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...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected

Category: Sprint

Can Endurance Training Ever Really Be Primal?

For over a dozen years, I’ve railed against what I call “chronic cardio“—the excessive, unrelenting endurance training I did for the better part of three decades. Most of my health issues cleared up when I stopped stopped running and training for marathons and triathlons, removed the refined grains and sugar I ate to support my endurance training, and began taking it easy. Explore the MDA archives and you’ll read all about the downsides of chronic endurance training, as well as my experiences in that world. Next to Primal living, most people probably know me best for being against “chronic cardio.” It’s kinda my thing.

As a result, a lot of people have this idea that any type of endurance training is verboten and totally antithetical to the Primal way of life.

Read More

How Using Fat for Fuel Can Boost Athletic Performance

A few weeks back, I explored the potential benefits using fat as your primary fuel can have on cognitive function. While the strongest research centers on people dealing with age-related cognitive decline and other neurodegenerative diseases, and whether burning fat and ketones can boost cognitive function in healthy adults remains unconfirmed, the totality of the evidence suggests it can provide a benefit. Today, I’ll be discussing a related topic with more solid scientific footing: the effects of fat-adaptation on athletic performance.

Read More

7 Habits of Highly Successful Primal Endurance Athletes

Things have been busy for the Primal Endurance movement since I released the book back in December. People have been eager to learn more about this novel form of training, so we’ve been answering a lot of questions. Much like how The Primal Blueprint received a lot of attention because it bucked against Conventional Wisdom, such has been the case for Primal Endurance. Lots of head scratching, balking, but then, after learning the science and seeing the results, a healthy curiosity or full blown conversion. So what’s Primal Endurance training all about? What are the fundamentals? Who’s practicing it? And where can you learn more about it?

Read More

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!

Read More

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:

Read More

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:

Read More

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.

Read More

Dear Mark: Is Caloric Density the Answer?, Fat Starving the Brain, and High-Intensity Primal Endurance Training

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First, should the primary focus in constructing a healthy diet be caloric density? Is the key to weight loss and optimal health the consumption of bulky, low-calorie foods? Next, a new study seems to show that fat “starves the brain.” Is this true? If not, what’s really going on? And finally, are following Primal Endurance principles antithetical to high intensity performance?

Let’s find out.

Read More

Should You Sleep-Low to Boost Performance?

Thought experiment time. Say you train hard, hard enough to deplete a signifiant amount of glycogen. Your muscles are empty, sensitive to the effects of insulin, and screaming for a couple potatoes to refill glycogen. What do you do?

In most circles, the answer is to eat those potatoes and refill those glycogen stores. And why not? The post-workout period is a special window of opportunity for eating a bunch of carbs and having them go to the right places with minimal insulin required. They won’t contribute to fat storage. They’ll go straight to your muscles. Restocking glycogen sets your muscles up to repeat the hard work and keep up with your training. It makes sense.

What if you didn’t eat the potatoes after a hard workout? What if you abstained from carbs entirely after a glycogen-depleting workout? What if you just went to bed without any (carbs in your) supper? What if you were an elite athlete and skipped the carbs?

Read More

Top 14 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism

On a literal level, your metabolic rate describes how much energy you expend to conduct daily physiological functions. This has many practical ramifications, however, because your metabolic rate also influences how you feel, how many calories you burn, how many calories you can eat without gaining weight, your libido, your fertility, your cold tolerance, how much subjective energy you have, how you recover from injuries and stress, how specific foods affect you, and how you perform in the gym. In short, it’s usually a good thing to have a higher metabolic rate.

Here are a few ways to increase your metabolism in a healthy, productive manner.

Read More

Join Over 300,000 Subscribers!

Signup and get:

Primal Blueprint Fitness plus 7 other eBooks
7-Day Course on Primal Fundamentals
Special Offers and More!