“It took me three years to get this strong…
100 push ups!!!
100 sit ups!!!
Then a ten kilometer run!!!
And of course make sure you eat three meals a day.
Just a banana in the morning is fine.
But the most important thing is to never use the A/C or heat in the summer or winter so that you can strengthen the mind.
In the beginning you’ll wish you were dead.
You might start thinking
what’s the harm in taking a day off??
But for me, in order to be a strong here no matter how tough it was, even if I was spitting blood I never stopped.
I kept doing squats even when they were so heavy my legs refused to move.
Even when my arms started making weird clicking noises, I kept doing push ups.
A year and a half later I started to notice a difference.
I was bald…
And I had become STRONGER!!!
In other words you gotta train like hell to the point where your hair falls out.
That’s the only way to become strong.”
-Saitama, One Punch Man explaining how he achieved super human strength.
As many of you know I’m a pretty big anime nerd, especially when it comes to shows that inspire me to push myself beyond my limits and come out a better and stronger man. I recently started watching a series by the name of One Punch Man. And while this anime and the workout that goes along with it may be old news to you (after an internet search I found out it was pretty popular), it’s new to me and inspired this blog post.
If you haven’t seen it, One Punch Man centers around an ordinary man named Saitama who just so happens to be the most powerful being on the face of the earth. He’s so powerful that he can beat any opponent with just a single punch!
While this is sounds pretty awesome, for Saitama this turns out to be more of a curse than a blessing as he outclasses everyone else so much that he never gets the rush or satisfaction of having a good fight with a strong opponent. Even if he tries to hold back, his power can’t be contained and he ends up completely obliterating anything he comes in contact with. Despite his great strength he goes virtually unknown to everyone, and when he finally does get noticed he’s made out to be a bad guy by most of Earth’s other heroes. Pretty entertaining and funny.
The One Punch Man workout
From the beginning of the show we see Saitama in all of his super hero glory taking out massive monsters and super powered villains with just a single blow, but like all of us he had to start out somewhere.
After stumbling across a young boy with a weird oversized chin about to meet his fate from a giant mutated lobster with awkwardly muscular legs and tight whiteys (yeah anime can get pretty damn weird), Saitama breaks free from his average life beating all odds and defeats the monster saving the life of the young boy. Inspired from finding out what he’s capable of, he embarks on his journey to become the strongest man on earth. From that moment on, he begins his strict training and eating schedule, resulting in achieving his goal of becoming the strongest being on earth (and possibly the whole universe!) over a span of 3 short years.
His daily routine to achieve this status is so simple it’s laughable.
- 100 Push ups
- 100 Sit ups
- 100 Squats
- 10 Kilometer run (6.2 miles for those of us in the states)
Every single day rain or shine, sick or healthy. Easy peasy.
And here are the fruits of Saitama’s training in is fitness test at the superhero academy:
Would the One Punch Man workout work in real life?
Yeah I think it totally would! I’d make a few adjustments of course which I’ll cover below, but this routine is doable.
Of course I wouldn’t expect to get huge or break any power lifting records with it, but as I’ve covered before, simple bodyweight routines such as this one are great for getting shredded and jacked. Bodyweight training is also much easier on your joints than throwing around heavy weights, so it’s good on that aspect too.
As for the lack of A/C and heat in the summer and winter, coming from a comedy cartoon this was more of an allusion to making an excuse for being jobless and cutting down living expenses by not running them in his apartment. On the same token embracing discomfort is a great way to build mental toughness hence why cold showers and periods of fasting are great.
Oh and if you’re in immense pain or spitting up blood you should seek professional medical help. I’m no doctor but that doesn’t sound too healthy to me by any means.
Beginning any new training program especially if you’ve never trained before comes with plenty of discomfort and soreness. Don’t let things like this discourage you. The human body is a pretty awesome thing and will adapt over time to the training stimulus and the level of soreness will die down.
The One Punch Man workout Sweet Machine Fitness edition
The routine outlined above would work and is actually possible to do as a human living in the real world but there are a few changes I’d make if I was going to follow a similar workout.
For starters I’d switch out the long distance run with sprints. Sprints are great for building up a superhero physique because they burn fat and build muscle simultaneously, increase superhero speed and power, and increase mental toughness by pushing the body beyond what it thought it was capable of (source). The daily 10K on the other hand, would overtime break you down, reduce muscle mass, inhibit recovery, and possibly lead to overtraining and reduced testosterone levels. That’s not to say to never enjoy a long distance run if you’re into that sort of thing, but if the goal is muscle, speed, and power than a good sprint session beats a long distance run any day.
Another change I would make is the addition of pull ups and chin ups into the routine. While it’s true that push ups do work the entire upper body, it’s primarily a movement to pump up the chest, shoulders, and triceps, leaving back and biceps lacking. Adding in some pull ups and chins would eliminate this weakness and balance everything out.
Sit ups aren’t the best core exercise either, so I’d switch out the sit ups with hanging leg raises or jackknives.
Finally, I’d also schedule a day or two off per week for rest and recovery, along with alternating between bodyweight bodybuilding days and sprint workouts. Doing the same exercises day in and day out like that without a break can lead to overtraining, which is probably why all of Saitama’s hair fell out. In real life overtraining also leads to plenty of other health problems including increased stress, low levels of testosterone, injury, and fatigue, so being realistic with training and recovery is a must.
So with my revisions, the Sweet Machine One Punch Man Workout would look something more like this:
One Punch Man inspired bodyweight bodybuilding workout:
- 100 push ups in as few sets as possible
- 100 pull ups or chin ups in as few sets as possible*
- 100 hanging leg raises or jackknives in as few sets as possible*
- 100 air squats in as few sets as possible
*alternate between pull ups and chin ups; hanging leg raises and jackknives each time the workout is performed. Rest as needed between exercises but keep try and keep it as minimal as possible.
One Punch Man short sprint workout:
After an adequate warm up (dynamic stretching, light jog), perform 6-10 bouts of 100 meters of sprinting. Rest as needed between sets and cool down with a light jog.
One Punch Man long sprint workout:
After an adequate warm up (dynamic stretching, light jog), perform 4-5 bouts of 400 meters of sprinting. Rest as needed between sprints and cool down with a light jog.
A One Punch Man workout week might look something like this:
- Monday: Bodyweight bodybuilding followed by short sprint session
- Tuesday: Rest and recovery
- Wednesday: Bodyweight bodybuilding followed by 20 min jog
- Thursday: Rest and recovery
- Friday: Bodyweight bodybuilding followed by long sprint session
- Saturday: Rest and recovery
- Sunday: Rest and recovery or repeat Monday
The One Punch Man workout eating plan
As for what to eat while following this plan, Saitama does give us a run down of how to eat on a daily basis… well kind of. His diet advice is simply this:
“Make sure that you eat 3 meals a day. Just a banana in the morning is fine.”
Solid advice to me, just be sure to get in a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates, and good fats on a daily basis to ensure that your muscles are being fed enough to keep you growing and strong.
How much of each macronutrient??
For protein anything from 0.8-1 gram per pound of bodyweight is good. Unless you’re on drugs, anything more than that is simply overkill. As for carbohydrates and fat, don’t sweat exact amounts too much as weight gain/loss is dependent on caloric intake above anything else. Just be sure that your protein needs are being met, and aside from that you’ll have to experiment and find out for yourself what balance of carbohydrates and fat are best for you.
If you’re not sure you get in enough fruits and veggies everyday you also might want to supplement with a quality multivitamin to make sure that no stone is left unturned and you’re getting all of the micronutrients you need on a daily basis. I’ve been using Raw One for Men multivitamins by Garden of Life for years now so they’re a brand I trust.
Aside from that just keep in mind that you can’t out train a bad diet so stay consistent especially when it comes to eating!! Stick to the majority of daily calories coming from nutritious whole foods but leave a little play for the occasional dessert and condiment.
Oh and just a banana for breakfast can work if you’re in a rush and need a quick bite before leaving for the day, but if I had the choice I’d eat something a little more beneficial to start my day. Bananas are great for you, but they lack protein and fat. A few eggs cooked in a tsp of grass fed butter or coconut oil and a tall glass of OJ possibly along with the banana will add a bit of balance to this first meal.
While it probably won’t give you the ability to defeat giant monsters in a single blow the workout and diet outlined in the One Punch Man anime and manga is pretty solid! Train hard, train smart, eat right, and push yourself beyond what you thought was possible.
Check with a physician or qualified healthcare provider before embarking on any changes made to lifestyle, training, supplementation, or eating.