Sunday, April 09, 2006

Get Tarzan Strong

Edgar Rice Burroughs went to great lengths to impress upon the reader the phenomenal strength possessed by Tarzan of the Apes. This is but one example-

Though but ten years old he was fully as strong as the average man of thirty, and far more agile than the most practiced athlete ever becomes. And day by day his strength was increasing.

It certainly sounds impressive and if you ever wanted to gain that sort of level the closest you'll probably get is by mastering the following feat- the muscle up.

The muscle-up is pure climbing for Tarzan strength. Can you imagine the king of the jungle training with lat pulldowns and tricep pushdowns? No way, leave the "toning and shaping" for Jane.

It's called the "muscle up technique". Simply put it requires the individual to hang from a set of gymnasts rings and to do first a pull up and then immediately after a dip. The recommended level of fitness before attempting a single muscle up is to be able to do 15 pull ups and 15 dips.

At the link above there's more information on the specifics of the technique involved- a false grip pull up, transition and then the dip- and also a recommended three week training program. Note too the kettlebells scattered around the 1927 gym pictured with the article. Seems to me that we'd be better off with a few modern gyms that looked like that.

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