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How To Do The One Punch Man Workout Routine + Pros And Cons

One of the coolest things about fitness is that there is something for everyone!

Because everyone should be working out, different styles of workouts and trends evolve that may appeal to certain groups of people who otherwise didn’t feel motivated by the once-pervasive “meathead“ vision of what people associated with working out.

For example, the Pokémon Go app that debuted nearly ten years ago now helped get classic “gamers“ out into the “real world, “ where they could start accumulating more steps per day.

The One Punch Man workout is similar in that if you’re a manga fan, this routine likely populates in your TikTok algorithm and may be a great way to get you excited about trying the new, niche fitness routine dubbed the “One Punch Man Challenge” or the “Saitama Workout Challenge.”

In this guide, we will discuss what the One Punch Man workout entails, how to do the One Punch Man challenge, its main benefits, and tips for trying out the Saitama workout routine.

We will cover: 

  • What Is the One Punch Man Workout Routine?
  • How Do You Do the One Punch Man Workout Program?
  • What Are the Benefits Of the One Punch Man Workout?
  • Is the One Punch Man Workout Program Good?

Let’s dive in! 

Sit up.

What Is the One Punch Man Workout Routine?

The One Punch Man workout routine originates from manga, which is Japanese anime. It is specifically based on the Japanese superhero franchise known as “One-Punch Man.”

This anime series revolves around the fictional superhero Saitama, who has earned the moniker of the One-Punch Man because he is so strong that he is able to defeat any opponent by throwing just a single punch.

Saitama is legendary in the series for his impressive strength and is often called upon during times of conflict between the “monsters“ and “superheroes.“

The One Punch Man workout itself was developed by the pseudonymous manga artist ONE.

It is said to be fashioned to replicate what is written to be Saitama’s training or what becomes coined as the “Saitama workout routine,” which the fictional character himself describes and dubs the “One-Punch Man workout routine.”

Push up.

Since its inception, the One Punch Man workout routine has gained traction among fans of the manga series as it has continued to spread on TikTok and with other online influencers who attempt to take on the One Punch Man workout challenge for a period of time and then display their before and after results.

In a nutshell, the Saitama training regimen that imparted Saitama’s strength involved performing 100 sit-ups, 100 pushups, 100 squats, and a 6.2-mile (10-km) run every day for three years.

Although this vigorous Saitama training routine caused the fictional superhero to lose all his hair, it also supposedly imparted him with his super strength to defeat any monster opponent with a single punch. 

Thus, the Saitama workout plan became the “One Punch Man workout plan, “ and Saitama earned his more common name, the One-Punch Man.

Squat.

How Do You Do the One Punch Man Workout Program?

The One Punch Man workout routine described in the book is quite straightforward.

Therefore, theoretically, learning how to follow the One Punch Man workout routine isn’t difficult.

Although actually doing the One Punch Man workout is hard (depending on your fitness level and relative strengths and weaknesses in terms of running and bodyweight strength training exercises).

Here is how to perform the One Punch Man workout routine:

Every day, you are supposed to:

  • Perform 100 push-ups.
  • Perform 100 full sit-ups.
  • Perform 100 bodyweight squats.
  • Run 6.2 miles (10k). 
A person running.

What Are the Benefits Of the One Punch Man Workout?

As with any workout plan or training program, there are pros and cons to the One Punch Man workout routine.

Here are some of the One Punch Man Workout benefits:

Pushups, situps, and squats are great calisthenics that together work most of the major muscles in the body and do not require exercise equipment.

These exercises are fairly beginner-friendly, with most people understanding how to perform the movements with a little bit of instruction.

Studies have found that being able to do more push-ups is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular events.

Regularly running 6.2 miles (10 km) is good for cardiovascular health, bone density, building muscle, and supporting a healthy body weight. It may also reduce premature all-cause mortality.

Research has also found that inactive adults who take up endurance running as a consistent practice experience significant beneficial effects on body mass, body fat, resting heart rate, VO2 max, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol.

A person holding another person's feet while doing sit ups.

The combination of cardio from running 10km every day and performing bodyweight strength exercises hits both cardio and strength components of fitness.

Many popular celebrity workout programs or “branded workouts“ focus on either strength or cardio, but not both.

If you perform the One Punch Man training routine most days of the week, you will far exceed the minimum recommendations for physical activity for adults set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the British Heart Foundation.

These recommendations are to accumulate either 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio exercise per week and two full-body strength training workouts.

These physical activity guidelines are put in place as the minimum recommended amount of exercise to reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

The One Punch Man program is simple in theory in that it is the same thing every day. This means that you don’t have to learn a lot of different exercises or constantly check a detailed workout program to figure out what you are supposed to do for your training.

Finally, because the One Punch Man fitness challenge is based on anime, it may help motivate or reach individuals who otherwise don’t feel motivated to exercise.

A push up.

Is the One Punch Man Workout Program Good?

While there are benefits to the One Punch Man workout routine, there are also some drawbacks and risks.

Here are some of the One Punch Man workout challenge risks:

The One Punch Man workout challenge is much too intense for beginners, especially if you jump into it right away, trying to do 100 push-ups, 100 squats, 100 sit-ups, and a 10k run every day after being mostly sedentary or doing just intermittent exercise.

This fitness program also poses a high risk of overuse injuries since you are running 10 km every day and performing the same exercises day after day with no rest days.

Especially for people who have poor running form or squat technique, the risk of injuries from One Punch Man training is quite high.

Sit-ups are not the most effective core exercise and are contraindicated for certain individuals, so the overall One Punch Man workout routine lacks sufficient core strength and stability training.

Although the One Punch Man Routine does include cardio and strength, it’s not all that balanced in the sense that it is the same exact cardio every single day (and high-impact cardio) and includes the same three bodyweight strength exercises.

A squat.

Again, this will not only increase the risk of overuse injuries but will compromise potential gains in strength and muscle development and can cause muscle imbalances, motivational fatigue/boredom, and fitness plateaus.

There is also no mobility or flexibility work, power or explosive strength training, and there is a lack of muscle-building stimulus.

Although push-ups, squats, and sit-ups do target different muscle groups, the One Punch Man training program still lacks key movement patterns like the hip hinge, pulling, and an overhead press.

There are also no unilateral strength training exercises like a lunge matrix or any frontal plane or transverse plane strength training exercises.

There is no clear way to progress or regress the One Punch Man workout program, which is especially hard for beginners as well as people who eventually become accustomed to the One Punch Man training routine and stop making progress.

Lastly, the Saitama workout routine is based on a fictional character rather than actual science or a real person who has been doing this workout for three years. Thus, the One Punch Man workout results are all based on conjecture.

If you are interested in building up to doing 100 squats a day, check out our guide to the 100 squats a day challenge here.

A person squattling.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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