The anime series, One Punch Man follows a hero by the name of Saitama… a regular guy turned super hero with immense physical strength.
When asked how he was able to obtain such surreal strength (to defeat enemies with a single punch!) the workout regime shared by Saitama doesn’t seem too far fetched.
I’ve had a number of guys ask me if following the One Punch Man Workout regime is a legitimate way to transform their physique…
Let’s delve in and take a look.
The Physical Training
Each day Saitama recommends you perform:
- 100 push-ups
- 100 sit-ups
- 100 squats
- 10km (6.2 mile) run
The Mental Training
- No heating in the winter
- No air conditioning in the summer
On Giving Up…
Regardless of whether your arms are making weird clicking noises during push-ups or your legs are extremely fatigued from squats you cannot stop.
You must stop skip a single day.
The Truth About The One Punch Man Workout
As much as I hope this series has motivated newcomers to start training and hit the gym I do not recommend performing the One Punch Man Workout, at least not to its full capacity.
For a beginner this is a seriously high volume routine, and for the guys with years of training under their belts I do not see a lot of growth coming from this regime.
Here are my issues with The One Punch Man Workout regime…
There are far more effective abdominal exercises than the sit-up
A large portion of the One Punch Man workout is focused around strengthening your core via sit-ups.
The sit-up was thought for many years to be the best core exercise out there. Today we know that it is not.
Not only will you develop a far stronger core by performing hanging leg raise variations.
Essentially, sit-ups place excessive stress on the lower back with not enough abdominal activation.
The abdominal activation from a sit-up is purely isometric – the hip flexors pull and the abdominals flex in their position.
Particularly when performed quick and explosively, the sit-up places a ton of the power and speed you’re utilizing to perform the movement straight to your lower back.
The movement, which as I mentioned is primarily through the hip flexors transfers that energy directly to your lower back via the spine, not good.
100 push-ups each day without rest is likely going to cause you some shoulder issues
Push-ups are your best bodyweight option to build up your shoulders, chest and triceps, however performing 100 push-ups every single day without rest comes with a risk or two.
Shoulder and elbow injuries due to lack of recovery.
If you insisted on performing the One Punch Man workout I’d recommend taking a day off every few days and focusing on some shoulder mobility and deep tissue self massage to ensure you keep them in tip top shape.
Shoulder issues, particularly rotator cuff impingement will cripple your upper body training – I speak from experience.
Running 10km every day is a lot, even for an experienced runner
Running 70km a week is a hefty running schedule, even for a seasoned runner.
There is absoultely no way a beginner can get up off the couch and get straight into running 10km a day, seven days a week without a single rest day.
Programs like the Couch to 5K exist for a reason, to slowly build you up to being able to run a distance.
If your goal is to consistently be able to run 10km I recommend following a program like the Couch to 10KM which will have you running 3 times per week (instead of 7).
Although you’ll be getting in far fewer miles per week this is sustainable, and sustainability is the key to building an impressive physique and fitness over a period of time.
Ankle issues, shin splints… these are the type of things you’ll encounter going from a minimal running schedule straight to 70km per week with the One Punch Man workout.
Your body NEEDS time to recover
Every good workout regime has deloading and rest days.
Your body grows while you recover.
No days off = no sustainability.
Don’t get me wrong, you can exercise daily – opting to jump on a spin bike or perform some light cardio on your ‘off’ days, but you cannot follow a strict training regime and expect your body to recover without issue when it is not given time to recover and repair.
In all honesty you will not get particularly strong performing this regime
Saitama, aka. One Punch Man is known for his crazy strength… performing a few bodyweight exercises without any form of progressive overload is not a proven technique to building strength.
These exercises along with this volume and frequency will have you burning some calories and toning up a little bit, you will not be building any sort of impressive strength.
If your goal is to build crazy strength you need to be focusing on lifting heavy weights in a low rep range, StrongLifts 5×5 is a fantastic starting point if this is your goal.
There are better techniques for building mental toughness
In order to get quality sleep a cool, dark room is required.
Without using cooling in the summer months you are going to be missing out on quite a bit of quality sleep, guaranteed.
When performing an exercise regime of this volume without a single day off your sleep is going to be crucial.
No cooling at night + no days off = recipe for disaster. You’ll burn out without a doubt.
I’m all for building mental toughness and would highly recommend performing regularly cold showers to build mental toughness in place of the no heating/cooling technique prescribed by Saitama.