Nothing motivates me as much as watching extreme displays of strength, determination and skill.
I always feel like training harder every single time I see someone transcend his limits and achieve something that was deemed impossible.
In this post, I am going to share with you some of the greatest bodyweight feats, many of which I have successfully used for my own training inspiration.
Some of theses feats are going to be achievable, but others are going to be really hard and only the few who are very serious and dedicated to their training are going to achieve.
How To Use This Article
The main purpose of this article is not just to inspire you, but to also help you get into a practice of inspiring yourself consistently.
Since I started SOA I have gotten numerous questions on how to be motivated and on how to keep pushing yourself harder.
One of the main ways I have inspired myself is to watch videos.
The way I would recommend you to use this post is to read it and find 3-5 feats that you want to achieve. Then watch the videos everyday… especially before your workout sessions. (You are going to find more tips on implementation later in this post.)
This way you will always get in the right state of mind and push yourself harder with every training session.
Once a video seems to stop having an effect on you, you can always come back to this article for more inspiration.
The 34 Greatest Bodyweight Feats Of Strength, Endurance And Skill
The feats are presented in 4 categories based on the physical quality that is required for their achievement. Most of the advanced skills require multiple qualities, however, there is a predominant quality for every skill.
There are four categories…
Endurance Based Feats
In this category, I have collected all the endurance based feats. Some of the feats are going to require strength and speed as well. The main component trained with these feats, other than endurance, is mental toughness. If your goal is to become mentally tough, then some of these feats should be on your goal list.
1. 8-Hour Plank
This one is an amazing feat. My abs get tired just by reading the title…
5 minutes of plank can be hard, 10 minutes exhausting, but 5 hours seems like impossible.
Of course, there is no real functionality in being able to hold a plank for so long. As you can see in the video, to achieve something like this you need to have a goal that transcends your personal interests.
2. Wickedly Fast Jump Roping
To achieve such a feat, you need extreme agility and lots of coordination.
3. 50 Consecutive Pull ups
Being able to do 20 pull ups was one of my early goals. If you ever tried to do high rep pull ups, then you know how hard is to achieve such a feat.
Zef does 50 push ups after the pull ups for fun as well.
4. 1000 Push ups
If you are a high rep junkie, then this is a very worthy goal to strive for.
5. 100 Burpees in Under 4 Minutes
Doing 100 burpees as fast as possible (aka The Burpee Challenge) is not only a great way to increase your endurance, but one of the best ways to improve your conditioning as well. Being able to do 100 in under 4 minutes requires great agility as well.
6. 1000 Crunches
Even though crunches aren’t that effective on helping you get a six pack, achieving such feats can help you build a lot of core endurance.
Make sure to stretch your abs regularly with exercises like bridges, if you are working with so high reps.
7. 102 Wheel Rollouts
Unlike the 5 hour plank and the 1000 crunches, this feat requires a tremendous amount of core strength along with the endurance. Even being able to do 20 wheel roll outs, means that your core is extremely strong. Doing 102 is inhuman.
8. 40 Pistol Squats
This is a very challenging feat. Achieving this skill requires a lot of strength and endurance. What makes this skill unique is that it requires very strong knees and ankles as well.
Even though it’s easier than 1000 push ups, it still requires a lot of determination to move through the fatigue, which makes it a great feat for mental toughness.
10. 75 Muscle Ups
The guy on the video rests every now and then, but still this is an amazing feat of strength and endurance.
11. 101 Diamond Push Ups
Unlike regular push ups, diamond push ups are a little harder and it is more difficult to increase your numbers. Achieving something like that requires unusual triceps endurance.
Explosiveness Based Feats
In this category belong all the feats that require a lot of explosiveness. Since some of the movements are advanced, lots of strength is required as well.
12. One Arm Rope Climb
I had a very hard time categorizing this feat. The reason was that it requires a lot of qualities at an extreme level. To achieve something like this you need to have extraordinary pulling strength, a freakishly strong grip and inhuman pulling explosiveness. I wouldn’t believe that something like this was possible if it wasn’t on a video.
13. Quadruple Unders Jump Rope
A great feat that requires explosiveness, coordination and endurance.
14. Clapping Handstand Push Ups
Watching the guy on the video seems like it’s easy to do clapping handstand push ups, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. This skill requires a lot of shoulder strength and explosiveness.
15. 15 Yard Handsprings in 30 Seconds
This feat requires tremendous explosiveness in the posterior chain and a very strong core as well.
16. 27-inch Plyometric Push up
Doing more claps in plyometric push ups isn’t the only way to increase your pushing explosive strength. You can do it by adding boxes as well. This method of training can help you track your progress very easily.
Strength Based Feats
Here belong all the feats that require beastly strength. Some of them require a little endurance as well.
17. Minutes One Arm Handstand
This is a unique feat that requires a lot of balance and body control.
18. 20 Seconds Iron Cross Hold
This is an extreme feat of strength that requires lots of straight arm strength and endurance.
19. One Arm Pull Ups
One arm pull ups is one of the most advanced bodyweight pulling exercises. Doing one of them is difficult, doing 12 is beastly.
20. 60 Seconds Human Flag Hold
Human flag is one of the most impressive calisthenics exercises and has been one of my biggest motivators to train with calisthenics. Achieving such a skill is impressive even if you are able to hold it for 5 seconds.
21. 33 Seconds Front Lever Hold
I truly believe that the front lever is achievable by most people that follow an effective training system. After you achieve it you can always train harder to break your previous time records.
22. 42 Seconds Back Lever Hold
Very similar to the front lever hold.
23. 18 Front Lever Pulls
Very few people give horizontal pulling strength the attention it deserves. If you are serious in developing it, then front lever pulls may be the best exercise for this purpose.
24. One Arm Wheel Roll Out
There are lots of people in the fitness industry claiming that standing wheel roll outs should be avoided at all costs. Fortunately, Ross isn’t one of these guys.
This feat requires strength from head to toe.
25. 20 One Arm Push Ups
One arm push ups is one of the most basic advanced calisthenics movements. Most people tend to focus on achieving harder and harder skills instead of increasing the reps. However, this is not the only way of training. If you enjoy both high rep work and strength training, you can combine them by aiming for such feats.
26. Victorian Cross
This may be the hardest bodyweight strength feat. There are very few people that are actually able to perform this amazing feat.
In this category belong bodyweight feats that require a lot of strength in the fingers and wrist. Achieving these feats requires a lot of pain tolerance and it takes lots of years of hard work to achieve them.
27. Pinky Finger One Arm Pull Ups
Everyone who has tried pull ups with less fingers than usual knows how painful it is in the beginning. It’s hard to imagine how painful achieving this feat is.
28. 2 Finger Push Ups
This one is a classic. I can’t say much about this skill. Bruce Lee is a legend.
29. One Finger Handstand
The video claims that there are only 2 people on the planet that are able to achieve this feat. I guess they are right. To achieve such a skill you will have to train your fingers for decades and you will also have to be relatively light-weight.
30. One Finger One Arm Handstand
This one is even more difficult than the two finger handstand. I don’t know if the video is legit, but if it is, this is a heck of a feat. Especially at his age.
31. 2 Finger Planche Push Ups
It seems that for some people doing regular plance push ups is not enough…
32. One Finger Lalanne Push Ups
LaLanne Push ups are great for core and upper body strength. Adding the extra finger element makes this feat not only more difficult for your fingers, but for you whole body as well, since it increases the range of motion and decreases the leverage.
33. One Arm Wrist Push Ups (@ 1:00)
Al is one of the big names in the calisthenics movement and for a good reason. If you have ever tried to do wrist push ups, then you know just how painful it feels. Achieving such a feat leads to very resilient and almost injury-proof wrists.
34. 2 Finger Handstand Push Ups
It’s hard to imagine how strong this guy’s thumbs are.
Getting Into The Habit Of Inspiring Yourself
As you have seen so far, there are a lot of different and inspiring feats achieved by using only bodyweight training.
As I stated in the beginning the main purpose behind this post is to help you get yourself inspired consistently.
Watching a video only once has little and temporal effect. But if you watch videos consistenly (along with taking action), your mindset is going to be affected positively over the long run and the inspirational effects will slowly become permanent.
How And What Videos To Chose
Todd there are over 30 videos! Which ones should I choose?
The feats were categorized into 4 categories. The main reason behind that was to help you choose the ones that are in alignment to your current training goals.
For example, if you want to increase your number of push ups, watching the video of the 1000 push ups beforehand is really going to prepare you mentally to give your best.
But the skill doesn’t have to be so close to your goal. You could even watch the 5 hour plank and get inspired.
Choose the ones that work the best for you and if you get bored, you can always choose another video.
For some people compilation videos might work best. Personally, I enjoy both but I find targeted videos more effective for pre-workout inspiration.
How To Implement The Inspiration Practice
The best way to implement something like that is to integrate it within your lifestyle.
Think about it like food and nourishment for your dreams and aspirations.
Most of these videos are short and you don’t need a big time investment in order to practice it.
I really enjoy watching inspirational videos when I wake up to start the day with a positive mindset.
Other than the lifestyle practice, to get the most out of this, you should watch one or two inspirational videos before your training. Seeing someone hold a plank for 5 hours, makes your tabata session seem like a child’s play.
These were some of the most difficult bodyweight feats ever accomplished. Most of them are beyond the reach of the average person. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t use them for your own advantage.
Seeing others accomplish extraordinary feats affects greatly the way you see yourself and changes your perspective on what you thought possible.
Let these feats inspire you to physical greatness and beyond.
Are you aware of any bodyweight feats that I haven’t included in this post? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.
– Bodyweight Todd