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

Contest Video: Primal Blueprint Upper Body Workout

As part of our ongoing Primal Blueprint Fitness Video Contest reader Albrecht submitted his interpretation of Primal Blueprint bodyweight exercises (the current theme). He is in the running for a cash and prize package worth $400 and has a one in four shot of winning. If you’d like to be featured on Mark’s Daily Apple for a chance to win Primal gear read the Primal Blueprint contest details and submit your video (fitness or recipe), real life Primal story or Primal recipe soon!

I’d add a cautionary note to this video. Before you start doing backflips and throwing bodies around please make sure you know what you’re doing. It sure looks like fun but I’d hate for anyone to get injured in the process.

If you liked Albrecht’s Grok On! workout shirt you can get your own here!

Check back tomorrow for a Worker Bee culinary creation of a reader’s Primal recipe submitted as part of the Primal Blueprint Cookbook Contest (current theme: beef).

Have a fantastic Primal weekend, everyone!

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Dear Mark: Low on Willpower

Dear Mark,

I’ve been following the blog for a couple of months now and have been trying to get into a regular exercise routine like you describe. Unfortunately, I get some fitness momentum going and then lose my willpower once I hit stressful or busy times. I feel like it’s a game of two steps forward, one step back (at least). What do you say to someone who’s trying to hit a fitness stride but keeps backsliding? Do you have advice on how to boost willpower? Thanks!

Your question is a timely one. Much was made over a recent study (PDF) that demonstrated willpower as a limited resource. The crux was this: we have a finite amount of willpower in a day (so to speak), and when it’s used up, that’s it. In a given day we might defend against donut cravings at the office all morning, force ourselves to keep our head off the desk in an afternoon slump, resist the opportunity to chew out the neighbor for letting his dog poop on our lawn yet again, and make ourselves go out into the rain to set out recycling and put the kids’ bikes in the garage. Finally, we push ourselves to stay up late in order to finish a company project. Surely, we can be proud of our resolve, our diligence, our commitment to family, work and neighborhood accord. Nonetheless, we’ve left ourselves with neither the time nor remaining willpower to pick up the weight set. Too many tasks, too little energy and too much frustration have zapped our self-discipline, and the balance is zero when we go to direct some toward the day’s workout. The research says this: as much as we’d wish otherwise, we don’t have separate willpower accounts for different areas of life.

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Contest Video: Primal Blueprint Bodyweight Exercises

As part of our ongoing Primal Blueprint Fitness Video Contest reader Pieter submitted his interpretation of Primal Blueprint bodyweight exercises (the current theme). He is in the running for a cash and prize package worth $400 and has a one in four shot of winning. If you’d like to be featured on Mark’s Daily Apple for a chance to win Primal gear read the Primal Blueprint contest details and submit your video (fitness or recipe), real life Primal story or Primal recipe soon!

Check back tomorrow for a Worker Bee culinary creation of a reader’s Primal recipe submitted as part of the Primal Blueprint Cookbook Contest (current theme: beef).

If you like what you’ve seen check out Pieter’s original video: A Primal Workout for Parents

Have a fantastic Primal weekend, everyone!

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How to Squat Properly

Judging from the reader response to last week’s post on that certain type of squatting, I’d bet that a number of you guys gave it a shot and left footprints on the toilet bowl. C’mon, don’t be shy. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I gave what amounted to a sterling endorsement of the position in question, with the expectation that a fair amount of readers would actually take me up on it. So – did you? And if so, how did it go (into the bowl, I hope)? Any amazing stories, experiences, or pratfalls to relay? Share your experiences in the comment board.

But this post isn’t just about squatting to poop. It’s a primer on squatting in general. Whether it’s heavy barbell squats, the Indigenous People’s Stretch, the bodyweight squat, the resting Grok squat, or the evacuation squat, squatting is a fundamental movement that everyone (barring injury) needs to get right. We all have the intrinsic physical tools to squat the right way, and if it weren’t for those pesky creature comforts of civilization (chairs, toilets, heeled shoes, Smith machines) softening us up and messing with our joint mobility, Grandma might be darning you a sweater from the Grok squat pose instead of the rocking chair. Most of the MDA readership hails from the West, so I think it’s safe to assume that a quick primer on squatting is long overdue – especially for those of you who accepted last week’s squatting “challenge.”

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Sprint for Your Life: A Primal Workout

For the modern Grok, sprinting is generally an elective endeavor. His animals come pre-slaughtered, his honey comes bee-free, and the once-constant threats of predator or rival clan usually fail to materialize nowadays. He doesn’t “have” to run. If he runs fast, it’s probably because he chooses to do so – for sport, for fitness, or perhaps to catch a bus. But especially in matters of developing one’s physical potential (and, I suppose, when pursuing public transportation), speed still matters. Your sprints should be actual sprints, if you want to get the most out of them; you should be running at or around your maximum speed. But can we really squeeze out every single ounce of power without the threat of instant death or starvation licking at our heels? Is the modern sprint truly a sprint without the mortal urgency? Heck, even Usain Bolt seemed to let up on the intensity in his record-breaking 100m run, and he had a few billion eyes on him, not to mention the weight of a nation’s expectations bearing down on him. Can a mere mortal expect to give it his or her all?

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Battling the Python: Swinging Rope Training

If you’re interested in a low-cost, no-hassle piece of homemade training equipment, look no further than a heavy rope. Not a jump rope (although that’s a worthy ally, too); just a thick, unwieldy rope, a confederation of fibers woven together to form a cordon to be used for strange and unconventional workouts (my favorite kind). Your rope should be around fifty feet long and two inches thick. It should be a manila rope, which is a hardy, durable variety typically used in boating. Manila rope is also especially heavy – a distinct advantage when you’re trying to get the best workout possible. Hardware stores should carry manila rope in various lengths and widths. If two inches in diameter is too much, go for 1.5” instead.

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