This Article is About
exercise
negative repercussions
interval training
endurance training
push ups
fitness goal
everyday routines
high intensity
hunter gatherer
cross training
cavemen
Primal Exercise Is Safe And Effective
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Primal Exercise is Safe And Effective

Have you ever wondered if our Paleolithic ancestors (cavemen and women) worked out? The answer is not clear-cut. No, they did not work out by our standards. In fact, our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have laughed in our faces if they saw us jogging or working out on a Stairmaster. However, our hunter-gatherer ancestors were extremely active, and in a way that allowed them to be as fit as modern day Olympic athletes, while avoiding the injury that plagues all too many work out fanatics today. They did this through alternative cross training, interval training, and rest.

On average, our Paleolithic ancestors did the equivalent of 11 miles of walking per day. Rarely ever did they actually walk for 11 miles a day, however. Their activity level varied greatly day by day. For instance, one day they might expend a large amount of energy in a short amount of time to kill their dinner, while the next they walked to their neighboring village to share their food. Perhaps the following day they would rest at the neighboring camp and not return home until the day after.

This type of “primal exercise” that our hunter-gatherer ancestors had woven into their everyday routines can be replicated by cross training. Cross training is a type of exercise where multiple large muscle groups are worked intensely for a short amount of time. To do this, different movements are combined into one work out. A typical cross-training work out would be doing 50 air squats, 50 push ups, 50 sit ups, and running 400 meters for time (as fast as possible). This type of anaerobic training has proven to be more effective in reaching practically any fitness goal faster and with fewer negative repercussions than endurance training.

Interval training is also an effective way to replicate primal exercise. Interval training is a type of exercise that alternates low intensity aerobics with high intensity bursts of anaerobic activity. An example of this is running for 20 minutes, sprinting for 30 seconds every 2 minutes. The anaerobic bursts are the key to receiving the benefits from interval training. These high intensity intervals give your metabolism a boost, which helps you lose weight, and increases your lactate threshold, which means you can work out for longer without experiencing that nasty lactic acid burning sensation through your muscles.

Now don’t get caught up in all this fun work out talk and forget to take a day off. Rest days are absolutely crucial to replicating primal exercise, which kept our ancestors in impeccable physical shape. Rest days prevent us from overworking our muscles and joints, and prevent us from getting stress fractures. Heck, rest days help us prevent STRESS, period! Our Paleolithic ancestors never trained their pet wallaby to wake them up before the sun rose just so they could get in their daily jog. When we do crazy stuff like cutting off our sleep just so we can “stick to our work out schedule,” we are causing our body physical stress, which further messes with sleep and starts a nasty snowball effect. The point is, chill out, and get some rest.

The varied activity our Paleolithic ancestors had built into their lifestyles kept them extremely fit and strong. They had to expend huge amounts of energy doing things that today take little to no effort. This is why we have to make the conscious decision to be active: we no longer have significant activity built into our lives! By replicating primal exercise through cross training and interval training, as well as remembering to schedule rest days, we can start moving toward that high level of fitness and health. Find some good cross training workout routines, make sure you understand the proper form for the movements involved, and go work out like a caveman!


Street Talk

good info

Reply
  about 4 years ago
Irksy  

Interesting article! I've made the mistake of skipping rest days before and it really makes a big difference. Sometimes you get so motivated to reach your goals you try to push yourself too hard.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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