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.
You’ve probably noticed that we like to revisit subjects, no matter how exhaustive our prior analysis may have appeared. We do this for two reasons – to foster a running dialogue on a constantly evolving idea; and to make sure the Primal Blueprint remains supported by hard science.
Mark has always talked about his affection for the beach sprint (or any type of sprint) as a quick, intense, effective cardio workout in line with the type of daily activities Grok performed. He’s also conveyed his unease with our increasing reliance on Big Pharma for our health and wellness needs. Today’s post deals with two recent studies of particular interest and relevance to these topics. We found them quite interesting, and we think our readers might too.
As you probably already know, we’re big on sprinting around here for a number of reasons. First of all, sprints most closely emulate the type of activity Grok would have performed. You know – slowly stalking and hunting an animal for hours at a time (the constant, steady movement I prescribe) only to erupt with an intense burst of speed for the final kill (the sprint). Then he’d have to lug the thing back to camp (deadlifts, squats, and other high-intensity weight bearing training). Sprints are great because they are exactly the type of movement that man has been making for hundreds of thousands of years. Why mess with a good thing?
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