Increase Your Productivity In 4 Steps With The Prison Workout

By James Johnson

October 20, 2014   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man


‘Hey Bro, how do I get that prison body?’

One of the most common questions I’d be asked by guys when I worked as a Personal Trainer.

The body they’re talking about of course is that larger than life look some prisoners have when they go away for a long time. How they can be put away for a couple of years – and suddenly come out looking superhuman at the other end of the stretch.

Sadly, there is no formula for the bros to get that prison body though – unless they actually go to prison. No miracle workout or nutrition plan that will suddenly shape them in to it.

Because, in prison, they’re left without one fatal flaw the people on the outside world are plagued with – willpower.

Prisoners don’t have to drop the kids off at school and miss their session. Or be too tired to make their meals or do their stretches. Every piece is put in to place for them to achieve success.

In order to remove their willpower, they have to have four key elements fall in ti place:

• Allocated Time – they can only use the gym between certain times.
• Defined Time – once they know their time frame, they can prioritize.
• No Distractions – Nothing else exists at that time.
• Consistency – Each day they’re presented with the same set of variables.

All of this allows them to be focused solely on the idea of improving their bodies and achieving goals.

The prisoners don’t get to work harder than anyone else; they just get to work smarter.

For your average gym goer, there are far too many things in life that get in the way of those four happening. When we do manage to have all four elements to fall in to place, the results are astounding.

So, How Can That Make Me More Productive?

Take a look at those four elements again and focus solely on the words in bold writing. Does that not sound like the perfect environment to achieve the work that you so desperately need to complete?

But – I also know you don’t want to go to prison to make it happen. After all, it’s pretty hard to run any form of successful (legitimate) business in a cellblock.

How do we remove willpower from our day-to-day lives, in order to achieve greater levels of productivity then?

We turn those four elements in to four, easy to follow steps.

Step One: Allocate Time

Carve out a specific time in your day. Make it as specific as you can, and ensure you commit to it one hundred percent. Nothing can eat in to this time at the start or end.

Start off with smaller chunks at first, between ten and thirty minutes and expand as much as you can. It is better to devote ten minutes of your life to getting things done, than two hours of procrastination.

By allocating your time, you give your mind the space to focus solely on the task at hand.

Step Two: Define Your Time

Now you’ve got your specific amount of time, this is where you decide what you’re going to achieve with it.

For smaller amounts of time is much smarter to focus on one important task, than trying to break it up between multiple. Only move on to another task once you’ve completed the previous one.

It can be anything: writing 200 words on a blog post, organising your weeks schedule or going to the gym. Whatever it is most important that you complete.

By defining what it is you’re going to achieve, the higher the chances of it getting done.

Step Three: No Distractions

Turn off your phone. There is no easier way to avoid e-mails, distractions and unnecessary uses of your time than turning it off and putting it away.

Get rid of as many distractions as you can. They only serve to detract from your achievements and hamper your productivity.

Important e-mails, text messages and Candy Crush invitations will still be there when your time is up.

Step Four: Be Consistent

Each morning, I get up at 6:30am. It takes me thirty minutes to get up, get showered, dressed and drink my coffee. By 7am, I’m sat at my laptop. At 9am, I have to leave to go to the gym.

For the first thirty minutes, I plan what I’m going to write about. For the next seventy-five minutes, I write one article to the best of my abilities. For the final fifteen minutes, I work on any outstanding tasks or e-mails.

Everyday, this is my life. It works for me because there is nobody trying to distract me before 9am – and I know as soon as my alarm goes off, exactly what I have to do.

This doesn’t mean you have to succumb to the drawbacks of routine – it just means that if you say you’re going to make thirty minutes to get your work done, actually do it. Everyday.

It won’t have to be the same time everyday, in the same place every day, or doing the same work everyday – but carve out those times every single day and being productive will become second nature.

James Johnson

James is a writer, blogger and coffee enthusiast from Salford, England. He challenges you to live 'A Week Without Fear' over on his blog - think you can do it?

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