By Matt Marshall
I’m constantly searching and experimenting with new and unusual bodyweight exercises.
I often comb through used book stores searching for out-of-print fitness books. (Perhaps you’ve heard the expression: “If you want a new idea, check inside an old book.”)
Recently, I stumbled upon a fitness guide written by a man locked up in solitary confinement. This convict has achieved a high level of fitness even though he has no equipment, no weights, no machines and very little space to with.
Charles Bronson is a British convict. He was initially put in prison in the ’70′s and has been in prison ever since except for three months on the outside.
He is known for being incredibly strong and has many prison records including most push-ups done in one minute (118), most sit-ups done in one hour (1790) and most push-ups done in one hour (1727).
When I saw that he had written a book about his prison fitness plan, I was intrigued.
The book is called, “Solitary Fitness.” But before you rush out and buy it, there are a few things you should know.
There are many bad features about the book. And there a few good ones. I will try to sum up the pros and cons of the book so you can make an educated decision.
Negative Point #1: Conflicting advice regarding steroids.
Bronson tells his readers to stay away from steroids. This is good advice and I agree. But here’s a funny quirk about the book. Bronson himself could obviously not pose for pictures to demonstrate the exercises.
So they used a female bodybuilder. And the female bodybuilder they used for all the pictures is OBVIOUSLY on steroids. She’s bigger than most NFL linebackers and her face is incredibly masculine. Telltales signs of steroid abuse.
Negative Point #2: Lot’s of Hype And In-effective Exercises
Many of the exercises are boring and completely in-effective. One of the exercises he recommend is simply holding something in your hands and keeping your arms extended in front of you. (Think about how you’d hold a baby with a poopy diaper.)
Obviously, this exercise isn’t going to do too much for you other than give your front shoulders a bit of a workout. But Bronson claims this will pack 2 inches onto your chest in one month. I wish it were that easy.
The other exercises he recommends are pretty basic. Push-ups, sit-ups, step-ups, etc. He also seems to be hung-up on the concept of isometric tension.
For those of you who don’t know, isometric tension is flexing your muscles against an immovable object, such as pushing against a wall. This type of exercise has already been dismissed as completely in-effective but Bronson still seems to think it works.
Negative Point #3: Some downright W-E-I-R-D stuff.
Bronson devotes a whole chapter to the idea of punching a cow in the face. Mind you, not a cow that’s attacking you or anything. Just a normal cow that’s standing there minding it’s own business. Apparently knocking out an unsuspecting cow is considered a feat of strength.
He also talks about how he gives himself enema’s. I’ll spare you the details. And as if that weren’t enough there’s even a section on workouts for — how should I put this — workouts for your “love muscle.”
Were There Any Good Points About The Book?
Although I wouldn’t recommend that anyone actually waste money on this book, there were a couple good points.
Interesting Point #1: Bronson does not eat anything at all on Sundays and explains many of the healthy benefits of this practice.
I talk about this in my book, Maximum Muscle Minimum Time but I haven’t seen too many other people talking about it.
Interesting Point #2: Despite the shortcomings of the book, it is inspirational. Bronson accepts no excuses and knocks out 2500 push-ups per day. He really believes in respecting your own body and taking care of yourself.
Overall, the book wasn’t great. But you might want to check it out if you are curious. I believe it’s only available in the U.K. so check it out and read the reviews online.
Matt Marshall is not a personal trainer or a professional bodybuilder. He’s just a former skinny guy who figured out how average guys (with average genetics) can build muscle and develop outstanding physiques. To learn more about a fitness program that requires no equipment and no wide-open spaces, check out http://www.TheHomeWorkoutPlan.com
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By Matt Marshall
Have you ever noticed that many convicted criminals walk into prison as skinny punks but walk out with 20-40lbs of new muscle?
Have you ever wondered how that is possible?
Recently, a customer of mine asked me if I thought it was possible to build muscle, burn fat and get a lean, muscular physique without lifting weights.
While I gave it some thought? he raised the stakes. He wanted to know if someone could build a better body while locked up in a ten by ten prison cell.
I thought about it some more? and then I started to do some research.? After I completed my research I told him that I believed it was possible to build muscle even within the confines of a ten by ten prison cell.
Point #1: Your muscles are stupid. In order to grow, your muscles must be placed under tension. If you lift a dumbbell, that puts tension on your bicep and back muscles.
But? if you do a pull-up? that also puts your back and biceps muscles under tension.? Here’s the kicker: Your muscles don’t know the difference between the tension put forth by pull-ups or from dumbbell curls.
The important thing is that your muscles are being worked against resistance in each case.? So lifting weights may be a convenient way to work your muscles under tension? but it’s definitely not the only way to work your muscles.
Point #2: In the late ’80′s, researches used electromagnetic imaging to discover which exercises caused the greatest degree of muscle fiber activation. The rationale being that the more muscle fibers that were activated, the better the exercise was for building muscle and strength.
Researchers discovered that the most effective exercises were the ones where your hands and or feet remained steady and your body moved.
The exercises where your body remained stationary and your hands or feet did the moving were decidedly less effective.
Here is an example: When you are bench pressing, your body remains stationary and your hands move up and down throughout space.
But when you do a push-up, your hands remain stationary and your body moves up and down throughout space.
How about another example? When you do a seated leg extension, your body remains stationary and your feet move up and down. But when you do a squat, your feet remain stationary and your body moves up and down throughout space.
So the push-up activates more muscle fiber than the bench press? and a squat recruits more muscle fibers than a leg extension.
This means that many bodyweight exercises actually require a greater degree of muscle fiber activation than many common weight-lifting exercises.
In short, bodyweight exercises can actually be more effective at building muscle and strength.
So? even if you’re stuck in a tiny prison cell, you can still build muscle and strength with bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and squats.
Of course, to build extreme amounts of muscle you have to move beyond the basic exercises and start using some of the more advanced exercises. These include the one-arm push-up, the janda sit-up, dips and variations on the pull-up.
But in the end, I see no reason why you could not build an all-around spectacularly muscular physique within the tiny confines of a ten by ten prison cell.
Matt Marshall is the author of The Home Workout Plan. This book allows average guys to build muscle and strength without lifting weights, without fancy equipment and without commercial gym access.? A free Home Workout Plan report is available for download at http://www.TheHomeWorkoutPlan.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Matt_Marshall http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Prison-Cell-Workout&id=685940
By Matt Marshall
How do maximum security prisoners manage to add muscle?
I’ve often wondered about this. And recently, a customer gave me a very important clue to this puzzle.
Here’s the deal:
First of all, it’s important to note that the idea of huge, muscular prisoners is very much a “Hollywood” image.
In real prisons, not every convict is 6’5 and 320lbs of shredded muscle. However, many guys do manage to gain a substantial amount of muscle when entering prison.
How do they do it? What is the muscle-building key that we can learn from prisoners?
Letter From A Maximum Security Prison
One of my customers teaches at a maximum security prison. He wrote me a letter that brought up an interesting point.
He noted that convicts 1) work out a lot, 2) eat a lot… but also that they…
Sleep More Than The Average Guy!
Think about it. There’s not a whole lot to do on the “inside” so many prisoners probably get extra sleep.
Could Sleep Really Be The Secret To Massive Gains?
If you think sleep couldn’t possibly be the key to muscular growth, let’s examine what occurs during sleep.
When you catch some zzzz’s your body finally gets a chance to repair and rebuild your cells.
30-45 minute after you enter dreamland, your body starts to release Human Growth Hormone or HGH. If that term sounds familiar it’s because many steroid-users illegally take extra HGH for massive muscle gains.
Growth Hormone is powerful hormone that increases muscle mass, repairs cells, strengthens the immune system… among a host of other benefits.
Steroid-users shell out between $500-$4,000 a month for HGH… but your body releases a natural supply every night. So get those zzz’s in.
The Key To Gaining Weight
If you are a naturally skinny guy and you want to gain weight, getting some extra sleep could be the puzzle piece you’ve been missing.
But don’t take my word for it.
Take it from a guy who knows a little something about gaining weight.
Musashimaru, a famous sumo wrester, was once asked how he grew from 290lbs to a staggering 520lbs.
He explained that sumo wrestlers sleep immediately after eating to insure slow digestion of their food and maximum retention of muscle mass.
Hopefully this article has opened your eyes to importance of sleep. Here are two take-away points for you to consider.
#1) For maximum muscle gains, try your best to get a full night of sleep each night. Some people believe that the hours of sleep obtained before midnight are more effective than the sleep after midnight so try to get to bed earlier.
#2) Whenever possible, try and and squeeze in a 20 minute nap after your workouts (after your post-workout meal).
Most of us don’t have the time for a post-workout nap but if you can squeeze it in (even once in a while) it can help recovery and aid you in your quest to gain muscle.
Matt Marshall is not a personal trainer or a professional bodybuilder. He’s just a former skinny guy who figured out how average guys can build muscle and develop outstanding physiques. You can read his blog by visiting http://www.AverageWhiteDude.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Matt_Marshall http://EzineArticles.com/?How-Convicts-Get-Buff&id=842539
By Zach Bashore
We all make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes lead us into jail. While you`re sitting in your cell complaining about how stupid you were to be there, why not do something positive for yourself like bodybuild? Why not turn your life around and actually be in control for once? “So now what?” you say. Well now is when knowledge will become your best friend. Training, nutrition, and rest are three important factors when it comes to building a great body in jail.
Creating a good workout routine will depend on what type of equipment you use. Books, drawers, shoes are all good alternatives to dumbells if you don`t have access to any. You can also do plenty of exercises with your own bodyweight such as push ups, crunches, leg raises, supermans, bridges, bench dips, air bike, freehand jump squat, and glute kickbacks. Choose from some the exercises above and create your own routine. My jail cell had an exercise bike which is a good form of cardio other good methods are jumping jacks, burpies, and if you`re desperate just walk or jog around in your cell. If you can, try to find a good training partner as well to help you stay motivated. It also will look better when you`re not the only person exercising.
Since your only fed three meals a day, getting good nutrients is going to be tough. Most meals consist of high GI carbs, foods high in saturated fat, and not much protein so you`ve got to be smart when choosing what you eat. A good trick is to eat all the healthy foods on your tray and afterwards go around looking for leftovers to help fill you up. Since most trays consist of at least one sort of junk food, you should trade that junk to somebody for something healthy. Just don`t let the security guard catch you. You`re also going to have to time your meals so you can perform your exercises and do your best to get your post workout nutrition afterwards. You also have to remember to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. A good rule is to look at your piss and if it`s yellow then you need to drink more water.
In my jail, getting enough sleep is very difficult. People are always complaining and yelling stupid stuff in the dorm so it`s very difficult to get enough. One way I found is asking for earplugs if they allow them which will help out alot. You`re not going to be very active and you will be sitting around alot so you shouldn`t have any reason to worry about overtraining. On your last meal of the day, try to eat fibrous or complex carbs because they will help you sleep better.
Those are some basic bodybuilding principles to use while you`re in jail. You should be able to keep your goals even while in jail if you want it enough. I wrote this article sitting in a jail cell with the hopes that other bodybuilders survive while being locked up. Until next time keep your head up and stay hungry. Peace.
MY SITE: http://www.mightybody.com
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