Setting Yourself Up to Win: A Body By Science Approach
Mark’s Daily Apple
by Mark Sisson: 10
Holiday Gifts for Your Primal Tribe
It is with
great pleasure that I bring you todays guest post. As you
may know, Im big on identifying and implementing Primal lifestyle
hacks that deliver max results with the least amount of pain, suffering,
sacrifice and time as possible. So when someone comes along saying
they have a research based approach to fitness that will get you
amazing results in just 12 minutes a week I listen up. If you are
not yet familiar with authors Doug
McGuff and John Littles Body
By Science read on to get a great overview, and check out
the BBS website.
Before we get
into it let me point out that I agree with Dougs position
that before you start throwing stones or dragging heavy rocks you
should achieve a certain base of level of fitness. Thats why
I developed the Primal
Blueprint Fitness protocol that scales for all fitness levels,
emphasizes injury prevention and prepares people for more natural,
functional movement patterns. But, as they say, there is more than
one way to skin a cat. Dougs methodology is one such way
a way that I encourage you to test in your experiment of one.
When one is
first beginning to make the change to a Primal lifestyle, the dietary
approach can seem a little intimidating, but the exercise portion
can seem hopeless to those who are significantly out-of-shape. Much
of the exercise in the Primal approach is a functional activity-based
approach. In essence, you are trying to recreate the types of movements
and activities that our ancestors might have carried out. In the
process of doing so, an exercise effect is achieved as a byproduct
of the activity. This is how it occurred in our distant past, and
it is what our bodies are evolved to do.
when starting out is that the Primal approach to diet can be challenging
because we have suffered metabolic damage that makes it challenging
to revert to our genetic default state. There are addictions to
overcome, and new metabolic trails to be blazed. This is the beauty
of Mark's 30 day challenges
they help you to navigate through
the transition period.
While the dietary
changes can be challenging, the challenge of exercise can be almost
insurmountable for those just starting out. The one significant
problem with a functional approach to exercise, is that it assumes
a given level of fitness
a level that may not exist. Further,
the activity is simply a re-enactment of what a human should be
capable of with an exercise effect occurring as a by-product or
side-effect. Also, functional movements (running, crawling, jumping,
dragging heavy objects) all involve encountering significant forces.
Without an appropriate level of conditioning, these forces can produce
injury, and sometimes the injury can be bad enough to permanently
sideline any effort at achieving fitness.
Do not get
me wrong, these functional activities are an important part of a
Primal lifestyle, but they should (in my opinion) be the joyful
expression of a body fully capable, not an artificial mimicking
of the past as a means of producing an exercise effect. So before
trying to throw stones or drag heavy rocks, let us discuss how the
beginner can start to establish a degree of fitness that will actually
make these activities what they are supposed to be: a joyful expression
of a strong body.
Yourself Up to Win Step 1: Decide How Much Time Per Week You Can
Honestly Spend on Fitness
Most people shoot themselves down with too much enthusiasm. Don?t
think in the realm of 6 our 8 hours, because you know this will
not work out in the long-term. Remember, we are looking for a lifestyle
change. If I could convince you that you could make major changes
in your fitness with just 2 total hours per week I suspect this
would make you feel like this is doable. Once you have some hope,
you are on your way. So 2 hours it is
.120 minutes out of a
whole week. Perfect!
Yourself Up to Win Step 2: Take Your Answer from Step 1 and Divide
Yup. You heard
right. Divide 120 minutes by 10 for a grand total of 12 minutes.
That is all I?m going to give you to get into condition to become
a functional human animal. Do not let yourself become skeptical.
Do not say to yourself there is no way 12 minutes is enough.
Simply embrace the fact that there is NO WAY that you will be unable
to carve 12 minutes out of your week.
Yourself Up to Win Step 3: Be Willing to Be Shown a Way of Exercising
That Is So Hard That 12 Minutes Is All You Can Stand
This is where
the catch is. If you do this properly, 12 minutes will be all you
can stand. The thought of extending this to 13 minutes will not
cross your mind. In fact, within the first 90 seconds you will start
to think how much longer till this is over?
Yourself Up to Win Step 4: Do No Other Formal Exercise for the Rest
of the Week
other planned exercise. But what if you get antsy and want to work
out 2 times per week? Fine, but if you do, it needs to be two 6-minute
sessions AND they need to be so hard that 6 minutes is all you can
stand. In the initial weeks it is perfectly acceptable if you do
nothing else. In fact this is encouraged
up to a point. After
4-12 weeks (depending on your starting level of conditioning) you
will get the uncontrollable urge to do something active. When (and
only when) this happens, you should cautiously go out and do something.
It can be as physically demanding as you like, but it must NOT be
formal exercise. This activity should be experienced as PLAY
if others define it as functional exercise. As you become better
conditioned, the active genotype that is deep within your DNA will
wake up and it will drive you to be more and more active. Once you
are at this level, continue to do your once a week workout with
ever-increasing intensity, progressively improving your strength
and metabolic condition. As you become ever more conditioned, then
you will be well-protected as you learn the skills of a fully functional
Your 12 minutes
of exercise should be composed of 4 or 5 movements. These movements
should be basic compound movements that require very little skill
to perform. You should aim for low skill movements because all of
your attention needs to be focused on effort and rapid fatigue not
performing a complex movement that requires a lot of concentration.
If you have access to a commercial gym, performing these movements
on quality machines will allow you even more focus on effort as
opposed to the movement. The best equipment available in commercial
gyms would be from Med-X or Nautilus. Plate-loaded equipment such
as Hammer Strength or Pendulum is also a good choice. Cybex and
other common pieces can work as well, but are generally not as good
as the ones listed above. The movements to perform are as follows:
A palms up, slightly narrower than shoulder width grip is best.
This can also be done as a chin up (weight assisted chin-ups are
available at many gyms).
- Chest Press:
Set up so starting point is hands just below nipple level and
not too deep (hands even with the front plane of chest-shoulder
and elbows at about 90 degrees).
Row: A pulling motion in the horizontal plane.
Press: Use a palms facing each other grip as opposed to palms
facing forward which externally rotates your upper arm and impinges
the shoulder joint.
- Leg Press:
Starting point should be leg and hip joint at about 90 degrees.
An extremely deep starting position is not necessary.
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December 17, 2011
© 2011 Mark's Daily Apple
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