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LJ Flanders – Cell Workout

What they do 

LJ devised his own personal workout regime while detained inside HMP Pentonville and HMP Highpoint. Sketching out his own fitness exercises in his cell, he later collated them into a book, ‘Cell Workout’, which was published in 2015 after his release from jail. Such was its popularity he developed it into a specialised fitness and wellbeing programme which he now delivers in prisons across the UK. He is also a motivational speaker.


Why did they come to Alliance of Sport? 

LJ needed help devising his Cell Workout fitness regime to make it appropriate for the prison environment and population and to maximise its impact. He sought the advice of the Alliance of Sport because of our expertise in framing sport-based programmes in criminal justice settings.


What we did to help 

It was vital for LJ to ensure his course would contribute real value to the inmates’ rehabilitation and had measurable effects on their engagement, physical and mental wellbeing and individual development. The Alliance of Sport’s Theory of Change helped him achieve that. Its guidance for how sport can achieve maximum impact on rehabilitating offenders helped formulate LJ’s groundbreaking workshops to deliver lasting behaviour changes among the inmates. 

Once LJ was up and running, we connected him with Mario Raimondi, Executive Director of El Desafio, a non-profit organisation empowering poverty-stricken children in Argentina. We invited Mario to HMP Wandsworth to witness LJ’s programme in action. He was so impressed, he invited LJ to speak to 3,000 delegates at the Happy Cities Festival in Rosario, Argentina’s third largest city, about the potential of sport’s impact in criminal justice. LJ was interviewed by Clarin, the biggest selling newspaper in Spanish-speaking South America.


Our impact 

Our Theory of Change and practical help was crucial in guiding and shaping LJ’s programme so it was adaptable and effective enough to have a lasting impact on his participants in prisons. 

LJ reflected: “The Theory of Change is like a business model. It’s a refined way of goal-setting, drawing a graph for each participant of where they are now, what they want to be when they’re released, and plotting what they have to do in between to make that behavioural change happen.” 

On his trip to Argentina, forged through the power of the Alliance of Sport’s collaborative network, LJ added: “It was my first international link. It was a great opportunity and it would never have happened without the Alliance.”

For more information on LJ and Cell Workout visit his website.

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