Did the (and do the) traditional Indian “pehelwans” get their ab development (or not) from Hindu pushups
- This is bound to be one you'd want to read.

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As I sit here after 500 club swings and 50 pull-ups, the thought running around in your mind during the majority of my workout was to write to you about it with just that title.

Unlike some of my other emails to you, this one, well, I waited until my workout was over – for now.

And lots of stretching later, I’m here to tell you two things, one I’m glad I waited.

And two, because it allowed me to finish a great workout with a tad bit of impatience, hehe (its gotta get done NOW! You know me!) – and because a thought popped into my mind which will certainly be of interest to most here.

A lot of has been made of Indian wrestlers – and their abs.

Some call them fat, some call them functionally strong.

There is a grain of truth to the former in many cases, and lots of truth to the latter in all cases (genuine wrestlers. not the WWE nonsense).

(although some of the show biz guys are damned good fighters in their own right, Ken Shamrock and the Undertaker being but two that come to mind, especially UFC fighter Shamrock who used to pound out Hindu squats in 1000’s, and perhaps probably still does!).

But back to traditional Indian pehelwans?

You won’t find them with that corrugated core – in a lot of cases, they’ll have the stomach protruding.

It won’t be all fat either, but ..

The one thing you’ll always see though is “abs poking out”.

This has led some to the erroneous belief “its because the abs are so developed they jut out”.

Baloney, my friend.

Developed or not, when the tummy juts out, you’re either constipated as heck, or there is FAT – or serious posture issues at play, but whatever it is, it ain’t well developed abdomninal/core muscles, or the lack of it causing it to happen (come to think the lack of it might well cause it to happen).

Some claim it’s because of their sport, they need a stable base.

I dont quite agree, you dont need a big stomach to be stable!

Sumos may disagree, thats a different issue, if “bulk” counts, but even those Sumos tend to be amazingly well conditioned (but of course, not prime candidates for health and fitness, but you’d be shocked to see some of their resting pulse rates being pretty low given their bulk!).

Anyway, Sumos are an anomaly, I’ll get into it later in a future post, but their diet has a lot to do with it.

Traditional Indian wrasslers, ditto.

If you down kilos and kilos of clarified butter, well, itll show on you even if you workout like a horse – which most of these guys do – unless you’re Arthur Saxon, of course. Hehe.

And thats the ones that dont eat meat, lots of Indian wrasslers eat meat too despite the belief they dont (not all, but a lot, but not in the akharas).

(the religion prohibits it in the akharas I believe).

Contrary to what you think, Hindu religion in general, and Indian religions in general do not prohibit meat eating – Indians “back in the day” (long gone the days of the Kamasutra?? Hehe) at meat with “gay” abandon if anything … do thy research, you’ll see.

Anyway – point of this isn’t to discuss religion – back to Indian wrestlers, if you look at Indian OLYMPIC wrasslers, either male or female…

You’d be hard pressed to find a single one without  a corrugated core, the rest of the body is the same.

Reason being, diet, for the Olympics these gents and ladies need to meet specific weight categories, so they have to do the same thing a lot of U.S. college level wrestlers do in that regard.

Water fasts for days while you workout intensely, hours spent in the sauna, running around with heavy backpacks with layers of clothing on, you name it, these guys do it. Read some of their stories about just how appealing FOOD seems to them after a few days of that, I dont blame ’em.


The last thing here – Indian wrestlers – again, the traditional ones are not big on “pull-ups” – but they do a lot of pulling movements.

Not so Indian Olympic wrasslers.

They do a crapload of pull-ups in their training.

So what are we to glean from all this?

Well, first, that superior ab development you see on both – a lot of is PULLING movements.

It is NOT what most people believe i.e. high rep Hindu pushups doing it, sure, that helps, but Hindu pushups while being a superlative exercise and workout work the upper and lower back (and triceps) FAR more in that regard while working the whole body.

It is basically the LUMBERJACK – the heavy club and mace work these guys do which causes those abs to really pop – as well as rope climbing.

You really cause the REAL six pack muscle – not the one you’d think to get activated if you’re doing serious swings my friend. (getting the whole body into it, which most don’t).

And, for Olympic wrestlers, to get that corrugated core, tons of pull-ups and focus on diet. (in addition to the above)

Pushups are damned important. Dont get me wrong.

And pushups DO cause them abs to pop, but it’s more than that my friend.

And sitting here after 500 swings (20 kgs, a weight you might think trifling, but it’s enough to humble anyone – especially that many swings) – and 50 pull-ups – and more …and some of the stretches from “Advanced Profound, Isometric and Flexibility Training” – I’m here to tell you, if you’re serious about training, PULLING work is something you simply cannot ignore.

Either in fact or by making excuses.

Like a customer once told me

“I put it to you that no amount of pushups will make you better at pull-ups if your strength to weight ratio is not what it needs to be”

(and he was right, this to the excuse makers).

Anyway …

Core, triceps, lower back – all FRIED, and grip – and I’m ready to go again soon.

Can’t complain with that sort of a workout eh.

And thats just clubs and maces, if you include high rep pull-ups, kettlebells, and perhaps some lumberjack “sledgehammer” swings (also in the book) – – you’ll have a workout to write home about, repeat, and then some.

And thats that.

Back soon!


Rahul Mookerjee

PS – All the above sounds fine, dandy and fancy, but if you dont have a base built first? Forget about it my friend. You gotta build a base first, and those of you that have not – get the 0 Excuses Fitness System first before anything else.

Yes, it may cost me sales, but so be it, thats how it WORKS – i.e. you build a base first, anything else, I’d be a hypocrite to tell you otherwise.

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