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GTG Program: Pistols and Handstand Pushups

I just finished Pavel Tsatouline’s “The Naked Warrior”. This book focuses on building strength with two body weight movements, the pistol squat and the one-arm pushup. The real value of this text however is two-fold: first, his discussion of breathing and muscle contraction to improve strength in all movements (weighted or body weight); second, his training style of Grease The Groove (GTG). While the tips around breathing and muscle contraction are not easy to summarize, the idea around GTG is easy to sum up. Pick a movement you would like to improve, say the Pistol Squat, and then practice it several times over the course of the day. The goal is for your practice to be focused, moderately intense, and short. You should leave each session feeling stronger than when you started. Reps should never exceed five. Practice but don’t over train.

I’m going to start now – January 12th – focusing on the Pistol Squat and the Freestanding Handstand Pushup. I can accomplish one rep fairly easily in the Pistol Squat, but I’m not able to put together sets of more than five. I’ll start with just one rep as my exercise, spaced out throughout the day. For the handstand pushup, one rep is a struggle. I’m going to begin with just performing negative singles. I want to see 3-5 sets a day of negative singles improves my power over the next two weeks.

Current Max:
Pistol Squats – 5 reps
Handstand Pushups – 3 reps

I’ll plan to test myself at the end of the month. I’ll probably test Monday Jan 30th, so that I can use Sunday as an off-day to rest.

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