The 4 Exercise Work Out – The Self Defense Company

The 4 Exercise Work Out

The 4 Exercise Work Out

A Work Out So Simple it’s Genius. 

In the world of Cross-fit, Px90, Body Beast and whatever fad there comes your way, there was a work out that built core body strength, muscle density and even size (if you want it) and it only consisted of 4 exercises!!!

When done correctly you will out of the gym in 30 to 45 minutes and you will feel great. 

In 1999 Pavel Tsatsouline (yep the same guy who made the kettle bell famous) put out a book…rather, it wasn’t really a book but more of a large pamphlet outlining the workout/


It’s called Power to The People (and you can still get it >>Click Here<<)


The fact that the book is a light read is a BIG PLUS. Too many times people are more concerned with how much they get instead of what they get. So instead of sifting through fluff and BS you get exactly what you came for, no screwing around.

I haven’t done this work out in YEARS, but recently my arthritic knees and back have been making it impossible to work out beyond SDTS training. Running is not an option and the multiple super sets I was doing in some other workouts was getting crazy and a lot of days, I can’t do gymnastics type skills or spiderman moves.

I needed to get back to basics and keep it simple.

But first, I needed rest so I took the summer off.

Which reminds me of a small but important point – your body needs rest. Every athlete has an off season or downtime and you need that as well. You should take every 5th or 6th week off if you’re training.

This is why competitions are good. They force you to follow a preparation, pre-game and post-game cycle that has rest built into it. Let’s put it this way, after the New Your Marathon, you will take a few days off. 

Try to SLEEP. This is a big factor and tougher to do when you have a job, home and family. But try to catch up…10 hours a sleep per day is the goal for elite athletes, but if you can get in 8, you’re doing great.

When I came back to training a few weeks ago I began the Power to the People Work Out and I have to say, my body is responding well.

I can’t give you all of science behind the Power to the People method – for that you should get the book >>HERE<<<

It’s cheap, like 30 bucks and worth every penny.

Like I said, the work out is incredibly simple.

4 exercises, 5 perfect reps, 3+ sets. 1-2 minute rest in between sets.

Exercises (all with a 7ft Olympic Straight Bar)

This and some plates are all you need for the Power to the People work out.

  • Dead Lift
  • One Arm Military Press (Circus Press)
  • Standing Curls
  • Bench Press

That’s it.

As heavy as you can for 5 perfect reps 3 sets minimum. You can go for more sets, they just need to be 5 perfect reps with a 1-2 minute rest in between. If you want to build more size, do more sets. Just remember the reps need to be PERFECT so drop the weight as you increase your set count.

Pavel even says you really don’t need the curls and the bench, but we (Americans) like the exercises so much and they’re good for the beach.

The vintage one arm press…harder than it looks.

Power to the People attacks the whole body as a unit and separates it into two functions – pulling and pushing. The heavy dead lift hits every muscle needed to pull. While the single arm military press (think “strong man”) hits everything from your core out.

Your abs, lower back, everything is worked with those two exercises.

Don’t worry about “missing muscles”. This is overall body strength. The combination of the heavy weight and the type of exercise hits EVERYTHING.

Incidentally – You need to do this “naked” – NO WRAPS, NO BELTS.

This is about creating functional, healthy strength. What good is being able to dead lift 500 pounds when you can only hold 200? Using weight belts and wraps doesn’t build functional strength. Having a large back and weak grip is useless in combat.

It’s like “shooting a cannon from a canoe”. All of that power is useless if it’s not surrounded by a strong support system.

For Self Defense, Sport and Life you need a good grip and a good back – if you constantly use wraps and belts you’re circumventing those two critical parts of your body.

How often you do P2P depends on your ability to recover. If you can do it 2 to 4 times per week, great. My P2P days look like this:

Mon, Wed, Fri

  • 10 Minute Warm Up on Bike
  • P2P
  • 20 Minute Walk 3mph at 3 incline)

Tues, Thurs
SDTS Training for 45 minutes and random fitness – like tire flips and box jumps.

Sat and Sun – Active Rest – chase kids, dog and wife around the house.

I don’t spend hours in the gym. I don’t need to and I definitely don’t want to.

If you have a few bucks, get a copy of Power to the People HERE >>>

Train Honestly


PS. To get your copy of Power to the People >>GO HERE <<


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Published by Damian (Instructor)

Founder, The Self Defense Company

Join the Conversation


  1. Good stuff here, I totally agree about grip strength. Sometimes if my hands are really sweaty if Im doing rows or deads my grip may fatigue before my back does but I just compensate by resting a few seconds then finishing my set. Done wonders for my forearm and hand strength, all I know is training holding onto a barbell for dear life prepares you to do the same with a weapon or your opponents throat or genitals. In a combat situation nobody is prying a weapon away from me unless it is from my cold dead hands.

  2. What about Tactical Barbell?
    Their fighter routine is 2 days full body and you can do your fight, self defense, cardio on the remaining 3-4.

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