Training to be the Ape Man isn't something that happens overnight, its a real commitment whether short term or long term. With the upcoming movie coming this summer, I'm brushing up on my animal training (mainly Primate Movements) and making my body move differently and develop flexibility in my hips and shoulders through deep squatting (which I like to call the Ape Squat) and pulling power through hanging from different grips and pull-ups from different grips. To truly dig deep into the heart of Tarzan Fitness you really need to go to the full source (with adaptations of course) by training the body in a series of animalized movements just like the man himself that has to crawl, jump, hang, swing (brachiate) and balance.
Animal Kingdom Conditioning
Animal Kingdom Conditioning 2: Call Of The Wild
For a 270 lb man, brachiating isn't an easy task, for the most part its damn near impossible but I believe i'll be able to do it again one day and be able to practice more on the monkey bars and a soccer goal if I can find one. I love moving like an ape and so since i'm more geared towards being a gorilla than Tarzan it fits me but I like to imagine myself as a much bigger version of the guy. Being 50-100 pounds bigger and doing really cool athletic things a man that size is known in theory to be incapable of doing. To get the look of Tarzan takes different training but its not impossible to build a physique using primate movements and strategically eating well and recovering well. One of the styles of training to have that full Tarzan look is to do Charles Atlas style exercises which you can find below.....
Pushing Yourself To Power
Isometric Power Revolution
& Ultimate Push-ups For The Awesome Physique
These are the same (or similar) exercises that actors Jock Mahoney, Mike Henry, Ron Ely and I believe even Johnny Weissmuller did for their Tarzan Roles (IMO Mike Henry was the best of them). I love these types of exercises too because when I don't have the space I need for the Animal Movements, I do these or Circuits from Darebee to do conditioning work. When it comes down to it, I prefer Animal Moves because I don't like to be in one spot the entire time, I want to move around and be surrounded by fresh air and being on the grass but also I don't always have that luxury in the winter time and i'm not fond of being in snow so I go with other options. That's the thing, don't resort to one single ideal or you'll miss out; give yourself options.
Another way to really tap into that Ape Man mentality is to do MovNat which is basically the highest level of Tarzan Fitness there is period. Teaches you real mechanics of crawling, jumping, balancing, coordinating, swimming, fighting and climbing. Whether you choose to train like the Ape Man or not there is always options to have to fulfill your natural and athletic potential and have a healthy body and have strong, supple tendons and ligaments. Keep your exercise to a level where you don't go to failure and utilize your natural strength/body ratio to stay in a long-term stance of training where injuries are slim to none and listen to your body as you train and recover. Personally I don't believe pushing your ass to the absolute limit to the point where there's so much pain you end up tearing or breaking something. I do believe in testing your abilities but only to a certain degree where recovery helps you build up and you can train at a high level without hurting yourself.
We can't be Tarzan everyday, its just not practical but we can adapt and have long-term health with the right training that suits our needs. Learn your options and use what's there for you at anytime no matter where you are. Train like an Animal outdoors (or indoors if you have the space), if you have very limited space use one of the first 3 courses listed above or do Darebee Workouts for circuit training. Make it an adventure to exercise no matter what and utilize your imagination and instincts to truly train anywhere, anytime. That's the true motto of Tarzan Fitness.