workout…
- Reverse Crunch – 100 reps
- Flutter + Scissor Kick Combo – 90 reps
- Surrender Squats – 80 reps (feel free to ignore demo and go without weights if you don’t have them available)
- Core Twists – 60 reps
- Jump Lunge + Mountain Climber Combo – 60 reps (jump lunge on both side + 4 reps mtn. climber is one rep)
- Explosion Jumps – 50 reps
- Push Up with One Arm Lift – 40 reps
- Side Burpees – 30 reps
- Push Up/Dip Turnovers – 20 reps
- Hindu Push Ups – 10 reps
That’s it. You’re finished. Give yourself a big pat on the back because that, my friends, was one hell of a workout. If you’ve maintained a good pace, you’re going to be absolutely drenched in sweat, muscles tight, lungs burning. Now, that brings me to my last point about this convict workout; go ahead and use a timer with this one. I’m not prescribing any set rest periods or breaks – you’re all big boys and girls, you know when you’re working hard and when you aren’t. Do your best to push through this workout, taking as few rests as possible. Since you’re using a timer, you’ll be able to gauge your progress and see how you do on subsequent workouts. Always strive to improve your time AND form, each time you go through this workout. Be sure to use full range of motion, not counting any half reps along the way.
So regardless of what your goals are, this workout is probably going to be able to help you. Whether you want to improve your cardiovascular endurance in preparation for a big race, continue to accumulate lean muscle across your body, or prepare to kill a man with your bare hands, the convict workout can help.
Now get out there, give this workout a try, and let us see what you’re made of….just be careful not to drop the soap in the process….
Questions or comments about this workout? Post them below. Especially proud of your hard work? Share your best time with the rest of us in the comment field!