For the modern Grok, sprinting is generally an elective endeavor. His animals come pre-slaughtered, his honey comes bee-free, and the once-constant threats of predator or rival clan usually fail to materialize nowadays. He doesn’t “have” to run. If he runs fast, it’s probably because he chooses to do so – for sport, for fitness, or perhaps to catch a bus. But especially in matters of developing one’s physical potential (and, I suppose, when pursuing public transportation), speed still matters. Your sprints should be actual sprints, if you want to get the most out of them; you should be running at or around your maximum speed. But can we really squeeze out every single ounce of power without the threat of instant death or starvation licking at our heels? Is the modern sprint truly a sprint without the mortal urgency? Heck, even Usain Bolt seemed to let up on the intensity in his record-breaking 100m run, and he had a few billion eyes on him, not to mention the weight of a nation’s expectations bearing down on him. Can a mere mortal expect to give it his or her all?
Whenever Grok needed to lift something really, really heavy, he drew upon the adenosine triphosphate phospho-creatine (ATP-PC) energy system. If he saw an opportunity to cut off a fleeing buck and had mere seconds to act, Grok would engage his ATP-PC energy to summon the requisite sprinting speed. Today, we use the very same energy pathways. The very same potential for feats of immense, instantaneous strength and power resides in our muscles (some of us more than others, sure, but that can be altered through training). Of course, the ATP-PC energy system is just one of three primary pathways in our bodies. All three utilize adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as the primary energy source, but the speed, intensity, and duration of our muscle contractions determine exactly how that ATP energy is tapped, released and recycled.
Ideally, we should look forward to exercising. Dreading an integral part of a healthy lifestyle makes falling off the wagon more likely; if you like what you’re doing, you’re more likely to keep it up. The easiest way to achieve this is to incorporate the Primal concept of play into everyday life, whether it’s Ultimate Frisbee, playing with your kids, or going for a hike. Activities like these can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone who’s physically able, and they’re legitimately fun – the perfect disguise for actual exercise. But what about the requisite weight lifting or intense aerobic activity prescribed by the Primal Blueprint? Excepting of course the gluttons for punishment (and there are many among us), it can be difficult to make those fun. Sure, they’re highly rewarding and we always feel better for having worked out, but they can be – by definition – fairly unpleasant.
Though I’m a big proponent of Olympic lifts, and I use free weights on a regular basis, there’s something to be said for getting a great workout using just your surroundings, gravity, and maybe a pull-up bar. We can’t always get to a gym, and one-time fees can be pretty exorbitant – but we always want to be able to get a good workout in. When you’re stuck out of town on business, surrounded by fast food joints, stressed out of your mind and close to breaking, a great workout can really make the difference and save our sanity. We can’t always eat good Primal fare or even get plenty of sleep, but we can always blast our body with an intense, Primal workout using only our own body weight.
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