A couple of weekends ago, joined with Tracey, Angelo, Shaun, and Serena, I had the opportunity to attend Mark Sisson’s (author of The Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple) PrimalCon 2011.
PrimalCon is a health and fitness retreat with the purpose of bringing us back to basics, back to the beginning, referring to our ancient ancestors of the Paleolithic era and how they survived as hunters-gatherers. How is this relevant to us, you might ask. Mark’s philosophy for primal fitness is simple: sprint, lift heavy things, play, rest, and then repeat. And of course, it’s also supposed to be fun.
Physical exercise is only half of Mark’s philosophy. Nutritional eating habits make up the rest (approximately 80%). However, this article will only focus on exercise. With that, a way of implementing what Grok would do (Mark’s caveman mascot) on a weekly basis would be as follows:
Sprint (once a week, session length: less than 10 minutes)
Example: run, bike, row, even the elliptical with an all out effort.
Try Tabata intervals: (20 seconds of work; 10 seconds of rest; repeated eight times for a total of 4 minutes).
Lift heavy objects (1-3 times a week, session length: 7 minutes-1 hour)
Example: squats, pull-ups, push-ups, handstand push-ups, and planks. More advanced examples include: deadlifts, push press, snatches, cleans, thrusters, kettlebell swings, and jerks.
A normal presumption is that you have to pick up something to count as moving heavy weights, but in actuality your own body weight can be just as effective.
Move frequently at a slow pace (2-5 hours spread across 1 week)
This is what should be called “Play Time.” It’s easy to moderate exercise that keeps you moving, gets your heart pumping (55-75% maximum heart rate).
Example: walking, rowing, biking, elliptical, jump roping, and dancing.
Other examples would be: hiking, swimming, playing outside with the kids, ultimate Frisbee, soccer, or channeling your inner Angelo.