Small Space BodyWeight Workout


Possible Prisoner Workouts

As you can see above, you’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to exercises to create a bodyweight workout. Mix and match the exercises to your liking along with a set and rep scheme to create your bodyweight workout.

If you’re looking for a little guidance, though, here are a few suggestions:

Deck of Pain
This is supposedly a favorite workout routine amongst prisoners because they usually have a deck of cards handy.

Take a standard deck of 52 cards. Assign one of the above exercises (or one of their variations) to each of the four suits. So you could have something like:

  • Clubs: Push-ups
  • Spades: Pull-ups
  • Diamonds: Squats
  • Hearts: Hanging Leg Raises

Start drawing cards from the top. The suit tells you what exercise you’re doing; the number tells you the reps. Face cards count as ten rep; aces 11. So if you drew the 5 of diamonds you would do five squats; if you drew the king of clubs, you do ten push-ups. Draw the cards and perform the corresponding exercise and reps until all the cards have been drawn.

Finish it off with ten burpees for good measure

Juarez Valley Method
According to the book Jailhouse Strong, the convicts inside Mexico’s Juarez Valley Prison — one of the world’s most dangerous prisons — use the following rep scheme for their bodyweight workout.

Pick an exercise. You’re only going to be doing one during this circuit. Let’s say for this example, you’re going to do push-ups. This circuit consists of 20 sets. The rep scheme looks like this:

Set Reps
1 20
2 1
3 19
4 2
5 18
6 3
7 17
8 4
9 16
10 5
11 15
12 6
13 14
14 7
15 13
16 8
17 12
18 9
19 11
20 10

So on the odd sets, you’re starting from 20 reps, going down a rep every odd set, and on the even sets, you’re starting from 1 rep and going up a rep every even set. When it’s all said and done, you’ll have completed 210 reps.

Between each set, walk 5-10 steps for a rest and then get back into it. The goal is to complete this circuit as fast as you can.