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The Apple Core

24/08/2010

The core.

Like any solid idea or program there needs to be a core. The heart of the plan. The center of attention. The reason for being.

In my case I prescribe, like others, to twelve cores of life. Travel back a mere 100 years, perhaps less, they were the mainstays of what your life would be. You could not get through a day without hitting on more than one. Conversely, there is no way to get through the day if you couldn’t do more than one. I have touched on a few of these in previous posts. These cores come from others that have spent far more time and attention to detailing their place in our new re-evolving lifestyle.

The twelve core values to our re-evolving lifestyle.

1. Walking

2. Running

3. Jumping

4. Moving on all fours

5. Balancing

6. Climbing

7. Lifting

8. Carrying

9. Throwing

10. Catching

11. Defending

12. Swimming

In my workout last night I used half of the core values.

Notice in today’s civilized zoo existence we create, there are very few of these cores used. We walk all day or at least every day. Lift groceries into the back of the truck, carry them indoors. We consider these other values either a “Vacation” or a luxury. Maybe even drudgery. When was the last time you went for a swim? When was the last time you practiced defending yourself? When was the last time you did more than two of these…at one time?

In a recent posting on “Mark’s Daily Apple”, he has developed an awesome guide to primal fitness. I highly recommend checking this out. It would not do the guide any justice by narrowing it down to one posting, but, I will try.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/introducing-primal-blueprint-fitness/

I have illustrated the life of our cavemen/ women in the past. I don’t think I need to remind you that they didn’t hunt at their local Starbucks or gather at their local farmers market. There are far more things going on in their daily life than any of us could handle. Both mentally and physically.

What you want to shoot for is a good balance between slow and steady movements and then quick burst. In Mark’s example, it would look like one day of sprinting. Four days of rest, slow movement or play. 2 days of lifting heavy things or doing his Workout of the Week (WOW).

A. Sprinting would consist of 75 – 100% pace sprints, preferably up hill. Start by doing laps on a 50m course (that’s 165ft roughly) at a slow to jogging pace. Progress to sprints once warmed up, one after another. Rest in-between should be kept to a minimum but, give yourself enough time to recover for the next lap. You make your distance, but keep in mind you want to finish! This whole process shouldn’t take longer than 15 to 30 minutes. Establish a distance, set a pace and keep to it. I.e. 8 to 15 seconds per sprint lap.

B. Rest day, slow movement or play. This is the bulk of your time spent. Consider it the days to take a long walk, play Frisbee golf, mow the lawn. Or just simply rest, lay about. Used mostly as recovery days. But, also meant for days to play. Have fun and enjoy some down time. This is the perfect time to find your kids, and play!

C. Lifting heavy things. Lifting things is fairly self explanatory. In my example, I would venture to the local quarry and lift, carry and throw stones. This could be used in a gym format, home gym, backyard, garage or endless other possibilities. Again, you want to incorporate as many of the core values as possible. For example, I will choose three stones, small, medium and large. I will lift, carry and throw (shot put, underarm, over arm or lobe etc…) the smaller stone. I will lift, carry and throw (squat throw, chest toss etc..) the medium stone. I will also try and lift, carry and throw the larger stone. The idea being to involve your upper and lower body in this workout. But, above all, know your limits! This is also a good time to incorporate running, jugging, walking, jumping even balancing into the workout.

D. The WOW, as we talked previously, comes from Mark’s Daily Apple, these are produced once a week on Mondays. These are developed with the core values in mind. They try to incorporate as many of them as possible whilst not requiring equipment. These workouts attempt (well) to mimic the daily life of our primal ancestors. Last night’s workout consisted of the following

a. 50m sprints

b. 25m bear crawls

c. 25m lunges

d. 50m weighted squat thrusts

You can imagine our caveman buddy, chasing his prey, all the while avoiding under hanging tree branches, rocky out croppings by crawling under them. Lunging to avoid danger. Then, triumphantly heaving a stone onto their prey. Do the above workout for time eight times. I won’t divulge my time yet; suffice to say it did kick my ass!

All of these things, as always, are fully scalable to your fitness level. They are guidelines, loosely guarded guidelines. Most people go into things with failure in mind. I knew I would have problems completing this workout. I had many things on my mind that I REALLY wanted to do. I had fasted all day till then, knowing food was waiting for me at the house. I walked a few times, I dragged my feet a lot. I still completed all 8 sets. It took far longer than I thought but I also did far more than I thought I could. Half way through my sets I was even stopped by a Dad and his kids (I work out in my neighborhood Elementary school playground) they asked “what are you doing”. “Most people don’t do this to themselves”. I had the joy, absolute pleasure of telling him how I train to play. How I want to be around for my three kids when I am older. How hard of a time I had just a few short years ago, just getting up off the floor. I could see a light in his eye. I was hitting on a few of his problems. We talked in depth on our similarities in life. We have both traveled the same gravel road. We are both fighting the uphill age battle. I could see he was still the parent that thought he belonged on the bench, but could maybe, just maybe see himself carving up the playground. Training in order to someday play. I may have a training partner in the future.

As one person calls it, our “Zoo Human” existence is starting to break. It takes one to transfer the knowledge to another, then another. Step away from the bench, chair, couch or lounge chair. Go for a walk. Give yourself credit, you can play Frisbee golf. Remind yourself it’s the first step that’s the hardest, not the 100th.

Rock on weird ones,

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