Methods of Paleo Training: Walking


encinomanWe are defined as a species by walking, as being upright on two legs allowed for our evolution into Homo-Sapiens. Our ancestors were primarily hunter gatherers, following herds of animals around the high-lands and low-lands. This required a slow paced movement as we would typically travel with everything that we owned. This travel, along with daily tasks like gathering and collecting, promoted our ancestors walking the distances of approximately 5-10 miles per day, and in some cultures further.

I really like Mark Sisson’s approach to movement/primal fitness in which he suggests to move slow frequently, lift heavy things and sprint here and there. “Moving slow frequently” or walking is probably the most primal thing we can do towards achieving a weight-loss goal, or reducing body fat. In this day and age we have so many wonderful modes of transportation that walking can sometimes be overlooked, as driving is so much quicker and easier.

I typically use walking as the primary source for cardio with my clients that have a weight loss goal. It is extremely low impact which is much appreciated by our joints. Also, based off of Respiratory Quotient (RQ) studies, in lower intensities of cardiovascular work, our body uses more fuel from our fat. I would typically program 3-4 days a week of a scheduled walk, whether that be in the gym on a treadmill, or outside enjoying nature. When my clients use a treadmill I typically tell them to increase the incline to 6-12% and maintain a pace of 2.5-3.5 mph, depending on ability. This will increase the heart rate into the 120-160 beats per minute which is great for the cardiorespiratory system and for fat loss. Sustaining this intensity for 30-60 minutes is recommended. When my clients walk outside I encourage them to keep a brisk pace for that 30-60 minutes and suggest they wear a heart rate monitor to ensure their heart rate is elevated into that 120-160 bpm range.

I assume all of you know what walking looks like so I put this video up because its awesome.

By Eddie Lester

Check out other Methods of Paleo Training:

Fighting
Carrying
Lifting
Climbing
Swinging


Methods of Paleo Training: Swinging


med ball

Swinging objects is deep rooted in our ancestral history. Our ancestors were smart and they realized using tools to perform specific tasks would help ensure survival and promote well being. During combat situations we would typically swing objects at our opponent to give us the upper hand in protecting ourselves. In hunting situations we might swing an object to make a kill. We may use the object like a spear and jab at the prey or potentially swing the object to contact the head of the animal. Sometimes even while gathering we might swing a stick to dislodge high fruits. We might also rotationally swing a projectile, like a rock, with contacting an animal or object being the goal. Swinging requires an immense level of core strength and stabilization which, for our ancestors, may have prevented some of the low back pain our current society suffers from. It also requires power, as typically the harder and faster you swing, the more efficient you were at the given task. This combination of uses, allowed our ancestors to have strong stabilizer muscles of the core including Transverse Abdominus, Internal and External Obliques, Quadratus Lumborum, Multifidus, and Erector Spinae, leading them to injury prevention and optimal performance in survival tasks.

Swinging can be used in your training to improve your core strength and stability, while at the same time increasing power. It can also be used as a form of cardiovascular conditioning within the parameters of interval training. Before you go out and start swinging something as hard and fast as you can, remember that you must already have a decent amount of core stability to begin with. Swinging is considered a ballistic movement and you should start with a low intensity and low volume before progressing yourself as improvements prevail. Most Swinging is going to be in the transverse plane and promote rotation of the body. This is great, as transverse plane movements are not commonly performed in most exercise programs.

Variations of swinging exercises are determined by the angle at which the swing is performed and the object that is being swung. Remember that the Force-Velocity Curve governs the speed at which you swing; the heavier the object the slower the swing will be and vice-versa. If you are training for quickness and speed in a swing, for something like baseball, a lighter object with a faster swing speed will better promote the goal. If core strength is the goal, use a heavier object, which by law will be moved slower, but will stress the muscles more.

Listed below are new aged exercises which promote the primal act of swinging:

Sledgehammer Swings: The Vertical Wood Chop, Single Arm Swings, Baseball/Rotational Swing

Rotational Medicine Ball Throw

Kettle Bell Swing

Just because it was in the name I had to include it. Although its primal roots may be fewer and far between, it is a great exercise to promote extensional explosivness, total body power and cardiovascular conditioning. (This video is just cause she’s good looking)

All of these exercises are mainly focused on power and force production. They are in the advanced category and should be used by those looking to increase rotational and extensional force and power as well as anyone looking for a tough cardiorespiratory workout. Cheers and swing on!

Eddie Lester

Check out other Methods of Paleo Training:
Fighting
Carrying
Lifting
Climbing


Methods of Paleo Training: Climbing


mountain_climbing_icon

Getting to high ground was a crucial element during our evolution. From the mountain-tops to the tree-tops, we would use this tactic to scout the areas in which we lived. Locating game, watching for invaders and rival clans, holding special ceremonies and connecting to our spirituality were some of these uses. Hunter Gatherers even made homes out of high locations to protect themselves, like some clans of the Navajo Tribe from North America. Blah blah blah, but how can climbing impact your fitness?

Muscles used in climbing include wrist/finger flexors, Biceps Brachi, Brachialis, Long head of the Triceps, and most importantly the Latissimus Dorsi. The Lats are the largest muscle in the back and their strength and flexibility can assist with proper posture. Lower body muscles can assist as well, which you will see in the videos.

Bouldering

The most consistent ancesteral climbing relative to our fitness would be bouldering.  Bouldering is the process of climbing up a shear, moderate height cliff or rock. This is typically done without safety gear or at most a foam pad to cushion a fall.

Climb a Tree

Okay maybe we aren’t kids anymore but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun. Make a tree climb an exercise and do a few sets at your local park.

Pull Ups

An in the gym practice for climbing, perform multiple sets pull ups as an ancestral link to climbing. Do them outside and get a tan! Vitamin D!

And Just because some people are really cool…

 

By Eddie Lester

Check out other Methods of Paleo Training:
Lifting
Carrying
Fighting