Hey all, Noah here. If you’re new to the blog, you can rewind back HERE to read about what this is all about and why I’m sharing my story. In a nutshell, I am Noah Bergland (Morgan’s little brother) and am serving a 120-month prison sentence for running a drug conspiracy and money laundering.
Recently Morgan and I were chatting about fitness, different routines I do, and why.
So fitness in prison has been something that has been consistent throughout my time. I have learned a ton about different ways to work out, how to target specific body parts, or how cross training works, what works for myself and what doesn’t.
I started working out consistently around the time I got indicted as I knew this would be a way I would spend much of my time incarcerated, and I was correct. It’s a great way to make your time spent in prison useful, but some like to obsess over it, and they build these outrageous workout plans that they will never be able to maintain upon release unless they open a gym.
I’ll be honest, I have fallen into this category a few times throughout the last six years as I have tried two-a-days, where you go work out two separate times in the same day for one to two hours each session. As soon as I got to prison I jumped straight into weight lifting as I found a car I can workout with. A car is a group of inmates that workout together and did whatever they told me to do.
They were some strong white boys that lifted heavy and eat everything they could get their hands on, that included whatever they serve in the chow hall including the cakes and pastries, and whatever you can afford on commissary. Over the course of the next 12 months, my weight shot up from 200 lbs all the way to 225.
My strength also grew exponentially but not as fast as you would think for the rapid weight gain. If I could redo that year I would but what I did learn is the unnecessary need of eating so many calories, also the pain that heavy weight inflicts onto your joints and ligaments. If I had a redo I would start light, letting my ligaments strengthen first, and then take my time growing through a slight increase of calories and doing rep ranges of 8-12, instead of the 1-3 ranges you workout in with heavy weight.
From what you read in my last post I would have also experienced the benefit of less strength. 🙂 Over the last 6 months at Milan, my weight went up to 233 lbs where I topped out during my time incarcerated. The heavy weight lifting continued when I got to Yankton as someone invited me into a car with a certain individual, and then that person quit the car. I quickly found out that was his plan to have me replace him and then bail on this guy. Why you might ask? Because this individual was a sociopath, and I ended up working out with him for 10 months before I had finally had enough. Everyone I guess was shocked at how long I lasted and said it was actually a record.
It’s funny what actually made me quit… it was the time I was bedridden with strength training and this certain individual got real pissed off that I took time off, and said he didn’t want me in his car and I said thank you and goodbye. He was also irritated that my weight was dropping as his fitness goals for me was to make me super strong and fat, but I had different plans as 233 lbs was not a weight I enjoyed being at.
As I have worked in the kitchen throughout my whole time in Yankton I have tried many different diets. Low carb, high protein; skipping breakfast; 3 big meals a day; 6 small meals a day; the list goes on and on. Extreme fasting one time left me with slurred speech and reduced motor functions, low carbs caused me to just eventually break down and binge eat on them later in the day, high protein only made my hemorrhoids bigger, and I realized big or small it all comes down to how many calories you are eating to how many you are burning.
In the end, I ended up with what my buddy Kyle calls, “Healthy living.” Do what you can at the moment to make the best healthy choice possible, and if you screw up don’t beat yourself up. And if you do good then make sure you are rewarded with a cheat meal, and once in awhile a cheat day.
I have also spent much of my free time in prison studying different literature such as fitness magazines (Men’s Health, Muscle and Fitness, Iron man, Train, Men’s Fitness), and I obtained my International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) Personal Trainer Certification. I don’t per-say plan on doing personal training but I wanted to at least be knowledgeable in the field when training my own body.
In the next post, I will include some of my favorite workouts ranging from 1-2 minutes, all the way to an hour.
Thanks for listening!