Want to get in criminally good shape? New Felon Fitness guide takes inspiration from prison inmates" workouts

Want to get in criminally good shape New Felon Fitness guide takes inspiration from prison inmates” workouts

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.

Felon Fitness

Exercise with conviction: Felon Fitness, takes workout tips from inmates in California jails, who have not had access to free-weights since the mid-Nineties

Mr Kroger 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 Mr Teufel to create a plan based on the inmates regimes, that, unlike many others, do not require expensive equipment, gym memberships or special training.

Felon Fitness Felon Fitness

Bright idea: Personal trainer Trey Teufel (left) and criminal attorney William Kroger (right) joined forces to create the guide based on inmates” regimes

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 burpies and press-ups to make them more intense and effective.

Mr Teufel shows how 15 magazines make for a 15lb weight, though bona fide inmates will stack up to 40 together.

But though they may employ some random teqhniques, he says the Felon Fitness workouts are even better for your body than those using free-weights in the gym.

Felon Fitness

Makeshift solution: In one of his videos, Mr Teufel demonstrates how to make a “dumbbell” using a stack of magazines and old bedsheets

Felon Fitness Felon Fitness

Versatile: The “prison dumbbells” can be used for the Lawnmower exercise (left), and in pairs for bent over rows (right)

“Withbodyweight training you”re not putting nearly as much stress on your tendons, your muscles and your ligaments,” he explained.

The regime is cost-effective too, added Mr Kroger.

“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.”

Felon Fitness

Challenging: You need nothing but willpower to persevere with the demanding Navy Seal Burpies – just ten are enough, says Mr Teufel

Indeed, the attorney is himself a fan of the routines and trains with Mr Teufel on a weekly basis.

Thoughhe is not required to stay fit for self-defence purposes as his clientsare, he is keen to keep his body healthy and says that at 50, he is in the best shape of his life.



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 ten 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 Mr Teufel, 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.