T Nation

Pistol Squat 22kg x 10


Training for powerlifting championships next year. Sadly I cannot afford to train in a gym as money is very tight, so making use of the dumbbells I have at home. I did open my own MMA and Powerlifting gym but it sadly just put me into a ton of debt and I had to sell all my equipment except a pair of dumbbells and a few other bits I cannot get rid of.

Training now at home just to keep me sane.
Doing lots of Pistol Squats with weight, right now Im up to 22kg for 10 reps.
Going to drop down to 5 reps from now on and see how heavy I can get.

Love this exercise. Its no substitute for heavy back squats or deadlifts but this with lots of 1 arm pull ups and 1 arm push ups I hope to keep my lifts from dropping. PBs at 145lbs bodyweight are 352lbs bench press with 2 second pause, 405lbs ass to ground squat and 500lbs deadlift. I know my squat and deadlift need to catch up to my bench.

Should fingers crossed be enough to win the british championships and maybe take a few national records. If the lifts dont drop too much that is.
My brother in law is going to try and sneak me into the gym he works at before the competitions so I can test my lifts.

Will certainly be an interesting experiment, training for a national powerlifting championship without training squat bench or deadlift, just bodyweight training. Just doing it for fun and to keep the stress getting to me.

Hope you enjoy the video, please post your Pistol Videos if you have any!


So...if you own you opened your own MMA/Powerlifting gym why don't you....you know...train there?


From the first post:

"I did open my own MMA and Powerlifting gym but it sadly just put me into a ton of debt and I had to sell all my equipment except a pair of dumbbells and a few other bits I cannot get rid of. "

Good on you for getting creative in your training.




Because the business flopped mate and i had to close the gym and am now in £20,000 in debt (something like 35,000 dollars i think) and now cant barely afford to pay the rent of my apartment, let alone the a gym membership. probably going to need to sell a few things.

doing the powerlifting championships next year to keep me sane and take my mind of stress of it all.
i only posted about all that to explain why im doing bodyweight strength training to train for a powerlifting competition otherwise it would seem very odd lol


Seems like a lot of folks struggle with just bodyweight pistols. Here is how I started building up mine a few years ago from scratch. I hope you find useful.


22kg pistol squats for 10 is actually pretty impressive dude. Sorry to hear about the gym. Best of luck from here


Ah mate, sorry to hear about you having to close down. Hope you get stuff sorted ASAP.

If your gym was still open I'd have tried to start training there seeing as its so close to where I live.

I know F**k all about powerlifting (although I'd like to get a big deadlift) and don't have a clue if the squats would help you, but they look quality. Good luck with the championship


doesn't it hurt your back to let your lumbar region round like that?


(I've been working up to pistols by doing them with resistance band assist. I have wondered about weighting them, though, about whether it was a good idea to load them with anything more than a counterweight for balance given that nobody seems able to hold their lumbar arch for the full range of motion - are they??)


Not at all, they don't really load the lower back the same way the squat and deadlift do. Rounding the back and sitting back with the bum but leaning forward with the shoulders helps keep balance.
Half way up on the later reps, I can see I kind of do something like a good morning, I will have to cut that out when I go heavier. But no, even when going heavy for singles, never ever feel anything bad in my lower back, I keep my abs tight and it takes all the pressure off.


I will upload a video of a version of pistols that you can load with weight to help you build up. basically stand on top of a bench or box and do them, but do not stretch your leg out in front of you, let it come down by the side of the box.

check this guys video, this is the exercise i mean. you can start just by adding 5 to 10lbs and build up from there. hope this helps


Specific training as with anything is key. If you want to get better at squats and deadlifts, then squat and deadlift more lol :slight_smile: pistols will help keep your knees healthy and offer different stimulus and balance out any strength imbalances. I personally believe they will help your squat and dead go up, but only if you squat and deadlift every single week too as well as pistols. They are just one tool, but as I have no equipment, they are the best bodyweight strength exercise I can do.


it still puzzles me... people often squat with loss of lumbar arch and say that they don't feel that they are putting their back at risk but those often turn out to be famous last words. they might feel like they need to lose their lumbar arch in order to lean forwards and not can on their ass but you aren't supposed to need to do that to balance while squatting... i've never seen anybody maintain their lumbar arch on a pistol, though (sure as hell not trying to pick on you here). and i can't for the life of me figure why not...


I round my back a little and lean my upper body forward, especially the shoulders, as it acts as a counter balance, so that I can comfortably sit my butt all the way back and go all the way down. This is how I feel most balanced and in a position to generate the most power because i feel i can drive my heel into the floor most powerfully in this posture.

My back and front squat with a barbell is the complete opposite.