While this is certainly derived from a source of fiction, this workout routine has gained traction lately and likely because of its simplicity. Perform 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups, 100 bodyweight squats, and a 10 kilometer run everyday. A straight forward and easy workout, but I do have some issues with it that I think need to be addressed.
My first problem with the One Punch Man workout is the lack of posterior chain work included. As I highlighted in my Stop Doing 100 Pushups a Day video, ignoring the muscles on the back side of the body is a big mistake. By doing so, we are allowing our bodies to create muscular imbalances that will lead to postural deficiencies. As a physical therapist, this is something that I can let go by the wayside.
Now, as I said above, I don’t think that performing 100 pushups every day is a good idea because it is most likely not challenging you at the right difficulty level, whether it being too easy or too difficult. Instead, as I mentioned in the Stop Doing 100 Pushups a Day video, you are much better off finding the appropriate volume for your ability levels or finding the right pushup variations to challenge you adequately.
The One Punch Man workout continues with performing 100 sit-ups everyday. I am a big proponent of daily ab training and appreciate the fact that this workout promotes that idea. However, my issue with this part of the routine is that you are training your abs very one dimensionally. I love the sit-up, but the abs and obliques are multifunctional in that while they work through flexion of the spine from the top down as well the bottom up, they also provide and prevent rotation while also preventing extension. By not training through every function of the core, we are limiting the benefits that can be achieved.
The next part of the One Punch Man workout contains 100 bodyweight squats. What I do like about this is similar to what I like about the 100 sit-ups portions: increased frequency of leg training. Often enough, I see people opting to train their legs only once a week or at even worse, skip training their legs altogether. I’m grateful to see One Punch Man being able to promote MORE leg training. My big problem, however, with the 100 bodyweight squats is the remedial nature of the exercise and the lack of ability to overload and thus I think there are better options for building more muscle.
The final part of the workout is the 10 kilometer run. Another area where I have an appreciation and in this case, the merit of daily conditioning. Now, while cardiovascular training is not necessary to be ripped and lean, it is, however, important to our overall health. Cardio is extremely important for a healthy and optimally functioning heart – something that can’t ever be ignored. It doesn’t matter if you have to walk, run, or ride a bicycle, you need to train your heart. My issue with this part of the One Punch Man workout is that running 10 kilometers is a little daunting for many, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start somewhere.
So while I wouldn’t recommend that One Punch Man workout as something to be part of your daily routine, I would say it could be a good measure of your overall fitness. In fact, in the ATHLEAN-X Training System, we have a similar workout that is presented as a challenge to do just that, called the 400 Challenge. It includes 100 reps of pushups, sit-ups, inverted rows, and bodyweight squats. While the 400 Challenge seems similar, the key differences are that is simply a challenge, a measure of your fitness level as opposed to a daily workout, and that it includes an exercise to train the posterior chain (something I mentioned previously).
In conclusion, I would find that performing the One Punch Man workout is not so great as a daily routine to build muscle, but is better used as a measure of your fitness levels, such as the 400 Challenge is built into the ATHLEAN-X Training System. If you are looking for a training program that includes these tests while also providing you the overload to achieve the gains you’re looking for, head over to athleanx.com using the link below to start training like an athlete today.
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