I also remember my first failed pistol squat…
I was sitting in my college dorm room, reading through the Naked Warrior by Pavel Tsatsouline ( a most stellar read – and an absolute must for anyone serious about getting serious with their pistol squats and one arm push ups).
I read through the section on the pistol in one sitting.
Inspired, I stood up, and held one leg out in front of me – determined to conquer the seemingly simple task of performing just one pistol squat on each leg.
Slowly and shakily I began my descent.
Surprisingly I managed to weeble-wobble my way all the way down. It wasn’t pretty, but I made it.
Half way there!
Then I fell on my ass.
Crap! “A fluke”, I told myself!
So I stood up, shook it out, and tried again.
And again I ended up on my ass – frustrated, but this time humbled.
Clearly this was something I was going to have to work on.
And so I did.
I had the mobility and control on the eccentric, but kept losing my engagement and falling on my ass at the bottom.
So for a week I committed to using a series of progressions – many of which I have recently shared with you all – and committed to practicing the movement as often as I possibly could – performing them as often as I could.
And before the week was up, I had my first pistol squat. Shakey. Ugly. And certainly not something I’d show off in front of my mom or bring home for Christmas dinner, but a pistol squat none-the-less.
Then the refinement process began – and I began to perform as many single rep pistol squats as I could intermittently throughout the day. My shakiness began to dissipate, and I quickly developed greater control over my body and the movement.
And my freaking quads were sore as all hell.
The point I want to get across is that I too was there. That dark, nebulous void that one feels entrapped in when unable to perform even a single pistol squat. I remember the feeling like it was yesterday: Despair. Hatred. Anguish. (dramatic enough?)
But then ultimately triumph, continued success, and fulfillment!
The high’s just aren’t as good without the lows.
Don’t be discouraged if you are unable to perform a pistol squat just yet. Follow these progressions. Practice them often. And then I want you to tell me how good it feels when you finally bang out your first full range of motion pistol!
BTW – This issue of our SuperHero Development Newsletter is going to feature even more progressions towards the pistol squat AND one arm push up, and is an entire “bodyweight only” edition – featuring some of the most disturbing body-weight complexes and strength routines known to man (including how to perform one arm L-sits, muscles ups, and more!). If you are not already a member of our SuperHero Development Program – join today! You don’t want to miss out on this!
I hope you enjoy some of these personal favorite pistol squat drills of mine. Post any questions you have below!
Airborn Lunge to Pistol Squat
Slow Concentric Pistol
Pistol Squat Burpee
Box (or Tire…) Pistol
PPS – Dumb Question of the Day (first to answer in comment section gets a secret prize!) –
What substance in your body do antihistamines work to counteract?