Exercising in the Federal Prison Camp

Exercising and staying fit was the choice of each inmate. The prison camp recreational department did provide some equipment for exercise but not all camps had the same. The camp I was in had a stair climber, type of thread mill and stationary bike but that was it because it was a small camp.

There was also a walking track behind the camp which all inmates took advantage of by walking daily at some point. Some used the track for routine jogging and others would walk around doing exercises like push-ups and sit-ups of various types along certain location around the track.

One of the things that impressed me about all the inmates was how creative they were in finding ways to exercise. For example, there were no weights or barbells to work out with but that did not stop inmates who wanted to engage in weight lifting. I saw rocks being used as barbells in each hand. Five gallon buckets with rocks piled inside and even water jugs tied to a metal pole for lifting.

There was always someone exercising during the day which motivated others to exercise and some would do it as a group for accountability, like a coach or team player. The exercise equipment was very handy on rainy and cold days. Inmates were good about taking turns when the equipment was available, it was first come first serve and each respected the time of others.

It was also unique to see all the different types of individual exercises that were being used and created. In other words, staying fit was something every inmate made an effort of doing even if it was just walking.


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