In my experience working with clients, I’ve always had the most successfully progressing people with pistols once they’ve developed a basic level of leg strength through barbell squats. Despite this being apart from a Gymnastics strength program, we’ll be utilizing some weight training to develop bodyweight pistol squats to attain much-needed leg strength to perform pistols.
- Current ability: Can you perform 5 reps of barbell back squat at your bodyweight with a good range of motion? If not, then you can start here at level 1 pistol squat progression. If you can perform 5 reps of bodyweight squat, you can move to level 2.
- Goal: 5 reps of back squats at your bodyweight.
- Notes: The primary purpose of this phase is to build you up to a bodyweight back squat. Being able to squat your body weight is a good (but not perfect) indicator that you have the base level of strength and coordination for a pistol.
- How: Perform 2 or 3 workouts a week until you can perform 5 reps of bodyweight back squat.
Level 1 Pistol Squat Weekly Progression Workouts
|WHEN||DAY 1||DAY 2||DAY 3|
|BEFORE WOD||3 X 5 Back Squat. Add 2.5 to 5 lb. each time you perform this workout. Once you can get to the point where your first set is at your bodyweight, you can move to level 2.||3 x 12-15 Back Squat at ~80% the weight from Day 1. This is going to make your legs sore!||Assisted Pistol Squat Negatives. Accumulate 5 to 10 Reps per leg. Feel free to rest as long as you want between reps.|