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Paleo workouts that are heavy on results—and low on equipment investment

Paleo Workouts For Dummies offers a program of back-to-the-Stone-Age exercises with specially designed workouts that burn fat, fight disease, and increase energy. The paleo workouts found in this step-by-step guide, promote sound activities with a strong emphasis on practicing and mastering fundamental/primitive human movements such as squats, hinges, pushes/pulls, sprints, crawls, and more.

Paleo Workouts For Dummies caters to the anti-gym crowd who want a convenient program that can be used anywhere, anytime. In addition, vital details on healthy Paleolithic foods that maximize energy levels for the intense workout routines are covered.

  • Companion workout videos can be accessed, for free, at
  • The video content aids you in mastering paleo moves and techniques covered in the book
  • Offers a complete cardiovascular and strength workout

By focusing on the primal movements that humans evolved to perform, Paleo Workouts For Dummies is for anyone following a paleo diet routine as well as those curious about how to maximize their paleo workouts.

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				Chapter 8

				Primal Power Moves for Explosive Athleticism

				In This Chapter

				[image: arrow] Discovering what power training is and how you can benefit from it

				[image: arrow] Forging dense, durable muscle with the primal power moves

				[image: arrow] Developing raw, explosive power


				The benefits of power training are humungous. Power moves rely on a highly efficient nervous system and perfectly coordinated movement. To express force rapidly is to exhibit movement efficiency, which is a marker of natural athleticism. Power training makes you stronger, leaner, faster, and more robust. It gives you the edge.

				That said, precision should always precede power. That’s why the movements in this chapter are the last in the series of the primal exercise progressions. They’re the true power movements — and by power, we mean the ability to rapidly exert force. In previous chapters, we cover explosive movements, such as sprinting, the swing, the clean, and the snatch, but the movements in this chapter require a higher degree of technical proficiency and take the most skill.

				All the movements in this chapter are extremely explosive, high-velocity exercises. They build on the skills in Chapters 5, 6, and 7. For example, the swing shows you how to produce and reduce force with your hips, a necessary skill before attempting the broad jump or the box jump, which we introduce in this chapter. The military press and the Turkish get-up (Chapter 3) prepare your shoulders for the overhead demands of the jerk.

				[image: warning_bomb.eps]	If you haven’t mastered with confidence all the skills leading up to this chapter, be sure to get comfortable with those skills before proceeding. If you try the movements in this chapter too soon, you may increase the risk of unnecessary injury.

				Understanding Primal Power

				Primal power is developing power by pushing around heavy things, by jumping, and by sprinting. You don’t need any fancy, technical equipment. The good old-fashioned mov; es work just fine — actually, they work the best.

				As we state in the chapter introduction, power is the ability to exert force rapidly. In other words, power is the amount of work you perform in a certain amount of time. So you can increase power in only three ways:

				[image: check.png] Increasing the amount of work you perform over a certain amount of time

				[image: check.png] Performing the same amount of work but decreasing the amount of time it takes you to do it

				[image: check.png] Performing more work in less time

				[image: warning_bomb.eps]	Although power should be your priority when seeking strength, leanness, and athleticism, it shouldn’t necessarily come first. You need a solid foundation of mobility, stability, and strength before you start to add in power training. If you train power without the proper foundation, injury isn’t a matter of if but when. See Chapters 5, 6, and 7 for exercises to build this foundation.

				Your need for speed

				The cave man likely engaged in power-based movements on a regular basis. These types of movements were essential to his survival after all. If he wanted to eat, he likely had to sprint to catch his food and even more likely had to spear it (or stone it) then throw it up over his shoulder and haul it back to camp. He couldn’t perform these tasks sluggishly.

				Humans aren’t meant to be slow-moving creatures, at least not all the time. We’re designed to sprint, run, jump, throw, and everything in between. For this reason, our muscles are made up of both slow-twitch fibers (for endurance endeavors) and fast-twitch fibers (for short, explosive bouts).

				The benefits of power training

				Training the fast-twitch fibers, or training in an explosive manner, is quite taxing on the nervous system, especially when you train with weight; therefore, power training offers a very high strength return. Many of the power training movements we explore throughout the rest of the chapter become a blend of heavy strength efforts and elevated cardiovascular stress — meaning you get more work done and burn more calories in less time.

				Fast-twitch fibers are also the “look good” muscle fibers, the kind that offer the most grow the quickest and offer the most definition. You can think of them as the mirror muscles because they stand out most vividly when you look into a mirror.

				Those who benefit most frequently from power training are athletes. The power moves help them move faster, hit harder, jump higher, and so on. But you don’t have to be an athlete to reap these rewards. In other words, you don’t have to be an athlete to train like an athlete. Now, we’re not saying that everyone should train exactly like an athlete, but everyone can benefit from some elements of training like high-level athletes — power training is one of them.

				[image: tip.eps]	When training the power movements, you want to minimize fatigue as much as possible. Fatigue slows you down and saps your power. The easiest way to minimize fatigue is to allow as much rest as you need in between sets.

				Beginner Power Moves

				We start off the power moves with the push press and the broad jump. These movements are both fairly low-skill movements, but they each have their little nuances. Often, the nuances make up movement quality.

				With that being said, go easy on yourself with these two movements. They’re a starting point, intended to give you the framework needed for the more technical lifts later in this chapter, such as the jerk and the box jump.

				The push press

				The push press is what people tend to do naturally when attempting to press a weight that’s too heavy for them — they use their legs to help drive it up. The difference with this power movement is that you do the leg drive intentionally, not out of desperation.

				The push press shows you how to generate force from the ground and transfer it through your body and up overhead. You often see movements similar to the push press, such as the Viking push press, in strongman competitions because it’s a clear demonstration of upper body power and work capacity as well as a developer of both.

				The groove, or path of the weight, with the push press is slightly different from the military press (see Chapter 6). Because you’re driving the weight up more so from your lower body than your upper body, the path should be more vertical, or straight up and down, instead of arcing slightly outward. Other than that, if you have a solid military press, you should be able to master the push press in no time. Simply follow these steps:

					1.	Clean a weight (either a kettlebell or dumbbell) up into the rack position (see Chapter 5 for cleaning techniques and check out Figure 8-1a).

						Keep your forearm vertical in the rack position, not angled, to ensure a smooth transition into the overhead lockout.

					2.	Dip down, slightly bending your knees (see Figure 8-1b).

						It’s okay if your knees come forward here because you’re performing a dip, not a squat; just be sure you don’t dip too low — dip just enough but not a smidgeon more. Doing so will diminish your power and fatigue your quads prematurely.

					3.	Immediately reverse the dip, driving your heel hard into the ground and imagine that you’re trying to jump the weight up overhead. Catch the weight overhead in a full lockout position (see Figure 8-1c).

						The bell should float up overhead from the drive of your lower body. The arm assists, but the legs do most of the work.

					4.	Let the weight drop back down into the rack quickly (don’t resist it) and catch it softly by re-entering the dip.

					[image: 9781118657911-fg0801.eps]

					Photos courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

				Figure 8-1: The push press develops upper body power and work capacity.

				The broad jump

				[image: warning_bomb.eps]	If, for any reason, you have issues with jumping — whether it be knee-, back-, or hip-related — don’t jump! And if you have prominent movement restrictions or dysfunction, especially with your squatting or hinging, then jumping probably isn’t the best option for you. Stick with the lower impact variations until your movement quality improves. If you don’t have any issues with jumping and want to keep it that way, then pay very close attention to everything we say in this section.

				Jumping is a necessary endeavor in almost all sports and other recreational activities, so it’s important to know how to jump properly. Jumping is a tremendous tool for developing explosive lower body power and improving the rate of force production.

				The broad jump is an outward jump, or a distance jump (think jumping across a stream); it’s not a vertical leap. The movement that most closely mimics the broad jump is the kettlebell swing because you direct the force outward. In fact, you can think of your kettlebell swing almost like a broad jump where you don’t leave the ground. See Chapter 5 for details on the kettlebell swing.

				Here are the steps to the broad jump:

					1.	Assume a shoulder-width stance; initiate the jump by hinging at your hips, just like you would a kettlebell swing, and throwing your arms back behind you (see Figure 8-2a).

					2.	Explode forward (don’t forget to swing your arms!) and spring off the balls of your feet; let the sway of your arms guide the movement (see Figure 8-2b).

						Be sure to synchronize your arm swing with your hip hinge. You’ll have to experiment a little with the amount of torso lean in your jump to find that “just right” position.

					3.	When you land, make contact first with the balls of your feet (your feet should land slightly apart) and roll gently back onto your heels and into a partial position to disperse the impact (see Figure 8-2c).

						Whatever you do, don’t lock your knees because they act as natural shock absorbers.

				[image: warning_bomb.eps]	If anything feels wrong with the broad jump, stop immediately. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that you’re doing something wrong.

					[image: 9781118657911-fg0802.eps]

					Photos courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

				Figure 8-2: Your feet leave the ground and land on the ground together with the broad jump.

				Intermediate Power Moves

				You can expect to spend a considerable amount of time working out the technical nuances of the two movements in this section: the jerk and the box jump. These two colossal power and speed exercises are both technical and delicate. Even the most minor infraction, or incongruence, impedes performance.

				These two movements develop much more than force production. They show you how to move rapidly and how to do so with eloquence. Think of an Olympic lifter who snatches or jerks a barbell; the movement is so fluid it could almost be described as romantic.

				Although we don’t show you barbell cleans, jerks, snatches, or any other Olympic lifts in this book, the variations we show you (which you use with kettlebells, dumbbells, or other weights of the sort) offer nearly identical benefits, are quicker to learn, and come with a lower risk for injury.

				[image: tip.eps]	Olympic lifting is a highly technical skill, and anyone who wants to get into Olympic lifting should start by seeking out a highly qualified Olympic lifting coach. For the rest of you, keep reading.

				The jerk

				The jerk was originally intended for a single purpose: to heave the most weight overhead as humanly possible. And although that’s still a commendable purpose, the jerk has since taken on many other useful functions. When performed with a lighter load and for higher repetitions, the jerk not only remains a great power developer but also challenges the cardiovascular system.

				Kettlebell sport (called Girevoy sport), which is much more popular in Western culture than in the United States, features high-repetition jerks (often performed for ten minutes at a time) as a competitive event. The power, muscularity, and fluid movement of these competitors are a testament to the effectiveness of high-repetition jerks for building a truly remarkable physique.

				With that being said, we highly encourage you to perform your jerks with a kettlebell because it lends itself perfectly for the movement. But if you don’t have a kettlebell handy, a dumbbell will work fine as well.

				The jerk starts out as a push press (see earlier section in this chapter) but adds in a second dip (or quarter squat) where the lifter attempts to “sneak under the weight.” The idea here is that by moving your body under the weight, you shorten the distance the weight has to travel; and the less distance the weight has to travel, the more weight you should be able to lift. Makes sense, right?

				Follow these steps to do the jerk:

					1.	Clean the weight up into the rack position and assume a shoulder-width stance. Start the jerk the same way you would a push press, by taking a shallow dip (see Figure 8-3a).

						Don’t take long to get into the dip. Think “quick down, quick up,” like a spring!

					2.	Explode out of the dip exactly how you would a push press. As the weight is accelerating upward, shoot your hips back and land your weight back onto your heels (see Figure 8-3b), coming into a quarter squat position to “sneak under the weight” and catching the weight overhead in a full lockout position (see Figure 8-3c).

						It’s okay if your heels leave the ground during the upward portion of the jerk, but they should be planted when you shoot your hips back to catch the weight.

					3.	Stand up out of the quarter squat with the weight locked out overhead to complete the repetition (see Figure 8-3d). Let the weight fall quickly back into the rack position (catch it softly with a dip if you need to) and repeat.

					[image: 9781118657911-fg0803.eps]

					Photos courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

				Figure 8-3: The easy way to learn the jerk is with patience. Keep practicing and you’ll find the groove.

				The box jump

				The box jump takes some of the impact out of jumping because you’re landing on an elevated surface. So then why do we put the box jump in the intermediate section and the broad jump in the beginner section, you ask? We’ve done so because you need to develop proper landing mechanics before anything else, and the broad jump is a great way to do that.

				Although the box jump is a bit more forgiving than the broad jump, it’s equally challenging and offers its own unique benefits. For one, the box jump helps you develop stand-still explosiveness — the ability to rapidly “turn it on.” Like the broad jump, the box jump helps you increase your natural rate of force production. The box jump is more of a vertical leap, whereas the broad jump is horizontal. Simply put, you jump up with the box jump, and you jump out with the broad jump. The projection of force with the box jump is more like the snatch, while the broad jump is more like the swing.

				When working the box jump, keep the box you’re using at or under 36 inches. Higher box jumps ultimately become more of a function of hip mobility than actual explosiveness, and the marginal benefits to be had from leaping to such heights don’t merit the additional risks.

				The following steps walk you through the box jump:

					1.	Set up slightly behind the box or surface you’re leaping onto, and assume your natural jumping stance. Initiate the jump by squatting slightly downward, taking a shallow dip (see Figure 8-4a).

						Here’s one way the movement differs from the broad jump. When leaping upward, your take-off comes out of something more like a shallow dip than a hinge.

					2.	Explode out of the dip, leaping up onto the box (see Figure 8-4b).

						The goal is to stick the landing softly, like a cat, with some knee bend and both feet landing simultaneously. Essentially, you should land in almost the exact some position you took off from. If you’re landing in a very deep squat, you’re probably using too high of a box.

					3.	Step — don’t jump — down from the box.

						Jumping down from the box has little benefit and can cause injury.

					[image: 9781118657911-fg0804.eps]

					Photos courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

				Figure 8-4: Use a box under 36 inches when performing the box jump.

				Advanced Power Moves

				In this section, we show you the double jerk and the double snatch. Both of these movements ultimately land the weight in the same overhead position as the jerk or military press, but each of them takes a distinctly different method of getting it there.

				What’s great about these double techniques is that they’re nearly identical to their single technique counterparts, save a few minor tweaks here and there. All you really need to do is add more power. So if you master techniques in progression of difficulty/power, you should be able to pick up these advanced movements more quickly and easily. That said, don’t hesitate to review the single techniques before jumping in to the advanced moves in this section.

				For as explosive as the double jerk and double snatch are, they’re both relatively low impact. Neither movement — which are best performed with either a set of kettlebells or dumbbells, by the way — has you leaving the ground. So although these movements are advanced, chances are they’re still viable options to develop power for those who haven’t been cleared for high-impact exercises.

				The double jerk

				The double jerk basically involves cleaning two weights up into the rack position then blasting them up overhead. Like the jerk, which we show you earlier in this chapter, the double jerk may serve multiple purposes. You can use it for pure power and strength generation (lifting the most possible weight overhead), or you can use it for strength endurance and metabolic purposes (lifting weight overhead for multiple repetitions).

				What makes the double jerk so special is that when you combine it with the clean (which you’ll do most of the time), it works just about every single pushing and pulling muscle in the entire body. It’s as comprehensive as an exercise can possibly get.

				[image: tip.eps]	When you perform the jerk consecutively (without cleaning the weight between each repetition) it’s referred to as short-cycle. When you perform a clean between each repetition of the jerk, it’s referred to as long-cycle.

				Here’s how to do the double jerk:

					1.	Clean two kettlebells or dumbbells up into the rack position (see Figure 8-5a) and initiate the double jerk the same way you would the single jerk by taking a shallow dip (see earlier section and check out Figure 8-5b).

						Don’t waste any more time down in the dip than you have to. The more time you spend in the dip, the more fatigued your legs will become, and the less power you’ll have.

					2.	Explode out of the dip, launching the bells upward.

						As you explode out of the dip, think “jump the weight up.”

					3.	As the weight soars upward, shoot your hips back to “sneak under it,” achieving a full lockout overhead and landing in a quarter squat position (see Figure 8-5c).

						Be explosive when shooting your hips back into the quarter squat and shift the majority of your weight onto your heels.

					4.	Stand up out of the quarter squat while keeping the weight locked out overhead to complete the movement, as shown in Figure 8-5d.

					5.	Rise up onto your tippy toes to meet the weight halfway as you let it drop back down into the rack position.

						You may want to further cushion the impact by landing again in a shallow dip.

					[image: 9781118657911-fg0805.eps]

					Photos courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

				Figure 8-5: The double jerk works multiple pushing and pulling muscles.

				The double snatch

				The double snatch is identical to the single snatch with the exception of stance width (just wide enough to accommodate the weight).

				Simply put, the double snatch is a power bomb. You rip the weight off the ground, swing it between your legs, and explode it up overhead in one smooth, uninterrupted fashion. Completing this movement is a commendable effort to say the least.

				The double snatch develops hip drive (an athlete’s engine) like nothing before it. Except for high-level Olympic lifting, the double snatch is perhaps the ultimate exercise for developing explosive power. It’s quite a heinous conditioning tool as well. Think you’re ready to give it a go? Follow these steps:

					1.	Set up precisely how you would for a kettlebell swing (see Chapter 5), with a stance just wide enough to accommodate both weights (either two kettlebells or two dumbbells).

					2.	Start with a forceful hike back (see Figure 8-6a).

						This movement isn’t a dead snatch, where you rip the weight straight from the ground, so be sure to start each rep with a strong hike back.

					3.	Explode out of the hinge, standing up as quickly as possible (think “jump,” but keep your heels on the ground).

					4.	Let your elbows bend slightly to guide the path of the weight upward, but don’t let the weight arc out too wildly (see Figure 8-6b).

					5.	As the bells approach eye level, begin to “punch through” into the overhead lockout position. Bring the weights back down into the rack position before throwing them into another backswing and repeating the movement.

					[image: 9781118657911-fg0806.eps]

					Photos courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

				Figure 8-6: The hips power the double snatch entirely; the arms simply guide the weights where they need to go.






				About the Authors

				Dr. Kellyann Petrucci earned her bachelor’s degree from Temple University, hosted her alma mater’s Department of Public Health Intern Program, and mentored students entering the health field. She earned her master’s degree from St. Joseph’s University and Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Logan College of Chiropractic, where she served as the Postgraduate Chairperson. She enrolled in postgraduate coursework in Europe. She also studied Naturopathic Medicine at the College of Naturopathic Medicine, London. She is one of the few practitioners in the United States certified in Biological Medicine by the esteemed Dr. Thomas Rau, of the Paracelsus Klinik Lustmuhle, Switzerland. 

				During Dr. Kellyann’s many years as a doctor/consultant at her thriving nutrition-based practice in the Philadelphia area, she’s helped dozens of patients overcome major health issues while building the strongest, healthiest body possible. With years of research and observation, Dr. Kellyann learned that feeling — and looking — good came down to simple principles and food values that made an astonishing difference in people’s lives. Dr. Kellyann found the principles of living Paleo to be the key for those who wished to open the door to losing weight, boosting immunity and fighting aging. With the hundreds of Paleo successes she’s seen thus far, Dr. Kellyann is committed more than ever to continuing to spread the Paleo lifestyle message.

				Dr. Kellyann has written these health and lifestyle books: Living Paleo For Dummies, Paleo Cookbook For Dummies, and Boost Your Immunity for Dummies (all from Wiley). She appears on various news streams nationally and conducts workshops and seminars worldwide to help people feel and look their best. She is also the author of the popular website, and gives daily news, tips and inspiration on Twitter @drkellyann. 

				With her national Paleo door-to-door home delivery food service,, the busy mother of two young sons is committed to making a Paleo lifestyle convenient for everyone, including the extremely busy!

				Patrick Flynn is a fitness minimalist, and he wants to help you to eat and exercise more deliberately. Pat believes the secret to a good exercise is simplicity and that any dietary or fitness regimen will improve in direct ratio to the number of things kept out of it that shouldn’t be there. 

				Pat is the founder of, a top 500 health and wellness blog focused on helping people find clarity in the world of weights through a “less is more” approach to fitness. Pat strips diet and exercise down to its fewest and most fundamental components, helping you to separate the gold from the garbage and to get going with what actually works for forging a leaner, harder, and healthier physique.

				Pat writes mostly on minimalistic kettlebell and bodyweight training for strength, mobility, and fat loss. He also covers intermittent fasting, hormone optimization, sex, health, longevity, supplementation, and any other topic that he believes his readers will find somewhat useful. 

				For a free guide on kettlebell training for strength and fat loss, visit Pat's website at Pat also offers private online coaching. It's expensive, but word on the street is that it's worth it.


				From Dr. Kellyann Petrucci: I dedicate this book to my parents, John and El Petrucci. They set such a high standard for healthy living in my home growing up, and I’m so grateful for that. Now in their late 70s, they are a pure example of the payoff when you chose to live your life physically active, choose to flood your mind with optimism, and are mindful of healthy nutrition. They are as active as anyone in their 40s, and every day still continues to be an adventure. My mother, a beautiful artist, spends her days painting and taking courses from the greatest artist. My father thinks nothing of walking 18 holes on the golf course, carrying his bag with the biggest smile on his face the entire time. Oh, and then there’s the “workout.” A few times per week, they bust it up in my sister’s health center doing metabolic and strength training in the absolute awe of everyone around them. They truly are enjoying their life. All of it.

				This attitude does transcend. I would like to think my sister and I (she’s a doc as well) have had something to do with their healthy lifestyle, and we certainly have made an impact. But really, it’s the other way around. It was my parents’ lifestyle practices growing up that made an indelible impression on all of their kids. My sister and I became doctors practicing wellness principles. My younger brother has a black belt in tae kwon do and has been a jujitsu instructor for over 20 years. My older brother is a competitive cyclist in all disciplines and competes throughout the country. He’s even a former three-time state champion on the track. We all have taken on healthy lifestyle practices because of the example set before us. Now, all of our kids are following the same path. I’m forever grateful I was fortunate enough to have such great role models, whose impact will be felt for generations. Thanks, John and El.  

				From Patrick Flynn: I would like to dedicate this book to Christine Mooney. I love you. And to bacon. 

				Authors’ Acknowledgments

				From Dr. Kellyann Petrucci: I’m super lucky to have Pat Flynn as my coauthor on this project. We first met at a mastermind group and became instant friends. We found that our values and vision for health and wellness were exceedingly congruent and knew this book had to be. I call Pat the “Mark Twain of fitness” because of his great intellect, wit, and charm. These attributes are rounded by the fact that he harbors a unique philosophy on how to exercise and live more deliberately, which makes him the fitness guru to so many. I’m appreciative to have collaborated with him on such a wonderful project and to have become such great friends. 

				If anyone has ever given you a shot in life, you’ll know why I have such deep gratitude for my agent, Bill Gladstone of Waterside Productions. He gave me my first big break purely from instinct, and I am forever thankful for his faith and intuition. Thanks also to Margot Hutchinson of Waterside Productions, who was on my side pitching from the beginning, and who is now more than  my agent but a great friend.

				To my colleagues at Wiley, especially Acquisitions Editor Tracy Boggier, who has been incredibly responsive and always in my court. To my project editor Tim Gallan, thanks for lending your talents to help us build this book. And big thanks to the masterful copy editor Jennette ElNaggar, who has worked with me on several books and doesn’t let me get away with a thing! Thanks. 

				From Patrick Flynn: The lovely and brilliant Dr. Petrucci deserves my first acknowledgment and by a significant margin. This book would not have been if it weren’t for her, and I couldn’t have asked for a more capable partner. Her brain is huge, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it weighed near to four pounds. Her passion to help others in their quest for health, strength, and longevity is very close to psychotic. And her ability to actually do so is bewildering, if not downright magical. Nonetheless, she is a wonderful woman, charming as a waterfall and overflowing with radiance. Dr. Petrucci, I suspect, knows more about healthy living than the person who invented it, and I would without hesitation entrust to her care my very own sweet and tender grandmother and not have to worry once about phoning for the hearse.

				My second acknowledgment goes to that very same sweet and tender grandmother. My third to my mother, fourth to my father, and fifth to my grandfather. (These are in no order of importance, mind you. I’m merely granting them admission as they applied.) My sixth acknowledgment goes to Jennette, the copy editor of this book, for helping me with my spelling and grammar. My seventh acknowledgment I would like to give to my two dogs, Lola and Chewie, who are of the St. Bernard breed and drool quite a bit. I thank you both for teaching me everything I know about quantum mechanics. (And then I said, “That’s no St. Bernard; that’s my mom!”) My next acknowledgment, which I believe brings us to number eight, I give to the whole of The Dragon Gym: Somnath Sikdar, Lonnie Beck, Diana Volante, Chris Taylor, and a few other people here and there whose names and faces escape me at the moment.

				My next acknowledgment, my ninth, goes to my agent, Margot. Thank you for selling me. I realize that must have been absurdly difficult. 

				I am giving my third to last acknowledgment to all my readers and followers over at I couldn’t do what I do if it wasn’t for your kindly donations. (All proceeds, I assure you, go to my direct financial benefit.)

				Oh, and my second to last acknowledgment, goes out to the guy who sold me my last car. I think you did a fine job swindling me, and I will find you.

				My last acknowledgment goes out to all the rest of my friends in this world. You know who you are, and I will be sending both of you a signed copy of this book.

				Publisher’s Acknowledgments

				Acquisitions Editor: Tracy Boggier

				Senior Project Editor: Tim Gallan

				Copy Editor: Jennette ElNaggar

				Technical Editor: Andrea U-Shi Chang

				Art Coordinator: Alicia B. South

				Photographer: Rebekah Ulmer

				Project Coordinator: Kristie Rees

				Cover Image: © Rebekah Ulmer 



				[image: IFC_top]

				To access the cheat sheet specifically for this book, go to

				[image: IFC_bottom]

				Find out "HOW" at



				Part IV

				Paleo Nutrition

				[image: 9781118657911-pp0401.eps]

				Illustration by Wiley, Composition Services Graphics

				[image: pt_webextra_bw.TIF]	Choosing the right foods can help you perform better when exercising. Check out for information on the benefits of including healthy fats in your diet.  

				In this part . . .

				[image: check.png] Find out which foods you should chuck from your freezer, refrigerator, pantry, and life to realize optimal health on the Paleo diet.

				[image: check.png] Replace common everyday foods with gluten-free, dairy-free, and nutrient-dense Paleo foods.

				[image: check.png] Recognize the benefits of the Paleo diet for athletes of all kinds, from the weekend warrior to the elite endurance athlete.

				[image: check.png] Take Paleo living beyond nutrition and exercise with relaxation, quality sleep, good sun exposure, and clean water.



				Chapter 18

				Ten Primal-Approved Supplements for the Modern Man and Woman

				In This Chapter

				[image: arrow] Understanding when to supplement and why

				[image: arrow] Discovering the safest and most effective supplements


				The cave man didn’t have the luxury of supplementation. But it would be downright silly to renounce any and all advancements that have happened over the last million years or so.

				Before we go further, we need to make one thing clear: Supplementation means “in addition to,” not “in replace of.” Adding supplementation to a poor diet and exercise routine is like giving glasses to a blind person. It’s just not going to do any good. And here’s another metaphor: Supplementation is like hot sauce; it can make something that’s really good (diet and exercise) even better. And a little bit goes a very long way.

				With that being said, not all supplementation is effective or safe. In fact, most supplements out there today are unnecessary and a complete waste of money and time. But in this chapter, we show you ten primal-approved supplements to help you get the most out of Paleo fitness. These ten supplements are actually worth your money.


				A few years ago, creatine was a hot debate. But the research is now abundantly clear: Not only is creatine safe, but it’s also effective. Put your mind at ease because all the myths about creatine being bad for your kidneys have long since been debunked.

				Creatine is a naturally occurring acid in your body that helps supply energy, and it’s the most commonly used sports performance supplement in the world. It works at the cellular level to replenish your body’s primary source of energy, adenosine triphosphate. The effect is increased work output.

				Perhaps a simpler way to think of creatine is as a stored form of energy that your body can access very quickly. The benefit of this stored energy, naturally, is that it serves to boost your performance in the gym.

				Creatine may soon move from being a sports performance supplement to a general health supplement, because it’s now showing great promise in preventing and helping treat illnesses, such as the following:

				[image: check.png] Congestive heart failure

				[image: check.png] Depression

				[image: check.png] Diabetes

				[image: check.png] Muscle diseases

				[image: check.png] Neurological disease

				[image: check.png] Parkinson’s disease

				And if that’s not enough, creatine has also demonstrated impressive cognitive benefits, such as the ability to improve memory function and retention.

				Is creatine necessary? No, not by any means. And really, if you’re following the Paleo diet, you’re already getting creatine — because it’s found naturally in meat and seafood — just not nearly as much as what’s provided in the form of supplementation.

				If you think creatine may be right for you, be sure to purchase a form of creatine that isn’t tainted with other harmful chemicals (such as artificial sweeteners) or any other unnecessary supplements.

				Greens Supplements

				Greens supplements are fruits, veggies, grasses, algae, and sometimes grasses that have all been compacted and condensed into powdered form. You can think of greens supplement as the new-age multivitamin. And we actually prefer a greens supplement to a multivitamin because greens supplements come directly from whole, live foods, whereas many multivitamins are synthetic, or man-made. Synthetic multivitamins aren’t nearly as potent as a greens supplement, and some evidence suggests that man-made vitamins may actually do more harm than good!

				Greens supplements offer a convenient and potent supply of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients, all which help to

				[image: check.png] Boost energy

				[image: check.png] Enhance recovery

				[image: check.png] Improve antioxidant support

				[image: check.png] Support bone health

				[image: check.png] Improve muscle function

				[image: check.png] Reduce inflammation

				[image: remember.eps]	We recommend that you first try to get vitamins and minerals from whole foods. But we understand that sometimes that can be a difficult thing to do. So a good greens supplement can help fill in the gaps.

				When selecting a greens supplement, opt for an organic brand whenever possible and also be sure that it contains no artificial sweeteners or any other man-made chemicals.

				Branched-Chain Amino Acids

				Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) include leucine, isoleucine, and valine and are essential nutrients that the body extracts from protein found in food to build muscle. The term branched-chain simply refers to their molecular structure. The most common use of BCAAs for the avid exerciser is to prevent muscle breakdown during exercise and to trigger muscle growth and rejuvenation after exercise.

				You may be wondering, “If my body extracts BCAAs from protein, then why can’t I just drink a protein shake or eat a high-protein meal after working out?” The answer is that you most certainly could do that. The benefit of BCAAs, however, is that they’re metabolized directly in the muscle, whereas other amino acids are metabolized in the liver, which puts them to immediate use.

				[image: tip.eps]	The added benefit of BCAAs is that they don’t seem to instigate any food allergies, like most protein drinks do, making them primal-approved.

				Branched-chain amino acids are safe and effective. They’re a good fit for anyone looking for a convenient source of pre- and post-workout nutrition.

				Fish Oil

				Fish oil is good for, well, just about everything and everyone! It’s a safe, effective, and primal-approved supplement. Here are just a few of the health benefits that research has linked to fish oil:

				[image: check.png] Improved heart health

				[image: check.png] Relief from depression and anxiety

				[image: check.png] Proper brain and eye development

				[image: check.png] Improved skin complexion (reduces acne)

				[image: check.png] Improved blood circulation

				Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids like EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DPA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are anti-inflammatory and health-boosting animal fats.

				Fish by itself reduces inflammation (which is probably why it helps to alleviate so many problems); this benefit largely comes from its high profile of omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, regular fish oil supplementation can be quite effective for those who suffer from chronic inflammatory problems.

				[image: remember.eps]	When selecting fish oil, choose a brand that ensures purity. Although it may cost you a little more, at least you know you aren’t taking in any harmful contaminants, such as mercury, arsenic, or lead.

				Vitamin D

				Unless you spend a great deal of time out in the sun and eat plenty of fish, chances are you could benefit from more vitamin D. Vitamin D serves many functions in the human body. For one, it’s an immune system regulator and has shown to be useful in preventing illnesses, such as the pesky common cold. Furthermore, research shows that people with adequate levels of vitamin D are at a significantly lower risk for cancer.

				Interestingly enough, vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin. Technically, it’s a hormone, which explains why vitamin D helps support so many of the body’s functions, including the following:

				[image: check.png] Cell formation and longevity

				[image: check.png] Emotional health

				[image: check.png] Eye health

				[image: check.png] Heart health

				[image: check.png] Reproductive health

				[image: check.png] Skin health

				[image: check.png] Vascular system health

				Vitamin D has actually been shown to help alleviate stress and fight depression. It has also been shown to relieve muscle aches and spasms as well as improve quality of sleep.

				[image: tip.eps]	Before you supplement with vitamin D, get your levels checked by your doctor to ensure that you take the right dosage.


				Probiotics are “good bacteria” that help support your digestive system and overall health. Probiotics work to maintain the natural balance of gut flora in your intestines, which ensures that the digestive system works the way it should.

				When the balance of good to bad bacteria in your gut gets out of whack, many problems can arise, including

				[image: check.png] Bloating

				[image: check.png] Cramping

				[image: check.png] Heart disease

				[image: check.png] Diabetes

				[image: check.png] Diarrhea

				[image: check.png] Irritable bowel syndrome

				Gut health is enormously important to overall vitality, which is why the Paleo diet focuses so heavily on keeping inflammation low and optimizing the good bacteria in your gut. There’s no reason probiotics shouldn’t be a part of your diet.

				You can get probiotics either in supplement form or through various food sources. For example, kombucha tea is a great source of probiotics, not to mention very refreshing — and Paleo!

				Green Tea

				Green tea is bursting full of antioxidants, and it’s also been shown to have some almost mystical fat-burning powers. In terms of caffeine, green tea is also a lighter alternative to coffee, if you’re trying to keep your stimulant usage down — and you should be trying to keep your stimulant usage down!

				We recommend green tea without any reservations. A cup or two first thing in the morning is a great way to start your day. Green tea is Paleo-approved, and you can have it while fasting, so long as you don’t put anything else in it.

				Do your best to purchase an organic, full-leaf green tea. Pulverized green tea lacks flavor and potency.

				[image: remember.eps]	We say green tea, but many other wonderful teas are great supplements. Here are a few of our recommendations:

				[image: check.png] Black tea

				[image: check.png] Chamomile tea (a great bedtime tea for its calming effects)

				[image: check.png] Oolong tea

				[image: check.png] Pu-erh tea

				[image: check.png] Red tea (a caffeine-free tea; also known as rooibee red tea)

				[image: check.png] White tea


				Yes, coffee is Paleo-approved. Really, the only problem with coffee is that people overdo it — and we mean really overdo it!

				[image: remember.eps]	When we say coffee, we mean black coffee. More specifically, we prefer organic black coffee. No sugar. No cream. No syrups. If you’re going to put anything in your coffee, try cinnamon or coconut oil.

				When consumed in moderation (no more than 2 cups per day), coffee has remarkable health-boosting properties. For once, research shows that moderate coffee consumption may help prevent neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

				Furthermore, coffee may actually help strengthen your skin and muscles. Believe it or not, research in muscle biology has found that caffeine stimulates cells in a manner similar to exercise. This doesn’t mean that caffeine replaces exercise — no way, no how! — but a little coffee here and there may help you to get more out of your exercise.

				Much research has also demonstrated that coffee drinkers are often at a lower risk for certain types of cancer, such as skin cancer, oral cancer, and prostate cancer.


				Magnesium is a mineral that assists in nearly all the physiological processes of the body. It’s essential and indispensable for proper cell function.

				You can get a good amount of magnesium from leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, but as an avid exerciser, you may want to add a magnesium supplement to your diet because it aids in the recovery process. This means that you’ll recover more quickly and more efficiently from your intense workout sessions. In other words, you’ll get better results, faster.

				Other benefits of magnesium include lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, improving the quality of your sleep, and optimizing your hormones.

				Whey Protein

				Last, but certainly not least, is whey protein. This supplement is a point of contention among Paleo experts because whey protein may aggravate certain food allergies. If you suffer from food allergies, then it’s probably best to avoid whey protein. But if you don’t have food allergies, then we recommend adding a whey protein supplement to your diet for the following reasons:

				[image: check.png] Whey protein contains a great deal of what’s now considered the body’s most powerful antioxidant — glutathione. This master antioxidant removes toxins from cells and amplifies the effects of all other antioxidants.

				[image: check.png] Whey protein provides a convenient supply of muscle-building amino acids. If you’re a busy person — and who isn’t these days? — a whey protein shake is an easy way to make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet. 

				[image: check.png] As far as protein goes, whey ranks the highest in terms of bioavailability, which measures how much your body can make use of various protein sources.

				[image: tip.eps]	The best time to have a serving of whey protein is 30 to 60 minutes after a workout.

				When selecting a whey protein source, always be sure to choose a brand that doesn’t use any artificial sweeteners or unhealthy oils. To get even more particular, choose a whey protein that’s organic and comes from grass-fed cows.



				Chapter 4

				Walk to Get Healthy, but Sprint to Get Sexy

				In This Chapter

				[image: arrow] Discovering how frequent, slow movement nourishes the body

				[image: arrow] Identifying when and how often to “run for your life”


				One of the starkest differences between the lifestyle of the cave man and people today is movement frequency. Our ancestors spent more time on their feet than they did their butts. Today that trend is reversed entirely, and it has done a lot of harm.

				The cave man moved about often pursuing the necessities of life. The majority of his movement was slow walking, but moving so regularly at a relatively low intensity is in large part what kept the cave man so lean and healthy.

				On the other end of the force-velocity spectrum, the cave man, at times, had to run like his life depended on it, which in some situations, it really did! This combination of frequent slow moving and occasional bouts of all-out sprinting is a potent means for total body leanness, power, and vitality.

				In this chapter, we show you how to best combine slow and fast primal movements to maximize leanness and well-being and how to apply these movements to a modern lifestyle.

				Walking: Low-Intensity Movement for Health

				When we say walking, we really mean any low-intensity movement that keeps you between 50 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate. Exercising at this intensity, you can still comfortably hold a conversation.

				[image: tip.eps]	Don’t worry about a heart rate monitor. If you already have one, feel free to use it. But as long as you’re moving slow without any huffing or puffing, you’re probably right where you need to be.

				In this section, we explore the benefits of moving slowly, at a walking pace, and show you how to incorporate those movements into all areas of your life. We also provide a skill drill for walking to help you get the most out of low-intensity movements.

				Recognizing the benefits of moving slowly and often

				Don’t discount low-intensity exercise on the premises of difficulty. Just because it doesn’t leave you gasping for air or your body flushed with lactic acid doesn’t mean it isn’t doing you any good. In fact, when performed regularly, low-intensity exercise may have the most positively profound impact on your overall health than any other form of exercise.

				Here are a few benefits of frequent, low-intensity exercise:

				[image: check.png] Counteracts the hormonal effects of stress

				[image: check.png] Reduces your risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes

				[image: check.png] Reduces your risk of heart disease and cancer

				[image: check.png] Decreases overall inflammation

				[image: check.png] Burns fat while preserving muscle

				[image: check.png] Improves your mood

				Finding the time for walking and hiking

				When starting out on your primal fitness journey, we encourage you to incorporate at least seven hours of low-intensity physical activity each week. Preferably, one hour every day. The possibilities of low-intensity activities reach far beyond what we can include in one book, so we give you a few of our favorites and leave the rest to your imagination.

				If you’re going to start anywhere, simple walking and hiking is as good a place as any. The cave man did it, and so should you.

				[image: tip.eps]	The best time to perform low-intensity physical activity is in the morning hours before your first meal. Fasted walking is a technique people have used for thousands of years to stay super lean and healthy. The fact is, when you wake up, your body is already in a condition primed for fat-burning, so take advantage of that and add in some early morning low-intensity walking before breakfast.

				[image: remember.eps]	You don’t have to do all your low-intensity physical activity at one time. Feel free to break it up throughout the day. Activity and exercise is cumulative. Try a half hour in the morning before breakfast and a half hour at night before dinner.

				Doing what you love

				With low-intensity exercise, it doesn’t really matter how you do it, just that you do it. The adherence to the activity, not necessarily the activity itself, weighs heaviest on your success.

				To this end, we encourage you to seek out low-intensity activities that you enjoy. When you love what you do, you do a better job at it and do it more often than if you’re forced into something that leaves you feeling bored, indifferent, or annoyed. From chasing the kids, to water sports, from golfing, to Frisbee, to skiing, the movement possibilities are endless. And that’s all we’re after — more movement. What you do doesn’t matter so long as you stay on the move. Just don’t exert yourself too much. We save that for later (when we talk about high-intensity exercise).

				[image: remember.eps]	Your low-intensity physical activity should keep you at about 55 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Don’t worry about getting a heart rate monitor. If you aren’t huffing or puffing, you’re probably doing all right.

				Moving often but living slow

				Even though the focus of this chapter is movement, it’s also important to slow things down a bit — not necessarily your movement but your mind.

				Staying on the move doesn’t mean living fast; it means living active. Moving often but living slow is an art, and it takes practice. Slowing your mind and taking the time to meditate, breathe, and appreciate are as equally essential to your health as movement is.

				Slow, frequent moving helps with this process. Outdoor hiking, walking, and other such leisurely activities gives you permission to take it all in, to savor it, and to calm your mind.

				Living slow, like almost anything else, is a choice. It’s a choice to connect with the world and with others on a deeper level. It’s a choice to do less and to unshackle the mind from unnecessary distractions.

				Here are a few other things to start taking a bit more slowly:

				[image: check.png] Breathing: Employ a deeper, slower breath whenever you can. Doing so will help control stress and alleviate tension.

				[image: check.png] Eating: Take the time to enjoy each bite. Resist the urge to gorge. Eating more slowly will also help you feel fuller quicker, which is a good thing.

				[image: check.png] Playing: Strive to appreciate play like a kid again. Keep your focus in the present, and just be in the moment.

				[image: check.png] Having sex: That’s right, we said it. Slowing down in the bedroom will help you appreciate the experience more and make it more intimate.

				[image: check.png] Spending time with friends and family: Take as much time as you can, while you can. Appreciate your friends and family now.

				[image: check.png] Traveling: Whenever possible, travel by foot, and enjoy the journey. And it’s okay to walk just to walk, because you enjoy walking — you don’t always have to be going somewhere.

				Slow living quite regularly leads to a more balanced life, less stress, and a deeper sense of fulfillment.

				Walking skill drill: Marching

				This section provides you with a simple drill to help you improve your walking technique. You can, and should, practice this drill nearly every day.

				You may be thinking, why do I need to practice walking? Well, the truth is, most people fake walking — that is, they don’t have proper walking mechanics. The skill drill of marching helps reset your natural contralateral walking pattern. Contralateral simply means opposite limb movement, matching your right arm with your left leg and vice versa.

				For example, when walking, you should gently sway your left arm forward as you step with your right foot. At just about all times, your opposite arms and legs should run parallel to each other.

				Marching, shown in Figure 4-1, allows you to exaggerate and to reset this contralateral pattern. Here’s how to do it:

					1.	Stand tall with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart.

					2.	Bend your elbows to 90 degrees.

					3.	Simultaneously drive your right knee and left elbow upward and toward your center line.

					4.	Touch your right knee and left elbow together at or around belly height, pause momentarily, and bring them both back to the starting position.

					5.	Repeat the pattern with your left knee and right elbow.

					[image: 9781118657911-fg0401.tif]

					Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

				Figure 4-1: Marching helps reset your natural walking pattern.

				[image: tip.eps]	Practice this drill stationary at first (in one place) then start to move with it.

				Sprinting: High-Intensity Movement for Physique

				Sprinting is the most potent thing in the world for building muscle and shedding fat. The form of a sprinter is that of a classic, powerful physique. Lean, dense, hard. Built for speed and grace.

				The cave man was an avid sprinter. He had to be. He ran to eat and to not be eaten. So sprinting not only kept the cave man alive but also attributed to his overall leanness and muscularity.

				In the following sections, we lay out the benefits of moving with high-intensity, at a sprinting pace, and give you the lowdown on how to do so, how much (or how far), and how often. We also provide a skill drill for sprinting to keep your form powerful and graceful.

				Discovering the benefits of high-speed movement

				The benefits of sprinting are so numerous and profound that a simple list of bullet points hardly seems to do it a full service, but here are a few of the highlights:

				[image: check.png] Builds muscle (unlike jogging or other forms of moderate-intensity cardio)

				[image: check.png] Surges growth hormone

				[image: check.png] Blasts fat

				[image: check.png] Causes a huge metabolic response and caloric after-burn

				[image: check.png] Develops explosive power

				[image: check.png] Improves ability to ward off fatigue

				[image: check.png] Doesn’t take long

				Running for your life

				You should approach sprinting as an art to be practiced and nothing else. It’s not something to be thrown around loosely. Sprinting, when done right (and when done at the right times), ignites the metabolic furnace and triggers the muscle-building machinery. When done wrong, or when horribly overworked, it’s potentially injurious.

				Properly preparing your body for the rigors of sprinting is imperative. This exercise is a super high-velocity movement, so don’t go into it cold. Strides, which we discuss in the “Sprinting skill drill: Strides” section, are one way to prime the body for sprinting. Whatever you do, just be sure to ease your way into an all-out sprint.

				Here are the elements of proper sprinting mechanics to strive for (see Figure 4-2):

				[image: check.png] Heel has minimal contact with the ground.

				[image: check.png] Foot strikes the ground roughly under the hips.

				[image: check.png] Torso remains fairly upright and stays at the same height throughout the sprint.

				[image: check.png] Elbows stay at 90 degrees.

				[image: check.png] Shoulders (not elbows) initiate arm swing.

				[image: check.png] Movement of the arms match the movement of the legs in a contralateral fashion (arm rises and falls with opposite leg).

				[image: tip.eps]	If, for whatever reason, sprinting on foot isn’t for you, try bike sprints. Bike sprints are similar to running sprints in that you try to move as quickly as possible, basically going all out as you pedal the bike. You can use a stationary bike or a regular one if you prefer. Although bike sprints aren’t as beneficial as running sprints, they allow for a lower impact variation of sprinting.

					[image: 9781118657911-fg0402.tif]

					Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

				Figure 4-2: Sprinting is about blending power with grace.

				Sprinting may feel awkward at first, especially if you haven’t done it in a while. But, as with all other forms of movement, the more you practice, the better you’ll get. Treat sprinting as practice instead of a workout. The sweat will come, but let it be the consequence of diligent rehearsal, not mindless running for running’s sake.

				Practicing sprints for power and grace

				So how far and how long should you sprint? Well, the answer, as any good strength coach will tell you, is that it depends.

				Don’t worry too much about distance at first. The goal is to run as powerfully and as gracefully as possible — not to run for as long or as far as possible. To this end, pick a distance long enough for you to express power but short enough to maintain good form. You may be able to go only a very short distance at first, and that’s okay. As you continue to practice and as your body conditions, you can expand the distance and shorten the rest periods.

				How often should you sprint? Again, that depends. But generally, when starting out, you should sprint once every week or once every two weeks.

				[image: tip.eps]	When sprinting, set a timer for 10 to 15 minutes and just practice. Rest as long as you need to catch your breath and freshen up for the next set. As you become more proficient and better conditioned, you can then increase the distance (or time) and shorten the rest periods.

				Sprinting skill drill: Strides

				Sprinting, like all other movement, is a skill. But because sprinting is such a high-velocity movement, it merits a little extra consideration than most other movements. Proper sprinting prep and mechanics can mean the difference between a fantastic workout and a torn hamstring.

				The skill drill for this section focuses on strides. Strides are a popular running technique that can only be described as something between a jog and a sprint. They help you prep the body for sprints and rehearse proper sprinting mechanics.

				Strides are best performed barefoot and on an unpaved surface (try working them on the soccer field at a community park, but be sure the field is well kept so you don’t land in a divot and injur yourself).

				Check out Figure 4-3 to see what strides look like, and refer to the following list on how to perform strides:

				[image: check.png] Perform strides in a similar fashion to a sprint workout (six to eight rounds of 60 to 100 meters), but feel free to adjust the distance as needed.

						When you start, gradually accelerate to about 85 percent of your max speed for the first two-thirds and then gradually decelerate in the final one-third of the stride.

				[image: check.png] Focus on form as you do strides. Ensure a quick foot turnover, striking the ground on the ball of your foot in line with your hip (don’t overstride).

				[image: check.png] Think “quick arms” on the stride, and match the pumping of your arms to the pumping of your legs.

						Just like marching (discussed earlier in this chapter), strides should be a contralateral movement, meaning your opposite arm and leg move together — that is, when your left leg rises, so does your right arm, and vice versa.

				[image: check.png] Maintain a fairly upright torso.

				Keep in mind that strides aren’t supposed to be difficult. Don’t do them at such a fast pace that your warm-up becomes as strenuous as your workout. Strides are drills, not sprints.

					[image: 9781118657911-fg0403.tif]

					Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

				Figure 4-3: Use strides to prep yourself for an intense sprinting session.




				Part V

				The Part of Tens

				[image: D_POT_30p_BW.eps]

				[image: pt_webextra_bw.TIF]	Enjoy an additional Part of Tens chapter online at  

				In this part . . .

				[image: check.png] Improve your performance when exercising with ten primal superfoods.

				[image: check.png] Find out how to choose and where to buy Paleo-approved supplements. 



				Chapter 1

				Paleo Fitness: The (Ab)Original Blueprint for Physical Excellence

				In This Chapter

				[image: arrow] Changing your mindset to Paleo fitness

				[image: arrow] Comparing Paleo fitness to conventional programs

				[image: arrow] Following the cave man’s way of health and fitness

				[image: arrow] Seeing (and feeling) results with Paleo

				[image: arrow] Getting started with Paleo fitness


				It’s been quite some time since the public was afforded the luxury of an exercise program that actually makes sense and isn’t full of absurdities or ridiculousness. From diet pills to shake weights, “progress” in terms of health and fitness over the past decade has been little more than the swapping of one gimmick for another.

				Paleo fitness is not about presenting something new; it’s about getting back to what works. Because we already know what works, and we always have. 

				Paleo fitness means working out like a cave man. We use the cave man to symbolize the idea of getting back to basics, specifically in these areas: 

				[image: check.png] Back to the big, fundamental human movements

				[image: check.png] Back to movement that is beautiful, unrestricted, and pain-free

				[image: check.png] Back to movements proven effective for burning fat, building muscle, and boosting resilience 

				So we want you to perform all movements that the cave man needed to do on a daily basis to survive. And that means pushing, pulling, hinging, squatting, sprinting, carrying, and jumping.

				Shifting Your Paradigm to Paleo: Live Long, Live Strong

				Most people think that bodily health is plainly the result of eating less of what they want to eat and doing more of the things they don’t want to do. But we aim to challenge that assumption to prove that a beautiful body and beautiful movement can be the result of an enjoyable, active lifestyle and not grunting and tears.

				When you first change your paradigm to Paleo fitness, it may feel a little odd, and that’s okay. In a world of “more, more, more,” doing less often feels weird. And at times on this Paleo journey, you’ll feel like you haven’t even worked out at all. Not a bead of sweat will drop from your brow. You’ll be done with your workout in less than 15 minutes, and that’ll be it for the day.

				You may even feel almost as if you’re cheating. And perhaps, in a way, you are cheating because, perhaps, you have a slightly unfair advantage. That advantage is knowledge — the ability to understand that working out isn’t all about the sweat or the burn. And knowing that effort isn’t synonymous with effective; in other words, working hard doesn’t always mean working right.

				Changing your mindset to Paleo is tough at first. The primal aficionado sometimes feels like an outcast, like a kid at the adult dinner table. But before you think it’s too much, think on this: Your health is like a balance sheet. Every-thing you do — every single choice you make — is debited or credited; it either improves your position or worsens it. And your health, to put it simply, is nothing more than the accrual of all the decisions you’ve ever made.

				[image: remember.eps]	What we’re saying here is that health is a choice. Strength is a choice, too. And your job is to do everything you possibly can to continuously improve your position.

				The Paleo community has a mantra: “Live long. Drop dead.” The implication of this statement is that as long as you live in accordance to the blueprint set forth by our ancestors, then you live a life relatively free of ailments. We add the phrase “live strong” to this mantra for two reasons: (1) We find that strong people, as Greg Glassman once so eloquently put it, are “generally more useful than weak people,” and (2) they are, without question, quite harder to kill.

				Paleo Fitness: Discovering the Difference

				Most conventional dietary and fitness plans are conspiracies against mankind. They offer little in the way of reasonableness or sustainability and are largely set to fail from the start. But Paleo has changed the game by going in the opposite direction. And the Paleo diet has become nothing short of a welcome phenomenon, helping hundreds of thousands of people all over the world lose weight and restore health. As you discover throughout this book, Paleo fitness works in much the same way. It reverse-engineers the habits of the proverbial cave man and makes them applicable to modern life.

				We’ve taken the brakes off success simply by reversing direction. Now you, too, can quickly achieve optimal health, strength, and vitality when you mimic the physical behavior of our ancestors — our way, way back ancestors, that is.

Paleo fitness success story: Peter

				Meet Peter, 24, security officer; Oshkosh, Wisconsin:

				As a lifetime athlete, Peter used to rest on the belief that he could compensate for a somewhat questionable diet through massive caloric burns in practice and competitive environments through grade school and high school. When Peter got into his college football career at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, he sustained a major concussion early in his sophomore year. Not being able to work out because of the injury paired with a feeling of deep depression, he turned to pizza, cake, and doughnuts to help him cope with the pain, but these choices were harming him more than helping him. Having prolonged symptoms from his head injury stretch out beyond six months, Peter’s weight ballooned up close to the 390-pound mark. When Peter thought he finally felt better, he attempted a light workout only to have extreme feelings of vertigo and a sharp pain where his spine met his brain stem. After some reoccurrence of this feeling, he sought the medical advice of numerous doctors who all told him the same thing: His bad cholesterol paired with high blood pressure brought him mere seconds away from having a stroke if he would have continued to exert himself, and Peter was only 21 years old!

				Being utterly shaken by this news from the doctors, Peter decided he was going to wise up. And it was around this time that Peter discovered Paleo fitness, introduced to him by a close friend. He began walking long distances until he could begin to jog, and then Peter began to run and sprint short distances. He began to pay far more attention to not only how his body was reacting to subtle changes of movement but also how he fueled his body. Peter instantly noticed a change when he began ingesting wholesome, Paleo foods and followed a Paleo fitness regimen. What surprised Peter the most was that with very simple, conscientious changes in his lifestyle, the weight simply fell off in mass.

				Paleo fitness has led Peter to some truly amazing outcomes and milestones along his journey to full body health and wellness. Peter has lost more than 120 pounds and is feeling healthier than ever! What Peter has been most proud of, however, are the strength gains he has made over the course of the journey. The Paleo fitness lifestyle has also led Peter to develop the overall fitness level necessary to excel in physical fitness testing for police departments in his home state of Wisconsin.

				[image: remember.eps]	Paleo fitness is just as old as it is new. You can discover everything you need to know about how to achieve the body of your dreams by looking at the lifestyle of our Paleolithic ancestors.

				With few exceptions, all progress in the realm of fitness since the era of the cave man hasn’t really been progress at all. People have added many nuisances and plenty of distractions in the past 2.6 million years, no doubt, but few true advances.

				In fact, humans are the unhealthiest and fattest they’ve ever been. And sadly, this steady rise in obesity has convinced some scientists to suggest that we may experience, for the first time in history, a decline in life expectancy in the 21st century. Does this surprise you?

				Opinions on effective solutions to this problem vary, seemingly, by year. But the truth is that everything that could ever be known on how to live a strong and healthy life is already known — that is, we already know what we need to do to live a long and healthy life based on how our ancestors lived. Any distinct contributions made since then and henceforth amount to very little.

				[image: remember.eps]	Humans are naturally designed to be strong and healthy. So to look, feel, and perform your best, you have to do the things you were designed to do. This book lays it all out for you.

				Patterning Life after the Cave Man

				The cave man was perhaps a perfect role model for health and exercise because he didn’t try to improve something that was virtually faultless. He followed his genetic programming: He moved how he was meant to move and ate how he was meant to eat. He was fit and healthy.

				In the domain of exercise today, fads come (and just as often go) like pimples on a teenybopper. Most of these crazes are, at best, useless, but quite a few have even grown to be dangerous, which concerns us. Our concern lies in not only poor movement but also the gross lack of desire, or priority, for strong, beautiful movement.

				Only a handful of popular fitness practices approach exercise this way. Most make people move but fail to first show them how to do so. Many fitness programs make the conventional assumption that people just know how to move, or that they know how to move well. However, for most, quality movement is like writing cursive — an elegant skill that gets sloppy without practice.

				Too many people don’t give enough respect to strong, beautiful movement. We admit, however, that although most conventional fitness fashions neglect strength and movement quality, they do serve a hidden but useful purpose: They remind people of our values and why this book is important.

				In the following sections, we introduce these values in the form of principles as they pertain to Paleo fitness and how they can help you achieve a leaner, harder, and more resilient physique. Understand that many of these principles directly contradict conventional fitness practices — that’s the point.

				Conditioning yourself for something other than exercise

				The first principle of Paleo fitness states that the most basic and appropriate function of exercise should be to condition someone for something other than exercise. Whether that something is a sport is of small significance. Exercise is, and should remain, a means (a method) to an end (a goal), but many conventional fitness practices forget this detail, because they take the means (exercise) and make it an ends (a sport or competition).

				Exercise should be a means to health. Exercise should promote health and vitality — and never, under any circumstance, should it ever detract from that. When that is covered, you may then explore exercise as a means to other ends, such as for spiritual purposes or athletic enhancement.

				The harm comes when people turn exercise into a competitive sport. Quality is swapped for quantity, and people get hurt. Exercise should make you better at all things, at all times, and in every way. Anything else simply won’t do.

				Getting just the right amount of exercise

				The second principle of Paleo fitness states that exercise is best served in small to moderate doses, which is to say just enough to get the job done and not a smidgeon more. But again, conventional practices overlook this detail, made clear by the number of people who spend hours every day trudging on treadmills and spinning on bicycles. Practices that create a chronic state of stress on the body are ill suited for sustainable bodily profits, not to mention wholly ineffective for long-term weight loss. Again, exercise should make you better at all things, at all times, and in every way.

				Now the “right” amount of exercise is entirely relative and subjective, but in most cases, it’s probably a lot less than you think. See the section “Keeping it simple: The secret to a good fitness program” for details.

				Promoting beautiful movement

				The third principle of Paleo fitness states that exercise should promote beautiful movement and stimulate a positive hormonal response. Just as trudging on the treadmill is equal to committing biomechanical treason so is crushing yourself day in and day out by lifting weights. One promotes a dysfunctional movement pattern (gait) and the other a negative long-term hormonal response (overtraining). But conventional fitness practices manage to overlook this detail, as big-box gyms pummel the masses with a less than choice exercise selection. Injury rates are high and retention low. Go figure.

				With Paleo fitness, you marry beautiful movement with beautiful food, which results in a strong, beautiful body.

				Keeping it simple: The secret to a good fitness program

				Any exercise (and nutrition) program will improve in direct proportion to the number of things that you can keep out of it that don’t need to be there. In other words, the secret to a good exercise program is to strip it down to the fewest possible parts — the fundamentals — and leave it at that. Paleo fitness is all about simplicity.

				The fundamentals of Paleo are simple and proven effective. All you have to do is follow a simple diet of meats, eggs, fish, veggies, nuts, seeds, and some fruit. Then move often and move beautifully, lift heavy every couple of days, and occasionally run for your life (just not on a treadmill).

				The secret is to practice strength selectively. We estimate that about 20 tried-and-true exercises — which probably amounts to less than 5 percent of all the exercises out there — are guaranteed to get you 95 percent of all the results you could ever want.

				And just as you carefully choose how to move, be selective in what you eat, too. You need to eat less — not necessarily fewer calories but less variety and less frequently. Eat the same Paleo foods often, but eat them infrequently.

				When it comes to fitness, we agree with the saying “all change is decay.” Keep it simple with the fundamentals, and you’ll do all right.

				Getting Results: The Paleo Payoff

				Although we’d love to say that following the Paleo fitness program is easy, successful lifestyle changes seldom come without their trials and tribulations. However, we promise that this book, and the workouts contained herein, will return to you exactly what you put in. The returns are 1:1, precisely. And that’s the best you’ll find anywhere.

				Paleo fitness is grounded in good science, and good science produces predictable and repeatable results — that is, what can happen to one, can happen to all. In this section, we review some of those expectations — and results.

				[image: remember.eps]	With Paleo fitness, you get out of it exactly what you put in. We give you everything you need to succeed, but ultimately, your success depends on your ability to take action.

				Seeing is believing: Visual results

				Most people want results and want them now. But nothing worthwhile ever comes fast and easy. The problem here is improperly set expectations. People are promised “fast and easy,” but when they don’t get it, they quit. This isn’t what Paleo fitness is about. We’re not selling any delusions here, only proven and sustainable methods — all of which require a considerable amount of effort on your part.

				Now to address the most pressing question about any fitness program, the answer is, yes, you absolutely will lose weight with Paleo fitness. And the process won’t be long, tedious, or painful, either. In fact, with the Paleo workouts in this book, six-pack abs are not only easily obtainable but almost inevitable. This result is merely a consequence of moving you into your ideal body fat range, which for men is between 8 to 12 percent and for women, 16 to 22 percent. (If you’re unsure of your body fat percentage and want to get the most accurate reading, we recommend seeking out a facility that has a BOD POD body fat measuring device. Otherwise, you can simply hire a trainer who knows how to conduct a 7-point caliper test.) Then all you have to do is stick to the program.

				Paleo fitness helps build your strength, too — not bulky strength but real-world functional strength. In other words, you’ll gain the lean and wiry strength of a cave man, which is a good thing because life is easier when you’re strong.

				You may also expect noticeable changes in movement quality. Your everyday flexibility and mobility will improve when you begin to mobilize. Stiffness will turn to suppleness, and you’ll no longer feel as wound up as a spring or as tight as a wheel clamp.

				What’s equally exciting is how you’ll feel on the inside. With Paleo fitness, you’ll notice stark differences in sleep quality, energy levels, and mental focus. Expect to beat that sluggish feeling once and for all — without the danger of harmful supplements or unnatural energy boosters.

				Knowing what’s going on behind the scenes: Other results

				Equally important to looking your best is feeling your best. And we think you’ll be delighted to experience all the benefits of Paleo fitness that extend far beyond the realm of “looking good naked.”

				For example, when you incorporate Paleo workouts into your life, you’ll experience fewer illness and ailments. The Paleo diet has come to be known for its marvelous ability to boost immunity — and these effects are only greatly enhanced when you add Paleo fitness into the batter. And if you suffer from allergies, don’t be surprised if they start to alleviate, too. Results such as these are typical.

				To give you an idea, here’s a brief list of what you can expect to improve through Paleo fitness:

				[image: check.png] Hunger control

				[image: check.png] Blood sugar regulation

				[image: check.png] Improved joint and bone health

				[image: check.png] Alleviated allergies and less sickness

				[image: check.png] Increased energy levels and concentration

				[image: check.png] Enhanced cellular function and physical performance

				A Primal Primer: What You Need to Get Started

				The cave man was a minimalist. He was a simple man and enjoyed simple things. His language displayed no fancy technique; in fact, he spoke in clicks, “tsk tsk” and “clop clop.” It was horse talk mostly.

				The cave man’s diet was also quite unpretentious. He ate mostly tubers (yams, radishes, and rutabaga), fish, and game meat. No sugar, and very little, if any, grains or dairy.

				When referring to the cave man, we think “hunter-gatherer,” but it’s probably more accurate to say “scavenger-gatherer,” meaning he picked meat from carcasses and preyed upon easy prey — namely, the dead or pretty much dead. A bit crude, and perhaps a tad less dignified, but who are we to judge?

				Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the cave man had a higher percentage of muscle than people do today, because of his intense and often heavy physical labors. The cave man would often walk, sprint, hang, hinge, squat, push, pull, throw, and carry. Because of this, the cave man was lean, strong, and durable — a product of hard living.

				All of these things are lessons mostly on how to eat well and how to move beautifully. In the following sections, we outline what you need to get started on your Paleo fitness journey.

				Going low-tech for high impact

				We’ve searched long and hard, up and down, over the river and through the woods, but nothing we’ve ever come across on our quest for physical excellence has yet to impress us as the human body itself.

				You can gain strength, power, and aesthetics — vastly superior to that of the average individual indentured at the big-box gym — quickly, safely, and inexpensively through a choice selection of primal bodyweight exercises. Paleo fitness demands that you unplug, disconnect, and go low-tech to reap high yield. In fact, the primal exercises requiring little to no equipment often produce the biggest results and need no warming up to.

				For example, take the wonderful elasticity of the push-up: an exercise that can be tailored to any individual at any experience level. The beginner who lacks upper body strength may start by performing the push-up on an incline (against a wall), whereas the veteran may perpetually challenge and elevate his strength via the one-arm push-up or the one-arm one-leg push-up.

				If there’s a most important distinction on why Paleo fitness focuses heavily on bodyweight exercises, aside from their astounding cost-to-benefit ratio, then it’s because they’re both easily scalable and progressive:

				[image: check.png] Scaling exercise is either toning it down or blaring it up. For example, the push-up is easily scaled in difficulty by increasing or decreasing the angle (elevating the hands or the feet), or by adding or subtracting limbs (two-arm push-up versus one-arm push-up), or most simply, by adding or subtracting repetitions.

				[image: check.png] Providing a progression, on the other hand, is to provide a clear and logical path toward advancement or a higher skill. And to progress to the push-up — that is, to do a push-up properly — you need to start with the plank, similar to how you first learn to crawl before you walk.

				In other words, progressions is learning how to do something, and scalability is making something doable.

				Most conventional fitness practices offer scalability (making something easier or harder) but little in the ways of progressions (teaching how to do something properly). And that’s a dangerous game to play. However, we offer both.

				Choosing the kettlebell to enhance and extend

				The kettlebell is a brutish but brilliant device. It’s a hunk of iron with a handle slapped on it: ugly, heavy, superb.

				When used properly, the kettlebell merely forms an extension of the body, and because you can swing it, throw it, carry it, press it, squat it, snatch it, jerk it, lunge it, and so on, it’s the prime implement to mimic the rigors and heavy lifting of a primal lifestyle.

				The kettlebell also fills in the few holes left behind by bodyweight training. To wit: The kettlebell is a tool that, when employed properly, will help you move powerfully, efficiently, and gracefully.

				In addition to your own bodyweight, you can use any number of tools to mimic the labors of the cave man, but not all of them do the job quite as well as the kettlebell. In other words, for any given task, a plethora of tools may help you get the job done, but you need to choose the tool that gets the job done best, and that is the kettlebell.

				Although you can do many of the workouts in this book with body weight alone, using a kettlebell enhances and extends your movement so you get better results, faster. And lucky for you, we show you just how to use the kettlebell and use it well to make the most of your Paleo fitness journey.

				Getting rid of the “necessities”

				Necessary for the participation in any given conventional fitness routine is a list of stuff that’s always pretentious, expensive, and wrong. These are the “must gets,” or what many may label as true necessities for fitness; they include fancy footwear, highfalutin apparel, exaggerated supplements, affected heart rate monitor — and so on and so on.

				But if you want to work out and work out well, the truth is that all you need is a pulse. Everything else is either a bonus or a distraction.

				The Paleo fitness aficionado is an ultra-light traveler, toting only the bare minimum necessities, and aims to mimic the cave man, who was, after all, a fitness vagabond (if there ever was such a thing). His gym was all of Earth. He cared nothing for dumbbells as he lifted stones, logs, and carcasses. He cared even less for treadmills as he sprinted regularly outdoors to hunt and to avoid being hunted. And besides, he’d have nowhere to plug one in.

				So with Paleo fitness, our list of “must gets” is mostly short and, aside from a set of kettlebells (see previous section), already complete. However, we provide you with a list of “must get rid-ofs” in the following sections.

				Ditch the shoes

				By now, you may have begun to notice a trend in the Paleo community that began picking up steam a few years back with the release of a book called Born to Run (Vintage), where author Christopher McDougall makes a sound enough argument for barefoot running. Now, we’re not for long, trudging runs. We don’t think long runs are all that good for you, and we have evidence to support this theory (which we roll out in Chapter 9). Nevertheless, the occasional jog that’s both light and bouncy is a marvelous way to keep on the move. And save for a few unusual circumstances, it’s best performed barefoot.

				So are we saying that you should dismiss shoes from your feet and embrace an entirely barefoot lifestyle? The answer is no. That’d be silly. Shoes were invented for a reason, such as to avoid stepping on glass, nails, and jagged rocks, so they still serve a purpose.

				[image: warning_bomb.eps]	If you’ve been in shoes all your life, ease your way into barefoot running and lifting. To avoid injury, you must give your feet, ankles, and calves ample time to adapt. Don’t do too much too soon.

				When it comes to Paleo fitness, barefoot is the way to go for these reasons:

				[image: check.png] Greater support/stability: Exercising and lifting weights in shoes, particularly shoes with a lot of cushion or heel, is almost like lifting on a mattress. It’s unstable. And when it comes to lifting heavy things, you want the most stable base of support you can get. When you ditch the shoes and go barefoot, you can root yourselves to the ground and secure a more stable position.

				[image: check.png] Better lifting form: Few shoes are designed with heavy front squats or dead lifts in mind, so few shoes promote proper lifting mechanics. For example, a shoe with a lot of heel naturally edges the weight forward — toward the front of the foot — which is precisely where you don’t want it to be when squatting, lunging, dead lifting, and so on, because it translates to greater stress on the knees and the low back. Consequently, when you ditch the shoes, you may shift your weight back toward your heels and lift more from your hips and less from your knees or back.

				[image: check.png] Stronger feet, ankles, and calves: Shoes put the muscles of the feet, ankles, and calves out of work, either in part or in whole. In turn, they grow weak and dysfunctional, which puts you at a higher risk for injury. Without shoes, the artificial support is gone and your lowermost extremities must go back to work, so they grow stronger, and you’re less likely to fall into injury.

				[image: check.png] Increased proprioception/bodily awareness: The bottoms of your feet have sensors that pick up and transmit valuable information to your brain about your position and orientation in space — called proprioception. Shoes often distort or misinterpret these signals, and subsequently, the quality of your movement suffers.

				The less shoe, the better, we say. But if for whatever reason you can’t go strictly barefoot, then opt for minimalist footwear, such as Vibram Five Fingers, New Balance Minimus, or if you’re feeling bold, a pair of flip flops.

				Cancel the gym membership

				Do you need a gym membership to implement a Paleo fitness program? Not at all. Will it help? It can’t hurt. If nothing else, it can provide equipment such as kettlebells, dumbbells, and barbells, for your Paleo fitness journey. Just be sure to steer clear of the equipment you don’t need, like the treadmills, ellipticals, and exercise machines.

				[image: tip.eps]	We’re quite keen on working out outdoors, and there’s certainly something to be said about training alfresco. It’s primal. It feels good. And you get your daily dose of sunlight. Whether you choose to cancel your gym membership is entirely up to you, but we encourage you to break your Paleo fitness routine out into the sunlight every now and then.

				Dismiss preconceived notions

				One last thing to purge before you begin your Paleo fitness journey is any and all preconceived notions that you have about fitness and health. You’ll soon find that Paleo fitness is marked by minimalism, which is precisely what makes it such a good fitness program.

				In fact, Paleo fitness has in it all that you look for in a significant other but rarely find. It’s uncluttered and unfussy. It never tires you unfairly. And when you need some time off, it doesn’t make you feel guilty about it.



				Part III

				The Paleo Fitness Foundational Program

				[image: 9781118657911-pp0301.eps]

				Photos courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

				[image: pt_webextra_bw.TIF]	Visit for an additional intense workout routine that will boost your strength and endurance.

				In this part . . .

				[image: check.png] Understand the neurological science behind getting strong and build strength, not bulk.

				[image: check.png] Discover the truth about cardio, and realize that doing too much cardio can do more harm than good.

				[image: check.png] Find out what metabolic conditioning is, why it’s so effective at burning fat and building muscle, and how to incorporate it into your own fitness program.

				[image: check.png] Create a successful workout program that helps you realize your fitness goals.

				[image: check.png] Jump in to Paleo fitness with the 21-Day Primal Quick Start program and then move on to the 90-Day Primal Body Transformation — both complete with detailed workouts and step-by-step exercise instructions.



				Part II

				Mastering the Primal Power Moves

				[image: 9781118657911-pp0201.eps]

				Photos courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

				[image: pt_webextra_bw.TIF]	For more tips on performing kettlebell exercises, check out

				In this part . . .

				[image: check.png] Forgo the jog and start walking and sprinting for fat loss and muscle building.

				[image: check.png] Progress through exercises to develop lower body strength and discover why lower body strength is so important for your overall health and fitness.

				[image: check.png] See why your body weight alone is a powerful tool for developing upper body strength, and get familiar with the best exercises that use traditional weights to create lean, hardened, and healthy chest, back, and shoulders.

				[image: check.png] Forget the crunches and sit-ups and develop a lean, strong core by simply carrying weight. 

				[image: check.png] Take your training to the next level with advanced, power-developing exercises, such as the push press, jerk, and double snatch. 



				Chapter 2

				The Things You Ought to Do: Proper Cave Man Etiquette

				In This Chapter

				[image: arrow] Realizing the importance of strength training

				[image: arrow] Moving and breathing like you were designed to do

				[image: arrow] Identifying what compels you to get fit and healthy

				[image: arrow] Discovering the most effective and efficient exercise practices

				[image: arrow] Understanding the power of fasting and the Paleo diet


				Before you get into the primal exercise routines and get to work in Parts II and III, we provide a few techniques in this chapter that will guarantee your success and, more importantly, your safety.

				In Chapter 1, we talk about Paleo principles and values. In brief, we talk about Paleo strategy —the things you need to do to achieve vibrant health, a sexier physique, and peak performance. Here, we talk about Paleo tactics — the things you should do specifically. These tactics are the finer details. Some may even go so far as to call them minor details. But keep these words in mind: Big doors swing on little hinges. Often, the littlest tweaks produce the largest results.

				In this chapter, we present nine simple techniques that everyone should do on a regular basis. For this set of guidelines, we’ve reverse-engineered the lifestyle of the cave man.

				All the techniques in this chapter are immediately applicable, and the quicker you put them into practice, the quicker you’ll start dropping weight and building muscle, the quicker you’ll start feeling vibrant and vivacious, and the quicker you can close this book! We’ll even go so far as to say that anyone who practices these simple techniques 90 percent of the time will see 99 percent of his remediable health issues rapidly remedied.

				Cultivate Strength

				This chapter was a difficult one for us to write, mostly because we couldn’t decide on the proper order of the things you ought to do. And even though we believe that the first thing is just as important as the last, there’s always an implication — albeit a small one — that what comes first is more significant. And so, recognizing this, we put strength first. Just to play it safe. Indeed, many valuable attributes exist, from agility and balance to anaerobic/aerobic capacity, flexibility, mobility, but before anything else, you ought to cultivate strength.

				In this section, we explain what it means to cultivate strength by first defining what strength is and then showing you how strength helps you build a strong foundation for the other things you ought to do.

				Knowing what strength really is

				Throughout our pursuits, we’ve come across many workable but somewhat lacking definitions for strength. For example, a haughty and somewhat respectable lifter once said that true strength is a 500-pound dead lift, a 400-pound squat, and a 300-pound bench press. On the other end of the spectrum, poet Judith Viorst says that strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands.

				Finally, one definition in particular has always struck us as both beautiful and correct and is stated simply as this: Strength is the ability to overcome resistance.

				Resistance comes in many forms — mental, physical, internal, external — it’s any force in opposition of what you’re trying to do. And the only way to gain strength is to work against resistance.

				For example, the push-up provides resistance of your own body weight. But by working against this resistance, you develop upper body strength.

				Getting stronger to fix just about everything

				We subscribe to the general theory that being strong fixes just about everything, insofar that we’ve been offering one simple, sweeping, and effective antidote to the general ailments of the masses: Get strong(er).

				Here are just a few benefits of primal strength training:

				[image: check.png] Decreased fat mass

				[image: check.png] Improved focus/concentration

				[image: check.png] Improved glucose tolerance (decreased risk of diabetes)

				[image: check.png] Improved heart health

				[image: check.png] Improved sleep quality

				[image: check.png] Increased lean body mass

				[image: check.png] Increased stamina

				[image: check.png] Reduced risk of injury

				[image: check.png] Stress relief

				[image: check.png] Stronger bones (decreased risk of osteoporosis)

				General bodily weakness inhibits everything, whereas the stronger you are (the more force you can produce), the easier everything else becomes. In other words, as you increase your strength capacity, you increase all capacities, including but not limited to the following:

				[image: check.png] Muscular endurance — the ability to exert force over a prolonged period of time

				[image: check.png] Cardiovascular endurance — the ability to sustain strenuous cardiovascular efforts for a prolonged period of time

				[image: check.png] Power — how much force you can produce in a given amount of time

				[image: check.png] Coordination — how well everything in your body plays together

				So strength is the foundation on which everything else is built, and it’s generally useless to train anything else without training strength first. Consider this: Will the firefighter who trains for strength or the firefighter who trains for endurance be able to perform his tasks with greater efficiency? The answer is the one who trains for strength because if the one who trains for endurance has no strength base — that is, if he’s unable to lift the equipment or unable to drag an unresponsive person — then his general endurance is unusable. His endurance training has been for not.

				Endurance is only possible to the extent that you’re stronger than the task at hand, meaning that lifting and carrying a 150-pound body will be an easy act of endurance for the person who can lift 300 pounds but an impossible task for the person who can lift only 75 pounds. To say it another way, the person who can lift 300 pounds even once will have no trouble lifting 100 pounds many times, but the person who can lift 100 pounds many times may not be able to lift 300 pounds even once. To understand this is to know that increasing strength increases endurance but not the other way around.

				[image: tip.eps]	Endurance is simply a byproduct of strength. If you want to improve your endurance, get stronger!

				Developing strength as a skill

				The cave man was strong because strength was requisite for survival. But today, this whole business of strength often presents a dilemma. People think that strength is an attribute of the genetically gifted and that if they picked the wrong parents, they’re out of luck.

				[image: remember.eps]	Strength isn’t hereditary; it’s a skill, in the same vein that skiing, typing, or learning a new language are all skills. A skill is a habit of operation, something you acquire through observation and experience. You learn the rules, and then you operate according to the rules until you form a habit. In other words, you learn by doing.

				So if you lack strength, it’s not because you chose the wrong parents but because you chose the wrong habits. Therefore, if you’re weak, you either aren’t practicing effective habits or you’re practicing ineffective habits.

				Skills range in complexity. For example, learning a new language or how to play the piano are complex skills that take years to develop (at least to a level of significant proficiency). Strength, however, is a simple skill — one that anyone at any age can acquire rapidly. So just as a pianist acquires the skill of musicianship through diligent practice, you acquire strength in the same way. But instead of running scales, you lift weights.

				Furthermore, skills also range in necessity. If you’re unable to moonwalk, you need not offer any apologies. That’s a hard skill to master and is relatively useless. Strength, however, is essential, and there’s no excuse for not cultivating that skill. For strength — true strength — you need to follow only two simple rules:

				[image: check.png] Practice often. We don’t know anyone who has ever acquired a skill without practice. Strength is no exception. If you want to get strong at pull-ups, practice pull-ups. If you want to get strong at squats, practice squats.

				[image: check.png] Lift heavy some of the time. We can’t say this more plainly. If you want to get strong — really strong, that is — then you have to push your limits every so often. Not every day, but every couple of days you want to lift heavy and push yourself.

				Realizing there’s more to fitness than strength

				Lifting heavy is all very well and primal. And torn sinew, from time to time, just feels good. But we must warn you that strength can be a little addicting. And as you probably know, too much of any one good thing can quickly turn it bad.

				Although we tell you to train strength first, you don’t want to do so exclusively or excessively. Strength is the capacity that lifts all other capacities, but it doesn’t necessarily fill them. As your strength increases, so does the potential for endurance, flexibility, conditioning, and so on.

				[image: remember.eps]	Prioritize strength, but don’t neglect everything else. We’ve seen many strong athletes trample because they failed to give heed to their heart, and we’ve seen many strong lifters get injured because they paid no mind to the quality of their movement. Chasing strength and strength alone is a foolish and downright dangerous crusade.

				So after this puzzling realization, you may be wondering “what else are we to do