Admittedly, it’s not all too often that you see the worlds of fitness and anime cross over. Typically they occupy their own corners of the spectrum, and generally, they would diverge if anything.
At least, until the One Punch Man workout became a thing!
When it comes to a strongly opinionated power-ranking among some of the most vibrant and overpowered characters across the Anime-verse, it’s hard to not include Saitama, the “One Punch Man.” After all, just as his name suggests, across both seasons of the show, he’s pretty much dealt with anything and everything coming his way with a single punch.
But, how exactly did he get that strong?
Well, early on in the anime, Saitama actually completely lifts the veil on the not-so-secret workout behind his absolutely overpowered abilities. And to no surprise – soon after the show aired, hordes of curious fans decided to give this newfound fitness regimen a good swing in real life.
Thus, the One Punch Man Workout was born!
So, in today’s article – we’ll take a bit of time to explore this workout. I’ll be covering the finer details behind it, giving you a glimpse into some of the results that people have been able to achieve, as well as answer the question of whether or not it’s something you should try and how you can get started if you choose to give it a shot.
What Does This Workout Look Like?
While at first mention, you might start thinking of some grueling otherworldly training like lifting thousands of kilograms or running around with car-weight plates strapped to every limb of your body – it’s actually a whole lot simpler, and far more feasible for the average person than that.
So, what does the One Punch Man workout really look like?
Well, according to Saitama himself, his daily routine is made up of 4 incredibly common exercises that you’re probably already very familiar with.
The Exercises Making up The One Punch Man Workout Are:
- 100 pushups.
- 100 squats.
- 100 situps.
- A 10-kilometer (a.k.a. 6.2-mile) jog.
Yup – that’s all!
Now, sure that might seem like a bit of a challenge for the average person or someone who doesn’t exercise regularly. But, getting up to that level of fitness is incredibly realistic and something that just about everyone can do if they commit to the routine and really set their mind on it.
And if we go by the show, aside from possibly going completely bald – you’ll be one-shotting anything that stands in the way of your plans in no time!
But Wait – There’s More
Obviously enough, it would be cool if you could just drop and do a hundred pushups without so much as breaking a sweat and follow that with a 10-kilometer run like it’s nothing.
And hey – maybe you can!
However, the reality is that for most people that’s quite a serious challenge and not one that should necessarily be undertaken in the first place.
After all, just as with most things in life, when it comes to fitness, you’ve got to build up to it and keep things gradual in order to avoid hurting yourself and give your body the time to develop and adjust to the regimen you’re adopting. That’s why every trainer worth his salt will tell you if you are a beginner or had stopped working out for 6 months or so, working out 7 days a week is not such a great idea.
If you keep reading, further below I’ll cover a few ways that you can get started with the One Punch Man workout, no matter the level of fitness you’re at right now.
Get Ready To Diet!
While it may not be very exciting, you’ll definitely have to diet for this workout to work. And while most One Punch Man fans totally skim over this, or miss it altogether, even Saitama points out his strenuous diet at several points across the show.
So, how exactly did he change his diet in order to really maximize the effects he saw from this workout?
First and foremost, Saitama cut out carbs, sugars, and fried rice, while also cutting down on the portions he was eating.
Logically, this seems to go hand-in-hand with many modern dietary trends like intermittent fasting, low-carb diets, and even more abstract concepts like mindfulness. Moreover, we have geat and healthy foods for men and women, as well as whey-free protein powders that keep one full for longer and cut back on snacking.
But, let’s face it – it’s not exactly very realistic (or all too healthy) for someone to just wake up and quit eating any sorts of sugars, carbs, or fried foods.
Figuring Out Your Dietary Needs
The best thing to do here is to speak with a dietician with the aim of putting together the ideal diet for you. They’ll help you understand your body and the sort of nutrient intake it needs, down to the finest details.
At the same time, a good dietician will also help you set realistic goals and expectations while putting together a dietary plan that you can adjust to easily, and benefit from the most.
However, if you’re a tad shy, or don’t want to commit to something as overwhelmingly serious as a quick appointment with a professional dietician – the next best thing is to simply reduce your caloric intake, split up your portions, and tone down on complex carbs like sugars and certain grains.
Calories & Slimming Down
According to the US dietary guidelines – the average adult woman needs between 1,600 and 2,400 calories per day. At the same time, the average adult man would need somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 calories.
But, what’s this talk about reducing your caloric intake?
Another term for this is “caloric deficit” and simply put, it’s when you consume fewer calories than your body actively uses up. While most people simply think “eat less” – the whole idea is actually a tad more complex than it might seem at first glance.
The real key here is to eat less unhealthy high-calorie foods, replacing them with healthy alternatives that pack fewer calories!
For example – that 400-calorie McDouble you just picked up? Bin it!
Instead, grab yourself some pan-fried chicken or some stuffed peppers, which run far lower in the calorie-count department. But, if you absolutely must have a burger, swap out those processed “beef” patties for a healthier alternative like turkey, bison, or even venison for the fancier folks among us.
In fact, while the whole “eat salad for days” concept seems to be pretty popular, it’s also fairly offputting – I mean who loves salad enough to eat it all 3 meals per day?
Thankfully, the culinary world around us is ripe with a myriad of healthy, yet absolutely mouthwatering options if you’re just willing to look around a bit.
Does The One Punch Man Workout Actually Work?
Now that we’ve explored what the workout looks like, and some of the other important (yet often missed) elements that you’ll need to adopt in order to really benefit from it (or any sort of workout in general) – let’s delve a bit deeper to explore whether or not this sort of workout is practical or effective in the first place.
How Effective Is It Really?
When measuring the efficacy of a workout, one of the first things that most trainers would look at is whether or not a given regimen hits on the major “movements” and development patterns that help strengthen your body and improve your mobility.
In the case of the One Punch Man Workout, we’re looking at pushing motions thanks to the pushups, some core exercise via the situps, as well as some very solid cardio and leg training with the running and squats you’ll be doing.
You don’t have to go overboard with any of these, like going for 500 push-ups a day, or punishing yourself to 1000 push-ups a day, for instance. Doing the right number of squats is great for toning your thighs, just as doing enough amount of cardio will give you just the right muscle toning and strength.
If you ask me, that’s pretty darn well-rounded!
But, what about weights? In all honesty, you’re already set to be doing a tonne of reps (believe me, 100 reps isn’t exactly a small number) – and you’re doing it with completely natural exercises that rely on body weight. As such, I wouldn’t bother with weights until you’re not breaking a single sweat with this routine, if at all.
Think about it – no forced unnatural movements, no machines involved, and you can do it just about anywhere you like. Awesome, huh?
Does It Work For Fighters & Martial Artists?
General efficacy aside, many people adopting this workout inevitably get curious as to whether or not the One Punch Man workout is of any benefit to martial artists or fighters as a whole.
Thankfully, the answer here is a definite resounding yes!
When it comes to strength and explosive power in martial arts, high-rep exercises are the way to go. And 100 reps definitely falls right under that high-rep label.
In addition to this, the crazy cardio you’ll be doing is going to provide for lots of endurance, stamina, and fantastic overall fitness. And since every one of the exercises we’ve talked about so far relies on your body weight, you won’t have to worry about bulking up and packing on pounds either.
What You’ll Stand To Gain From This Routine
Ultimately, the obvious benefits aside, it may be a bit hard to see the bigger picture from just looking over the exercises and reading about how effective they are.
So, here’s a quick list of the pros behind the One Punch Man workout:
- Great cardiovascular health & endurance.
- Muscle strength & efficient muscle mass.
- Fat-gain control & metabolic health.
- No need for any equipment or dedicated space.
- Super simple and down-to-earth routine.
Does It Lack Anything?
While I’ve largely been praising the One Punch Man workout so far, there are a few areas where it falls short.
Namely, there are two key areas, and they both have to do with your muscles!
Sure, doing all of the exercises we’ve covered is definitely going to help you achieve a high degree of natural strength, but it’s just not as efficient or effective as targeted exercises would be.
First off, you won’t really become all that “swole” just by following this regimen alone. This is because the exercises themselves aim to build natural and functional muscle mass rather than sheer bulk, the way that weight training would. At the same time, you won’t achieve the same insane levels of raw strength that heavy weights can help you build up either.
However, if you don’t plan on standing toe-to-toe with the Hulk anytime soon, this workout will definitely seem like a total life-changer.
So, will your hair go poof? Probably not. And you probably won’t go demolishing buildings with a single punch either (trust me, don’t try it).
However, undeniably, this is a fairly well-rounded low-commitment workout that you can use to get in shape and stay in shape while still leaving ample room and energy for extra training in the areas of fitness that really interest you in the long run.
How To Get Started With The One Punch Man Workout
So, now that we’ve established just how awesome this workout can be as well as the sorts of benefits and results you stand to gain from taking on this regimen – let’s talk about how you can get started today.
But before you take off sprinting down the interstate like a madman – keep in mind that it’s not quite as simple as just jumping into it all in one go.
Depending on your level of fitness, I’d recommend that you start off by breaking up the reps into a couple of sets. Though, whether you choose to do them all one after the other or spread them out across the day is entirely up to you.
This segmented approach allows you to ease into the exercises and gives your body the time it needs to properly adapt to the workout so that you can really rake in the gains without any serious risk of injury looming over your head.
For example, it could look something like this:
- 5x 10-reps pushups.
- 5x 10-reps situps.
- 5x 10-reps squats.
- 5-kilometer jog.
Which you can copy for both the morning and evening.
Alternatively, if you’re absolutely hellbent on channeling your inner Saitama and doing it all in one go, you can also break it up into levels.
These levels could be set up like this:
- Level 1 – 25 pushups, situps& squats + a 2km jog.
- Level 2 – 40 pushups, situps& squats + a 3km jog.
- Level 3 – 60 pushups, situps& squats + a 5km jog.
- Level 4 – 80 pushups, situps& squats + a 7km jog.
- Level 5 – 100 pushups, situps& squats + a 10km jog.
The coolest thing about this approach is that you can make the “levels” as granular or broad as you need them to be. And in the long run, you can tailor them around yourself and your personal goals in the areas of fitness that matter the most to you.
What If You Want To Ramp Things Up?
One of the awesome things about the One Punch Man Workout is the fact that it’s both incredibly flexible and super scalable.
So, when doing the full suite of reps isn’t much of a challenge anymore, there’s plenty of room to turn up the heat anytime you like.
The first, and possibly the most intuitive approach, would be to simply dial up the reps. If 100 reps is too easy for you, start shooting for 150, or even maybe 200! Maybe add other exercises, like doing 100 jumping jacks a day, 100 crunches a day, or get a pair of cheap dumbbells and start exercising your biceps and triceps to bulk up your arms.
However, while you can dial up the reps on all 3 exercises, there’s little point or benefit to running a full-blown half-marathon every couple of days. In fact, it could do more harm than good, so I’d suggest that you follow the runners’ 10% rule when it comes to your cardio.
Another worthwhile way to amp up the exercise you’re getting is to pack in some targeted workouts, maybe getting a full-body workout machine like an indoor heavy-duty rowing machine; with the goal to get a full-body workout every other day and then maybe every day.
That would be a major step up to the one punch man exercise
Whether you’re into calisthenics or weight training over at the local gym, or maybe building your own home gym, once you breeze through the One Punch Man workout, integrating some additional exercise can help you fine-tune your regimen around your personal fitness goals.
A Few Words Of Caution
Now, before you go and dive headfirst into this awesome new fitness regimen, there are a few hearty pieces of advice that I’d like to impart to you dear reader.
The first has to do with the fact that, even if you’re physically able to, you really shouldn’t go about doing this workout every single day of the week.
At the end of the day, your body still needs a bit of time to rest and recover. And pushing it to its limit day-in and day-out will not only put you at risk of serious injury, but you’ll also be slowing down your progress, and thus you’ll see diminishing returns in the long term.
In addition to this, it’s not exactly necessary for you to do every exercise in one set. It’s definitely a cool fitness-goal to aim towards – however, I’d recommend that you split up your sessions throughout the day.
For example, you could do 5-10 sets for starters along with some light runs. Then, as you get more fit, you can gradually dwindle that down to 2 sets of 50 reps, with a 5-kilometer jog following each one across different points of the day.
So, Should You Do The One Punch Man Workout?
While this workout may have definitely started off as an anime-inspired fad, it actually boasts a pretty crazy range of awesome benefits.
It’s well, rounded, very flexible, super easy to follow, and works absolutely great for beginners and athletes alike.
With that said, if you work up to it, don’t skim over the diet, and exercise in a healthy rational manner. If you do it properly – you might just become the next Saitama (no hair-loss involved).
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Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 16 years now.
My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future.
I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics.
My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics.
Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward.
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