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Exercising like a caveman?


Eat less, exercise more. Prescription for weight loss. A lot of people get themselves to the point where they can’t even do the exercise portion of their regime. So we are left with eat less. It’s a good plan. Not something you can conceivable do for a lifetime. I, of course have always subscribed to the notion eat more, exercise less.

I was raised well. I wasn’t fed too much, or I didn’t eat too much. I certainly loved my food like everyone else. The starchy, and fatter the better. Loved my sweets and always had seconds, thirds. I can’t really say I was fat, I was big boned! I wrestled in high school. Never could make weight. Just didn’t have the discipline or care to get to it. Post high school, I began to balloon up. Getting bigger and bigger. Now I could eat whatever I wanted and when ever. I ended up playing Rugby for a great many years and still couldn’t motivate myself to do anything. I would arrive for practice tired, and I would leave practice tired and in pain. I was always saying I want to exercise more. But, then the couch would call and I would have to sit with it for the night, calming it down. A few years back, after retiring from Rugby and moving to Wisconsin, I took up Mixed Martial Arts training. I enjoyed this, and did well. I lost weight and expanded on my flexibility. Then the shop moved, I was stuck again.

Fast forward to the Paleo era. In researching Paleo, you always come across the Paleo fitness blogs. The crossfitters and interval trainers. I latched on and went for a ride. Now, for some of us, we can’t afford to go to an expensive crossfit gym, or buy the expensive high intensity machines, not even the gym memberships were in for me. Most of the stuff seems a waste of money anyway.

I set out to equip myself with the cheapest back yard gym I could. Free tractor tire, free small tires, slosh pipes, jungle gyms.

The basics of the Paleo exercise regime,

The method of crossfit is called HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training. High intensity in that you are doing the max reps in the shortest amount of time of each exercise. Interval in that you are doing a group of exercises as a set. Now we put them together to get our training.

I am not going to divulge my secret routine, because there is none. I do what I think is cool at the time. It is mostly body weight exercises, squats, pull ups, sit ups, pushups, etc… Never the same again. Just do it.

Second is Methode Naturelle. French for natural method of movement. Perfected and created by French naval officer Georges Hebert. Georges, was asked to develop a method of training naval recruits for the French military in the 30’s and 40’s. He modeled the method off of our intrinsic nature of moving in nature naturally. I’m not talking about just bi-pedal movement here.

Methode Naturelle

This method has been updated and transformed today into Movnat. Erwan Le Corre has taken his teaching from Georges and made it into something for today’s culture.

What I want you to take from this is that there is more and certainly better time to spend exercising than at a gym or on a treadmill. As these videos illustrate, be a kid. Reacclimate yourself to running around like you used to as a kid. Too many adults frown or look down on getting on all fours and playing with our kids. We are more content sitting on the park bench and watching. Well now, we don’t have a choice. Ask yourself some questions.

  1. There is a house on fire and you can hear screams from inside. Can you hop up inside a window, crawl through a burning house. Drag the victim through the house up and out a window? Second floor window…Third floor?
  2. There is a child drowning a few 100 feet from shore. Can you swim out and A: drag them back to shore, without drowning yourself or them? B: perform CPR whilst dragging them back to shore, without drowning yourself or them?
  3. You must walk home from work, late at night. Three men jump out and physically attempt to harm you. Can you defend yourself to the point of making a break for it? Can you run long enough and hard enough to get away?
  4. Last question. Can you go to the park with your child (try it even without children) and turn the entire playground into an obstacle course. Can you even walk home afterwards; better yet can you walk to the car?

Most of these situations you hope to never have to realize. What if you get into something similar, less sinister. Would you be able to save a life, your own, your loved one? This goes beyond the adrenaline surge to lift a car off your child’s leg. This is bear crawling, crab walking under a jungle gym, climbing a rope ladder up to the top and jumping the 8 feet to the bottom. Simple movement through nature. Fun, yet still an exercise. Of course there is more to it than just jumping up and heading to the park. Proper stretching and re-stretching are mandatory. You will come back with a whole new idea on pain and soreness. Your body works differently performing a dead lift of a tree trunk then it does in a static environment of the gym. Your feet aren’t on a level surface. The tree trunk isn’t a smooth extruded balanced steel pole.

Your homework, should you choose to accept it, is to go out and do it. Try something new. Post your findings in the comment section and have a blast. Enjoy the scrapped knees and the bug bites. The blisters on the palms of your hands are a sign of attempt at nature, not contempt of nature. Role play a disaster. There’s a bear coming run and climb that tree as fast as you can! Remember what it was like to climb a tree as a kid?

Until next time, caveman out.

[tags paleo, paleo diet, crossfit, hiit, paleo fitness]

[category paleo fitness]

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