There are made-for-TV strongmen who perform stunts and feats of strength with the benefit of digital editing and special effects. And then there’s the real deal. A powerful Roman Greco wrestler with enough strength to toss an opponent like a ragdoll. An unassuming karate master who can deliver a crippling message with a single blow. Or a grizzled military expert with enough strength to climb, rappel, and prevail in hand-to-hand combat if necessary.
While pure strength isn’t glamorized in popular media like a ripped physique may be, the power of your body can help you accomplish some amazing feats. And building that kind of strength isn’t as complicated as you might think. If you want to add a lot of firepower to your muscles, you’ve got to work for it. But it doesn’t mean you have to spend countless hours in the gym lifting weights.
In fact, you can develop the same kind of strength as Roman wrestlers, Kung Fu masters, and season military pros, with a workout that only requires your body and a willing mind. That’s the focus of the program by former Russian Special Forces physical fitness trainer Pavel Tsatsouline called The Naked Warrior Master the Secrets of the Super-Strong Using Bodyweight Exercises Only.
Pavel’s approach to building superhuman strength is based on two bodyweight exercises. The one-arm one-legged pushup, and the single-legged squat. It seems simplistic, but go ahead and get out of your chair and try it. Most people probably can’t perform either of the exercises. But in The Naked Warrior, Pavel walks you through the exercises and provides detailed instructions about how to build pure strength and go from “zero to hero” in a matter of weeks.
One-armed one-legged pushup
The book begins with Pavel’s explanation of creating body tension. Strength is an important part of completing the two essential exercises, but it’s not the only factor. He also describes focusing on keeping your muscles tense as you perform each exercise to maximize the strength your body can collectively exert.
He also provides well-guided instructions on proper breathing techniques to perform these strongman exercises while maintaining maximum tension with each repetition. If you can’t do the two essential exercises out of the gate, Pavel’s getting-started guidelines help you learn how to breathe from your diaphragm, and perform simple body weight exercises to strengthen your muscles that will prepare you for pumping out one-armed one-legged pushups and single-legged squats.
Once you’re strong enough to perform one-armed one-legged pushups and single-legged squats, Pavel provides many variations of the exercises to build maximum strength. And he closes the book with a well-thought-out Q&A section that answers many common questions about bodyweight training and his Naked Warrior principles.
Pavel’s approach to building strength works. Pavel offers a practical approach to building strength. The book also includes useful images for these exercises and well-organized instructions to help you learn the techniques.
These two exercises (one-armed one-legged pushups and one-legged squats), along, with their many variations, target all the major muscle groups in the body. Pavel offers a practical approach to building strength mixed with a little “Evil Russian” bad-guy humor, and it’s a nice mix of being a good read and practical guide. The book also includes useful images for these exercises and well-organized instructions to help you learn the techniques. For bodyweight purists, this program is perfect for those who want to focus on building strength without the hassle of hitting the gym or buying equipment.
If you crave variety in your bodyweight training workout like many popular no-gym-required programs, you’ll be disappointed by The Naked Warrior. Basically, the entire program is based on performing the two essential exercises.
There’s some variety in the beginning with the exercises and breathing techniques Pavel recommends to build strength. And over time, you’ll work your way up to completing multiple reps and sets throughout the day. But ultimately, the program is based on the same two exercises (one-armed one-legged pushups and one-legged squats).
If you’re looking for a bodyweight training program to build maximum strength, following The Naked Warrior program will produce results. But keep in mind, it’s a strength building program, not a get-ripped or aerobic conditioning program. If you’re willing to go the distance and pay the price of focusing on only two essential exercises, you may well be on your way to rivaling the strength of Roman Greco wrestlers, kung fu masters, and even muscled military soldiers.