Meet Mark

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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Category: Fitness

Dear Mark: Dried Sardines, Pullup Alternatives, and Blood Donation for Women

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First concerns an alternative form of a food I’ve always urged people to consume: small dried whole fish. Are the omega-3s still viable after the drying process? Next, pullups are a fantastic exercise that everyone with the ability should perform, but not everyone has access to a pullup bar. What other exercises can you do to approximate, if not altogether replace, the humble pullup? And finally, in previous posts I’ve mentioned the potential health benefits of regular blood donation for men. Does the same apply to women? After all, they already “donate” blood on a regular basis through menstruation. What about post-menopausal women?

Let’s go:

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8 Essential Tips for Primal Men

Men I know. I am one, after all. Have been for many years. For the most part, I enjoy it. It’s worked out really well for me. I don’t find it particularly difficult to be a man. Once I dialed in the basics of this Primal stuff, my health improved and my fitness became more well-rounded and applicable to the things I enjoyed doing. I haven’t struggled much. But many people do. And while the majority of Primal advice is geared toward humans in general, I’ll just get this out of the way early: These “men’s tips” all apply to many women, too. And many of the “women’s tips” from last week’s post also apply to men. But ignoring the gender-specificity of general trends serves no one. Everyone has the capacity for competitiveness; men tend to have more. Both genders can benefit from fasting, but women are more likely to have negative responses. Men and women both need sleep; lack of it hits women harder. That’s all. As always, if you recognize yourself in these tips, go for it!

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Dear Mark: Cycling Harder Than Running, High-Fat Football Training, and Orange Theory

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions about training. First, why might cycling feel harder than running at the same heart rate, and what should be done about it? Second, is it safe or smart for a footballer to try to become a fat-burning beast when he’s currently in-season? Are there lessons can we draw from athletes who have given it a shot?

And finally, what do I think about the relatively new Orange Theory gyms that have arrived on the fitness scene? Are they good, bad, or both?

Let’s go:

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12 Essential Tips for Primal Women

Look: I’m a man. I’ve lived a different experience than the average woman, with totally different equipment and different concentrations of hormones coursing through my body. But I have a daughter and a wife and a good head on my shoulders that’s spent the last 30 years thinking about health, nutrition, and fitness for humans, so I have a few things to offer.

So let’s get right down to today’s post. What follows are 12 tips for Primal women. Or any woman, really.

(Men, too: if some of the things mentioned in today’s post aren’t working for you, and the tips seem to apply, go for it!)

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Dear Mark: Higher BMI and Mortality Risk, Calories When Meal-Skipping, HIIT After Fasting

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a couple questions from you guys. First, there’s a new paper out claiming that the ideal BMI for overall mortality is an overweight one—27, to be exact. Is this really the case? Should we all pack on a few extra pounds to see us through into old age? Next, should you try to make up for all the “lost” calories when you eat in a compressed eating window? If you skip breakfast, should you try to eat more at lunch? And finally, how does one incorporate high intensity interval training on a low-carb diet that includes fasting?

Let’s go:

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13 Worthy Alternatives to Traditional Sprinting You Should Try

Sprinting is great. For my money, it’s the best bang-for-your-buck exercise. If you have only fifteen minutes to spare, you can sprint. If you’re on the road without access to a gym, you can usually find a place to sprint. It’s the missing piece in the quest for optimal leanness; incorporating weekly sprints can really help the fat just melt off. There’s just something about the raw, maximal expression of absolute effort that makes a person feel good, feel alive, and feel, well, Primal.

But not everyone wants or has the capacity to run as fast as they possibly can on a flat surface. Whether because of old/current injuries, the general state of the body, or simple personal preference, a significant portion of the population isn’t going to be running sprints on a track. Maybe you hate it. Maybe it hurts too much, or you’re worried about throwing something out. Whatever the reason for your sprint abstinence, there are worthy alternatives to traditional sprinting.

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