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Why are inmates so muscular?

When I first came to prison back in 2001, I knew that I would be entering a treacherous environment. Instinctively, I felt the Darwinistic importance of staying in shape in order to survive. I was actually looking forward to ‘hitting the weight pile’ and ‘driving iron’ in order to put on some muscular size. However, when I finally made it to the yard, I learned that the California Department of Corrections had removed all of the weights in 1998. Administration claims this was due to the potential of them being used as weapons. Personally, I think it was because California’s ‘tough on crime’ policy had almost doubled the size of the prison population. The end result being more and more muscle-bound felons being released back into society. Whatever the reason, guys in prison could no longer get as big, except for the dedicated few who used their creative ingenuity to achieve muscular size and definition.

Every yard I’ve been on has workout bars where men can do a variety of exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, dips, and leg-lifts. To add weight to their routines, I’ve seen guys use each other’s body weight to add resistance to their workouts. Push-ups are done with someone leaning against your back and squats can be done with somebody sitting on your shoulders. I’ve also seen guys fill pillowcases with sand to use as dumb­ bells. In the cell, trash bags are filled with water and placed inside a bucket with a handle for shoulder shrugs and lateral raises. My favorite method is stacking forty to fifty National Geographic magazines and tying them up in a laundry bag for bicep curls and tricep extensions.

This question actually gave me the courage to ask one of the more muscular guys on the yard, ‘Curly Joe’, how he still managed to stay so buff. Here’s the inside scoop. Curly told me the secret is lots of reps with shorter a smaller range of motion. He explained, “You got to pump those muscles up like a balloon until they feel like their going to explode.” I told him it sounded somewhat painful. He just laughed and went to do another set. I’ve always been more of a tennis/running kind of guy anyway, so if I can ‘tout-muscle, at least I’ll be able to out run them.

All communications between inmates and external channels are facilitated by approved volunteers since inmates do not have access to the internet. 

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Amazing info about your body

What are some mind blowing amazing facts about the human body

Your Brain keeps developing until your late 40s.

If the human eye was a digital camera it would have 576 Megapixels.

If uncoiled, the DNA in all the cells in your body would stretch 10 billions, from here to Pluto and back.

Everyday, your heart creates enough energy to drive a truck for 20 miles.

Our Brain uses 20% of the total oxygen and blood in our body.

Heart keeps beating even if it is separated from the body because of its own electrical impulse.

The human baby has over 60 more bones than an adult.

In a lifetime, your Brain’s long-term memory can hold as many as 1 million billion separate bits of information.

An adult human being has around 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms.

Having excessive body hair is linked to higher intellect.

An average person produces about 28,000 liters of saliva in a lifetime.

Sleeping less than 7 hours each night reduces your life expectancy.

 

And now, think about all that.

The amazing human body

Your Brain keeps developing until your late 40s.

If the human eye was a digital camera it would have 576 Megapixels.

If uncoiled, the DNA in all the cells in your body would stretch 10 billions, from here to Pluto and back.

Everyday, your heart creates enough energy to drive a truck for 20 miles.

Our Brain uses 20% of the total oxygen and blood in our body.

Heart keeps beating even if it is separated from the body because of its own electrical impulse.

The human baby has over 60 more bones than an adult.

In a lifetime, your Brain’s long-term memory can hold as many as 1 million billion separate bits of information.

An adult human being has around 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms.

Having excessive body hair is linked to higher intellect.

An average person produces about 25,000 quarts of saliva in lifetime.

Sleeping less than 7 hours each night reduces your life expectancy.

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Body language or intuition?

How important is body language?

55% of what you convey when you speak comes from body language. In fact, when you’re speaking about something emotional only about 7% of what the other person hears has to do with the words you use.

More often than not you can tell what a politician thinks about an issue just by watching their hands. Psychopaths can tell who would be a good victim just by watching them walk.

In five minutes you can often evaluate people with approximately 70% accuracy… but obviously we’re wrong often, and that 30% can be very costly.

What can the research teach us about better reading people’s body language?

What You’re Doing Wrong

A number of common errors people make:

Ignoring context: Crossed arms don’t mean as much if the room is cold or the chair they’re sitting in doesn’t have armrests. Everything has to pass the common sense test given the environment.

Not looking for clusters: One of the biggest errors people make is looking for one single tell. That’s great in movies about poker players but in real life it’s a consistent grouping of actions (sweating, touching the face, and stuttering together) that is really going to tell you something.
Not getting a baseline: If someone is always jumpy, jumpiness doesn’t tell you anything. If someone is always jumpy and they suddenly stop moving — HELLO.
Not being conscious of biases: If you already like or dislike the person it’s going to affect your judgment. And if people compliment you, aresimilar to you, are attractive… these can all sway you, unconsciously. I know, you don’t fall for those tricks. Well, the biggest bias of all is thinking you’re unbiased.

What To Focus On

What signals can and should you trust when trying to get a “read” on someone? They need to be unconscious behaviors that are not easily controlled and convey a clear message:

Speech mimicry and behavioral mimicry: Are they using the same words you use? Speaking at a similar speed and tone? Are they sitting the way you sit? Is a subtle, unconscious game of follow-the-leader going on? This is a sign the other person feels emotionally in sync with you. It can be faked but that’s rare and difficult to pull off consistently across a conversation.
Activity level: As a general rule, activity levels indicate interest and excitement. (Often when a woman is bouncing her foot during a date it means she’s interested in the man she’s with.)
Consistency of emphasis and timing: This is a sign of focus and control. Someone who is less consistent is less sure of themselves and more open to influence.

Specifics To Look For

Contextually vetted, baseline adjusted clusters are your best bet… but research has shown some specifics are often decent indicators.

Crossed legs can have a devastating effect on a negotiation. The number of times settlements were reached increased greatly when both negotiators had uncrossed their legs. In fact, they found that out of two thousand videotaped transactions, not one resulted in a settlement when even one of the negotiators had his or her legs crossed.

There’s a consistent cluster that has been seen among people who are trying to cheat you.

Again and again, it was a cluster of four cues: hand touching, face touching, crossing arms, and leaning away. None of these cues foretold deceit by itself, but together they transformed into a highly accurate signal. And the more often the participants used this particular cluster of gestures, the less trustworthy they were in the subsequent financial exchange.

Who should you trust? Look for people who are consistently emotionally expressive in their body language:

These results suggest that cooperators may be more emotionally expressive than non-cooperators. We speculate that emotional expressivity can be a more reliable signal of cooperativeness than the display of positive emotion alone.

And look at people’s hands. Palm down gestures indicate power. Palm up shows submission.

Gestures of the Open Hand Prone or “palm down” family are used in contexts where something is being denied, negated, interrupted or stopped, whether explicitly or by implication. Open hand Supine (or “palm up”) family gestures, on the other hand, are used in contexts where the speaker is offering, giving or showing something or requesting the reception of something…

Keep in mind that men and women differ in body language. For instance, they flirt differently:

A female begins fascinating a male by smiling at him, raising her brows to make her eyes appear wider and more childlike, quickly lowering her lids while tucking her chin slightly down, in an effort to bring him closer. After averting her gaze to the side, she will, within moments and almost without exception, put her hands on or near her mouth and giggle, lick her lips, or thrust out her chest while gazing at the object of her intended affection. And it’s consistent, regardless of language, socioeconomic status, or religious upbringing. For men, says Rodgers, the fascination ritual is less submissive but no less standardized. He’ll puff out his chest, jut his chin, arch his back, gesture with his hands and arms, and swagger in dominant motions to draw attention to his power…

How To Get Better At Reading Body Language

First, pay attention. Sounds obvious but you’re probably not doing it consistently throughout the conversation.

Dynamics change, especially when you’re dealing with someone who is actively trying to deceive you. Unless they’re very good, inconsistencies will arise (“leakage”) and you can get insight into how they really feel.

You’ll improve dramatically by addressing the four weaknesses pointed out in The Silent Language of Leaders:

Consider context: Should someone in this situation be acting like this?
Look for clusters of actions, not isolated ones: All three of those behaviors are associated with…?
Get a baseline: How do they normally act?
Be aware of your biases: Are you tempted to cut them slack and they haven’t started speaking yet?
Your abilities will make a quantum leap if you realize that body language is part of a bigger context and a bigger cluster and you start monitoring the other facets of behavioral interaction: voice, appearance, clothing, etc.

These can help you evaluate the whole package:

What does clothing tell you? How about shoes?
What does someone’s voice tell you?
What does a face tell you? How about a quick glance?
What are 10 instances when you should trust your gut?

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