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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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July 07, 2011

Expedition Impossible Team Goes Primal

By Mark Sisson
96 Comments

Many of you may know that one of my favorite television shows is Survivor. It turns out that Mark Burnett, the producer of Survivor, has a new show called Expedition Impossible; an adventure series where contestants race through the deserts, rivers and mountains of Morocco. (Interest piqued.) It also turns out that one of the teams, the Gypsies, could just as well have been called team Grok. That’s right. John Post, Taylor Filasky and Eric Bach, contestants on the show, have all gone Primal.

Mark Burnett? Africa? Adventure race? Primal contestants? Ok, I’m hooked. Between attending to the media blitz that comes with starring on a new TV show and operating a recently purchased 27-acre farm (Sweet Peeps) with his sister and their two best friends, John Post found time to answer a few questions about his experience going Primal and being on Expedition Impossible (airs Thursday, 9/8c on ABC). Find out more about John’s team at The Modern Gypsies, and ask John any questions you have in the comment board.

John, tell us about Expedition Impossible.

When I first heard about Expedition Impossible, I was volunteering in Cambodia. I saw the title and knew this was something I wanted to be a part of! Expedition Impossible was a true test of the Primal lifestyle and definitely the most epic experience of my life. It’s incredible to have the opportunity to see how my teams’ lifestyle choices stack up against a truly diverse selection of Americans. Grok vs. all! There’s no schedule, no hotel rooms, and we never knew what would be around the next corner! We trekked through the Sahara dessert, climbed snow capped mountains,  and paddled some gnarly rivers. We were riding crazy camels and Arabian stallions and pulling stubborn donkeys through miles of river bed. They really did a good job of trying to throw teams out of their comfort zones! I remember the first day while I was leading these camels through the Sahara dessert with my two teammates thinking “wow,  this is real!” There wasn’t one moment that wasn’t absolutely incredible.

You’ve said that the Primal lifestyle was a big part of your training. What did you mean by that?

Being Primal keeps you ready for anything. It was perfect training for a competition that is constantly varied and unknown. When Mark Burnett, producer of Expedition Impossible and Survivor, designed this show, he must have had the Primal Blueprint in mind. Combine long distances, bursts of intense activity and constant problem solving with a survival of the fittest style competition and you have Grok in his daily life!

How did you first come to find out about the Primal Blueprint?

My sister Stephanie has been a long time Primal eater and I have to give her credit for my first experience with the Primal Blueprint. We were training for the Warrior Dash SoCal a little over a year ago. I’ve always been athletic but never paid much attention to my eating habits. I quickly started to notice that on days I ate Primally, my mind was clear and focused on my intent and my body felt more powerful during my training. On days when I didn’t eat Primally, all I could think about while training were the bad things I put in my body. I didn’t know much about the Primal Blueprint at the time but as I learned more I realized the things I envisioned weighing me down actually were. My body knew and could recognize the difference.

What was your diet and exercise routine like before going Primal and why did you make the change?

Before going Primal my diet and exercise routines varied widely. To be honest I wasn’t educated about what was really good for me. I thought I was healthy and fit enough until I got my first taste of Primal. After that there was no going back.

How has the Primal lifestyle affected your health and fitness?

I often tell people I wish I could experience the change to the Primal Blueprint again. I just felt so much better. The increase in my energy level was amazing. My favorite part is being able to make conscious decisions about what I put in my body and understanding how it affects me.

What was it like trying to eat Primal foods and live like Grok while on the Expedition? I imagine getting adequate sun and low level aerobic activity wasn’t a problem, but how about getting adequate sleep, managing stress, and avoiding stupid mistakes?

Living like Grok while on the expedition was  pretty easy. We definitely got adequate sunlight and enough low level aerobic activity for Grok to migrate to Brazil! Eating while on the actual expedition was a little bit trickier. At first, we were the crazy guys with mustaches who wouldn’t eat bread or candy. After our performance the first few days people stopped thinking we were crazy! That being said, food was really limited and for a lot of the competition there was a tough balance of eating what our bodies needed and what was available. I definitely hunted and gathered a few loafs of bread and possibly some beans while in Morocco.

Are your teammates Primal, too? If so, how long have they been Primal and what have their experiences been?

My whole team followed the Primal Blueprint leading up to the show. Eric and I have been Primal for about the same amount of time. Taylor made the change just 3 months before we were scheduled to leave for the expedition. He took training for the show really seriously and lost over 15 lbs after switching to the Primal Blueprint.

What would you say to anyone that was considering trying the Primal lifestyle?

This is how people are supposed to feel!

What was the craziest thing you did while on the Expedition?

Camels are pretty crazy! Throughout the show we dealt with all kinds of animals including a few different kinds of camels. Lets just say the ones you see in the first episode are nothing compared to what’s to come! It gets pretty crazy.

Who won the competition? Actually, don’t answer that. Your team had Grok power, so I think we all know who won.

Well, I can’t reveal too much but I can say that coming in first place on the first stage felt pretty good. We’ve proved that we are capable of winning. We’ll do our best to make you and the rest of our friends and family proud!

TAGS:  interviews

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96 Comments on "Expedition Impossible Team Goes Primal"

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Junie B
5 years 2 months ago

I am SO excited for this show!!!! Great write up and interview!

belinda
belinda
5 years 2 months ago

Now I have to watch!

Doug
5 years 2 months ago

Sounds like a reality show worth watching!

fufonzo
fufonzo
5 years 2 months ago

I don’t generally watch TV (no cable), but this may just be a show I’ll have to download.

Primal Toad
5 years 2 months ago

Alright. I’m watching. I never watch TV but this seems like a winner!

IcarianVX
IcarianVX
5 years 2 months ago

Agreed.

Hal
5 years 2 months ago

Parts of this show have been very entertaining. These guys also ran cardio and met-con based Crossfit style workouts leading up to the start of the game.

Some other notable players in the show: Eric – the first blind person to ever scale Mt. Everest.

Hal
5 years 2 months ago

Sorry, his name is Erik Weihenmayer.

Erik
Erik
5 years 2 months ago

Im in Sweden, but I totally want to see this show!
Does anyone know about a website where it can be seen for free?

Hal
5 years 2 months ago

abc.com has previously aired episodes for free on their website.

Erik
Erik
5 years 2 months ago

Thanks, I’ll check it out!

Dasbutch
Dasbutch
5 years 2 months ago

hooray for The Modern Gypsies, Grok on!!!…on ABC, can’t wait. are the other teams SAD eaters?

Peggy The Primal Parent
5 years 2 months ago

That would be an awesome show! Primal against SAD!

bec
bec
5 years 2 months ago
My first exposure to primal was actually several years ago when I saw a special on two teams who tried to replicate the first crossing to the South Pole. One had a diet of butter, cream, fatty fish and fatty meat with some vegetables, and the other had eaten a largely carb-based diet. At the end of the trek, the ones whose diets resembled Primal eating had preserved the most muscle and had simply turned to their fat stores, whereas those who’d followed the carb diet had lost quite a bit of muscle mass. It seemed counter-intuitive to me in… Read more »
Primal Toad
5 years 2 months ago

Spoiler alert: Team Gypsies is leading 9 minutes into episode 1. This show is pretty sweet so far. Two episodes have been aired this season. Episode 3 is on tonight at 9 PM EST on ABC!

jen
5 years 2 months ago

looking forward to this show even more so now they are primal… plus, i am really loving those mustaches!

Peggy The Primal Parent
5 years 2 months ago

I don’t watch tv but I pretty much feel like I have to now! Wow!

RedGrok
RedGrok
5 years 2 months ago

I don’t watch much TV either but I am very excited to see the show. My son’s introduced me to The Primal Blueprint recently when we went to see Mark Sisson speak and met him in person. It has really piqued my interest and I am working on becoming 100% which equals about 80%. I too feel amazing when I eat Primal !

Timothy
5 years 2 months ago

Welcome to the tribe, RedGrok! As amazing as you feel now, I guarantee it only gets better. In due time, I hope we’ll hear more from you when you add to the Success Stories!

RedGrok
RedGrok
5 years 2 months ago

Thanks for the encouragement…I really appreciate it 🙂

Crunchy Pickle
5 years 2 months ago

Hope this show will be on Hulu so I can check it out!

Primal Toad
5 years 2 months ago

You can watch it for free on abc.com. I am doing this now!

cTo
cTo
5 years 2 months ago

Hooray, I was just going to ask if it was anywhere online! Thanks!

Jared
5 years 2 months ago

Nice, ABC.com is one of the few TV networks that work on my iPad. Bonus!

Primal Toad
5 years 2 months ago

I’m going to watch episode #2 on my iPad right now!

Timothy
5 years 2 months ago

Good thing I haven’t taken my hammer to my television yet, because this sounds terrific! I can’t wait to watch.

It’s about time there was a semi-primal TV show. The only other one I know of is Dual Survival, with its always-entertaining odd-couple duo of Cody, the “primitive skills” expert, and Dave, the ex-SEAL.

Nick
Nick
5 years 2 months ago

Dave is not an “ex seal”, he is an ex Army Sniper, you should watch the show sometime.

Primal Toad
5 years 2 months ago

I’ve been meaning to watch this show too. My soon to be brother in law always brings it up.

It looks like I can’t watch full episodes for free anywhere… does anyone know of where I might be able to?

Robert
Robert
5 years 2 months ago

Huge fan of Amazing Race and I planned to watch this as well, now I’m going to for sure.

Debbie
Debbie
5 years 2 months ago

We’ve been watching it and to me it’s a hybrid of Amazing Race & Survivor but not as stressful to watch as the Race!

Jim
Jim
5 years 2 months ago

Mark, you should get a cut of the revenues. Like so many of the posters, I don’t watch TV (except a few hockey and a few football games every year) I’ll watch this at least a couple of times.

Jules
5 years 2 months ago

Yay, primal goes primetime!! Can’t wait to check out the show!

Shaun
Shaun
5 years 2 months ago

Why do some many posters feel the need to qualify their comments with “I don’t watch tv, but…”

We get it. You re all too smart and too busy to watch television…

BTW, the show does looks great. Gonna have to see if I can fit it into my busy tv watch schedule 🙂

Mark in TN
Mark in TN
5 years 2 months ago

Relax, man.
When people develop a lifestyle of carefully considering the value of what they put into their bodies and minds, TV falls off the radar pretty quick. Nothing snotty going on, just the logical progression of the Primal mindset.
Disclaimer:: I don’t watch TV 🙂
and I probably wont watch this either. It does sound really interesting, just rather do something else with my time…

Jared
5 years 2 months ago

I’d have to agree with Shaun. Although I agree that most Westerners should spend less time in front of the tube..err..pixels, throwing out that disclaimer every time TV is mentioned is a bit annoying. Especially people who obviously spend periods of their so-called precious time surfing the net and leaving responses on blogs :0)

Jared
5 years 2 months ago

I don’t often watch reality TV, but when I do, I prefer Los Gypsies.

Ali
Ali
5 years 2 months ago

I agree… this is the trend with rich countries. People scream they drive a prius to save the earth, give to charity, dont watch TV etc..etc… When in reality, its way better to buy a used car than buying a brand new car and its more fulfilling if you give to charity and not advertise it.

tess
tess
5 years 2 months ago

depends on where you are, if television is worth watching or not — where i am, PBS sucks and we don’t get BBC, so *surprise*, i rarely watch TV. you’re lucky if you find something that interests you, but spare your disdain of those of us who prefer movies, huh?

thanks to Hulu, i just watched the episodes that have already aired, and anticipate the third one, with pleasure, tonight….

Gypsies, all i can say is BRAVI!!!

anon
anon
5 years 2 months ago

I was thinking the same thing. I honestly don’t care how anyone but spends their free time, but it’s hip now to disdain TV. To draw attention to the fact that one doesn’t watch TV is to draw attention to one’s specialness.

Primal Toad
5 years 2 months ago

I just watched the first episode. Glad to see Team Gypsy win the first stage! It was a thrill. I will be watching episode 2 in a couple hours and episode 3 tonight on TV.

Does anyone want to form a team with me to compete in a future season?

Timothy
5 years 2 months ago

Toad, count me in!

Dan Zierath
Dan Zierath
5 years 2 months ago
My roommate was watching this last week and I took a moment to watch, but had to leave after 10 minutes when I literally got too jealous of the contestants to watch anymore. I imagine you’re serious about forming a team? I sure as hell am. I know of the perfect way to sell it to the network execs too- Team of people who met on a blog but have never met face to face, who run regular training events on their own and then get together and share their progress across video networking. Not only is it an interesting… Read more »
Dan Zierath
Dan Zierath
5 years 2 months ago

And I am 100% serious.

Timothy
5 years 2 months ago

Me too! Drop Toad a line at his blog?

Primal Toad
5 years 2 months ago

I am 100% serious too. Let’s get started. It’s us 3 as noone else has yet to reply. My email is Todd@primaltoad.com!

Let’s do this NOW!

Thanks Mark for the inspiration. Time to watch episode 2 to see if Team Gypsy will be 2-0!

Aaron
Aaron
5 years 2 months ago

This is SO cool and they are doing some great things for the world! You can vote on their next adventure at http://www.themoderngypsies.com

Good job lads!

Ryan
5 years 2 months ago

Ha! I randomly started watching this show when it began a couple weeks ago and I thought to myself these guys know what they are doing and to see the foundation being the Primal Blueprint is amazing. I wanted them to win based off of their mustaches, now I want them to win so much more. Great interview.

Shaun
Shaun
5 years 2 months ago

I’m completely relaxed. My statement was meant as gentle teasing.

And it may in fact be part of a natural progression. What I find interesting is the constant need to bring it up in conversation. Kinda like how every time mention eating in front a vegatarian they have to remind you that they don’t eat meat.

TEAM GYPSIES
5 years 2 months ago

WOW! Thank you all for the support! We are so proud to represent the Primal family! Please stay in touch and follow our adventure by following us on Facebook [The Gypsies] and Twitter [@modern_gypsies]! (We tweet live during the episodes)

Primal Toad
5 years 2 months ago

You guys are awesome. You kick ass. 3-0. I can not wait to see what happens.

Do you guys have any tips for getting on season 2? Myself and 2 others are going for it. We have a phenomenal “appeal” as we have never met. I live in Michigan, one lives in California and I am not sure where the third one lives.

I’ll be watching your tweets while the episodes air.

Taylor
5 years 2 months ago

You gotta have a “schtick”. Ours was “the modern gypsies”. You cant approach them with just 3 people. Every team has a theme. So think of a good theme that you think America would want to cheer on!

Good Luck!

Sharon
Sharon
5 years 2 months ago

I do watch a lot of TV although I try to be selective. One of the programs I selected was Expedition Impossible.

I was already enamored with Team Gypsy but knowing they are primal is an extra plus to root for them.

At first I was attracted by the color of their clothes but then something else about them also made me root for them. Now I know what….they’re primal.

Go Gypsies.

And Mark, I too am a huge Survivor fan.

Clint White
Clint White
5 years 2 months ago

I’ve been watching this show. I should’ve recognized this team as being PRIMAL. They’ve got the look, the energy, and the smarts of a fellow Grok (notice how I managed to include us in on their moment? genius)
Now I know which team for sure to cheer for this season.
Great interview!

Alex Shalman
5 years 2 months ago

I just started watching, this is sick. It’s fun to watch, but I know I’m in now way shape or form ready for this competition.

Anyways, go Gypsies! 🙂

Cal
5 years 2 months ago

Shucks! I tuned in to abc.com to watch and got this message:

“You appear to be outside the United States or its territories. Due to international rights agreements, we only offer this video to viewers located within the United States and its territories.”

I’m in the UK, so it looks like I’m persona non grata.

(From a distance) GO TEAM GYPSIES! I’m with you. 🙂

Robin
Robin
5 years 2 months ago

DAMN! I’m in Canada so I can’t watch it either! :'(

Taylor
5 years 2 months ago

Hey Canucks! You can watch the show from Canada here http://www.ctv.ca

Enjoy!

John Post
John Post
5 years 2 months ago

Hi, This is a great forum to say I’m primal and have been ever since my son introduced me to it in January. Feeling and looking great. Dropped 45 lbs and now opperating with 6 pack abs. Why is this a great forum to metion this…My Son is John Post of the Gypsies…GO GYPSIES!!!!

Bernardo
Bernardo
5 years 2 months ago

As with some movies on Netflix (Fat Head) and Hulu, we in Canada can’t watch the series from the abc.com website. I hate these copyrights agreements things…

John Post, SR.
John Post, SR.
5 years 2 months ago

Try youtube.com
Search for “Expedition Impossible”

Bernardo
Bernardo
5 years 2 months ago

Yeah, found it! Thanks!

James
James
5 years 2 months ago

In Canada you can watch it at http://www.ctv.ca

Dasbutch
Dasbutch
5 years 2 months ago

i don’t know, isn’t Glee on then?

PrimalGrandma
PrimalGrandma
5 years 2 months ago

You silly goose – “Selling New York” is on HGTV at 9:00PM! Geeezzz—

sebastian
sebastian
5 years 2 months ago

3 funny hipsters gone primal, my favorite team thats for shure ! 😉

bleu
5 years 2 months ago

I’m a long time survivor fan too! And when I heard of this series, I knew I would be tuning in. Great post! I loved it.

Natalie
5 years 2 months ago

I wonder when it’ll be shown over here in Oz? We normally get shows 6 months after you have seen them.

Tonja Pizzo
Tonja Pizzo
5 years 2 months ago

I KNEW I liked those Gypsies!!!!

PrimalGrandma
PrimalGrandma
5 years 2 months ago
Amazing Race and any of those “Survivor” type shows have always been favorites of mine – so I obviously watch lots of TV. I also love, love love Sci Fi so Stargate SG1, Firefly, Star Trek, etc. etc. etc. are right on my list of stuff to watch. I also enjoy the Weather Channel! So, yes, I DO watch TV. Use TV to your advantage – pick out the prime pieces and discard the rest. Pick your poison, people. So, like Grok, I’ve wondered about the heavens above me, and know that the weather can be my friend or foe.… Read more »
chipin
chipin
5 years 2 months ago

It’s not your imagination, I’ve noticed that too.

But it’s okay. I’m sure we will have plenty of time to get to know the Gypsies. 😉

trackback

[…] Love Watch – The Games Update II Read – Expedition Impossible Team Goes Primal Laugh – US Army Bans Toe Shoes for Looking So Damn Goofy, Gizmodo Eat – Roasted Summer […]

TEAM GYPSIES
5 years 2 months ago

You guys are amazing! So proud to be a part of this community! Honorary Gypsies for sure. Please check out our website to see what we are up to! More Compassionate Adventures! Right up your alley 🙂 You can also get yourself a MODERN GYPSY T-Shirt! All proceeds go to “Free the Children”… they’re pretty stylish too!

Gypsy LOVE

Richard
5 years 2 months ago

They’ll probably win!

Cal
5 years 2 months ago

Hey, many thanks John Post Sr!

I just tuned in on YouTube (vs. abc.com). Great stuff.

GO GYPSIES! 🙂

Mike UK
Mike UK
5 years 2 months ago

What they are doing is cool, but instead of watching others realize their dreams on the “Stupid Box”, our tribe are putting a series of treks/expeditions to tackle on our own.

trackback
5 years 2 months ago

[…] of the top teams, The Modern Gypsies used CrossFit and a Primal diet to train for the competition. Mark’s Daily Apple and the CrossFit Journal both have great articles explaining their […]

WhatAboutJason
5 years 2 months ago

Time to fire up the Tivos!

Maba
Maba
5 years 2 months ago

I don’t watch TV, but i’ve got to make an exception for this show.

Pam
Pam
5 years 2 months ago
Thanks for the heads up. Watched most of it last night. Enjoyable to see and I can’t wait to inform my friends who really do not understand the PB nutritional lifestyle. Just got back from Fish Camp and got grilled every time we ate. Really bothered me to have to inform them that no, the vegetarian dish with flour was not ok. It just went on an on. If someone would have wanted a one-on-one, I would have enjoyed talking about it but when it only came up in the presence of the 21 Fish Camp participants, it got old… Read more »
Lindsey
Lindsey
5 years 2 months ago

OK, so my husband and I watched this last night, and it totally opened up the “why don’t you go primal with me” converstaion (again)…and now he’s actually considering it! I did have to promise him I wouldn’t say anything if he decided he needed an awesome mustache like John…but I think it’s worth it. GO GYPSIES!

Shaun Somers
5 years 2 months ago

This show looked cool but I didn’t pay any attention to it until last night, because of this post.
Great, now I’m stuck watching… 🙂

Tom E
Tom E
5 years 2 months ago

Just finished episode 3, man it is so exciting watching Gypsies blow everyone away. Everyone is like “Those gypsies don’t look like athletes but they are so fast”. I wonder why? Grok on Gypsies!

Primal Toad
5 years 2 months ago

I just finished watching the third episode. They are kicking ass! It’s awesome to see and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Ika
5 years 2 months ago

I started the first episode after reading this post…AWESOME!! Not only are the Gypsies primal, but they have the coolest mustaches and scarves hehe!! <3 <3 I can't wait to finish watching it when I get home from work!

Gypsy Mom
Gypsy Mom
5 years 2 months ago

If you want to read more about John/Primal/Crossfit check out this interesting video interview from Cross Fit
http://journal.crossfit.com/2011/07/expimpossiblejohnpost.tpl#featureArticleTitle

Miguel
Miguel
5 years 2 months ago

I am so proud of you Team Gypsies! feels damn good to be a grok.

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