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Book Review: The Naked Warrior

the naked warriorPavel Tsatsouline’s book The Naked Warrior was the beginning of a long, strange strength training journey for yours truly. I was working at the library when this book showed up on the desk. As often happens, I got intrigued by the cover and the premise: get really strong using just your bodyweight. It also seemed really odd to have an entire book based on only two exercises.

Well, that mystery was quickly solved. The book had gigantic print, tons of pictures, and was about 30% ads. But I liked the writing and all of the “Evil Russian” stuff really made me laugh. It was enough to get me poking around on the Dragon Door strength and conditioning forum (Dragon Door is the company that publishes Pavel’s books), and from there I saw that was a big group of people all chasing these same two exercises: the one arm pushup and the one legged squat, or “pistol.”

Each seemed impossible to me, but I started plugging away at each movement through the routines in the book and was able to eventually do each one. I felt pretty cool.

I read every single one of their books that I could get my hands on. The Purposeful Primitive (my review) still gets my vote for most entertaining read. Marty Gallagher is a tough act to follow for any writer.

These days I’m doing my own thing for training–I really don’t do set programs, more of a freestyle trainer now. But The Naked Warrior book put me on a path that improved my life greatly and lead me to some wonderful friends and relationships. And yes, it made me stronger.

Don’t buy this book if getting legs like Lee Priest is your goal. Otherwise, there’s plenty to enjoy.

If you’re into bodyweight training or you just love to read anything and everything about the strong world like I do, you’ll get a kick out of this book. Pavel is a funny writer, and if you can get past all the ads and hype, there’s some useful info in this book.

PS: this book also introduced me to kettlebells (through the ads). If you’re interested in taking a look at Dragon Door’s kettlebells, that link will get you going. Enjoy!


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