"I'm the king of the press-ups and the sit-ups. I've already said I once did 25 press-ups with two men on my back, and I've squatted with three men on my shoulders! I've been making prison fitness records for as long as I can remember. Show me another man – a man half my age – who can pick up a full-size snooker table. I can. Show me another guy who can rip out 1,727 press-ups in an hour. I can ... I once went eight years without using weights, then I went into a gym and bench pressed 300lb ten times. I'm 5ft 11in, I weigh 220lb and I feel as strong as did when I was 21 ... There's something deep inside me that pushes me on. I'm a solitary fitness survivor."
— Writing in 2000, aged 48, Bronson describes the outcome of years of training in the confined spaces in prison.
His Solitary Fitness book can be found on pdf HERE. And it's a great read. It reads exactly like Charles Bronson looks!
|Charles Bronson (source)|
Be warned though it is ~110mb big, and you can't use word search on it because it's image based rather than text.
This is not to push you towards the 'bodyweight workout' or the 'weight free workout', rather it's to show you what you can do with.. nothing! It's to show you what you can do with nothing but your wits and effort and enthusiasm!
[Rubs chin and furrows brow] "Hmm. What can I do today? [Looks around] "Ah! A handstand push up!" [Attempts a handstand push-up] "Crikey o' reilly.." [Strains] "I'm glad I'm not in the circus. I wouldn't last the morning!"
That's what it's about. Seeing what you 'can' do with your own endeavours. Your own efforts, your own solutions to problems and such like. The opposite of following the plan of someone else in a mindless fashion like a robot:
[Terminator accent] "I vill perform forty nine press-ups in vun hundred unt ninety zex zekonds. Vun, too, sree... I have kompleted forty nyn push-ups. I vill now make love to my fraulein unt be kontent."
Life just doesn't work like that. Denying your own creative effort and joy by mindlessly following the plan of someone else is not good for you. Men are men after all. They are not followers, they are pioneers. Pioneers in their own life.
Following your own creative drive also means that you end up valuing what comes out of yourself rather than valuing something outside of yourself. In the context of exercise that could be valuing technology (expensive ab-crunching equipment, or air-cushioned trainers), or valuing jargon ('micro-rips' in muscles, nutritional jargon), or valuing plain old money ("This is expensive so it 'must' be good, and effective.") etc. Enjoy what you do. As Bronson stresses, repeatedly!
P.S. There is a TV documentary about Bronson available on youtube HERE, there's also a semi-biographical film of his life starring Tom Hardy called Bronson (alas there's no version on Youtube). It's directed by the same guy that directed Drive, you know, the film that reaked of GTA (cruising around in cars and committing acts of violence) and had a really groovy soundtrack that you can find HERE if you're into electro-synth music.
(Credit to 'Slovenian Guest' for the Solitary Fitness pdf, and documentary video links.)