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

Archive for the ‘ Fitness ’ Category

14 Aug

7 Things You May Be Doing That Impair Workout Recovery

workoutSimplicity is baked into the Primal Blueprint by design. You eat plants and animals, avoid grains, get plenty of sleep and sun, and spend time doing things you love with people you love, and things just kind of fall into place. You can tinker around the edges and get really into the details, but I try to make this stuff as simple as possible. I’ve especially tried to distill exercise, a notoriously contentious topic, down into a simple, “universal” recommendation – move frequently at a slow pace throughout the day, lift heavy things twice or thrice a week, and sprint once in a while. While I maintain such a regimen will get most people reasonably fit and let them recover easily from their workouts without having to think too hard about recovery, it’s not the same for everyone. Some folks, particularly my harder-charging readers, my CrossFitters, my endurance athletes, and my barbell fanatics could use a more detailed discussion on workout recovery (since, after all, recovery is everything).

Today, I’ll start that discussion with a focus on seven factors that can impair your workout recovery:

29 Jul

Dear Mark: How Are You Training These Days?

PALEO  2013  MG 3902smallOne of the most common questions I get from readers is the same one I get from people who have no idea who I am or what I do: “What’s your workout, dude?” Because I write a blog that discusses the latest fitness research, some of you might get the impression that I’m constantly switching up my routine to incorporate the latest and greatest. Many times, you assume that because I wrote approvingly about something, I must be doing that thing. Well, by and large, I am not doing that. Even if some particular lift is proven to build the most strength most efficiently, I mostly stick to my tried and true. I’m no longer an elite athlete. I don’t need the latest and greatest. If it works for me and my goals, I stick with it. Of course, it helps that the way I train was already fairly consistent with the latest research, and is easily fueled by my Primal Blueprint eating strategy.

Here’s one of the latest inquiries into my training:

9 Jul

The Evidence Continues to Mount Against Chronic Cardio

marathonrunnersIt’s been awhile since I did a post on chronic cardio. I had a good string of them going several years ago, and I thought I’d done a good job explaining why I was so opposed to excessive endurance training. Despite my attempts to clarify, though, I still receive a lot of questions and comments about cardio. People just have a tough time divorcing themselves from the notion that cardio – as much as you can cram into your schedule – is the key to health and fitness. I don’t blame them, really. It’s conventional wisdom, after all, and it’s what I thought for years and years. Clearly, another post is needed.

Evidence against chronic cardio continues to mount, so there’s a lot to cover. But before we get to all the research, I have a few thoughts about the heart.

13 Jun

Have You Achieved Your Physical Potential?

thebest“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.”

- Thomas Edison

Remember when you were a kid flying down the street as fast as your dirt bike would propel you? How about on the swing set, pumping your legs madly, targeting angle and timing for maximum lift until you felt like you would fly over the overhead bar? What about that sheer thrill of legs going so fast they almost felt like they were coming loose as you chased your friends (or were chased) down a trail? As kids we were an unrelenting ball of will, every moment looking to test boundaries, defy limits, overturn physics. We were in love with speed and heights and adventure, yes, but I think we were amazed by all of our own capabilities – the new (and ever enhanced) capacities we were always discovering. Decades beyond those wild days of youth, we’re still each in possession of an amazing human body. We each still hold untold genetic potential – potential that, as the Edison quote suggests, would astound us. The question is, what do we do with this potential? Do we chase it down with the same fervor of our 10-year-old selves? Do we put it on the mental back burner in the name of adult responsibilities? Have we simply forgotten about it – or given up on it entirely?

21 May

Mental Toughness Training in the Primal World

dontgiveupThis is a guest post from Jack Yee. Jack’s Primal Blueprint Real Life Story “Free at 50” was published a few weeks ago here on Mark’s Daily Apple. In this article, Jack shares his four strategies for conquering intense workouts, and becoming both physically and mentally stronger as a result. Enter Jack…

When I first made the transition from conventional bodybuilding training to full body primal workouts, I quickly realized it was one of the best things I ever did. I used to look forward to doing the primal workout of the week or the contest WODs that were sent in by some of you. There was something so liberating about pounding a sledgehammer, crawling on grass, or throwing a stone and running as if I was being chased by a saber-tooth predator (all while being outside soaking in some much needed vitamin D). The primal workouts were fun, but very difficult to get through due to the high intensity that each workout demands. Many times, I wanted to quit, but I didn’t. As a result of this training – along with the Primal eating plan – I was able to get in the best shape of my life. But, something unexpected also changed in me; I became mentally tougher.

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