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A Week in the Life of Mark Sisson

Posted By Mark Sisson On February 2, 2011 @ 12:35 pm In Health | 282 Comments

First off, I hope you can forgive me for the self-referential blog post title. “A Week in My Life” doesn’t mean much of anything to anyone that only sees the title on the Interwebs, so there it is. In any case, many of you have requested an update to my own personal Primal regimen to give you a sense of what my average day looks like. At the risk of boring you to tears, I thought I’d chronicle a week in my normal life for you today. I’ll start with a few random notes:

1. Art De Vany [7] made a comment a while back that really resonated with me. He said these days he seeks to do as little as possible – to find more time to relax just like our hunter-gatherer ancestors did – and still do. I know where he’s coming from, and I want that too. While I am “working” more now than at any time in my life, I am also constantly looking for ways to cut corners and make things easier. I really do want to play [8] (Law #7 [9]) more. Don’t get me wrong – I’m having a blast and am totally immersed in all we’re doing at MDA and Primal [10], but my goal is still to make my life as comfortable and pleasurable as possible.

2. We have a housekeeper – Diva – who has been with us for eight years and who has trained as a sous chef under my good friend Oren Zroya [11] (the amazing PrimalCon chef [12]). She’s a godsend. She ensures that the pantry and refrigerator are always well-stocked with the right foods and cooking ingredients. As a result, we always have access to healthy snacks, myriad ingredients for a big-ass salad, or several things freshly made from the Primal Blueprint Cookbook [13] that we can simply heat up. Malibu Seafood is located right down the street, which helps when we want to buy fresh fish. I keep a supply of grass-fed beef, bison, pastured lamb and other goodies in my freezer at all times. And bacon [14].

3. As for training, I’ve said many times here that I really only train these days to be able to play [15] well, play hard and play uninjured. Easier said than done, and at 57 it seems that injuries can lurk around every corner if one is not vigilant. I have chronic hip flexor issues (going back to my marathon days) and a problem rotator cuff from setting a PR on the bench some years ago. I decided to take the first quarter of 2011 to rehab those and really focus on strength and mobility in my hips [16] and my shoulders [17].  Therefore, I do a few movements outside normal bodyweight exercises (PB Fitness [18]) to focus on those areas, and Carrie [19] and I take a “restorative” yoga class at least once a week for that purpose as well.

4. Notice that I often repeat the same schedule or menu. I tend to prefer a routine over new stuff all the time.

5. Supplementation Regimen: Every day I take 3-4 capsules of Vital Omegas [20] (omega-3 fish oil), 2-4 capsules of Primal Sun Vitamin D [21] (when I’m not getting enough sunlight [22]), 1-2 Primal Flora [23] and 1-2 packets of Damage Control Master Formula [24].

Here’s what last week looked like:

Sunday

7:00 AM – Big cup of coffee (always French press, Starbucks – anything extra bold) always with heavy whipping cream and a teaspoon of sugar [25]. Read paper, did Sunday Sudoku and Crossword (Primal Law #10 “use your brain”).

9:00 AM - Breakfast: Three scoops of Vanilla Crème Primal Fuel [26] with ice cubes and water in a blender in anticipation of a big Ultimate [27] game.

10:00 AM - Two hours of Ultimate (Frisbee). Warmed-up with some easy runs and throws, and then chose sides for 7-on-7 game. Great game (rained a bit during it) and excellent workout. Most fun I have all week. Probably did 20 full-out sprints [28] of 40+ yards, with lots of stop and go or side-to-side mixed in. My team lost 25-21, mostly due to throwing errors. I always play in VFF Treks [29] (Treks have more grip for grass than most other VFFs).

12:30 PM – Back home after game, stood in unheated pool up to mid-thigh (high 50’s – low 60’s temp) for 10 minutes. It’s part of my new repair and restore program.

1:00 PM – Lunch: Four egg [30] omelet with onions, cheese [31], and red peppers, mineral water.

4:00 PM – Snack: Handful of macadamia [32] nuts (20ish). Macs are the only nuts [33] I eat anymore – they are so superior to all others.

7:00 PM – Dinner: One pound of ground lamb mixed with sautéed onions and peppers, steamed asparagus spears drenched in butter [34]. 2 glasses cabernet sauvignon [35]. Didn’t quite finish the lamb, but Buddha made quick work of the rest.

10:30 PM – Bed

Monday

6:30 AM - Big cup of coffee, read newspaper, did crossword.

7:30 AM – Work

9:30 AM – Breakfast: 4-egg omelet at desk.

10:30 AM – Gym: 3 sets of: 30 reverse rows + 40-50 pushups (with one minute walk/rest between sets)

3 sets of: 12 wide grip pullups + 15 parallel bar dips (one minute walk/rest between sets)

3 sets of: 10 narrow parallel grip pullups + 15 easy dumbbell curls to overhead press @ 25 pounds

2 sets of shoulder rehab stuff (circles, front raises, side raises, etc., with light dumbbells)

11:15 AM – Work

1:00 PM – Lunch: Big-ass salad [36]. Mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, avocado, red bell peppers, browned slivered almonds, large dollop of tuna, dressing with EVOO as base. Ate at desk.

4:00 PM – Snack: Handful of cherries.

5:15 PM - One hour session with Michelle, my pilates/yoga/stretch guru, holding long, easy hip-opening poses.

7:30 PM – Dinner: 1 glass cabernet, 10 ounces grilled Bison “New York Cut”, 2 cups of Brussels sprouts with Hazelnuts (p. 142 PB Cookbook [13]), 1 more glass cabernet, wedge of artisanal cheese.

8:30 PM – Game of Scrabble with son Kyle.

10:30 PM – Bed

Tuesday

6:30 AM – Big cup of coffee, caught up on news, crossword.

7:30 AM – Work

9:00 AM - Breakfast: Three scoops of Chocolate Primal Fuel [26] with ice cubes and water in a blender. No easier way to get 30 grams of protein and a bunch of healthy coconut sat fat [37].

9:30 AM – Gym: 20 minutes on Precor stationary bike, started easy, gradually increasing resistance until maximum effort at 20th minute. Easy 2 minute recovery spin, then started 8 reps of: 20 seconds at max effort (high resistance and 110+ rpms) with 40 second easy spin rest between sets (lower rpms and a few notches down in resistance). Drenched. Grok squatted [38] for a few minutes after. Went home and stood in the cold pool for 10 minutes [39].

10:30 AM – Work

1:00 PM – Lunch at local restaurant. Giant pork chop with mushroom sauce and asparagus tips, iced tea.

2:00 PM - Weather was awesome, couldn’t avoid going out for 1.5 hour stand-up paddle session. Should probably have worked, but my friend Eric and the board beckoned. OK. Shouldn’t have worked if my goal is truly to have more fun.

4:50 PM – Snack: Handful of macadamias.

8:00 PM – Dinner: 14 giant shrimp, each dipped in melted butter (maybe my favorite dinner). Steamed broccoli (same butter). 1 glass chardonnay (Sonoma Cutrer). A few pieces of 85% dark chocolate [40].

11:00 PM – Bed

Wednesday

6:45 AM – Big cup of coffee, caught up on news, crossword, Sudoku.

7:30 AM – Work

9:30 AM – Breakfast: Three scoops of Vanilla Primal Fuel [26] with ice cubes and water in a blender.

9:45 AM – Hiked up Puerco Canyon with wife Carrie and Buddha (my Yellow Lab, if you hadn’t gathered that by now). I wore a 20-pound weight vest to equalize the effort (she’d had an emergency appendectomy 10 days earlier. 1:15 up and back. 10 minute cold soak in pool to mid-thigh.

11:30 AM – Work

1:00 PM – Lunch: Big-ass salad, with cold shrimp left over from dinner as protein source.

4:20 PM – Snack: Half-tin of sardines.

6:00 PM – Dinner: Chicken and fennel stew (PB Cookbook [13] page 84)

7:30 PM – 90-minute deep tissue massage, which I try to get once a week.

10:00 PM – Bed

Thursday

6:20 AM – Big cup of coffee, caught up on news, crossword, Sudoku.

7:30 AM – Work

9:30 AM – Breakfast: Four egg omelet with the works. Basically, very low carb.

9:45 AM – Gym: Repeat Monday’s workout, adding 50 deep air squats to second series (so x 3) and 90-second planks to third series.

11:15 AM – Work

12:00 PM – Business lunch: Half a free-range chicken and steamed spinach at local restaurant. Admit that I picked at a few potatoes [41], too.

4:20 PM – Snack: Handful of macadamias.

7:30 PM – Dinner: 1-2 ounces cheese, Kale salad, grass-fed beef rib eye, steamed broccoli drenched in butter. 2 glasses syrah. Who needs desert!

10:00 PM – Bed

Friday

More good food, easy hike up Bush Canyon.

Saturday

More good food, took day off to attend Los Angeles Fitness Expo. Just like the circus only wilder.


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[2] Primal Blueprint 101: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_pb_101

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[5] support options: http://primalblueprint.com/categories/Store/Services/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_services

[6] supplements: http://primalblueprint.com/categories/Store/Supplements/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_supplements

[7] Art De Vany: http://www.arthurdevany.com/

[8] play: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-definitive-guide-to-play/

[9] Law #7: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/definitive-guide-primal-blueprint/

[10] Primal: http://primalblueprint.com/

[11] Oren Zroya: http://www.cheforen.com/

[12] PrimalCon chef: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/live-blogging-from-primalcon-2010/

[13] Primal Blueprint Cookbook: http://primalblueprint.com/products/The-Primal-Blueprint-Cookbook.html

[14] bacon: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/a-quick-guide-to-bacon/

[15] I really only train these days to be able to play: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/this-is-why-i-train/

[16] mobility in my hips: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-regain-and-maintain-hip-mobility/

[17] shoulders: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-maintain-shoulder-mobility-and-scapular-stability/

[18] PB Fitness: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-fitness/

[19] Carrie: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dear-carrie-reader-question-roundup/

[20] Vital Omegas: http://primalblueprint.com/products/Vital-Omegas-%252d-AUTOSHIP*.html

[21] Primal Sun Vitamin D: http://primalblueprint.com/products/Vitamin-D-%252d-AUTOSHIP*.html

[22] sunlight: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/vitamin-d-sun-exposure-supplementation-and-doses/

[23] Primal Flora: http://primalblueprint.com/products/Primal-Flora-%252d-AUTOSHIP*.html

[24] Damage Control Master Formula: http://primalblueprint.com/products/Damage-Control-Master-Formula-%252d-AUTOSHIP*.html

[25] sugar: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-definitive-guide-to-sugar/

[26] Primal Fuel: http://primalblueprint.com/products/Primal-Fuel-%252d-AUTOSHIP*.html

[27] Ultimate: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/ultimate-frisbee/

[28] sprints: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/sprint-routine/

[29] VFF Treks: http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/Five-Fingers-KSO-Trek-Mens.htm

[30] egg: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/egg-purchasing-guide/

[31] cheese: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cheese-unhealthy/

[32] macadamia: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/macadamia-oil/

[33] nuts: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/nuts-omega-6-fats/

[34] butter: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/grass-fed-butter/

[35] cabernet sauvignon: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/low-carb-alcohol/

[36] Big-ass salad: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/two-minute-salad/

[37] healthy coconut sat fat: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-wonderful-world-of-coconut-products/

[38] Grok squatted: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-squat-properly/

[39] cold pool for 10 minutes: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cold-water-therapy/

[40] dark chocolate: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-5-best-dark-chocolate-bars-in-the-world/

[41] potatoes: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/paleo-potatoes/

[42] Primal Blueprint Books: http://primalblueprint.com/categories/Store/Books-and-Media/?utm_source=mda_sidebar&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=sidebar_like_article_books

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