How One Marine Is Inspiring Thousands of Us to Find Freedom Through Fitness

The pandemic has made prisoners of us all in one way or another. This blog is read across the globe so your home country may allow you find freedom to roam or you may be in your second or third lockdown, memories of the trail and its infinite possibilities for adventure becoming more and more distant.

If your usual way of keeping fit involves your love of the outdoors it’s highly likely that you’re not in the best shape of your life right now. Calling all climbers, kayakers, hikers, trail runners, downhill mountain bikers, and every sport and hobby in between that requires the great outdoors to function. Let’s not lose the physical power of our bodies as we slowly evolve into armchair adventurers.


If you want to become strong whilst becoming ‘fatigue resistant’ as our featured hero says, read on to find out how you can get insanely fit at home with no gimmicks or sales tricks using very little to zero equipment. Be warned though, these workouts are hard as hell but the rewards could last for a lifetime.

The Making Of a Man

Artur Shvartsberg is a Russian immigrant who moved to Brooklyn, New York at just seven years old after the fall of the Soviet Union. By the time he reached his teens, Artur was lost and confused, swallowed by the big city, getting into a lot of trouble and lacking discipline and direction. The heady mix of hormones and situational problems became the catalyst that inspired him to join the US Marine Corps.

This intrepid Marine’s first introduction to calisthenics was during his first deployment to Afghanistan in 2009. “Our patrol base was in a very rugged and austere environment. Myself and some of my fellow marines built a pullup and dip bar from some scrap wood. I quickly learned that you need minimal resources to be physically fit and so my journey began” says Shvartsberg.

Artur is now known to many as Iron Wolf, his YouTube persona. He may be a small fish in a huge ocean in Youtube’s standards as he has recently reached 100,000 subscribers. But his channel is growing fast day by day thanks to his ‘zero fluff’ approach to fitness.


His workouts always feature sickeningly high numbers of reps which unlike other YouTube channels he records in full, showing off his own incredible cardiovascular endurance and well-conditioned strength. Every rep is executed in perfect form from the first to the thousandth.

It’s essential to watch his videos before taking on the various routines and workout plans that you will find in his Community section. There’s a whole bunch of new lingo to learn associated with military-style calisthenics, and Wolf’s videos help you understand the meaning of these alien exercises.

Taxing Terminology

It takes a little while to get your head around the difference between a six-count burpee and a five-pump burpee. Then bodybuilders, flutter kicks, and pullup variations come into play, never mind the soul-crushing and collectively dreaded navy seals. Don’t worry if none of that made sense to you; just watch a couple videos, and you will soon be schooled. For those who are really curious though, here’s what a navy seal burpee is:

Squat down, place your hands on the floor and kick your legs out, perform a pushup. Left knee to left elbow and back again, perform a pushup. Right knee to right elbow and back again, another pushup. Bring your feet back to your hands and stand up.

Note that Iron Wolf has a few videos where he performs 500 of these.

Community Spirit

Iron Wolf’s channel features what is definitely one of the most motivational, polite, and informative communities on YouTube. His fitness fanatic fans and converts are affectionately referred to as the Wolf Pack. No other comment section on the video hosting goliath is as reliable and consistent with its positive approach to fitness.


Iron Wolf himself is active in his videos’ comment sections, where he often answers questions and replies to future video requests. This one-man band really does want to inspire his fans to become more disciplined in their fitness routines.

He often performs live workouts where he will interact with his audience via chat. He also hosts Q and A videos and shorter segments highlighting tips and tricks such as the right supplements to take to maintain good joint health. All of these videos are filmed at the various locations he is stationed at during his military career.

Reps for Adventure

Are you inspired or petrified? Iron Wolf’s channel could be mistaken for a strange place where you can watch a man do a thousand burpees in a row while you snack yourself silly from the comfort of your own home. But his videos are really a testament to these routines’ realness and the results they can deliver. Eat clean, train hard, and you will become the well-oiled machine you once were.

So, where should you start? The channel may be a bit of a minefield at first but for a zero to hero routine (some conditioning is recommended before starting any package), try one of the three following routines from last December:




If there’s any new terminology in these routines that you don’t understand, just search for the exercise in question on Wolf’s channel, and you will soon see for yourself exactly how to perform it. The exercises are all very basic and can be picked up quickly, however as Artur states, “simple does not mean easy.”

Vaccines are now rolling out globally; countries such as Georgia are even opening back up for international travel. The whole globe is waking up, and life with any luck will soon be returning to normal. When you get that first phone call off a fellow outdoors addict to hit the trail or do some open water swimming, make sure that your body and mind are ready.

Embrace a new mantra and become ‘fatigue resistant.’ Now that you know what can be achieved within the same four walls that have imprisoned you during the pandemic, there’s no excuse.

It’s time to train, the wild is calling.

Thomas Board

9 thoughts on “How One Marine Is Inspiring Thousands of Us to Find Freedom Through Fitness”

  1. I found Art’s channel in March 2020 and in July I took part in his 30 day challenge and I totalled 10k push ups from about 4k burpees. An absolute personal best for me and showed me what I could do with some discipline. He is the real deal and he leads by example. Good article Tom, the world needs more positive influence with less BS just like this man.

    • My exact same experience with Gunny Schvartzberg. That July challenge was great. No alcohol for me for 44 straight days. I really should try that again. Lol. I like to think I’m an OG wolf pack member but I’m sure there are many older members than me.

  2. You don’t need to watch those long Iron Wolf videos from beginning to end. Me, I only need to watch one for a minute and I already get antsy, something calls on me to go out there to that spot, always the same spot, of concrete and do my reps, do my sets. By far not as many as Iron Wolf, not in this lifetime of mine for sure. Nevertheless, an hour later I am drenched with sweat, exhausted and happy.

    Best thing that happened to me in 2020 was to find and join the Wolfpack.

  3. Finding Art’s channel a couple of months ago has been a total game changer for me. I have been doing calisthenics for several years now and adding in the burgers has totally wrecked me. That said, I know I will be a member of the Wolf Pack until I am too old to exercise

  4. Excellent training. Not hard as he’ll. Harder. But worth it. I’m 64. Training a long time but this stuff does the business.

  5. I’ve no access to gym. I thought I had no chance to get fit.

    But Art changed my view. I’m seeing tangible improvement in my fitness following his simple yet effective training method.

    Let’s Go Wolf Pack!!! ????????????

  6. Hola soy Rafael soy camionero soy de México encontré su canal de Iron Wolf y estoy muy agradecido por compartir sus entrenamientos tengo un mes entrenando de sus vídeos y la verdad sinceramente encontré el ejercicio más completo y puro que había buscado y estoy muy contento estoy fascinado encantado con los burpees Gracias mil gracias Art por motivar e inspirar a tantos lobos guardados encerrados arraigados estamos listos siempre bien pilas saludos cordiales bendiciones sólo un comentario para art si pudieras a ser parte de tu canal el contenido en español gracias

  7. I’m in my late forties, have been weightlifting in my 30’s, but only jogging for the last ten years (never find the time to drive to a gym and back, etc.) When I found Iron Wolf’s channel, his incredible effort inspired me to try military-style calisthenics. My first goal: 100 navy seals. After some weeks of focused training, I’m currently at 100 one-pumps and working on transitioning to as many two-pumps as I can take without screaming ;). What helps me greatly since the beginning is alternating pump burpees with no-pump-dual-plank-in-and-out-dual-knee-raise-and-one-squat burpees to offload the chest, but increase the overall rep count and maintain the overall lively pace. Greetings to Art and @melonchicharon psycho-burpee girl :). Go Wolf Pack!!

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