Why Do Guys In Jail Get So Big?

jacked prisoner
November 8, 2022 0 Comments

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In this article I will be answering the question “why do guys in jail get so big?”. Very often you will see prison movies with jacked prisoners in it, this is what creates the stereotype that all prisoners are muscular and “swole”.

However, the reality is that this is not always the case. Prison does create an environment though which is conducive to making progress physically. This article will explore this topic fully.

Why Do Guys In Jail Get So Big?

The biggest reason for why guys in jail get so big is that they have a lot of time to dedicate to working out and are in an environment where physicality is very important.

The most physically imposing males in prison garner the most respect. This is a huge reason why guys devote themselves to becoming bigger and more muscular in prison.

There aren’t many distractions like there are in the outside world. It is a relatively low stress environment in which following a routine and being disciplined become engrained. 

Whilst prison food by and large isn’t great, there are options for prisoners to purchase food and even get supplements into their cells. In addition, if they have good connections inside prison they can also receive assistance with more food. 

Can Make Workouts A Priority

Inside prison where there is very little to do to pass time, working out can become one of the biggest priorities for many people. 

In contrast, in the outside world, people have to juggle many different responsibilities. These can include paying bills, going to a stressful job, cooking, cleaning, spending time with family, etc. 

Because working out becomes one of the top priorities in prison, it is easy to see that progress can be made. Prisoners who are diligent in their workout routines in prison and well disciplined can make very good gains in both size and strength.
jacked prisoner

Does The Prison Have Free Weights?

One factor which will determine the level of strength and muscularity that an inmate will develop is the equipment they have access to.

Prisoners that have access to free weights and equipment like benches and squat racks will have a higher potential for making gains in muscle mass.

With heavy exercises such as bench presses and squats you can pack on quality muscle and make very good strength gains with a disciplined approach long term.

However, this is not to say that you can’t become more muscular without free weights. Many prisoners improvise and use whatever they have in their cell to perform workouts.

You can do pull ups, dips, push ups and other calisthenics exercises to work your muscles. In addition, you can use bags filled with books or other tools to act as free weights.


If you are able to workout in groups in prison you can find other individuals who have similar passions for lifting weights. You can learn from them and share knowledge.

This can motivate you more to workout consistently and keeps you accountable. The competitive environment in prison is good for raising testosterone levels and encouraging progress in this regard.

It is not surprising that so many prisoners do achieve good results with their physique during their time in prison. The level of focus that you can give to your training, combined with the disciplined approach can certainly deliver results.

Kali Muscle Story

Kali grew up in Oakland and was in the wrong crowds from a young age. He was in San Quentin jail for 7 years for armed robbery. He used the time in prison to get bigger and stronger.

He was eating copious amounts of top ramen and tuna and weighed in at the time at 230lbs. In 1997 though the weights were taken away and Kali was unable to train heavy with the free weights that he loved.

This caused Kali a lot of stress and anxiety. He found a way to improvise though and overcome this setback. He had one of his workout partners on his shoulders to do squats with.

He also used his partners for extra resistance on various other exercises. Kali is an inspiration now for other young kids and he helps as many as he can to avoid a life of crime.

Prison Food

A lot is made of the fact that prison food is generally awful. However, this is not always the case. It varies a lot depending on which prison you are at. Some prisons have a much wider variety of food with balanced nutrients.

Prisoners are generally able to purchase extra food from the store and can also get additional food brought in for them. If you have connections with other prisoners who work in the kitchen you can also receive a higher quantity of food.

Therefore, from a nutritional standpoint it is possible to provide your body with adequate nutrients to fuel your training sessions and make gains in both muscle mass and strength.

It is certainly far from optimal, but there are many cases of prisoners making great gains in muscle while not eating too clean. Sodium is very high in a lot of prison foods. 

Final Thoughts

Why do guys in jail get so big? It must first be stated that this is a general stereotype and not true in all cases.

By and large, people who arrive in prison athletic and well built will likely remain that way in their time in prison. 

Prisoners have less stress in general in prison than people in the outside world. In addition, there is a consistent routine and discipline prevalent in the prison system which is conducive to making physical progress as well.

Being in a competitive environment and able to workout with others can also improve motivation and make you more accountable. 

>> Can You Get Big From Calisthenics?

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