Pen Pals

Gettin’ Money Prison-Style

By Bert Burykill

There’s a remarkable contingent of inmates who upon incarceration immediately commence working out, aka gettin’ money. When a cracker first gets thrown back into the cesspool, at least in New York, he is stuck in the county jail. Most county jails blow massive donkey dick when it comes to physical fitness amenities. Most likely, getting’ money in the county jail amounts to nothing more than bustin’ ass on the bar. Inmates say hittin’ the bar, but it’s not to be confused with the bench press bar, or the bar where us inmates used to get drinks and hit on chicks. We think it’s funny to pun about hittin’ the bar and getting tipsy when really we’re just getting drunk on developing massively bonerable muscles.

This is a little secret that most people who haven’t been to jail don’t know: You can get seriously strapping diesel off the pull-up bar, pushups, dips, and a healthy cocktail of abdominal exercises. Maybe 25 percent of dudes in prison, even when they get upstate where the cages of steel reside, shun the weights and stick to a strictly bar regimen. I might do weights three or four times a week, and do the bar two or three times. Sometimes when I was feelin’ particularly sick I’d do two workouts in a day and do bar once and weights the other. We get so mechanically animalistic in there that sometimes we don’t even consider the bar a full workout, more just a supplement to our weight training. I develop deeper cuts and work specialized muscle groups banging with weights, but when it comes to brute strength and size, hittin’ the bar and doin’ pushup will get an inmate the desired results.

One time I was stuck in the county jail for a whole year and I went from weighing 135 to 165 from the bar and pushups. I would work out five times a week with a regiment consisting of roughly 15 sets of pull-ups utilizing all different styles, i.e. underhand, overhand, close grip, wide grip, reverse grip, super pullup, for a total of roughly 250 repetitions. The first few sets I might pump out 25, and by the end I’m struggling to get 12, but it feels so fuckin’ goooood. Then I’d bust out 15 sets of pushups, once again striving for variety to hit the widest range of muscles while consistently engaging the core. I do eight different styles of pushups and I used to hit 100 on the first clip and then by the 15th dwindle down to 40 or 50. I’d manage to get down and get up 1,000 times in about a half hour. The county jail is so stinkin’ boring that the hour and a half workout, 15-minute cool down, half-hour shower and then half-hour meal would take over two hours out of my day and more importantly give me a sense of accomplishment, which is important in real life, but even more positive in prison, because it’s difficult to feel useful and worthwhile behind bars.

Sometimes I’d do a pull-up set directly followed by push-ups, then dips, and then sprint a lap, take a two-minute break and then repeat. I became a huge proponent of muscle confusion. I’d try to switch up my workout every three or four weeks so my mind and body didn’t get used to the same routine. I’ve read that there’s a real science behind the muscle confusion theory, and it’s wise to not get bogged down into the same routine for months on end. I usually work best gettin’ money solo but on rare occasions I found workout partners who could hang with the bar game. One mega-large qualm I have with the county lockup is lack of outdoor time and a complete absence of a yard. The county I was stuck in had a concrete courtyard with super high walls and a fence roof. We could see the sky, but for that year I never saw trees or a horizon… It was so damn unbonerable.

We only got an hour of rec a day, and often they called it at 7 AM knowing that most inmates sleep through it, making the COs’ job easier. During cold winter months up there the “yard” would be closed, and I’m a cardio junky so I had to decide on a workout. I chose jumping jacks, and I took it to the limit. When I was in the incarceration camp boot camp-style six month program in 2004, there was a drill instructor named DI Rock who’s specialty was making inmates suffer with a couple thousand “side-straddle hops” in a row… it was a joke for most inmates ‘cause there was no way in hell they could ever do it. But I did it—2,000 jumping jacks straight up after which I was smitten with myself for bein’ a bad motherfucker.

A year later, I brought this adrenaline-inducing routine with me to the county and actually found a fellow psycho who could hang. It was pretty awesome and awe-inspiring ‘cause he was borderline tubby and he proved mind over matter… son was dedicated. It’s the ultimate test of perseverance. It’s kinda why chicks like spin class I think. I get it. There is so much pain. It’s basically doing jumping jacks for 15 minutes straight, and fighting through ridiculous throbbing that attacks your feet, ankles, calves, quads, and ass. After five minutes, you begin to POUR sweat, then go numb from minutes seven to 13, followed by massive suffering toward the end. Once again the sense of accomplishment reminds you that life is worth trying, plus jumping jacks give you the body that the babies wanna smash.

Dudes get competitive with lifting weights and it’s pretty easy to see who lifts the most. With the bar, crackers get mega-creative doing tricks. I have a light lower body (except for my cock and balls, which are made of lead and headcheese) so I can pump out a lotta pull-ups. It is difficult to describe my elation and display of pomposity when I finally mastered the “super pull-up.” I don’t know what it’s really called but it’s when you pull yourself all the way up past your chest and then basically do a dip. They’re fuckin hard and I got to the point when I could do ten in a row. They are serious money.

If you’ve never heard of the Bar Tendaz, you need to check out their work. I saw a few guys upstate who were beasts and a sight to see with the strength and creativity they displayed. It’s impressive. Also, twirling around the bar like a gymnast keeps things interesting and works on your grip and forearms in a different way. Some dudes are monsters over 200 pounds and they’re still easily doing moves that a guy weighing 150 probably can’t do. It takes a ton of strength and a unique technique that crackers who bench press 315 might have trouble pulling off. Upstate, we like to say that the guys who have mean bar game possess “inner strength.” It’s rumored that by doing bar, pushups, and dips your muscles don’t really go away, and I’ve seen that with my own eyes. If I do ten sets of bar now, I blow up to looking like I was gettin’money hardbody in my prime. I recommend hittin’ the bar to everyone, man and woman alike—simply dedicate a few months to working out with your own body weight doing pull-ups, pushups, dips, sit-ups and sprints. It’s difficult to motivate yourself sometimes, but you don’t need that $50 a month gym to get that crazy prison-body status. You can contact me anytime and we’ll set up an appointment to develop a workout plan. I will charge you a couple boxes of Newports and a foot rub, and you will grow a bodacious bod. Lets DO this! Get money, crackuh!! Get that fuckin’ MONEY!

Previously - Homos in the Big House

@burykill

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