Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Archive for the ‘ Fitness ’ Category

27 Jan

Interview with Simon Whitfield: Olympic Gold Medalist

As many of you know, I have a long history as a former elite endurance athlete. Back in the day, I achieved a 2:18 marathon and landed 4th place in the Hawaii Ironman. That was all well and good, but above all I was vying for Olympic gold. There was just one small issue: I was giving […]

20 Jan

How to Personalize Primal Blueprint Fitness

The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge manifests differently for everyone. Some folks are focused on improving their diets, on removing this food or adding that food. Some have committed to optimizing their sleep by getting to bed at a certain time and eliminating nighttime electronics. And many just want to look better naked. But there’s one […]

15 Dec

Do You Know How to Properly Hydrate?

Hydration. It seems like it should be so easy: drink some water, go about your day, the end. If only it was that simple. In fact, there are many (often contradictory) opinions out there about what we should be drinking, and how much, and when, especially for the athletes among us. I have written about […]

23 Nov

Dear Mark: Back Health and Weight Lifting, Blood Pressure on Primal

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two reader questions. First, Will wonders whether his brother’s recent back injury from lifting a bag of mortar and his father’s lifelong bout with spinal stenosis following a deadlift injury should inform his exercise choices. Is the deadlift inherently risky? How prevalent is disc degeneration, and what […]

18 Nov

A Case Against Cardio, Part 27

I’m mostly joking with the title. Though, considering how much I’ve written on this topic since starting this blog way back in 2006, it’s probably not too far off. And it’s not just me. Endurance training has been getting the snot beaten out of it in recent years. A variety of media outlets, TED talks, […]

9 Nov

Dear Mark: Hunter-Gatherer Fitness and Volunteerism

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering an email that reminded me of an idea I once had that I’m convinced could really work: organizing group workout sessions like fitness bootcamps only instead of a guy barking orders as you perform a completely arbitrary set of exercises with little regard for technique, the group performs […]

13 Oct

Why Older (and Younger) Runners Need to Strength Train

Last month, the NY Times Well Blog dropped a piece discussing the results of a recent study of how endurance runners alter their stride as they age. Investigators observed a group of 110 experienced runners aged 23 to 59 making their way around a track. Runners under 40 tended to display greater lower leg activity […]

23 Sep

10 Things You Shouldn’t Do If You’re Trying to Build Muscle

While it’s important to think positive and focus on all the things you should be doing to achieve your goals, it’s equally important that we focus on those things that interfere with our goals and remind ourselves to avoid doing them. Some call it the “not to do list,” which I like. Many of the behaviors […]

2 Sep

Why Getting Fit Isn’t the Best Exercise Motivation (and 10 Better Reasons to Move Today)

We’re told time and again that in order to get healthy we need to let go of our “lower” instincts (e.g. conserving energy on the couch or preferring to go out and have fun) and embrace future goals. We need to take things seriously – have concrete objectives and clear steps to execute them. It’s […]

13 Aug

Introducing PrimalBeat HRV

Regular Mark’s Daily Apple readers know of my enthusiasm for the cutting edge biofeedback technology known as heart rate variability (HRV). There is a detailed introductory post here, and a follow up post here. In short, HRV measures the variation in beat-to-beat intervals of your heart, providing a direct window into the functional state of your […]

4 Aug

An Introduction to Isometrics: How to Build Strength Without Even Moving

This is a guest post from Todd Kuslikis of AShotofAdrenaline.net. Warning: Some of you are about to think I’m crazy. For those of you who haven’t heard of isometrics, this strength building concept is going to make you think I’ve officially walked off the deep end. Functional strength and awesome muscle mass gains with out […]

3 Aug

Dear Mark: Fasting Issues, Pullup Neck Pain, and Red Palm Oil

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. The first one comes from Neda, who’s experiencing some issues that may be related to her fasting schedule. How should she modify her fasting? Or should she eliminate it altogether? The second question concerns a common issue: neck pain during pullups. Why does it happen […]

20 Jul

Dear Mark: Metformin for Life Extension, Too Many MEDs, MED for Lifting Addict, and Horseback Riding

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four questions. First, does the diabetes drug metformin have life-extending potential for non-diabetics? Then, the final three questions come from the comment board of last week’s Minimum Effective Dose post. First, is it possible to try to do too many minimum effective dose workouts in a week. […]

15 Jul

5 Ways to Get the Most Bang for Your Workout Buck

Late last year, I introduced the idea of the minimum effective dose: the lowest dose to produce a desired outcome. Whether it’s calorie intake, exercise, sunlight, carbohydrates, or work habits, we often think we need much more than we actually do to get the results we want. Why crank out those extra reps, put in […]

29 Jun

Dear Mark: Vitamin D for Babes, Ingredient Bait and Switch, and Kettlebellin’ for Strength or Cardio?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a three-parter. First up is a controversial topic: vitamin D supplements for breastfeeding babies. Do they need it? Can they get enough through mother’s milk? Or is there another, better method for ensuring optimal vitamin D levels in breastfeeding infants? Next, what’s my take on the ol’ […]

22 Jun

Dear Mark: Melatonin Supplementation, Overcoming Previous Poor Health, and Is HIIT Too Stressful for Women?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First up, what’s the deal, exactly, with melatonin supplementation? Is it harmful? Dangerous? Will it impair our body’s own production of melatonin? Second, a reader wonders whether his past poor health decisions are sabotaging his health today. Even if he’s feeling great now, shouldn’t […]

17 Jun

The Greatest Piece of Exercise Equipment Ever Invented

Not the barbell. Not the bicycle. Not the rower, the Airdyne, not the pullup bar. I’m talking about the Smith Machine, of course, specifically the squats and curls you can do within its elite confines. Just kidding. It’s the Versaclimber, folks: the most brutally effective piece of fitness equipment you’ll ever use (but probably haven’t). […]

15 Jun

Dear Mark: Balancing Strength with Military Conditioning; Sitting in a Squat Position

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two questions from readers. First comes from William, an officer in the Navy who likes lifting heavy but also needs to score well on the physical fitness assessment, which involves a 1.5 mile run, pushups, and pullups. His taste for basic 5×5 strength work has left his running […]

10 Jun

5 Reasons to Run Outside Instead of on a Treadmill

Let me get this out of the way: treadmill running is better than sitting on the couch reading blogs that outline the reasons running outside is better than running on a treadmill. If it’s your only option – or even just the way you prefer to exercise — have at it. You have my blessing. The […]

2 Jun

The Myth of Perfect Conditions: 9 Common Excuses Used to Delay Exercise

It’s the Goldilocks Syndrome…. It’s too hot to exercise. It’s too cold. It’s too early. It’s too late. I’m too tired or busy or overweight or overwhelmed. When x, y, or z changes, things will be better, easier. That’s not long to wait, right? And, so, we talk ourselves into waiting and out of working […]

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