2 exercises to rule the body - pistol squats and one-arm pushups.
This whole book is just about why and how to master these.
Highlights from the book
Here is a highly simplified, in the trenches, classification of strength: maximal strength, explosive strength, and strength endurance.
Pushups: the one-arm pushup (max strength), the clapping pushup (explosive strength), and the repetition pushup (strength endurance) • Squats: the one-legged squat (max strength), low-rep vertical and broad jumps (explosive strength), vertical and broad jumps for up to 50 reps (strength endurance), repetition squats (strength endurance)
Since strength is a skill, training must be approached as a ‘practice’, not a ‘workout’.
Strength is built by tensing the muscles harder, not by exhausting them with reps. • High tension requires high resistance and mental focus on contracting the muscles harder.
Lifters practice the generation of greater tension relentlessly. Bench press record breaker George Halbert crushes the bar to pulp. World champion powerlifter Ernie Frantz practiced tensing up his whole body throughout the day.
Engage a skeleton crew of full body exercises; perform multiple sets of up to 5 reps—never going to failure and with plenty of rest between sets; employ total focus on technique and tension; and vary volume and intensity continuously.
if you expect to get stronger in the bench press or the one-arm pushup by knocking off 100 pushups, you have got another thing coming.
There is nothing magical or mysterious about your bodyweight versus iron that suddenly changes all the laws of strength training.
If we have only so many pounds of weight to work with, how can we make the exercise hard enough in 6 reps or less? Simple: By redistributing your weight between your limbs, manipulating the range of motion, training in an unstable environment, varying the leverage, and minimizing bounce and momentum.
It is critical for the program’s success that you avoid muscle failure. Do not come even close to failure, whether you train for max or reps!
“do as much work as possible while being as fresh as possible.”
“It is a mistake to think that Physical Training becomes more satisfactory and attractive according to the number of exercises used,”
What is truly remarkable is that tightening your fists can enhance your leg strength, as well! Go into a full squat. Pause on the bottom for a second and then get up. Do a couple of reps to take note of the amount of effort it takes you to stand up. On your next squat, make white-knuckle fists at the moment you are about to get up. You will find that doing the squat has become easier!
Your toes can do for your legs what your fingers can do for your arms. Grip the deck with your toes as you are coming out of a squat. You will increase the intensity of the contraction of your hips and power up with ease.
Tensing your abs will amplify the intensity of the contraction of any muscle in your body.
Shrugging your shoulder and/or letting it move forward will destroy your shoulder and your power alike—whether you are punching, benching, or doing pushups. You are in effect ‘disconnecting’ your arm from your powerful torso muscles.
This is the essence of the corkscrew principle. Gripping the rifle while isometrically twisting both hands in opposite directions—the right clockwise and the left counterclockwise—made a dramatic difference for bayonet fighting in the U.S. Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. The Marines’ thrusts became more powerful and much harder to deflect. The same is true for strength exercises.
Think of your brain as a CD player. Think of your muscles as the speakers. Where do you think the amplifier is? In your stomach. Special receptors measure the intraabdominal pressure and act as the “volume control knob.” When the IAP bottoms out, the tension in all your muscles drops off.
power breathing is a type of breathing that maximizes the intra-abdominal pressure in order to amplify your strength.
The fewer drills you practice, the better you are going to get. Generally do not practice more than two unrelated exercises in the GTG manner.
Do not rep out regular pushups if a one-arm pushup is your goal. Do not bother with Hindu squats if your goal is a one-legged squat or a pistol.
Strength practice six times a week, if possible in multiple mini-sessions, and take Sundays off
If you think that once you knock off some magic number of regular pushups, say one hundred, you will automatically be able to do the one-arm pushup you have another thing coming.
A Catch-22, right? In order to learn how to do one-arm pushups you must do one-arm pushups, but you cannot do one-arm pushups…
Cals enforce a functional bodyweight and a healthy body composition. You could eat yourself into a heart attack yet excel in the bench press. That won’t happen with one-arm pushups. You can’t have a high ratio of strength to bodyweight if you are a fat blob (or a muscle-bound blob, for that matter).