The volume of celebrity fitness plans on the market is proof that most of us are inspired by stars when it comes to getting in shape.
But a new book has taken a very different lead: instead of looking to Hollywood, it takes workout tips from inmates in California jails.
Felon Fitness is the brainchild of LA-based personal trainer Trey Teufel and criminal attorney William Kroger.
William noticed that his clients always emerged from jail in phenomenal physical shape – despite the fact that free-weights have not been available to prisoners since the mid-Nineties.
He worked with Trey to create a plan based on the inmates’ regimes that, unlike many others, do not require expensive equipment, gym memberships or special training.
The book, which is supplemented by a series of instructional videos on YouTube, demonstrates how to make “dumbbells” out of magazines, tape and torn-up bedsheets, and adapt exercises like burpees and press-ups to make them more intense and effective.
Trey shows how 15 magazines make for a 6kg weight, though bona fide inmates will stack up to 40 together.
But though they may employ some random techniques, he says the Felon Fitness workouts are even better for your body than those using free-weights in the gym.
“With bodyweight training you’re not putting nearly as much stress on your tendons, your muscles and your ligaments,” he said.
The regime is cost-effective too, added William.
“You don’t have to have a gym, you don’t have to have a private trainer,” he said. “You can do everything at home, you can do it without weights.”
Indeed, the attorney is himself a fan of the routines and trains with Trey on a weekly basis.
Though he is not required to stay fit for self-defence purposes as his clients are, he is keen to keep his body healthy and says that at 50, he is in the best shape of his life.
FOUR OF THE BEST FELON FITNESS EXERCISES
NAVY SEAL BURPEES
This is a sequence of three push-ups, with knee tucks in-between that work the abs.
After the first push-up, bring one knee up towards the abs. Then go straight into the second push-up, followed by a knee-tuck using the other leg. The third push-up is done by itself. Then stand, and repeat.
These are very challenging, says Mr Teufel, and 10 should be more than enough.
Place one leg up on an elevated surface behind you, then lower your bodyweight down slowly as you inhale. Exhale as you come up. Repeat. Switch legs and repeat for the same number of reps.
This employs your home-made dumbbell. Make a staggered stance, with the back leg straight and heel off the ground. The front leg is forward and bent at the knee.
With the hand on the same side as your back leg, lift your dumbbell back, so that your elbow is above your back and your wrist is at your ribcage. Exhale as you bring your arm down again. Repeat, then switch sides for the same number of reps.
This, according to Trey, is a great way to “toughen up your mid-section”. It is also good for leg-flexibility. Stand with your feet well-apart, then stretch your hands down to one foot. Swing them across to the ground between your feet, then across to the other foot. Then slam your fists into your abs at the top. – Daily Mail