Michael Gordon Peterson, aka, Charles “Charlie” Bronson has something of a cult following among fitness buffs. Ever since he published his exercise book in 2007, people have been interested in learning what the Bronson Workout is. Some of this curiosity is probably due the reports of almost superhuman strength this guy has. This includes things like doing 118 push ups in 60 seconds, 1727 push ups in an hour. Or, the recorded 1,790 sit-ups in an hour’s time. Or, it may just be the fact that he has been reported to have bent his metal prison cell door with his bare hands.
Tom Hardy, the british Actor has brought Peterson to life, so to speak, for the rest of us in the movie, Bronson. But, in order to play Charlie Bronson, Hardy had to actually train like an animal and gain 40 lbs. or so of pure muscle just to make himself believable in the role.
So what is the Bronson Workout?
The Bronson Workout cannot easily be outlined. In fact, if you have read or heard anything about his book, “Solitary Fitness“, you know how convoluted the exercise regimen is. While Bronson does an okay job at describing the basic exercises of his routine, he does a terrible job at outlining his exercise protocol. He mentions that this is a deliberate action on his part. He doesn’t seem to want others to be able to go and copy his work out right.
However, the gist is this: It’s basically divided into 3 parts.
- Stretching or Warm-up
- The Basics – compound movements
- The Dynamics – Isolated isometric exercises for each body part.
While describing his particular approaches to specific exercises, he refers to them as “solitary number…whatever”. From “solitary 1- solitary 37″. Where “solitary 10″ is an isometric tricep extension and “solitary 26″ is a lunge. Later in the book he goes into his suggested combination of exercise sets and reps in order to get your desired results. However, he only refers to the reference number and not the specific exercise. It gets kind of confusing. But, while it is confusing at first, it can be deciphered with patience.
Most people reading this will probably find what he calls “Solitary Basics” the most familiar part of the Bronson Workout. While Bronson will say that his strength and power come from the isometrics that he performs, the basics are an integral part of his workout routine.
They provide him with speed and agility because they are more dynamic rather than static. The following are all part of the Solitary Basic exercise routine of the Bronson Workout:
- Hand Stand Push Ups
- Regular Push Ups
- Sit Ups
- Squat Thrusts
- Star jumps
- Step Ups
He suggests starting out with 10 of each except for the hand stand push ups.
Bronson Workout – Just Do The Basics
If all you did was the “Solitary Basics” as a routine 2-3 times a week, that would probably be enough for most people. This part of the Bronson Workout has an exercise for everybody part and every phase of fitness training.
While you could get into the isometrics part of the program, it may be kind of boring to someone who has access to more equipment than Bronson has. It takes a lot of discipline to consistently do isometrics and similar exercises especially if you have access to a gym or weight set. Bronson doesn’t have either and has to make the best of his situation.
About The Author
Graham C. Gibbs
Here's an old soul, a heart that belongs in the Dust Bowl era and a brain wave on the beating pulse of current art, technology & culture.