There are certain environments that seem to best nurture progress in terms of fitness and strength goals. First on everyone’s mind is generally the stereotypical prison yard which features, in films at least, guys that would look at home on a bodybuilding stage minus the ‘THUG LIFE’ tattoos. While this is indeed a stereotype there is surely some truth to it, notably in regards to some US prisons. Here the gang culture may require a bit of bulking up for continued membership, ‘continued membership’ meaning ‘continued not being dead’ and is therefore necessary.
The most obvious factor to attribute this to is simply having more time. Achieving any fitness related goal requires setting aside and dedicating a certain amount of your energy, or time, to that cause. The less spare time you have the harder it is to dedicate it, especially if its to something that hurts you and makes you want to be sick.
In prison there is unquestionably less to do and working out is likely preferable to whatever else is on offer. For people outside with genuinely busy lives, time, importantly inconstant free time is generally the number one factor that makes a regular training program difficult. In this vein an inmate naturally has a larger potential energy commitment than someone who works 9-5 and maintains a social life. Saying this with no first hand experience of prison I would be unaware if it was in fact a struggle for T-dog to fit his 500 bicep curls in between stabbing people with toothbrushes and rehabilitation sessions.
Undoubtedly other factors come into play. Including but not limited to the easy access to equipment, peer atmosphere and of course the desire to look super buff for the boys.
This may all seem completely irrelevant
‘I am not a prisoner!’ you say, well yes you are, or for the intents of this article you may as well be.
What I mean is inmates arguably have a strong opportunity to make progress or start getting in shape during their time locked up (I realise this is not much consolation but every cloud!). In the same way your time at university provides a unique environment of a free gym membership, your new independence and above all the abundance of hours you would otherwise spend lying in bed eating pizza to devote to achieving your fitness goal.
Whether you want to put on muscle, lose weight or compete in an endurance event your university years are a perfect time to kick these goals into motion.