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like the naked warrior

May 1, 2008

Yesterday, I tried out two exercises I thought I’d never be able to pull off.

One-arm push ups and leg pistols.

Jeez, those are hard to pull off.

Surprisingly my left side was “stronger” than my right side. I struggled to complete each push up and pistol on my dominant side (I’m right handed). However, it wasn’t all peaches and cream for my left arm and leg. It still sucked to do them but it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it’d be.

Oh, I did five push ups and five pistols each side.

Now there’s a book written by Pavel Tsatsouline titled The Naked Warrior. And the only two exercises that the book covers are the two I did yesterday – one-arm push ups and leg pistols. Now I do not own a copy of the book, but read a whole bunch of useful and insightful reviews and posts on the book. (ah, how I love the internet)

There are also a lot of vids online to show you how to correctly do a one-arm push up or a pistol (and how to do them wrong and wronger) so if you’re interested in giving it a shot, don’t be afraid to try, just be safe.

As for me, I really didn’t prep for these exercises (plus it’s easier if you’re lighter and not overly huge). But looking at the exercises I do I can see how I’ve kinda sort of did.

I do pylo push ups, triangle push ups and ring dips for my upper body exercises.

There’s also a four-point base drill I do for jiu-jitsu, which I thought helped me pull off a one-armed push up.

The four-point base drill is a balance conditioning drill (and can easily be turned into a sit out drill). First off you come up on all fours, on your hands and feet. Choose a hand to lift up, then lift both the hand and the opposite side foot (right hand, left foot) off the ground. Hold for a time period of your choosing. Repeat with the other side hand and foot. So actually it’s a two-point base drill really, cause you’re balancing on two limbs rather than four. For some reason I like to call it a four-point base drill. I’m weird like that.

So if you take that drill, combine it with a triangle push up (cause both exercises have both feet apart) you got the set up for a one-armed push up. While performing the one-arm I felt a lot of weight on the opposite side foot, much like I would in the four-point base drill. And one-arms are very much like triangle push ups… just more harder… and with one arm. Anyway…

For my lower body, I do hindu squats and burpees.

Both hindu squats and burpees have the same push off point as pistols do; the butt being directly above or as close as to the ankle as possible. I can do 60 hindu squats (in a row) with no problem and 60 burpees (not in a row; 3 sets of 20, and absolutely not right after doing 60 hindu squats).

So I would use that as a strength gauge in attempting a pistol. Plus it’s the balancing part of a pistol that makes them so difficult.

I’m planning on doing more one-arms and pistols whenever I can. I’d really like to add more weight training to my routines but my gym membership expired in March so I have to stick with bodyweight exercises and tire flips for the time being.

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