I’ve always been interested in mastering body weight exercises. There is a fascination with athletes that are able to push and pull their body around with total body strength as opposed to those that can only lift a heavy object. When I began kettlebell training, and more specifically, when I got certified in RKC, I began drifting towards the body weight challenges.
At my RKC2 in April 2012, I bought the Convict Conditioning book and signed up for the Naked Warrior cert held in October. Females were required to do a 1 arm push up to pass. I didn’t know much about the technique of the 1 arm push up and with only a few months to prepare, I dug into the CC book for guidance. My program design was centered on training Pull ups, HLR, OAPU, Pistols, Handstands, and Bridge work.
Just prior to the cert, the results were: HLR- 2 sets 27reps, Pistols- 37right/37left, Uneven Pull Ups- 5sets 5reps, Bridges improved, and even though I was hesitant in kicking up a Handstand, I had help getting up and then would hold the position. And of course, sets of 1 arm assisted push-ups. I had actually gotten an ugly 1APU . The strength was there but the mechanics of tension, engaging hollow, breathing, etc., was missing.
The Naked Warrior cert went into details with creating tension, engaging hollow, breathing, shoulder positioning, etc. and it all came together for me. I was able to achieve the 1 arm push up.
Here’s a demonstration video, followed by some cues:
Cues to Use: Root hand in floor. Pack the shoulder. Wrap arm around low back and squeeze fist creating tension. Engage the hollow position. Quick breath in and hold. Chest to floor. Let just enough air out to push up.
The following week, I designed a thirty day program for the 1 Arm 1 Leg Push Up using ladders. I paired variations of pull-ups with OAOLPU assisted ladders. I only laddered up to three on each side but varied the rounds each day I trained. I also varied the intensity by using a basket ball on easier days and using a towel/Frisbee as a harder variation. I didn’t over complicate things with different variations I picked 2 and stuck with it.
MONDAY- 3 rounds
BW pull ups- 10
OAOLPU ladders- 1-1,2-2,3-3 (towel assisted)
WEDNESDAY- 4 rounds
L-sit Baseball grip pull ups- 8
OAOLPU ladders- 1-1,2-2,3-3
FRIDAY/SATURDAY- 3 rounds
Weighted pull ups- 5
OAOLPU ladders- 1-1,2-2,3-3 (Towel assisted)
I kept it simple. I never went to failure. I always could have done a few more reps. I never forced reps. If I needed a day of rest I took it. I waited thirty days before testing to see the progress.
On Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, the workout consisted of bridges, handstands, hollow drills, pistols, cossack pistols, weighted push ups, HLR, and OAOL plank holds. I also snatched twice a week.
After 30 days, I achieved the OAOLPU.
Here’s a video and cues:
Cues to Use: Root hand in floor. Pack the shoulder. Lift opposite leg and push contact foot into floor. Wrap arm around low back and squeeze fist creating tension. Engage the hollow position. Quick breath in and hold. Chest to floor. Let just enough air out to push up.
Next up is the PCC, as Al Kavadlo says on the Progressive Calisthenics blog… ”We’re Working Out.”
More about Beth Andrews: Beth Andrews, Senior RKC, is a gym owner and instructor at Maximum Body Training in Cartersville, Georgia. She can also be reached through her website: http://www.wix.com/drruss21/mbt.