Tarzan 77: Become Lord Of Your Jungle With 11 Weeks Of Calisthenics!
Tarzan, the fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, is an archetype of manhood. Rugged, strong, fast, and agile, he looks good in a loincloth and always beats the bad guys and gets the girl! The following calisthenics program is designed to make you into Tarzan!
- You will exercise 4-5 days a week with no workout lasting more than 1 hour.
- You will perform basic calisthenic exercises with minimal equipment.
- Conditioning will be provided by a Power Run.
- In 11 weeks you will be slimmer, stronger, and more rugged!
Let’s grab a vine and swing into action!
The #1 priority for a virile 21st century Ape-man is to be able to move his own body through space and time. Thus, the Tarzan 77 focuses on bodyweight exercises, or calisthenics.
Simplicity is another distinctive characteristic of the Tarzan 77 Program. This is something you can do even if you are stranded on a primeval continent and your parents have been killed by gorillas!
Follow the program exactly as noted below. It intentionally introduces incremental increases in difficulty and variability which will stimulate progress.
Your goal will be to perform 200 squats, 100 pushups, and 50 pullups each day as prescribed. Perform the exercises in the order listed. You will need a floor, a pullup bar (or tree branch or gymnastics rings…), a stopwatch, and a notebook.
Monday– On Monday, your goal will be to just complete the given number of repetitions for each exercise without rushing. Rest as much as needed between sets. Do not push yourself to failure. Time your workout so that you know how long it took to complete all repetitions. You will now have a baseline against which to compare yourself.
Sample workout: 9 am start: 50 squats, 30 squats, 30 squats, 25 squats, 20 squats, 20 squats, 15 squats, 10 squats…25 pushups, 20 pushups, 18 pushups, 15 pushups, 12 pushups, 10 pushups…10 pullups, 8 pullups, 8 pullups, 6 pullups, 6 pullups, 5 pullups, 4 pullups, 3 pullups….9:45 am finish
Tuesday-Do the same thing as on Monday, except that you will time exactly how long your rests are between each set. Again, do not hurry; rest as much as you feel you need to between sets, but time and make note of the duration of each rest period.
Thursday– Do the same thing as on Tuesday except that you will shorten each rest period by 10 seconds.
Saturday– Power Run! This will deliver the lung-busting, mobility-enhancing impetus that will complement the capillary density you are gaining from the high repetition squat, push, and pull workouts of the previous days.
Go here for Power Run instructions.
Power Runs can be hellaciously taxing, thus you have a day off before and after this vital part of the Tarzan 77 Program.
Repeat week 1 except that on Thursday you will decrease your rest periods by 20 seconds compared to what you wrote down on Tuesday.
Repeat week 2 except that on Thursday you will rest for exactly 1 minute between all sets of all exercises. Rest for exactly 2 minutes between each transition to a different exercise. By now, your Monday workout, the one where you don’t rush and never push yourself too hard, should take a bit less time than it did on week 1. Progress!
This week is a “back off”, or recovery week. You will diminish your repetitions to 100 squats, 75 pushups, and 35 pullups. Otherwise, repeat week 1 exactly.
Now has come the time to increase the difficulty of the exercises and decrease the repetitions of each exercise. The exercises are modified as follows:
Instead of squats, perform Assisted Pistol Squats. Stand on one leg with the opposite foot elevated in front of you. (Tarzan would stand on an elephant’s back!) Keep the heel of the foot you are standing on flat against the ground throughout the duration of the movement. Reach forward and grab a rope, bar, door handle or suspension trainer. Squat down on one leg and return to the standing position assisting yourself with your arm only as needed.
Instead of standard pushups on the floor, do Decline Pushups with your feet up on a bench or table about 2 feet high. (Tarzan would make 2 gorillas hold his legs up!)
Instead of regular pullups, do Towel Pullups. Drape a standard bath towel (Tarzan would use a vine!) over whatever you are doing pullups on; grab one end of the towel with each hand and pull until your fists are below your chin.
You will repeat the exact format of the week 1 workout. The more difficult exercises will be coupled with fewer repetitions. Instead of the 200/100/50 template, you will strive for the following rep schemes:
Assisted Pistol Squats- Alternate legs for a total of 30 reps.
Decline Pushups- Total of 60 reps.
Towel pullups-Total of 30 reps
Remember, follow the exact format of the week 1 workout.
Repeat week 5 except that on Thursday you will decrease your rest periods by 20 seconds compared to what you wrote down on Tuesday.
Repeat week 6 except that on Thursday you will rest for exactly 1 minute between all sets of all exercises. Rest for exactly 2 minutes between each transition to a different exercise. Not only are you working your skeletal muscle, but your heart will also be hammering away trying to drive freshly oxygenated blood into all those straining sinews!
Another recovery week. You will diminish your repetitions to 20/40/15 and otherwise follow the template of week 5.
This is where we start to separate the Tarzan Ape Men from the civilized Monkey Boys!
Monday– 200 Assisted Pistol Squats (100 on each leg.) Rest as needed between sets, but be sure to finish within 45 minutes.
Tuesday – 150 Decline Pushups. Rest as needed between sets, but be sure to finish within 45 minutes.
Wednesday – 75 Towel Pullups. Rest as needed between sets, but be sure to finish within 45 minutes.
Thursday – Power Run for a full 45 minutes. No stopping is allowed!
Saturday – 30 reps/60 reps/30 reps of Assisted Pistol Squats/Decline Pushups/Towel Pullups
Sunday – Rest
Repeat week 9 except that you will rest exactly 1 minute between each set of exercises on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. The Power Run will be repeated exactly as on Thursday of week 9. Run fast like Tarzan chasing a lion!
This is it! The final week of your jungle odyssey! You will be going back to visit week 1. The only difference will be that instead of Squats, Pushups, and Pullups, you will repeat the same pattern of week 1 with the 3 more difficult exercises.
That’s it, you’ve completed the Tarzan 77!
Take a week off, while eating in accord with the principles discussed here; then go back to week 1, day 1 and do the workout as quickly as you can. You’ll be amazed at how much faster you can finish than you did only a short 11 weeks earlier! You are now stronger, leaner, and tougher, like Tarzan!… but please, how you look in a loincloth is between you and Jane!
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