When I introduced a forum thread asking folks to share their top three challenges in going Primal, one issue got major traction: the S.O. factor (significant other, for those of you not into the whole online brevity thing). It’s a familiar story. One partner takes on a new health commitment. Life changes for that person. He/she goes through struggles, triumphs, growth – an entire physical and psychological process that potentially leaves a relationship chasm in its wake. Then there are the logistics, a menacing obstacle course of loaded questions and irksome details. Do you still eat together? Who cooks (not to mention shops)? Do we have enough pots and pans to make two different meals each night? How do we handle the kids’ food? Finally, what does it mean for the arrangement when one person’s food expenditure overshadows the other’s?
Most folks who decide to give the Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge the old college try do so to correct an underlying health issue. Maybe their cardiologist’s recommended dietary plan hasn’t been improving their lipid numbers as promised, or perhaps they’re sick of fighting a losing battle with diabetes by submitting to a daily pharmaceutical cocktail that appears increasingly ineffective. Gentle (or not so gentle) prodding from coworkers and loved ones with incredible results is another common motivating factor. But, above all, most people get involved with this Primal stuff because they want to lose weight without stressing over calorie counts, fat grams, and endless hours on the treadmill. And in order to do that – in order to lean out effortlessly and maintain that leanness – it’s vitally important that you dial in your carb count.
Over the next 29 days I’ll be bringing you tips, advice and guidance to help you get through each of the 14 mini-challenges. With well over 2,000 articles on Mark’s Daily Apple, I’ve written extensively about all things related to the Primal lifestyle; from solutions to common stumbling blocks, to simple hacks that produce big results with minimal effort. As such, many of the articles during this month will feature the best that MDA has to offer. Even if you’re a regular MDA reader these challenge articles will prove useful. Not only is it good to periodically revisit the fundamentals I’m sure there will be some articles buried deep in the archives that you’ve missed. And for all Primal Leapers, use this and future challenge articles to complement the Primal Leap Guidebook material.
This is the last in a series of posts (Pushups, Pullups/Chinups, Squats) covering proper technique for the 4 Essential Movements of Primal Blueprint Fitness. Check back tomorrow when I’ll be covering the first of many ancillary movement patterns that will be featured in Workouts of the Week (WOW).
I don’t like situps, crunches, or most of their derivatives, as “core workouts.” Yeah, doing a ton of crunches day in and day out will get you perpetually sore abdominals, but that’s an improper usage of our torso. The core does not exist to contract or bend over and over again; it’s there to resist force. We need strong cores in order to maintain a stable torso while putting in work, whether it’s lifting heavy things, carrying a heavy load, or transferring power from our hips while throwing a punch or a ball. Having that stable, strong core with the capacity to resist the influence of outside forces is far more important than having the capacity to perform a million situps.
Simulating the overhead press using just one’s bodyweight is the trickiest essential Primal movement yet. The standard bodyweight replacement for the standing overhead press is the handstand pushup. I’m a huge fan, but the reality is that it’s not a realistic prescription for most people right off the bat. Can you imagine Grandpa busting out a set of ten handstand pushups? Not very likely (yet). It’s a tough, tough movement (which is why it works so well and why it’s level 8 in the PBF progression), but luckily you can target the same muscles with a much more elementary movement: the shoulder press pushup.
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