Staying at Indiana’s Clark County Jail can do a number on your health.
Between paltry meals and a virtual lack of recreation time, inmates can easily watch their health deteriorate over the course of a jail stint.
But one group of inmates has devised an ingenious way to stay in shape, according to two participants on the A&E documentary series “60 Days In.” The show follows eight undercover inmates who volunteer to spend two months in jail in order to expose problems with the system.
As the participants learned, inmates have devised workouts using common jail-cell materials.
The highlight of the routine involves a makeshift weight used for lifting and squatting. According to Dion, one of the undercover inmates, here’s how you make it:
- First, take off your orange jumpsuit
- Then, fill a trash bag with water and tie it up
- Place the trash bag in the jumpsuit and tie up the jumpsuit
- Slip the handle of a broom through the jumpsuit knot
- Lift and squat away
Inmates continue their workout by doing pull-ups on shower curtain rods, climbing up and down their pod staircase, and running around the common room dozens of times.
“These people had nothing but time on their hands,” Ryan, another participant, told Business Insider.
Ryan said he noticed that different cliques would exercise together, and sharing the experience with them helped him gain acceptance in his pod.
“You bond with people over working out. It’s something that’s a part of the culture,” he said.
Dion said working out was necessary to compensate for the brutal conditions. He consumed only about 1,500 calories a day, he told Business Insider, and despite exercising frequently, he said he lost a troubling amount of weight over his two-month stay.
“They had to put me on a food regimen just to get it back together, build my protein back up,” he told Business Insider. “I was getting really sick when I got out because I lost so much.”
Clark County Jail only spends $1 on each inmate’s meal, A&E confirmed to Business Insider in March.
Meanwhile, Ryan said he bypassed jail food completely, and subsided exclusively on items from the jail’s commissary, an in-house store where inmates can buy food, toiletries and other items. His diet included peanut butter, protein shakes, powdered milk, and vitamins, he said.
“You can’t get your protein unless you got a lot of money, or are owed a lot of money,” he said.
“60 Days In” airs Thursday on A&E at 9 p.m. ET.