As you know, in spring we had shoots in Thailand and this July, we are happy to start bringing you results of this adventure. We wanted to try new workouts that would be authentic to the location and as one of the trainings that we will introduce here was the Rickshaw Boy training. Thailand is one of the original homes of rickshaw and the new workout is inspired in this transportation device: a cart pulled by a “rickshaw boy”.

What would it take to train a good rickshaw boy? What to focus on training a boy for this very demanding task. This workout is created in cooperation with some of our members. We decided to focus on four aspects. First, the strength. Pulling a rickshaw for days needs incredible strength, including cardio-vascular stamina. Second, the posture. We do not want the rickshaw boy to just run as he pleases. The boy’s posture must be worthy of the passenger, who may wish to show off his rickshaw boy. Third, respect. The rickshaw boy must show respect to his passenger, obey his orders without hesitation. The boy must understand that the passenger is his “master”. Fourth, the pain tolerance. It was common to guide and speed up the rickshaw boys by using a cane. So in this session, to stay true to the historic tradition, the trainee is guided by an overseer carrying a typical rattan cane.

We chose young Ilya as our first rickshaw boy and experienced Dima as an overseer.

The workout goes like this:

Part 1. Waiting for the Passenger.
In the first part we train the boy to correctly wait for his passenger.
– As the first exercise, the boy must kneel, stretching his hands fully in front of him. He is now waiting for orders.
– The second exercise is simple Cobra Pose. The passenger may want to inspect the boy before a ride, or show him off to his friends, the Cobra Pose is just perfect for this. As the boy must often work in rain, we also use sprinkler to make the training more uncomfortable. As the pose is not quite perfect, the boy will feel the first bites of rattan cane on his thighs, back, abs, chest and nipples.

Part 2. Posture
The boy must now perform a series of “stands” by showing that he can control and balance his body that is a prerequisite of keeping a perfect posture. He is required to stand on the tiptoes, on left and right leg. A rattan cane is placed loosely on his outstretched arms as a reminder what awaits him, if the poses are not perfect or even worse, if he drops the cane.

Part 3. Sprints and Strength
In the next part we move to speed and strength training. The boy must now perform increasingly difficult sprints, but his result must always be better than the previous one. The workout is demanding. By the start of his third round of sprints, Ilya is completely exhausted. This means lost form and this means more penalty jumping jacks under cane. The session is finished with an extra penalty session – all designed to improve the performance of our rickshaw boy: Bicycle lying on the ground and heron pose.

Part 4. Posture and Running Drills
The trainee is now going through a series of running drills. He must keep the rattan cane behind his back, which forces his chest to be pushed out and abs flexed, reminding a pose that the boy must keep while actually pulling a rickshaw. To make his life harder, we make him run in the pool. Between the drills, the boy can rest on his knees.

Part 5. Endurance and strength
The next part of the session is dedicated to endurance and strength. This means mountain climbers, burpees, push ups and running drill.

Part 6. Back and glutes. 
We figured that part of the posture training must be focused on back and glutes, not only to strength and cardio. The rickshaw boy’s back and glues are muscle groups that are most visible to the passenger and therefore must be in top shape. Plank, back raises and bends are the focus in this round.