One Punch Man Workout (How to Build Superhero Strength)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 13, 2024
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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The One Punch Man, or Saitama, is a fictional Japanese character that invented a popular workout routine.

The One Punch Man workout consists only of bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups, but it is very popular in the fitness industry, even though its grounds aren’t based on science.

I undertook a 41-hour research to conclude how effective Saitama’s workout is, how to avoid injuries, and how to get the most out of this training routine.

You will know everything about Saitama’s workout and whether to implement it in your core training routine.

How Saitama Became the Strongest Man?

A person doing the saitama one punch man workout

Saitama became the strongest man by doing 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and running 1 km daily.

In the manga, Saitamas was initially a weak character looking to gain strength, and that’s when he decided to do previously mentioned exercises every single day to become stronger.

As the anime suggests, the One Punch Man workout is excellent for building relative strength and muscle endurance but fails to build maximal strength.

It is hard to build maximal strength through bodyweight exercises because you need to lift maximal or submaximal loads to increase it.

You can increase muscular endurance and cardiovascular health by only exercising specific muscle groups through bodyweight exercises but never increase maximal strength.

One Punch Man Workout - Guide to a 100 Reps

A person doing 100 push ups with one punch man logo on the side

The entire One Punch Man workout consists of the following lower and upper body exercises:

So, if you are a beginner, you shouldn’t immediately start with these reps every single day.

I suggest you spread the 100 reps of each exercise throughout the day.

As you gradually progress, you may bring them closer and connect them into a single workout session.

However, you may start with 50 reps of each exercise daily and then work your way up to 100.

Per a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this is called progressive overload since you add more reps every following workout [1]. 

This doesn’t mean you should increase the number of reps daily but rather every week.

This way, you let your body adapt before changing the number of reps and forcing it to adapt to a new stressor.

"The push-up is one of the most basic and effective moves for improving upper body strength. And it really couldn’t be easier to do."

- Andrew Gutman, Certified Personal Trainer

How to Reach 10KM

A person running 10 kilometers like one punch man

Now that we got bodyweight exercises out of the way, we need to create training programs that will let us progress from our beginning mileage to 10 km a day.

Running 10 km isn’t easy, and it will require most people anywhere from 35 to 60 minutes to complete.

However, the trick lies in consistency, so we will gradually increase the mileage and keep the same workout.

Here is what I suggest doing to 10 km a day:

  • Week 1 - run 5 km on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
  • Week 2 - run 6 km on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
  • Week 3 - run 7 km on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
  • Week 4 - two thirty-minute low-intensity cardio sessions in a week. Week four is meant for recovery before proceeding to the more intense sessions.
  • Week 5 - run 9 km on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
  • Week 6 - run 10 km on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
  • Week 7 - run 10 km on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
  • Week 8 - three thirty-minute low-intensity cardio sessions in a week. The week is meant for recovery before proceeding to the final stage.
  • Week 9 - 10 km every single day.

How to Safely Make Progress With the One Punch Man Workout

A person running outside with One Punch Man logo on the side

To safely make progress with the One Punch Man workout, here is what you should do:

  • Week 1 - complete 50 push-ups, 50 sit-ups, and 50 squats. Do this workout daily and perform every exercise in a couple of sets.
  • Week 2 - complete 60 push-ups, 60 sit-ups, and 60 squats. Do this workout every day but try to perform each exercise in two sets.
  • Week 3 - complete 70 push-ups, 70 sit-ups, and 70 squats. Do this every day and every exercise in one working set.
  • Week 4 - complete 80 push-ups, 80 sit-ups, and 80 squats. Do a maximum of two working sets for each exercise.
  • Week 5 - complete 90 push-ups, 90 sit-ups, and 90 squats. Perform two working sets for each exercise.
  • Week 6 - The One Punch Man workout

Saitama’s Diet

Close up shot of a grocery paper bag with food inside

Saitama's diet is simple, consisting of only three meals a day. He says you can eat whatever you want as long as you eat three times a day and never skip breakfast.

I would advise a little different approach, especially regarding carb and protein intake.

For the carbohydrate intake, I would suggest avoiding bad sugars, sweets, and starchy fibers in general, at least for most meals.

Also, I recommend taking at least 0.8 to 1 g of protein per kilogram of body weight daily to stay lean, ensure muscle recovery, and increase hypertrophy and strength.

One Punch Man Workout Benefits

There are countless benefits from doing One Punch Man workouts, but the most notable is increased muscle endurance and relative strength.

Calisthenics exercises are the best way to increase your relative strength, making your body more functional and more significant for daily life.

Nonetheless, you will develop significant muscle endurance from One Punch Man workouts because of the number of reps and workout frequency.

How Can One Punch Man Workout Make You Strong?

The One Punch Man workout can make you strong only if you are a beginner or never did strength training.

That isn’t to say that One Punch Man workouts are ineffective, but they aren’t the best option for developing strength.

You can become significantly stronger by doing this workout, but you must change the training regime if you plan to increase your strength further.

What Can One Punch Man Workout Do for You?

A person with one punch man muscles posing

The One Punch Man workout can increase your muscle endurance and build relative strength.

Based on the article published by Harvard Health, engaging in bodyweight exercises trains your body to efficiently utilize its own weight, enhancing its functionality [2].

It is also effective for hypertrophy if you are a beginner, but I would advise using external resistance for more advanced lifters.

How Effective Is the One Punch Man Workout?

Based on my first-hand experience, the One Punch Man workout is particularly effective for beginners aiming to significantly boost muscle endurance

Other than that, there are many better options for building strength than doing a fixed number of bodyweight exercise reps daily.

Based on a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to boost maximal strength, it's essential to lift heavier weights, something that can't be achieved solely with bodyweight exercises [3].

Overtraining and Injury

A person in the gym sweating

After putting the One Punch Man workout to the test, I've learned that overtraining is a major concern, necessitating careful attention to recovery and rest.

Overtraining means you didn’t allow sufficient recovery time or rest days for more muscle groups to recover.

This is when the negative effects of glycogen supercompensation occur, and you don’t make progress but decrease your performance.

To avoid overtraining, you must gradually increase the intensity of your workouts until you reach the original Saitama workout.

Also, proper diet and supplementation will help you recover faster and avoid injury and overtraining.

FAQs

Can You Really Train Like One Punch Man?

Yes, you can really train like a One Punch Man. However, you won’t become the strongest man on the planet by only doing a fixed set of bodyweight exercises throughout the day.

Is 100 Pushups a Day Good?

Yes, 100 push-ups a day is good enough. However, it isn’t the best idea to do push-ups every day without letting your body recover or to avoid pulling exercises since that leads to building muscle imbalances.

What Happens if You Do 100 Squats a Day for 30 Days?

If you do 100 squats a day for 30 days, your legs will become stronger, and you will build endurance and become bigger. However, this will highly depend on your current fitness level since 100 squats for a well-trained individual represents a warm-up and an entire workout session for a beginner.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4215195/
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/the-advantages-of-body-weight-exercise
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7927075/
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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