FROM XCON TO ICON
X-Con to Icon was founded by Kali Muscle to enrich the community with hope. Kali Muscle was raised in an environment where crime and poverty is prevalent.
Having first hand experienced a life of crime, Kali wants the youth to know that its not worth it. There is much more to life than a life of crime and drugs. Having successfully rehabilitated as a productive member of society through working out, bodybuilding, and living a crime and drug free lifestyle, Kali knows there is a way out for the youth.
He recently set up ‘From Ex-Con to Icon‘, a scheme which aims to plant the seeds of hope into disadvantaged neighborhoods by teaching youths that there is a way out of drugs, violence and crime.
Kali also works as a motivational speaker, where he delivers his uplifting message of rehabilitation to diverse crowds, and is nearing the completion of his book, which will seek to instill similar hope across America.
Kali Muscle represents hope, read his story to find out how Kali turned tragedy into triumph.
The Early Years
Kali Muscle was born in Oakland, California in 1975, into a neighbourhood afflicted by crime and poverty.
One of three children, he was raised by his mother and step-father, who, in his own words, treated him as the ‘black sheep’ of the family.
As a wide-eyed teenager, he quickly developed a love for the gym, and landed his first job at 24 Hour Nautilus (now 24 Hour Fitness).
Plagued by the encroaching violence of his troubled neighbourhood (he was forced to own his first gun at Elementary School), this young man from Oakland found comfort in the sweaty, metallic fumes of his local gymnasium.
Outside of the gym, Kali excelled at a multitude of sports, including wresting and track, and received a football scholarship to Fresno State University, where he was a running back.
At this juncture, his life was on track.
Everything seemed to be going according to plan…
However, while Kali was in Senior Year, tragedy struck his family when his older brother was killed after ‘messing around with a gun’.
His situation spiralled further into woe, when, in his second year at Frenso State, Kali ran into grave financial difficulties, and soon found himself resorting to robbery to make ends meet.
He was later arrested and ended up in San Quentin State Prison, where he was to spend 11 life-changing years.
Kali continues to motivate the youth by representing a real life success story. He represents hope for the community and serves as a reminder to never give up!
As a convict, Kali once again turned to bodybuilding for solace.
Working out incessantly, Kali began chucking iron about like it was candyfloss.
His new focus on building up his physique gave him fresh resolve, a fleeting escape from the mire of circumstance.
Following a diet, which, according to Kali, chiefly comprised Dunkin’ Sticks, Top Ramen and honey bars, this newly-focused bodybuilder quickly constructed an impressive physique, comprising 230lbs of billowing muscle.
But disaster struck one again in 1997 when the decision was made to confiscate the weights from San Quentin.
In the video below, Kali recounts this fateful day in vivid detail:
As the backing music swells like an Ennio Morricone score, Kali describes how the inmates used oranges as makeshift projectiles to express their outrage with this latest change of events.
However, their fruit-based approach to protest was rendered impotent (obviously).
The weights were gone forever.
The ‘Prison Work-Out’
This determined bodybuilder was not going to let a silly thing like having no weights get in the way of his muscle building goals.
So Kali Muscle devised new, innovative ways of working out, using, for example, garbage bags, water bottles and other men’s bodies.
(By other men’s bodies, I don’t mean their cocks. I’ve been reliably informed that you’d have to pump out some serious hand reps to gain muscle that way.)
This resourcefulness continued to frustrate his prison officers, and, on one occasion, he was sent to solitary confinement for refusing to eschew his passion.
In his recent ‘Prison Workout’ video series, Kali has finally revealed some of these workouts to the public:
Life on the outside: turning things around
In 2010, after leaving prison, Kali Muscle moved to LA to pursue his new dream of becoming a professional bodybuilder and actor.
After only two weeks of relocating, Kali was offered a role in Matthew McConaughey-directed music video for Nashville icon Jamey Johnson.