Zach Even-Esh

Prison Strength Training & Convict Conditioning

robert deniro cape fear

It’s VERY interesting to see how inmates can look the way they do and, as seen in the video above, demonstrate the strength they do… Deadlifting 500 lbs and over.

Sure, it’s the perfect place to get BIG and Strong, no job, no this, no that, etc. but come on, do we need excuses here and complain how our life is too hard to eat well, train hard and get big and strong? Excuse makers NEVER kick ass and get results.

These inmates focus on a select few things you can learn from:

– Free Weights and the Basic Powerlifting and Bodybuilding movements. Just like the days of the Golden Era, free weights WIN every time. They pack on the most size and strength and deliver results the fastest. Pretty boy bodybuilding is OUT. Squats, Deads, Benching and heavy curls.

prison strength powerlifting

– Bodyweight Training on a regular basis. High reps for muscular endurance as well as muscular hypertrophy. Bodyweight training performed through the day in a ‘Grease the Groove’ fashion ala Pavel, always performing the exercise when fresh, with solid technique, never training to failure to maximize gains in size and strength while ensuring full recovery.

– Using ALL training methods to keep the mind strong and to develop confidence & mental toughness. These guys understand that training is a ritual, a place where they can clear the mind of all problems and focus on something good, take care of health, both physical AND mental.

prison strength odd object lifting

– Use of Odd Objects. Inmates are not cry babies like many of “Gurus” telling you that their way is the only way, the best way…. These men are using water filled bags and jugs, lifting their bunk beds, etc. I remember watching a video ages ago with inmates training using the picnic tables that were out in the yard. It inspired me to crank a ton of exercises during circuits I was using with my wrestlers at a school yard.

Now, before you begin complaining about the fact that inmates are being given credit or complaining, let all that go…. I am looking at their training, NOT their morals or ethics.

The Pussification of America needs to end. It’s plain and simple, don’t use my blog as a ground for complaining, instead, it’s a place to learn, share and become inspired.

Let’s get STRONG. Period.

In Strength,


PS: This is THE place where strength and muscle building are taken to a whole new level, I’m there for you, 24-7-365. Bring it, click here for a 30 Day Trial and a slew of kick ass gifts.

Category: Articles, muscle building, Strength Building, Success, Underground Strength Show, Videos, Zach's Workouts Tags: , , , , , , .

19 Responses to Prison Strength Training & Convict Conditioning

  1. Mateusz says:

    Man recently I get my hands on Convict Conditioning. One word: Thanks. Thanks for recommending this. I was doing bodyweight stuff earlier, using Pavel’s method (Naked Warrior way) but Coach Wade has shit that works for me better.
    BTW: Today in a locker one guy asked me if I do legs at all, or only upper body. Maaaaan whats wrong with these guys?

  2. Milt says:

    As a police officer, I think this is something EVERY police officer should watch. Talk about motivation to stay in shape!

  3. Des says:

    You wanted feed back to your topic concerning what is a strong mind last week. This video projects this quality.

    The strength to overcome regardless of where you find yourself.

    Sir, i thank you for this video.

  4. Rudy says:

    Dedication to a purpose- that’s what it takes. These guys have the crappiest food available, no supps. Just time and dedication. And yet 80% of these guys could hold their own on a BB stage. Definately motivating.

    On a side note, I know you don’t want us to get all political and philosophical Zach, but what if these guys could set themselves similar powerful and inspirational goals when they get back on the outside? To use their lives productively for good purpose. THAT’S what we should be preaching to the inmates in any “correctional” facility.

    Sorry couldn’t resist my 2c.

  5. Matt says:

    I think it would be interesting to see a documentary on strength and survival in today’s world. Not just the world of crime and fighting, but also in the corporate world and such. Lots of people tell me that getting in shape and getting stronger gave them a leg up in advancing heir career and their standing among their peers.

    Bottom line is that strength is about survival and living life in the best ways you can. I think this is true for anyone no matter who they are.

  6. Marc says:

    Zach whats up. i have had the book for some time now and read it all the time. i use the bodywieght stuff when i’m injured or just wanting to work through some stuff in my head. its great to be able to get to a place in my head where nothing else disturbs me and i can just dance with the thoughts in my head. I really try to focus on the little things in the book and work on technique constantly, you know a little tweek here and there to maximise benefits and all. thanks for promoting a perfect tool, this will help alot of people get into their minds again. you’re the best

  7. Coach PC says:

    I did 5 years in TDCJ-ID (Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division) and all of the units that I did time on banned weights because the inmates were in superior shape to the staff. Even though we had no weights, we used one another as well as anything we could find to circumvent this problem and get it in. Even without weights, I went from 185 to 215. When the human spirit is motivated to make the body strong, there is nothing that can/will stand in the way of attaining this accomplishment. This is, perhaps, the #1 thing that pisses me off when I hear people making excuses for not jumping into the fire. THERE ARE NO FUCKING EXCUSES!

  8. John Cintron says:

    Zach great post. I went and bought convict conditioning because of your page. I am currently doing some of the exercises in my program like coach Wade tells you to do them and it makes everything much harder. Also I remember a documentary on prison.There was one black guy that was not allowed to lift weights . He was confined to his cell. He was so strong that he had broken out of handcuffs and straight jackets. He had to be the most jacked up guy I ever saw. He would take his matress and roll it up and do hundreds of squats in his cell. I have yet to be able to find that clip.


  9. Dustin says:

    It wasn’t prison it was bootcamp, but when I was in bootcamp I was itching to lift weights. We had a machine in our barracks but it had no pin so another guy found a bolt and we would sneak down at night to lift. We would put towels between plates so you couldn’t hear the clanking of plates.
    It is unfortunate that the inmates don’t have that outlet, but I can see why the guards don’t want them lifting because they would out power them. Maybe take a lesson from this and lift. The prison guards I know are all powerlifters and some big dudes, but I am sure there are some that don’t lift at all.

  10. admin says:

    Milt, right on, I am ALWAYS shocked to see law enforcement who are weak and out of shape, it confuses the hell out of me!

  11. admin says:

    Dustin, agreed my man, I’d be training to be bigger, faster and stronger then them!

  12. admin says:

    Coach PC – I hear ya, I interviewed a guy who was an inmate in Cali, ALL bodyweight, he was STRONG AS HELL, pound for pound, un-real!

    He passed away 2 yrs ago though :(

    After prison he became addicted to fitness and the lifestyle, was a powerful lifter, I saw him clean and press a 185 lb barbell with ONE hand and strict press it, it was NUTS!

    He weighed 205 lbs only! He was a GREAT guy but he passed on :(

  13. admin says:

    Matt, you are right bro, I met many strength addicts who were corporate and they dominate their world of business, dominate!

  14. admin says:

    Mateusz, my pleasure, brutha!!

  15. admin says:

    Rudy, those who get out, sometimes do this, I had a friend who did this and he was on a great roll, but he had cancer and lost his battle.

    He was an amazing guy, inside and out. A very sad time.

  16. admin says:

    John I saw that video ages ago! He was JACKED!

    His arms were unreal! He was doing straight leg sit ups with only his feet supported, it was UN-real, looked like Bruce Lee plus 50 lbs!

    I also think the guy was in his 50s already!

  17. Greg says:

    Zach great comments and video. I work in a correctional facility and find myself frustrated every day because my co-workers just don’t get the importance of training for the job. YOU WORK IN A JAIL! IT IS YOUR JOB TO BE READY FOR ANYTHING!

  18. Heidi says:

    Another Great NO EXCUSES Post Zach! Here’s something else to think about, besides the fact that many prisons no longer have a weight yard to train in, and therefore have to improvise, none of them have ideal food.

    We are so worried about our drinks, powders, meals, shakes and “improvement concoctions” that we lose sight of what makes us strong. We also use it as an excuse for training (or not). It is time spent doing the work that makes us strong and nothing else. Period!

  19. jeeva says:

    Zach can you please tell me which documentary was of that guy..please and thanks

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Zach Even-Esh is an Author, Founder of The Underground Strength Gym & Creator of The Underground Strength Coach Certification.

Zach's inspiration in training comes from the Golden Era of Bodybuilding & Days of Old School Strength. His mission is to help You kick ass & take names in Life AND Lifting without the hype, fancy fads or gimmicks. Zach's Commitment To Your Success Is Unmatched. He Knows What It's Like To Go From A Weakling To An Unstoppable BEAST In Charge Of His Life, Business & Destiny. Zach Made It Happen Through The Iron and Now it's Your Turn!

Zach Even-Esh