"I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand." -Ben Franklin

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Natural Movement: Grok On!

Like many people, I don't like working out. I really don't like treadmills (I can't vary my speed without pressing buttons), tracks (I'm not a hamster or lab rat-- going around in circles isn't my thing), or any of the other machines or conventional ways of exercising. But since I don't want to be skinny-fat, working out is a must.

However, after reading the Paleo books, Frank Forencich's Exuberant Animal, and sites like Wild Movement and MovNat, I realized that typical gym machines and tracks aren't necessary, and neither are workout DVDs (though I must admit that I do kind of enjoy the Urban Rebounder). The Paleo way of working out doesn't involve any of that stuff-- instead, you need to embrace your inner caveman or animal and get outside!

If you live near a woodsy area, perfect: you've got an entire Paleo playground at your fingertips. If not, try a local park-- usually there are things there that you can use. You don't need much more than logs, rocks, and anything else found in nature. Take a look at this video by MovNat founder, Erwan Le Corre-- he demonstrates many ways that you can use what's found in your natural environment for your workout:

I did something similar to this today (though not nearly as intense or cool as in the video)-- I strapped on my Vibrams and headed into the woods for a morning of log-lifting, sprinting, and rock climbing. It started with moving logs from point A to point B (and sprinting back to get more logs), then climbing up a giant rock and throwing logs or rocks off of it, then climbing down and moving the logs again from point B to point C... then more rock climbing and throwing and walking over logs for balance training. Then, of course, the logs were moved back from point C to point A, with sprinting in between. It was a workout that engaged every muscle group and was completely natural-- Grok didn't lift weights in 5-pound increments, and he certainly didn't have access to tracks, DVDs, and exercise machines. The cavemen got their exercise by sprinting after animals (or their kids), climbing boulders and trees, swimming, moving logs and rocks, and walking long distances.

Mark Sisson says the following about Primal fitness:
He also says to:
-Avoid chronic cardio
-Avoid chronic strength training
-Avoid regimented schedules

Logan Marshall of WildMovement said in a recent post, "The Secret to Physical Longevity," that there are "six pillars of lifelong movement":
1. Go barefoot: "If you are serious about physical longetvity, the first thing I recommend you do is lose the shoes." (Read Born to Run and/or check out another great WildMovement post, "Getting Started with Barefoot Running.")
2. Mix it up: "Instead of moving your body in one repetitive way, move it in every way you can think of."
3. Sprint: "Sprint hard every few days, your body will thank you." (Check out Mark Sisson's sprinting routine!)
4. Go functional: "Dodge trees, hurdle logs... train your body for the real world by performing real world functional workouts."
5. Muscles are built in the kitchen: "Achieving optimum physical mobility and maintaining it is so much easier when your diet compliments your activity level."
6. Go flexible: "If they aren't regularly stretched and contracted, muscles become fossilized in bands of non-pliable iron."

Everyone also agrees: play! Go to a playground (check out this month's issue of Paleo Magazine for how to do Paleo workouts at one), play games of frisbee or soccer or anything else with your family and friends, and just be outside and move naturally!

How cavemen sprinted and lifted heavy things:

Agriculture = declining health study:
I encourage you to read this article from yesterday's Science Daily, "Dawn of Agriculture Took Toll on Health."

Quote of the Day:
"Being fit isn't about being able to lift a steel bar or finish an Ironman. It's about rediscovering our biological nature and releasing the wild human animal inside." -Erwan Le Corre

Happy Father's Day!


  1. What a great post! I just took off my shoes and I'm heading outside to play.I'm also going to move a few flower pots to the otherside of my deck. Grok on!

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