The last year has been tough on all of us. A series of worldwide lockdowns and precautionary measures have made us appreciate both our health and our freedom. Many of us fell out of shape, gained some extra pounds, and even were tested mentally. Today, we are going to introduce a way to get back in shape and out of your house – the One Punch Man Workout.

A workout that can be performed anywhere with no extra equipment but your own body weight.

What is the One Punch Man Workout?

One Punch Man workout manga cut
Excerpt from the One Punch Man manga showing the workout routine

This workout was widely introduced to the world in 2015 when the One Punch Man animated series was released. The main protagonist, Saitama, is a super-strong bald man who defeats his enemies with a single punch. No monster is a fair match for him. Saitama seems to draw an infinite power although he is just a simple man. Luckily for the fans, this mystery did not go unsolved. In an episode, Saitama reveals his secret training method which granted him unlimited power.

  • One hundred pushups every day.
  • One hundred squats every day.
  • One hundred sit-ups every day.
  • Ten kilometers running every day.

This is his secret strength recipe which caused lots of discussions worldwide about how effective this workout can be. Saitama got the attention of anime fans as well as that of the fitness world. Before we analyze its effectiveness, let’s examine how each of these exercises affects the body.

How to do the One Punch Man Workout?

One Punch Man Workout Pushups

The pushup is considered the ultimate no-equipment upper body sculpting exercise. Pushups can highly train your chest. They also affect on a minor scale your triceps, shoulders, and core- in terms of stabilization since the core is activated to keep itself straight.

How to do it:

a guy doing push-ups
Good Push-up Form

Get down on all fours. Straighten your legs, only the feet touch the floor. Tighten your core and keep your palms pressing on the floor while keeping the elbows straight. Now bend the elbows and lower your body down until your chest touches the floor. Lift yourself back up to complete one repetition.

One Punch Man Workout Squats

This is another basic exercise when you think of leg training. The squat is perfect for training the quadriceps and gluteus muscles. It also affects the hamstrings and calves slightly.

How to do it:

a guy squatting naked in shorts
Good Squat Form

Get up and stand. Keep your feet open shoulder-width apart. Now bend the knees and come down to the point where your gluts are parallel to the ground. Get back up to complete one rep.

SIT-UPS

The oldest exercise in the book of abs training. Sit-ups are a classic exercise which trains your upper abdominal muscles.

How to do it:

a woman doing situps in orange tights
Good Sit-up Form

Lay down on the floor with knees bent, feet touching the floor. You can keep your hands behind your head or you can cross them onto your chest to make the sit-ups slightly more difficult. Raise your upper body till your chest comes close to your knees and then return back down to complete a full repetition.

One Punch Man Workout Running

a guy running in the middle of a road with fields around

You know what running is. You have done it as a kid while chasing your friends or as an adult catching the bus. Running is considered a cardiovascular exercise. But, the different ways you perform running can have a different after-effect on your body.

In the One Punch Man Workout, running is done continuously for 10 kilometers which makes it a feat of endurance. If running is done in shorter and fast burst intervals, or sprints, it can develop your overall explosiveness.

Running trains the legs and trains the heart as it makes it pump stronger and quicker.

The final aspect of this workout lies in its frequency. The One Punch Man Workout is to be performed every single day. You’ve got to train every day if you want to become a ripped, all-powerful hero.

Does the One Punch Man Workout really work?

everyday sean one punch man workout
YouTuber Everyday Sean One Punch Man Workout Results

Regardless of its origin, the workout routine has shown its promise with countless successful transformations. The most popular case is from the Singaporean “Everyday Sean” with his YouTube video describing the changes before and after he started doing the workout. The video has been watched over 756,000 times at the time of the article.

It depends on your goals. If you want to be a superhero and punch holes through buildings, it won’t work. This particular workout is not perfect for building big muscles. In terms of hypertrophy, this workout doesn’t work.

However, this workout is pretty useful if your goal is to trim down some pounds, lose fat, tone your muscles and achieve a fair enough level of conditioning. The One Punch Man Workout can burn a good amount of calories. If you stick with this workout long enough and eat clean, you will get significantly leaner.

The reason why this workout is not perfect for muscle hypertrophy can be explained in terms of overall load. If you come to this workout as a beginner, it will surely be challenging at first. But what when you get used to it?

Sooner or later your body will be adapted to this pattern of exercising and this same pattern will not be enough to create muscle fatigue.

Be patient, I’ll reveal how to make this workout more challenging in a little bit.

So, to sum this up, the One Punch Man Workout is quite good to upgrade or preserve your fitness and health, depending on your level.

Fitness levels of the One Punch Man Workout

one punch man saitama looking at camera

In the animated series, heroes are distinct from each other in a scale of levels. To help you identify what your fitness level is and where you need to start on your superhero journey, we’ll create our own scale of levels.

Before I introduce the fitness levels to you, let’s make a quick note on how and when to execute the workout. There are actually two ways you can execute it.

The first method, go all in and do it all together. Go running, drop and do some pushups, continue running, stop and do some squats, etc. Or run the full 10 kilometers and then do the repetitions of all the other exercises.

Second method, spread the workout throughout the day. So, you can go running in the morning and you can do the other three exercises in the evening.

Personally, I consider the first method to be more hardcore. Choose what’s best suitable for you but if you want an extra challenge go with the first method.

Now let’s talk about the fitness levels. This is important because identifying the level you are in right now can guide you towards the direction you need to focus your effort.

LEVEL 1: The untrained beginner

one punch man saitama looking up

The secret to get started with anything is to do what you can do and then progress one small step at a time. Get your notepad out because you will be tracking yourself. This applies to all levels.

So, how many pushups can you do in a single workout which consists of, let’s say, five sets? Is it 1-2-4-2-2? Is it 1-1-1-1-1? It doesn’t really matter. Write it down and tomorrow try to push further. Try to add one repetition in one set. And then one repetition into another set and so on. Always push to progress until you can do 100 pushups into a single workout. Do this for all the exercises.

As for running, do the following.

Download an app which can measure the distance you walk and run and can give you the amount of time you needed to complete 10 kilometers. In the beginning, start with a mix of running and walking. Push hard but don’t kill yourself. Whatever you do, don’t cut it short. Go the full 10K.

In this level, you will experience soreness. This type of soreness is good. It’s a symbol of change. You are changing. Stay strong and keep pushing forward. In this level you might need some external motivation. If it’s music, do it. If it’s reading some cool quotes from great people, do it. Keep going. It’s not easy. It’s worth it.

LEVEL 2: The trained beginner

one punch man saitama with fiery fists and angry face

You are getting somewhere. The most important thing here is that you’re starting to build a good habit. Exercising is being a part of your life. Sometimes you like it and you enjoy it. Sometimes you don’t like it but you still do it because you know it’s beneficial for your overall health.

Keep progressing. Write down your times and repetitions. Try to do the 100 sit-ups in less time. Trim down your 10K time. Try to make your running intervals a little bit longer and your walking intervals a little bit shorter. 

LEVEL 3: The intermediate

one punch man saitama excited face with fist

Level 3 is the middle of our scale. You’ve come a long way. Congratulations. But it’s not the right time to stop. Maintain your level and progress even more.

Maybe now you can perform the whole workout. Can you squeeze more repetitions of squats into less sets? What about pushups and sit-ups? Try it. Push harder. Perform the repetitions divided into four or three sets.

LEVEL 4: The advanced.

one punch man saitama with curled up fists and angry face, red background

By now, you should be running the whole 10 kilometers. The 100 hundred pushups, squats and sit-ups should be a piece of cake. The habit is there. The instinct is there. The power is there inside you. But you are not being called advanced for nothing.

It’s time to advance your training and move to more difficult variations of the exercises you are already performing.

For running, struggle every day to bring that time down. Even if it is a single second. Everything counts.

The pushups? You will be doing them explosively now. Forget normal pushups. You will now transition to clapping pushups.

You are a level 4, so instead of normal squats you will be transitioning into jumping squats.  

For sit-ups, we will add some resistance. Grab something that feels a bit heavy and hold it on your chest while performing the sit-ups. If it’s still easy, grab something heavier. Until it’s not easy.

Don’t be gentle on yourself. Keep pushing for more.

LEVEL 5: The superhero.

One punch man saitama ripped body in anime

Congratulations for getting as far as our final fitness level. From here, you can take it anywhere you want. You are in a good shape. You are lean and strong. You are feeling good. Now it’s time for you to decide what you will do with your newfound strength.

Not so fast, we’re not done yet. In this Level you will need to add another exercise into your daily routine. It’s not obligatory since it’s not included into the original One Punch Man Workout but it’s a nice touch. A useful addition.

All this time you’ve been performing too many pushups. The pushup is a bodyweight horizontal pushing exercise. To prevent body imbalances, we will now add a horizontal pulling exercise to counterbalance the pushup. That exercise is the bodyweight body row.

For this one you will need two props. It can be anything, like two chairs. Or it can be a low bar at a park. To perform the bodyweight body row, get into a reversed pushup position with your hands holding the bar. Keep the body tight at all times and pull until your chest touches the bar. Come back down to complete a full repetition. Keep this exercise on the same repetition range, one hundred reps of it.

Again, this is not an obligatory addition but I really think it’s worth it. You will be working both your pushing and pulling strength.

You now have the whole picture. You know what the One Punch Man Workout is and how to execute it. We talked about its strengths and its weaknesses. Exercising should be a part of everyone’s life no matter their age or sex. Exercise is critical for good health. It’s beneficial for the body and the mind. It gets you fit and gives you mental clarity.

If you someday reach Level 5 fitness or you’re already there, I can safely bet that you are hooked on working out. It is a part of your lifestyle and flows nicely into your day.

Conclusion

a muscular guy preparing to run

For long-term success, it’s essential to choose a form of exercise that will keep you enthusiastic and motivated. The One Punch Man workout can, at least, be a starting point for anybody who wants to start getting fitter and leaner. If you want to try out other exercises, check out our superman exercise, fire hydrant exercise and sandbag exercise.

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Andi Rafmani CCT
Andi Rafmani is a certified cross-training coach and possesses a Master's Degree in film writing. He combines the two loves of his life into writing articles around fitness topics and building his own training method. In his spare time, he loves watching movies and working out.

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