The Great Gama Workout Routine
The Great Gama Isometrics workout routine can also be considered an old-time strongmen exercise program.
His workouts focused mainly on bodyweight exercises, isometrics along with using weighted Indian clubs.
If you’re not familiar with the Great Gama (Ghulam Muhammad, is his real name) he is considered the most successful wrestler in history. He competed in more than 5000 matches and never lost one. Perhaps, genetics was part of his great strength.
You see, when he was 10 years old he was already capable of performing 500 dands (Hindu push-ups) as well as 500 bethaks (Hindu squats.)
I think you would agree that this is quite a spectacular feat for a child of 10 years of age. Although he wrestled every day he did not compete until after he was 15 years of age.
The Great Gama Exercises
Let’s explore how to perform a Hindu squat and a Hindu push-up.
The Hindu squats starts from a standing position with your feet at 45° angles. As you squat down you roll onto the walls of your feet lifting your heels off the ground. Granted, this is not a very easy movement however it will develop your endurance as well as your like strength. When you start out you should do approximately 65 to 100 Hindu squats.
Those old-time wrestlers would perform up to 1000 Hindu squats per day. At a minimum they would perform between 600 to 900 Hindu squats.
The Great Gama is reputed to have performed 5000 Hindu squats and 3000 Hindu push-ups every day of his life.
The Hindu push-up starts in the normal or regular push-up position. However, as you go down to the ground you move in a circular motion very similar to the “Downward Dog” movement in yoga.
As the Great Gama became older his workout consisted of wrestling with 30 to 50 wrestlers per day, performing 500 Hindu squats and 3000 or more Hindu push-ups.
As you can imagine, this is a very demanding workout. It’s no wonder that the Great Gama was undefeated in his wrestling career. This type of training program was the foundation of all the great Indian wrestlers.
In addition to bodyweight exercises the Great Gama also utilized Indian clubs.
Indian club training
An indian club closely resembles a wooden bowling pin. However, they come in different sizes as well as different weights.
The exercise routines start out by swinging the clubs in a predetermined pattern as part of their exercise program. The clubs range in weight from just a few pounds to as much as 50 pounds. Typically, the Indian club workout was performed with a group of other exercisers. Usually led by one individual – this was very much like today’s group exercise classes.
The routines of course varied by the weight of the club and the group’s ability or strength.
After winning the championship wrestling title in India back in 1909, Great Gama began traveling throughout Europe with the circus. He would challenge anyone in the audience – taking on all comers – to a wrestling match. As a result of this touring, he was able to meet and defeat some of the top wrestlers of that period.
During his circus days he challenged many individuals to a wrestling match. These were the greatest champions of their day. Names like Frank Gotch, George Hackenschmidt, as well as some famous Japanese judo champions. Unfortunately, they all turned down the Great Gama.
Pehalwani (Wrestling) in punjab
Below you will find a video that explains some of the workout techniques of the great an current Indian wrestlers.
Modern Day Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
Many of the wrestling arts are now incorporated in mixed martial arts competitions.
In the video below, you can learn a little bit about Gracie jujitsu or Brazilian jujitsu as it’s also commonly referred to.
Many of the techniques of wrestling have found its way into this grappling art. Today, it is an undisputed fact that most fights will end up on the ground. As a consequence, every martial artist as well as mixed martial arts practitioner takes the time to study Brazilian jujitsu.
This martial art has revolutionized all the fighting arts.
We can credit many of the old-time wrestlers such as the Great Gama and many others for many of the techniques and strategies of modern-day jujitsu.