Machines are amazing. They can perform at maximum output for months upon months upon years without skipping a beat. And when they do slip up, they can just get the parts replaced or their programming retooled. Humans are not machines. We can’t perform at maximum output for months and even years, only stopping to get a quick tune-up or a replacement part. However, humans are better than machines, with our ability to organically heal our own bodies and recover from injuries and wounds and illnesses, but we require time to do so. It doesn’t happen overnight, though, and in the absence of pharmacological assistance, there are no easy ways around this simple fact of our existence.
Last week, I made the suggestion that people interested in maintaining health and immunity while avoiding excessive oxidative stress should expend no more than 4,000 calories per week through focused exercise, a recommendation that I’ve found to be pretty sound for most of the general population. You guys had plenty of questions about that recommendation, as I expected, so today I’m going to devote the entirety of “Dear Mark” to answering some of those questions. I didn’t get to all of them, but I did try to tackle a representative swath. Don’t expect big sprawling walls of text; I’m just doing this rapid fire style. If I’ve made any glaring omissions, let me know and I’ll see if I can answer them at a later date.
That said, let’s get right into it:
Everyone agrees that being sedentary is bad and unhealthy and that being active is good and healthy. The research agrees, too; regular physical activity leads to good health, longer lives, and an improved ability to function throughout normal life. When you’re able to walk to the store, carry your groceries home, take the stairs, get out of bed without struggling, pack enough lean mass to survive a stay in the hospital, and ride your bike when you want to, you’re a functional human being, and remaining active on a regular basis helps maintain this state so crucial to basic health and happiness.
For as much as I emphasize the importance of food with regards to health and body composition and deemphasize the purely mechanical act of burning calories through arduous, protracted exercise, you still do have to move. You have to lift heavy things. You have to move very quickly every once in awhile. You have to stay active. These behaviors are absolutely essential to your Primal foray. So, let’s dig into Primal exercise, shall we? Enough food talk.
First off, if you haven’t downloaded a copy of Primal Blueprint Fitness, my free e-book that lays all this stuff out, go sign up for the newsletter to gain access. It’s free and you get tons of other cool freebies, so there’s really no reason not to do it. Plus, it’ll flesh out everything discussed in today’s post. Second, click on the pyramid to the right to zoom in. And we’re off…
I’m no stranger to spending the bulk of your time thinking about training, programming your training, planning your meals so that they support your training, modifying your training to affect your performance, and modifying your training to affect your body composition. I was an elite endurance athlete who dabbled extensively in strength training; I’ve been there. I’ve dug into the minutiae of it all. I’ve reveled in perfecting my post-workout and pre-workout nutrition. It’s fun, and a little addictive. And although I’m no longer concerned with that stuff for my own training, I know that many MDA readers care about it, so I try to keep up with the current research. Today’s edition of Dear Mark is all about training. Let’s dig in.
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