The Myth of Saitama’s 100 Pushups and the Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises

One of the most enduring myths in the world of fitness is the legend of Saitama, the One-Punch Man. The protagonist of the eponymous anime series, Saitama is a superhero who claims to have achieved his superhuman strength and speed through a simple routine of 100 pushups, 100 situps, 100 squats, and a 10-kilometer run every day. But is it possible to do 100 pushups in a row, and are bodyweight exercises really that effective?

The Truth About Saitama’s Training

First, let’s set the record straight about whether Saitama actually did 100 pushups in a row. While it’s true that Saitama is depicted doing 100 pushups in the anime, it’s important to remember that he is a fictional character with exaggerated abilities. In reality, very few people, if any, can do 100 pushups in a row without stopping. Even professional athletes and military personnel typically max out at around 80 to 90 pushups.

However, that doesn’t mean that Saitama’s routine is completely without merit. Bodyweight exercises like pushups, situps, and squats are some of the most effective ways to build strength, endurance, and muscle mass without the need for fancy equipment or expensive gym memberships. They’re also more functional than machine-based exercises, as they mimic natural movements that we use in everyday life.

The Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises

So, what makes bodyweight exercises so great? For starters, they’re incredibly versatile, as there are countless variations and modifications you can make to increase or decrease the difficulty. For example, you can do pushups with your hands elevated on a bench or kneeling on the ground if you can’t do a full pushup yet. Similarly, you can do squats holding a weight or with one leg raised for an added challenge.

Bodyweight exercises also engage multiple muscle groups at once, making them more efficient than isolation exercises that only work one or two muscles at a time. For example, pushups work your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core, while squats work your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core. This means you can get a full-body workout without needing to spend hours in the gym.

Another advantage of bodyweight exercises is that they’re low impact, meaning there’s less strain on your joints than with weightlifting or running. This makes them a great option for people with injuries or who are recovering from surgery, as well as older adults who may not be able to handle high-impact activities.

The Best Bodyweight Exercises

Now that we’ve established the benefits of bodyweight exercises, let’s take a look at some of the best ones you can incorporate into your workouts:

Exercise Muscles Worked Variations
Pushups Chest, shoulders, triceps, core Close-grip, wide-grip, diamond, decline, incline, plyometric
Squats Quads, glutes, hamstrings, core Jump, pistol, single-leg, goblet, Bulgarian split
Lunges Quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, core Walking, reverse, curtsy, lateral, jumping
Burpees Full body With or without pushup, with or without jump
Dips Triceps, chest, shoulders, core With or without equipment

Incorporating Bodyweight Exercises into Your Routine

If you’re new to bodyweight training, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the difficulty as you get stronger. Aim to do each exercise for 10 to 20 reps or for a set amount of time, such as 30 seconds. You can do them in a circuit or as individual sets, depending on your preference.

It’s also important to focus on proper form, as poor form can lead to injury and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise. For example, when doing pushups, keep your elbows close to your sides and lower your chest to the floor in a controlled manner.

Finally, don’t be afraid to mix things up and try new variations of your favorite exercises to keep your workouts challenging and interesting. With a little creativity and dedication, bodyweight exercises can help you achieve incredible strength and fitness goals without ever setting foot in a gym.


While Saitama’s claim of doing 100 pushups in a row may be a myth, the benefits of bodyweight exercises are very real. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or a beginner looking for a simple and effective way to get in shape, bodyweight exercises are a great option. They’re versatile, efficient, and low-impact, making them accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. So why not give them a try and see what kind of results you can achieve?