Steve Maxwell's Primer for Body Weight Single Limb Training: Complete Set

Steve Maxwell's Primer for Body Weight Single Limb Training: Complete Set


The One-Arm Push-Up, Single-Leg Squat/Pistol, and One-Arm Chin-Up are the "Big 3" of absolute strength in body weight training. Let Steve's experience and enthusiasm be your guides on the trail to mastering your own body weight.


Ever since seeing the movie Rocky, I've been fascinated with the One-Arm Push-Up. It's a super-demonstration of not just upper-body, but total-body strength. That said, the One-Arm Push-Up is a far more attainable goal than most other types of gymnastic feats and stunts. Neither the One-Arm Push-Up, Pistol, nor One-Arm Chin-Up require high skill level, and thus have a higher carry-over value to sports and other recreational activities. The One-Arm Push-Up, Single-Leg Squat/Pistol, and One-Arm Chin-Up are the "Big 3" of absoulte strength in body weight training, somewhat comparable to the "Big 3" barbell power lifts.

I love the idea that I can build absolute strength using just my body weight and something to pull myself up on.

Just mastering any one of these three exercises means you are pretty strong; if you can do two of them, consider yourself a super-power. If you can do all three, call yourself a hyper-power.

Obtaining the One-Arm Chin-Up is a rare thing indeed, a stunt few will ever master. In well over a half-century of training, I've only seen it authentically performed live three times.

I started chasing the One-Arm Chin-Up relatively late in life, and nonetheless I have benefitted from the pursuit, especially in strengthening my grip and arms.

The reason I made this video is to help those who have the desire to master these demonstrations of strength. These exercises give people something to shoot for in their body weight training. There are two main ways to progress with your body weight program:

1. Increase the number of repititions
2. Progress to more difficult variations of the exercise

Unlike barbell training wherein you can systematically incrementally increase the weight, in body weight training, you have to be more creative. In this video series, I show a good variety of creative progressions for every level of participation. That said, you should build a firm foundation in double-limb training--and milk the potential there--before moving forward to single-limb training.

You'll like this video because of its simplicity: forthright drills and lack of double-speak. No one here will "wow" you with crazy Russian percentage formulas or arcane periodization tables-- this is plain, old-fashioned American know-how.

-- Steve Maxwell


The kind of person who is genuinely interested in improving his strength and health, body and mind, and who has already advanced in his or her ability to handle his own body weight...or her body weight.

Before even thinking about proceeding to single-limb training, an average male should be able to perform at least

a dozen chin-ups
30 medium-width grip push-ups, chest-to-floor
and 40 close-stance body weight squats, butt-to-ankles, with feet less than hip-width

Quoth Steve: "If you are arrogant enough to proceed on your own to advanced exercises, without an existing foundation of basic body weight skills, there is a genuine risk of injury."

Of course anyone might buy this video to satisfy their curiosity and prepare himself (or herself) but in true physical fitness, there is no jumping to the head of the class.

That said, many of the early progressions shown in the Primer for Single-Limb Training can be worked into one's already existing strength-training program.

Another reason to buy this video is it's for people who would like to be free of the gym -- and equipment of all kinds -- it's the minimalist approach to strength.


Whingers, whiners, blaggards, and sissies.

People who can't meet the above-listed standards of body weight strength might consider Body Weight Basics, parts 1 & 2


First, determine what level you are at, and how much assistance you need.

One way to do this is to get well warmed-up, then try a few variations shown in this video.

Be sure you are rested and recovered before testing yourself, so you can make your best effort.

Once you have determined the level of difficulty and how much assistance you will need to pursue these exercises, the next thing is to put together a workout.

The general recommendation is 2-3 weekly workouts and several sets of low-rep exercise. The number of weekly workouts depends upon the intensity as well as your individual recovery-ability.

In this case, the exercise itself is your goal, therefore you should do your best to avoid deep-level muscular fatigue or failure. Keep the sets between 3-5 and the repetitions to three or below.

Once the exercise seems easy, it is time to attempt the next level of progression, meaning less assistance.

CAVEAT: Steve strongly recommends AGAINST doing 12 or more reps of any single exercise in this program within the same workout, as it puts undue stress on the joints and this is a cumulative damage process.


Seven of the best shoulder warm-up mobility drills

13 outstanding lower limb movements to awaken and mobilize from hips to toes

Real tips, insights, and advice in real time from Steve


The four best tactics to build yourself up to one of the most coveted strength feats: the OACU

The two supplementary exercises to include in your OACU training

The three best strategies for performing One-Arm Push-Up

Not only will you leatn the approach to the One-Arm Push-Up but simultaneaously the progressions to the penultimate One-Arm / One-Leg Push-Up

But wait, there's more:

Steve also shares with you his five favorite supplementary exercises to keep your One-Arm Push-Up practice balanced

Seriously, where else will you find this kind of information reliably, besides Steve Maxwell?

In the lower body section, Steve shares 14 of his favorite lower-body exercises to prepare you for the Single-Leg Squat (pistol).


The three best methods for fortifying yourself for achieving the Single-Leg Squat and two great variations on the Single-leg Squat once you've arrived

Just as Steve shared supplementary exercises for the One-Arm Push-Up, he further offers six ancillary exercises to keep you in good form with your Single-Leg Squat practice

Every exercise in this program requires ZERO equipment, save a horizontal ber--or even a tree limb

There is plenty of free information on youtube and elsewhere for free...various demonstrations and explanations...some trustworthy and some not-so-much, but nowhere else will you find this trove of information--from beginning steps to mastery-- from a man you can trust, organized for you with affability and a helpful attitude. Let Steve's experience and enthusiasm be your guide on the trail to mastering your own body weight.

Steve Maxwell's Primer for Body Weight Single Limb Training: Complete Set

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