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. Am partially sorry if this offends anyone but as novelty seeking primates we’re obviously hard wired for new gadgets but at what expense ?
    Having oodles of stuff and even if one wants to evoke it the damage done by billions who can get such stuff having novelties..its a uniformed ‘rock’..why not save the cashy ?
    I just don’t understand..sorry..i want less “shite” not more

    Simon Fellows wrote on October 4th, 2010
  2. I love all the ideas I am getting from the WOWs and the PBF! For the WOWs it would be nice to have a general estimate for how long the workouts might take…or maybe have a “pressed for time” section for those days that are ultra busy.

    katie wrote on October 4th, 2010
  3. They’re great. Scalability allows me to use them along with kettlebells to mix up my workout. Thanks.

    Margaret wrote on October 4th, 2010
  4. I’m still working on the basics of PBF and not ready for the WOWs yet. Because of a minor health issue, lots of sprinting is out of the question for me, but I do use intermittent pacing for workouts, alternating 30 seconds to a one minute of sprinting with 3-4 minutes of fast walking. I do modified push-ups because I’m not strong enough yet for full push-ups. I’d really love to add that Witstick to my routine!

    Sonagi wrote on October 4th, 2010
  5. I think the WOW’s are great, and offer a workout variety to people like me that have a hard time coming up with new ideas of ways to work out. On almost all of the WOWs they have been easy to scale my own fitness level, so I’ve never felt left out. Thanks Mark!

    Travis wrote on October 4th, 2010
  6. Thw WOW’s are great, they give my wife a variety of work outs, that make workingout more fun and not the dull workouts at the gym. Plus our kids get involved as well, so that gives us more family time. Thank you so much for all you do Mark!

    Mike wrote on October 4th, 2010
  7. PBF is great. It seems that almost anyone can use it. If they do it as prescribed, they should be in great shape in no time. The WOWs look like a lot of fun, but I don’t have a workout buddy/group to do them with. I really wish I did. “Play” is definitely a lacking area in my primal life.

    Ryan wrote on October 4th, 2010
  8. I love it all. I do wish that there were some more movements that worked on un-tightening hamstrings and hip flexors, which I destroyed pre-primal, and need to restore.

    Ashley wrote on October 4th, 2010
  9. The WOW and Primal Blueprint Fitness are a spectacular example of how “being Primal” goes FAR beyond diet and the foods we eat– it tells us how to make our bodies function best and have fun while doing it. It is functional, practical, and SIMPLE (not easy! Simple!)– so that even *cough* budgeted people who live in *cough* a speck of a treehouse apartment can do them– or formulate a WAY to do them! It is a delight to not have to learn a slew of new vocabulary and choreography just to get a good workout. I love it!

    The only suggestion that I have would be to integrate a lot more ‘climbing of things’ into primal fitness– a lot more– as it is a GREAT full-body workout and very very practical! You can find climbable structures almost anywhere!

    El wrote on October 4th, 2010
  10. The WOW’s are really not intimidating. There are things I can’t do, especially concerning upper body strength, but they are easily modified and not overly complicated.

    Megan wrote on October 4th, 2010
  11. I think the idea behind PBF seems to have been well thought out and put together. The challenge is appealing to all fitness levels. I have not done all of the WOWs – either because I had other demands, or it was way to rainy to motivate me to go outside!

    One thing that might be helpful to recommend is a type of rating system. Maybe something like O|4|20 meaning Outside/level4/20 minutes or something like a scale to strive to do. That way people know if its not in their range or if they should do an older WOW that is in their range. Like with the current one, it could have a 1mile/2mile/4mile variations.

    Alternatively, it might help to list minimum requirements (must be able to do 10 push ups, run 100m) and then suggest the core building exercises used in the WOW so that the person could do the pushup/pullup/running substitions.

    mikewootini wrote on October 4th, 2010
  12. I enjoy the WOWs although some are a bit out of my fitness level. I would like to see more WOWs that feature “household” items or can be combined with chores such as lawnwork. I can envision a WOW that focuses on movements required for cleaning out the gutters, ie ladder carry, sprint to the next downspout, etc…, I did find the PBF self assessment to be pretty accurate. Once I found my starting point it was a challenge to be able to complete the entire workout for my level, actually took almost a month to progress to the next level. Keep the great information coming.

    Phillip wrote on October 4th, 2010
  13. I love the PBF program and the assessment. As a mom to three under 4 years workout time is very limited, this lets me get in a good workout in a short period of time. And it’s safe to do with the kids in the room, no worries about them dropping weights on their toes. Though it’s not too fun when a kid climbs on my back during planks :)

    Marie S. wrote on October 4th, 2010
    • Maybe in the future you’ll be doing plyometric pushups with a kiddo on your back! Now THAT would be a great Primal Challenge 2011 video submission! ;-D

      Family Grokumentarian wrote on October 4th, 2010
    • Sounds like a fun bonus, the kid-weight 😉

      El wrote on October 4th, 2010
  14. I have been using the PBF scaled workouts and have already moved up a couple of levels in a couple of categories. I like the ease of doing these at home with minimal equipment (I use our old swingset rings for modified pullups). I’ve even attempted the sprints a time or two and hope to do incorporate those even more. How awesome that this information is provided free!

    Laurie D. wrote on October 4th, 2010
  15. The WOW’s are fantastic. It’s usually just around the time of a newly released WOW that I’m stumped on what exercise to do for the day. Viola, check MDA and problem solved!

    Luke wrote on October 4th, 2010
  16. I love the PBF! I have recently been moving away from single-joint isolation exercises and into functional fitness — especially bodyweight training. I really like the WOWs, but I tend to get “workout ADD” and lots of sets and reps become monotonous. So I like to take two or three WOWs and string them together into a longer set with less repetitions. It works really well and keeps my body guessing. 😀

    A.B. wrote on October 4th, 2010
  17. I’m a little newer to PBF and WoW’s but after reading the eBook and working my way through Primal Fitness, I can feel the difference the WoW’s combined with all of the other healthy living advice. Thanks Mark for a great program. As for suggestions for a WoW, if you are ever in Japan during the summer, try this WoW:
    Mt Fuji: 3 times for time (I suppose you could substitute any good steady mountain climb, Mt Fuji is more fun though)
    Talk about slow movement! Save up some rest days though.

    Joey Chamberlin wrote on October 4th, 2010
  18. I’ve done a few of the WOWs. Replaced them with my Sprint Day because I don’t want to lose out on a LHT days. They are usually good for metabolic conditioning. Can’t wait to see how they evolve

    Greg wrote on October 4th, 2010
  19. I think that fun of some of the WOWs is the game aspect. Grok hunts, Grok turns over rocks looking for grubs, Grok runs away from the herd of mammoths, Grok evades a hunting tiger. It lightens things up a bit!

    ScottMGS wrote on October 4th, 2010
  20. Limited ability to do the wows because of injuries, but adapted what I can.

    Vicky wrote on October 4th, 2010
  21. At first, I was all gung-ho about the WOW’s, but that faded after about 3 weeks. I found it difficult to schedule the time (a field, and some friends) to get it done. But fear not…there’s always the old standby…weights and some sprinting!

    maureen wrote on October 4th, 2010
  22. I love primal blueprint fitness. The movements are simply yet very effective. I have been enjoying go more intensely with shorter breaks (10 seconds) and doing less reps but a total of 3 sets.

    I have done a few WOW’s and they have been pretty tough. One of them left me very soar for 2 days later.

    Since I live in a winter climate myself, indoor WOW’s would be great – you said they are coming so thats exciting!

    Primal Toad wrote on October 4th, 2010
  23. First off, PBF is a revelation, and this is coming from someone who NEVER exercised in his entire adult life. The “bang for your buck” factor is what does it for me: I don’t feel like I’m wasting a second, and the results are terrific. I’ve lost 20 lbs. since going primal, but the last 5 (by far the hardest to lose) didn’t come until I downloaded the PBF file. I would love a special WOW that focused on different “external variables.” You already responded about the indoor idea, how about those that require the least floor space, for us cold-weather apartment dwellers? (I know, Grok would have moved out…)

    Bob wrote on October 4th, 2010
  24. I find a some of the WOW’s to be totally intimidating. But they’re easily modified for level/lack of equipment and great for new workout ideas. Maybe there should be levels for the WOW’s – different variations of the same WOW for different strength levels

    Mason wrote on October 4th, 2010
  25. I’m yet another member who would be thrilled to see some indoor WOWs since I live in a cold climate. So happy to hear that they’re coming!

    I like the idea of WOWs. It gives a little spontaneity to the workout routine and encourages the use of some imagination. Downloaded the PBF ebook and the videos were incredibly helpful in fixing my form and working up to the more difficult movements.

    Now the hard part is to just get off my butt and do them more.

    Deanna (Diana Renata) wrote on October 4th, 2010
  26. I don’t like how many of them seem to require a partner. I don’t have a workout buddy so I’d prefer if they were more adaptable to solo work.

    moonablaze wrote on October 4th, 2010
  27. I enjoy the WOWs, I’m extremely athletic as an mma fighter so I train really hard and these would not suffice alone for my physical demands as a fighter. For the average person they are PERFECT the only thing I could suggest is to maybe do some WOWs extreme edition or something like that for the more hardcore crowd, with that said I do use a lot of these as a warm up or cool down. Thanks Mark!

    Matt Burke wrote on October 4th, 2010
  28. I enjoy doing the WOWs. They remind me of a variation of these workouts I occasionally mix-in @ (anybody feel free to check it out if you’re interested in WOWs), combined with an Insanity workout and a Crossfit WOD here and there.

    Overall, I’m a huge fan of anything that gets people out of a typical gym routine, or a gym, even!

    W1ld on food wrote on October 4th, 2010
  29. My only beef (in this case a bad thing) about the PBF is with the LHT program. Whether we like it or not, most of us spend a large portion of the day sitting at a desk or a workbench (or some variation)with our arms in front of us, shoulders elevated, and internally rotated. Then we go perform our LHT exercises and only reinforce this posture (pushups, pullups). If we were to follow this program alone we could potentially run into some trouble (shoulder impingement, TOS, movement dysfunction/spasm, etc)
    A previous MDA post of yours about LHT involves rows but the PBF book only covers this as a possible “Move slowly” exercise. You might consider adding some type of pulling motion in your LHT to balance the others…? The WOW exercises are truly functional and involve these pulling motions, which is GREAT!
    All else is wonderful.

    stephen sherman wrote on October 4th, 2010
  30. I think the biggest thing is I’d like to see a more playful attitude with the WOWs. I know it’s cheesy, but I like a narrative. “This week we’re practicing escaping from a collapsing cave, run [x]x 25 meters, jump [x] times, crawl [x] x5 meters, and lift an 80lb weight [x] times (to determine x, roll a dice before each exercise). Keep going for 20 minutes.”

    I have an active imagination – metal games like this help be get through workouts without boredom.

    Tom wrote on October 4th, 2010
  31. Pure primal perfection. I feel like a mammoth-hunting, nut-munching powerhouse of a homo sapien!

    Partha wrote on October 4th, 2010
  32. PBF is a very good thing. I’ve been doing the lift heavy things workouts
    and sprints since it came out and am progressing nicely. I actually look forward to my workouts. Appreciate the convenience of not needing to go to a gym or having a lot of equipment (Though I have modified a little bit and use moderate weight for squats and OH presses,still high reps) The self assessment is a great way to quantify progress. The WOWs are interesting, I’ve done a couple of them. It would be nice to see some aimed at training balance and coordination along with strength/endurance, some kind of beginner freerunning parkour movnat thing?

    Rubiolio wrote on October 4th, 2010
  33. Mark,
    PBF is a great summary of what you’ve been saying in your blog. I appreciate you making it available for free! I haven’t gotten around to the WOWs yet. Cheers!

    Ed wrote on October 4th, 2010
  34. Oddly enough, the PB Fitness book (plus the “Mobility” articles) are what finally convinced me to start a stretching/yoga practice. Just started 3 weeks ago and am having fun with what the new flexibility is adding to squats & other base movements. Have also been surprisingly sore from holding some of the poses!

    Sarah Yoshi wrote on October 4th, 2010
  35. I absolutely love PBF. After four years of lazing about in college, I did the Insanity workout from start to finish. It was a great kick in the ass, but after working out for an hour a day, six days a week for two months, I was exhausted. PBF is the perfect solution for me, as it combines simplicity and sustainability in an enjoyable and efficient package. Lift Heavy Things in particular is great, and I actually look forward to those days the most. It only takes a half hour, but I’m always dripping by the end. I look forward to incorporating the WOWs once I’m satisfied with my performance in the standard LHT progressions. Challenging, efficient, fun, and effective; I plan on sticking with PBF for a long time. Many thanks, Mark.

    Andrew wrote on October 4th, 2010
  36. The workouts are bad ass. I loved Primal Skirmish, it was a blast to make a workout like an actual game with objectives. We used a very light (20 lb) sandbag so that the bag carrier could actually stand a chance at evading people. Keep em coming.

    Moose wrote on October 4th, 2010
  37. I like that it requires minimal equipment – you just go to the park and do it. And it’s fun!! But I prefer the intensity of crossfit for my regular fitness programme.

    Warwick wrote on October 4th, 2010
  38. I’ve found that PBF has reinvigorated my workout routine — I feel like I’m doing things that make sense, and are easier on my body than classic barbell work (although that’s super fun, form better be near-perfect OR ELSE) or, say, Crossfit.

    I am noticing improvement working the progressions at various levels (I’m great with squats, almost there with pushups (I’m on the knee), at the beginning with OHP and pullups … but I feel like I’m progressing on each of those as well in ways I have not before.

    So big win on PBF.

    I started it all with the initial WOW, but have saved further WOWs for, frankly, when I have more time during the week (a major project wraps up in February). I’m totally looking forward to doing them all, though, even trying to get my wife interested in playing along.

    Andy wrote on October 4th, 2010
  39. It would be great to have a “panel of experts” or “expert opinion” type response to the WOW. Cutting edge professionals could recommend adaptations of WOW appropriate for various populations… i.e. children, women, diabetics, obese… even a certified couch potato GROK wannabe could chime in. Same goes for the PB Fitness Assessment

    Jessica wrote on October 4th, 2010
  40. I like the WOWs and would like to see some more scaling options. Those of us in the Crossfit community have Rx’d etc built in to us. Perhaps some Rx’d scaling would make them interesting. I know everyone can scale it on their own and we do, but there’s just something about setting the bar at different levels and then being able to compare yourself to others working at that same level. It isn’t about being better than one another, it is about gauging yourself against your peers. Did I work hard enough? What do I need to do to improve and get better at that particular exercise? etc….

    Steven wrote on October 4th, 2010

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