A maximum security prison inmate is raging because a strongman contest that they had trained for all year was cancelled.
Prisoners at the unit – which houses hardman criminal Charles Bronson, inset – spent months preparing for the contest in their cells during the Covid lockdowns.
However, inspectors reported that it was cancelled because of concerns about the spread of the virus.
According to the Independent Monitoring Board, lockdown led to an increase of violence at HMP Woodhill.
According to a prison source: “Many prisoners take exercise and the gym very, very seriously, so when the gyms were closed they were left with nothing to do but train in their cells.
“When the strongman competition was cancelled it would have caused a lot of anger.
“It is of no real surprise the frustration has caused a rise in violence at the jail.”
When gyms at the prison, in Milton Keynes, were closed in a bid to stop the spread of the virus, inmates improvised in their cells – where they were confined for 23 hours a day.
They used chairs, tables, and whatever else they could find to make weights.
The IMB’s report said: “The Covid-19 restricted regime was embedded throughout the year.
“Inevitably, prisoners spent most of the time lying on their beds and many were seemingly drawn to destructive behaviour.
“There was increased tension between prisoners, and between prisoners and officers, and boredom and frustration.
“Competitive initiatives in the gym – for example, the Strongman Challenge – were not able to take place.”
It is believed prison bosses modelled the competition on TV’s The World’s Strongest Man, watched by millions every year.
This competition usually includes deadlifts as well as keg throwing, log throwing, and a tug of war.
Infamous Bronson – among the inmates at HMP Woodhill – now calls himself Charles Salvador. He says that he has given up violence in order to be a lawyer. “born again artist”.
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