A blog by the Next Level  2013 Advancement Team.  

This blog provides the insight, in-jokes and inspiration of a team in action.  Each post is by a team member as their journey continues.  

In The Next Level, an "Advancement Team" is a team built of experienced athletes designed to "advance" the program.  The spring 2013 Advancement Team is comprised of eight men: Tom Keon, Phil Cohen, Stephen Cyr, Seth Carbonneau, Stephen Forgione. Phil Biondo, Yarza Winn and Chris Noonan.  

Each post represents only the views of it's poster, and is not intended as a reflection of the opinions, views or beliefs of any other teammate, the team as a whole or The Next Level.  

Follow these men as they make their marks on a small corner of history.


Is this fair?

In one of my previous posts I mentioned the physical rehabilitating effects of working out. In this I raise the question of whether or not there are also mental rehabilitating effects of workout out?

These prisoners are violent offenders, rapists, gang members, murders. They are given a unique opportunity to engage in power lifting and strength training with the hopes to help them channel their anger and avoid further violence while incarcerated. It is mentioned in this video, that since the beginnings of this program the inmates have not attempted any violence while in the gym even though there are numerous opportunities to act violently.

Is this a sign of rehabilitation? Or is this opportunity simply training these criminals to be stronger when they are released, or pose an even greater danger to the guards while in prison?

There is without a doubt that the prisons systems in America is simply housing for criminality and violence, and there are little to no opportunities for true rehabilitation.

However, do those who commit violent crimes, as these inmates have, deserve a second chance?

It is an interesting concept, but I myself struggle with the thought of allowing those who injure the innocent to do something that I hold so dear to my heart. Lifting to me is a privilege, something that I am never take for granted. Lifting is a pure and peaceful form self discovery. However, I can attest to the calming effects of lifting. I used to be a much angrier kid, who hated the world for the cards I was dealt, but through lifting I found peace within myself and with the rest of the world. If I had not discovered training maybe I myself would be on the wrong side of the law. Should I deny these people the opportunity to change that I myself had.

Posted by: Stephen Cyr