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

Contest: WOW Thoughts for Witstick

The Prize:

Witstick. Got 3 inches of floor space? Want an intense, full-body workout in minimal time? Pick up a Witstick. If you’re trying to lift heavy things, this giant stick of heft cuts the mustard. At just 2.5 or 3 inch diameter and 2 feet long it is deceivingly heavy. I was sent one of these awhile back and it’s really nifty. Its rubber covering makes it easy to grip and it’s the right size and shape for a wide variety of movements. I like to hoist it on my shoulder and just go for a walk. Eventually, you’ll be swinging it, tossing it, snatching it, and lunging with it in a choreography limited only by your own creativity. These things are handmade by John Byrne and John Muse, long time readers of MDA. There are several weight varieties, from 22 to 40 lbs. The winner of today’s contest will receive a Witstick of his or her choosing.

The Contest:

Primal Blueprint Fitness and the Workouts of the Week were released nearly two months ago now, and I’d like to hear what you have to say about them. In the comments section below, give me your best feedback on PBF and, more specifically, the WOWs. Do you enjoy them? Easier than you thought? Harder? Are there specific types of workouts of which you’d like to see more, or less? Do you have an idea for a new WOW? What do you think about the PBF Self-Assessment? What do you think about the PBF Lift Heavy Things progression and goal reps? Let me know. A winner will be selected at random.

The Deadline:

Midnight, tonight!

Who is Eligible:

Folks in the continental U.S. Other folks will win a substitute prize of equal value.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I really enjoyed the WOW that had pull ups, push ups, and squats in 20 minutes. I only did 18 cycles but that gave me 54 pull ups, about 15 more than I usually do.

    Now I do a variation for variety in my upper body workout when I don’t want to go to failure.

    Latest iteration is 3 pullups, 10 pushups, and 3 to 5 Hindu squats. Did 25 sets thought it took me nearly 40 minutes.

    Charles wrote on October 4th, 2010
  2. note: I’m an avid crossfiter for years, so my feedback might be a bit unbalanced.
    The WOW is a great concept. However, the random, unexpected, way is pushing many people off this concept. There are people who are okey with a total random plan, (but these guys are probably already hooked into Crossfit). Other people want some level of planning and clearer expectations. A complete random WOW is nice idea, but not ideal for “mass production”, I suspect.
    I believe that a pattern that is more expected, but still keeps one/few elements as random, might be easier to accept by most people. This will allow people to do the WOW without checking the site first and without worrying too much, etc.

    Dael wrote on October 4th, 2010
  3. I love the PB outlook on fitness in general, but I have to say the WoWs have been quite disappointing. I was under the impression that the WoW was to fit the “lift heavy things” aspect, but the WoW’s so far focus much more on sprinting (other than the “1,2,3” workout – which is not winning any originality points at all).

    There is nothing wrong with sprinting, but I can sprint on my own, and don’t need any help coming up with a way to make that fun -running as fast as my legs will carry me for as long as my lungs will keep up is pretty fun!

    What I would like to see is some imagination incorporated on actually doing some of the lifting stuff. At the risk of someone else taking my WoW ideas -throw in some push-up walking with your feet against a wall or getting up into a tree 5 times fast, (any way you can).

    In short: more creativity. If I wanted crossfit workouts I’d go to their website, and if i wanted sprints, I’d just go sprint.

    (sorry for the negativity, but that’s how i feel)

    anzy wrote on October 4th, 2010
    • WOWs can also take the place of your Sprint day, depending on the type of WOW it is.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      Mark Sisson wrote on October 4th, 2010
  4. As a Mom with a lot to do I love that I can find a way to do most of the WOWs inside. It makes me feel like I can still take care of myself as well as the family.

    Bobbi wrote on October 4th, 2010
  5. i like being able to do these outside while we have been having awesome weather. it is also fun to see that some things that i did not think would be as hard (jumpsquats and lunges after grok crawls) challenged me the most and vice versa things that i thought would be more taxing (squat throw) ended up being less that brutal…can’t wait for the indoor routines as well…(pull ups)

    futureman wrote on October 4th, 2010
  6. I’d love to see a wow that incorporates a lot of “play.” Like handstands or cartwheels!

    Helen wrote on October 4th, 2010
  7. I like the variety in the WOWs, and that nearly all of them just use bodyweight exercises. I respond better to these type of workouts than CrossFit or P90x, which sets you up for injury and/or over training. I agree with another poster that it would be great to have some indoor workouts for those of us who live in cold climates, with winter coming up.

    Mike wrote on October 4th, 2010
  8. I like the WOWs, though as someone already mentioned, it would be great to have some indoor ones too. I really like the fitness assessment. I actually did better than I expected the first time I took it and it has been fun to see measurable progress.

    Wellness Mama wrote on October 4th, 2010
  9. I think the WOW are cool because of the simplicity and I guess how they use a lot of the body. Though recently, at least to me, I have found that instead of calling something a workout I thought it would be best to make it like play. To make everything like play like your workouts sort of are.

    But I mean more something like your sitting around and your muscles just feel deprived or something along those lines and just jump off your butt and do some push ups. Then maybe something else, just for a couple of minutes. After, you got that sudden burst of energy from excercising and maybe go back on your butt and just feel better or the motivation’ll come into you to do something else. You know, just go with the flow.

    Like I try to follow my bodies flow. It gets bored, so I use it. And are bodies seem constantly bored, they would love if we walked a little, did a front flip and ran around, walked a bit more then started dancing or something that used your body and keep going. I just try to keep using my body, not to say thats how I walk around though I suppose that would be pretty fun to do but I live in the Bronx surrounded by people and would prefer to not look like some sort of animal haha. But ya just follow your body is the best thing I can think to do.

    Jerry wrote on October 4th, 2010
  10. I haven’t downloaded the ebook or participated in the WOW yet because I’d decided to wait until I finished reading “The Primal Blueprint”. After reading these comments, I’m rethinking that strategy…
    (note to self: download ebook when I get home!)

    Larry wrote on October 4th, 2010
  11. I love the variety in the WOW’s. I love to take ideas from them and work them into my irregular workouts. I also love the partner ideas. They WOW’s are always really creative and fun. I hope they keep on coming!

    paul vt wrote on October 4th, 2010
  12. I like the idea of the WOW’s. I think they can be unrealistic to follow most of the time due to lack of partners, space, etc. They do offer some great ideas though especially for beginners. I also think the WOW’s are great if you want to incorporate your kids into the workout (something that is hard to do in a crossfit gym).

    Kelly wrote on October 4th, 2010
    • Hello, Kelly,

      Partners aren’t needed for any of the WOWs, just recommended for some. It’s true some WOWs need some outdoor space, but a park, a quiet street shouldn’t too hard to come by, no? Thanks for the feedback.

      Mark Sisson wrote on October 4th, 2010
  13. The WoWs are a great start. They cover fundamental compound movements. I frequently post workouts on our blog, and have been having a hard time defining “primal” workouts. The workouts we post wind up being a hybrid of WoWs, CrossFit, and TacFit. All of those seem to fit the bill, but I’m looking forward to seeing the unique identity that primal WoWs take over time.

    The Primal Palette wrote on October 4th, 2010
    • Yes, it’s true. WOWs will inevitably evolve over time.

      Mark Sisson wrote on October 4th, 2010
      • Now that I think about it, one of the great things about primal fitness is that requirements are written in broad strokes: moderate cardio, lift heavy things, and occasionally sprint. The diversity of movements that fit the bill should make getting bored of primal workouts nigh impossible and that’s a very good thing!

        The Primal Palette wrote on October 4th, 2010
  14. I find the WOWs to be quite motivational. I don’t have the strength to do most of them, but I like reading them and seeing what I’ll work up to.

    As a newbie, I admit I haven’t read the ebook yet, so I can’t comment on that part. I’ve been concentrating mostly on eating habits. I’ve been adding movement by walking more, being barefoot as much as possible (and curing my plantar faciatis at the same time!) and being outside doing stuff, and stretching because I find it relaxing. Oh, and I found a second hand mini-trampoline that we all love to bounce on! Woot!

    Reiki Susan wrote on October 4th, 2010
  15. I enjoy the occasional WOW in my week. As I’ve done crossfit in the pass I feel that it is somewhat of a return to that (which I enjoyed). Using them to mix up the LHT days is great. I look forward to more of them as they continue to come out and I think they will continue to get better. Thanks!

    Ryan wrote on October 4th, 2010
  16. As a new person I looked at the WOW’s and thought, oh, I’m not strong enough to do that. Or “with my foot injury I can’t do that”. I would like more obvious direction on what to do if you are new for fitness. Many people come to the website long before they are able to look at the book. So I’m sure I’m not the only one who looked at the Wow’s and then the ebook and thought, “Oh, I’m not ready for the WOW’s so I’ll download the book AFTER I get in better shape and PB for awhile”. Of course now, I’m slapping my forehead but I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    Maya wrote on October 4th, 2010
  17. I wish I could do the WOWs. However, with my physical limitations (cerebral palsy) they are not very doable for me.

    marcadav wrote on October 4th, 2010
  18. I’ll simply be echoing a lot of other comments one here. I am not a crossfitter but I do prefer those kinds of workouts. So far most of the WoW’s have been pretty simple and not as intense as I would usually go. I think maybe writing them harder and then posting alternate lighter workouts for people with injuries or lower levels of fitness would be better.
    All that said, most of them have been good at incorporating full body movements and some HIIT which is very good. You might consider a hard gainer plan too.

    Mike wrote on October 4th, 2010
  19. I like the WOW’s they give some variety and make the workouts interesting.

    Lori wrote on October 4th, 2010
  20. I am happily,yet slowly, reading the Primal Blueprint Fitness. I like to see the WOW’s and remember a piece of it to incorporate when I ‘workout’ but don’t follow them directly. They are more a good reminder to move a spring board for ideas of exercise, I enjoy them.

    Christie Johnson wrote on October 4th, 2010
  21. Loves the WOW – because my primal hubby and I can do them together without me feeling like a wimp (hes alittle bit stronger)I just change up the weights or the reps – its a nice way to to mix-it-up and sweat it out together

    Lisa wrote on October 4th, 2010
  22. I haven’t looked at too many WOWs, I should take some time to look through them all now that you have posted quite a few. I was slow to incorporate the primal movements from the fitness book but have been doing them pretty regularly for a while now.
    Your assessment definitely helped, and I don’t know why but I thought I couldn’t progress from the knee pushup to the incline pushup until I could do 2 sets of at least 50 pushups per set. Well let me say that by working on that I was able to hit 50 incline pushups pretty quickly after moving up. I stayed on inclines 1 extra day today, but next time I will do regular pushups.

    I would love to see WOW that incorporates things we could do in the gym. Sometimes I go there to do my sprint (in the form of racquetball) and sometimes when I do I like to do bench presses and other exercises I can’t do at home.

    Thanks for everything you do! I went primal at the end of March and was able to lose just over 50 lbs by the end of September mostly through diet and walking. The PBF has helped me take it to the next level and break through a plateau I had at 190 lbs and start building my strength. I have a ways to go still but you have really helped me come a long way. I hope winning one of these Witsticks will help me break through the plateau I’ve been at these last couple weeks.

    Sebastian wrote on October 4th, 2010
  23. I have really liked the PBF approach. I did the LHT self test, and have since (slowly) been working up the exercises (it’s a lot tougher getting in shape in my 50’s than it was in my 20’s).

    I particularly like the sprinting – I haven’t run like that in, oh, probably 15 years, but I’ve been doing sprints up a local trail and loving it.

    John wrote on October 4th, 2010
  24. I think the WOW is a great way to keep workouts fun! For me, though, I have a particularly hard time finding ways to keep sprint sessions a bit more fun (especially now that the cold weather is setting in).

    I am wondering if there is ever any room for a WOW post on a sprint workout?

    Griffin wrote on October 4th, 2010
  25. I love the WOW’s…at least the idea of them. I’ve been making up my own for the past few weeks. We burn wood for heat when the weather gets cold, so for a workout I go out in the yard and start chucking, swinging, tossing, squatting, carrying, etc etc logs around (when I’m not splitting them). Can’t get much closer to the primal instincts! =D

    Bryan wrote on October 4th, 2010
  26. So far, I’m a fan of just about every word I’ve seen written here. I came in via CrossFit, and that’s still my main modality, but I do mix in the WoW on occasion, just to mix it up. PBF just feels like a great melding of the CF mentality, Paleo, and whole lot of straight-up “humanity.” I get a really good groove from your writings and ideas, as they really feel like *someone* doing them, not just a guy *recommending* them… ie, they come from experience, not unproven theory. Thanks!

    Dustin K. wrote on October 4th, 2010
  27. I have been doing PBF LHT now for 8 weeks. That in itself is crazy to think about.

    I have certainly seen improvements over time.

    My nemesis is pullups. I am on level 3 and can do reverse pullup/chinups no problem, but only 2-4 full pullups. I have adopted the routine of doing as many full reps as I can, then switching to one level below to fill out the rest, mostly because of time issues. If I stick with the full movement, I have to rest too much in between and the workout gets too long.

    Maybe it was just me, but I found the progressions for pushups seemed out, at least for me. I found going from Level 2 knee pushups to the level 3 incline pushup was easier, so I skipped ahead to full level 4 pushups. Currently I can do 35 of those, so I am in the range I think.

    ReadyToGrok wrote on October 4th, 2010
  28. Re WOW: I think they are great because they can be used as a suplement, as introduction ( like this month with partner) or as designed in PBF. I find them easy to scale down for beginners and up for me. As avid Crossfitter, these are a welcome addition. Well done Mark.

    As for today’s prize the obvious use for me is overhead squat, front squats thrusters, all the presses and lunges. I would deff. Go to park and throw it too! If I get lucky enough to be picked, I’ll be sure to submit a video of the WOW I come up with.

    Grok on!

    Bomberito Brian wrote on October 4th, 2010
  29. I like the WoWs.I agree that a WoW in the gym would be nice. Once the snow starts, it gets much hard to workout outside, espically wearing Vibrams!

    Jen wrote on October 4th, 2010
  30. I love the WoW videos being submitted following your WoW updates! The PBF seemed to be torn from the pages of the PB book, which was fine for me but my expectations were for a few more nuts and berries in the worksouts.

    Joe The Toad wrote on October 4th, 2010
  31. PBF is terrific – I’m surprised at the good results I’ve gotten from just a few weeks of consistent bodyweight exercises.
    I thought for sure I’d have to incorporate free weights before getting results.
    I’m also surprised at how much benefit I get out of the spring workouts!
    PBF along with PB Eating is the cat’s meow – minimum effort, maximum return!

    Matt C wrote on October 4th, 2010
  32. As soon as it was released I read and devoured the PBF manual. I have the reference sheets taped to my wall near my pull-up bar. I do them at least once a week. The ranges make it easy for a beginner to figure out where to start! Yay!

    gilliebean wrote on October 4th, 2010
  33. I enjoyed the Squirmish WOW, and would like to see more workouts with sprints as the focus.

    Elle wrote on October 4th, 2010
  34. I really like the WoW’s in general, particularly the creativity and variety that goes into each one. I like to see a little more lifting of “heavy things” incorporated.

    Joel wrote on October 4th, 2010
  35. I’m really feeling the WOWs. I particularly like the 1,2,3 WOW as it is quick but still challenging. I’d love to see some more “prison workout” style WOWs ans I tend to use them for study breaks on days when I don’t have time to go to the track or gym.

    Phill wrote on October 4th, 2010
  36. I enjoyed reading the PBF and the WOW’s are definitely inspirational, but I find them a bit hard to do in the context of a college student with limited access to things like rocks…Or maybe I’m just being a wimp and should just buck up about it…

    Tiffany wrote on October 4th, 2010
  37. I’ve only recently stumbled across the gold mine of information from the PBF manual and the WOWs, and it’s been great to have some lifestyle reinforcement.

    It’s tough to eat right and find an effective routine for physical activity, and I’ve had to start planning over and over because I’d get injured or I didn’t feel good about my general well being. Maybe it was because most of the time I was being bombarded with ideas and methods that clashed with what a _normal_ lifestyle should be. It’s great to have this to make sense of things.

    Michael wrote on October 4th, 2010
  38. The PBF & WOW…a presentation to an adult population long removed from the realm of play. Movements from “Hide and Seek” turned into exercise, now it’s going back to “Hide and Seek”. The WOWs and the philosophy behind PBF brings back the spirit of being active. No longer a chore, but play that is anticipated. The competition is no longer vs a population of other wretched souls, but only with our own and the environment we cultivate and live in. To bring back that pure spirit of being active can only lead the practitioner to enjoy the easiest to the more difficult of progressions of movement.

    I enjoy the PBF and WOW. The noise here on this site as well as surrounding The Primal Blueprint doesn’t have that same blind, ignorant fanaticism that has turned me off to some similar places in the past. It’s also good to know that the founder of such a thing as The Primal Blueprint can and still does what he preaches. It can definitely help one be free of doubt.

    Attitude definitely helps. Something Couch should learn.

    Kawika wrote on October 4th, 2010
  39. I liked the simpler WOWs in the beginning. The more complicated ones lately I avoid because I know when I’m tired I can’t count or figure out what’s next, and my partner(s) are even less interested than I am in counting.

    PBF – the free ebook looks fantastic. I’m already in a simple fun strength program that I will be continuing at least until the end of the year, with a few conditioning workouts thrown in, and a warmup with a lot of basic movements included. I don’t feel I have a need for PBF at the moment but will be incorporating some in a few months, and am letting the ideas soak in.

    Paul C wrote on October 4th, 2010
    • Simplicity in WOWs is appreciated – otherwise I end up trying to figure out what’s next and messing up my momentum.

      Family Grokumentarian wrote on October 4th, 2010
  40. I have enjoyed the PBF and PBCookbook. I noticed significant changes when I started eating primal and when PBF came out it has just sped up the change to my body. I would like to see more climbing inspired WOWs in the future.

    John wrote on October 4th, 2010

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