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Proper Exercise and Nutrition (free video presentation)

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  • Proper Exercise and Nutrition (free video presentation)

    This is a link to a free speech I have hosted on my blog, from a convention I spoke at this past summer.

    In it I discuss...

    * Why this area of your life is vitally important to understand and get a handle on

    * Why succeeding in your exercise and nutritional goals compliments the rest of your life

    * What “conventional exercise” is at this point in time

    * My Pyramid of Proper Exercise

    * Defining “proper” exercise (strength training)

    * Full body or split training?

    * My favorite books on exercise

    Midway through the speech, I shift from exercise to nutrition and cover…

    * 2 “little” problems (corn and soy)

    * Why we can look to our ancestors for advice

    * Which foods to avoid

    * My 2 favorite books on nutrition

    * My thoughts on the 3 macro nutrients

    * “Silly stuff” in mainstream health and fitness

    * Big bad cholesterol and it’s evil twin brother

    I wasn't sure where to post this-or, if I'm even allowed to post this- but I decided to post it here since it's the exercise concepts that I disagree with from The Primal Blueprint and I figured it would make for the most interesting discussion.

    For the record, I think TPB is currently the best book on the planet for nutrition-period. And with that said I give it a heavy pump in the speech, and on my site =). However, I did not actually receive my copy of the book until the day after this speech was given- literally. Thankfully I've been a reader for some time now and trusted my gut on recommending TPB.

    thanks, enjoy


  • #2

    I'm not sure I follow you on how your exercise concepts are that much different that the primal blueprint... it's pretty much short, intense infrequent... full functional exercises, sprints... no? Sounds very similar to the primal blueprint to me.

    Kinda long presentation,... should consider editing it to get it down to like 25 mins for your blog... just a thought.


    • #3

      The concepts presented in the video are similar to what Mark discusses here and in TPB. However, my argument is that a focus on "functional" exercise is misplaced- strength training is all that is required for best results and vibrant health.

      Essentially, brief, intense, infrequent, and safe strength training is "exercise".

      Everything else is either specific skill training, or recreational activity- both of which can have exercise effects (to varying degrees), but are never the most effective way to exercise (IMO).

      This includes sprints, explosive training, and so on.

      Make sense? There is also a post on my blog from a few weeks ago that discusses this further


      • #4

        You're still kinda losing me in your argument. Can you explain what you do for brief, intense, infrequent, and safe strength training? And why your method would be better than let's say cross fit or any other brief intense infrequent exercises? Like lifting heavy things? as described in the primal blueprint... i mean i think you're saying that specific skill training or recreational activity isn't really exercise? Really?... effective in what terms? time?

        You're blog is just kinda all over the place and I can't seem to get any specific exercises that you do,.. please do share.


        • #5

          Nevermind... found some exercises on youtube by dr. doug mcguff... something about 5,..I don't know if this is the most effective or best type of exercises, perhaps for older people??? I think it would be good to incorporate the exercises of slow mo exercises to failure once a week,.. but not sure if that's the only and best way for "exercise".

          While I do think those exercises do have merit in themselves, they're not fully encompassing of how you function for daily life, I mean don't you play any sports? I mean it'd be really difficult to get better at any sports that require some speed, jumping ability, agility... with just those exercises. While you could probably get away with just maintaining your level,... i guess it all depends on your goals....

          It just doesn't seem like all that much fun either..., but I'll give it a try,..and see how it works, and check out that book. You seem a bit brain washed by it though...=) but if it's for the better... then more power to ya.


          • #6

            "Can you explain what you do for brief, intense, infrequent, and safe strength training?"



            I lift weights, once or twice a week, usually full body (or very close).

            I use machines, barbells, dumbbells, smith machines, and so on. It's simple, it works, and it's safe.

            Here is a recent workout


            Here's one a bit older, strictly machines.


            I also play dodgeball, once a week. It's fun, it's challenging, and it's tough- but I don't consider it exercise. It's a recreational activity that has a minimal exercise effect.

            Sprints are a classic example of specific skill training- say for a sport, that requires sprinting.

            Sprints have a potent exercise effect, but will never match the adaptations produced by a compound leg movement under a heavy resistance (squat, deadlift, leg press). The heart may adapt differently (specifically), but the muscles will grow larger and faster from the weight training.

            The way I exercise is usually "fun", for me, because I'm a dork about it. For most people, it is not fun- and if I'm not in the right mood it's not fun for me either- it hurts, very bad.

            That said, I dont exercise for fun. I exercise for my health- it's a logical decision, not an emotional one.

            Body by Science will explain everything much better than I have here, and less abrasively =)

            let me know if this helped



            • #7

              Thanks for the follow up... but again... I'd have to say that you're workouts are pretty much in line with the primal blueprint. Well,.. minus the interval trainings...

              And yeah I reap a lot of benefit from sprint drills beyond exercise... it's more to enhance my levels when playing sports (ultimate, basketball, volley-ball, racketball),.. I also perform a bit of plyos along with weight training, to increase my vertical or at least to maintain it. I used to not have to do this, but as I get older I feel like I lose inches if I don't.

              So while squats, deadlift, leg presses are better at growing larger muscles and faster... they can't produce the reactive muscles needed for a higher vertical,... and won't make me faster if I don't sprint train. I know this because I used to never sprint train and only lift weights and my speed was stagnant even while gaining more muscle.

              I don't want to exercise just for the point of being healthy... I need more than that. I need to perform beyond just to obtain good health. It's always more fun to win at whatever you do... even in dodgeball... you can increase your level of play if you performed a sprint session in and some plyos once a week as opposed to just resistance training... but that's just my thinking.


              • #8


                Thanks for your posts in this thread. I followed the links to your blog and from there learned a lot about slow weight-bearing exercises. I am very intrigued and will see if I can find a "slow" trainer here in Chicago.


                • #9


                  Well, yes in a sense what I recommend is in alignment with The Primal Blueprint- but only to the point of doing brief, intense, infrequent workouts. On the issue of safety...well I don't believe "random physical activity" counts as exercise. It may be intense, infrequent, and brief...but it's never going to be as safe as progressive, controlled weight training.

                  Now, it can be said that I'm missing out on certain benefits ONLY doing strength training (for exercise, as I've stated previously I do play some sports), but I havent seen enough evidence yet to make me start doing sprints- in thinking that they are somehow superior to a squat or leg press, for my legs, heart, or any other aspect of my body and health.

                  Different, yes, superior and necessary for optimal health? Nope.

                  Now (risk of immediate injury) and later (wear and tear issues), it doesnt add up to me. Again, strength training is where the money is at (IMO)- everything else is recreation, or skill training. Its easy to confuse those 2 with exercise, but that doesn't make them exercise.

                  "I used to not have to do this, but as I get older I feel like I lose inches if I don't."

                  Think of it this way- jumping vertically is a specific motor skill. The best way to support that SPECIFIC skill- is by strengthening the involved musculature to the best (and safest) of your ability.

                  Beyond's literally a matter of practicing the movement to get better at it. When you combine these 2 goals...well your trying to kill 2 birds with one stone. Multitasking in a sense, and losing efficiency as you go. Separate the two, and focus on them exclusive to one another, and I assure you you will reap the benefits to the max of your potential.

                  "they can't produce the reactive muscles needed for a higher vertical,... and won't make me faster if I don't sprint train. "

                  As far as I know, there is no such thing as "reactive" muscles. Your confusing your skeletal muscle system with other bodily systems.

                  If you want to become faster at sprinting...practice sprinting. If you want stronger muscles...strength train.

                  If you want to become a LOT faster at sprinting, juggle those 2 activities accordingly- but separate them and respect their differences. Each one has a purpose- one trains your skeletal muscle system, the other trains a skill (and all of the involved systems, which may include your skeletal muscle system, but not nearly as much as you may think).

                  "you can increase your level of play if you performed a sprint session in and some plyos once a week as opposed to just resistance training..."

                  I agree, but I would rather not interfere with my recovery ability. Dodgeball in between workouts- alongside riding a bike to school a few times per week- is plenty for me at the moment =).

                  hope this helped



                  • #10

                    I know little about physiology compared to many, but wouldn't weight training only NOT develop the fast twitch muscle fibers?

                    There's a reason sprints, or similar, is foundational dogma in Primal. Sort of like cardio isn't all that good for us, it turns out, I'm suspicious of the flip side, weight training only.

                    Grok didn't own barbells. Granted, he moved heavy things, but he probably had no program to do so!


                    • #11

                      Perhaps I misspoke and things came out incorrectly... I wasn't suggesting that one type of exercise is better than the other... Merely that to get faster,.. you need to do both (squats, deadlifts... and sprinting) To jump higher,... you need to focus on both types of workouts,... weights and plyometric type exercise. Weights alone do not produce the same results. When i say reactive i probably should have said type IIb fiber of skeletal muscles?...

                      I do get what you're trying to say though... and yes To get stonger, lift weights... and then I sprint train (a skill) to go faster... haha so technical... and yes,.. i do both to get better at sprinting (a skill).

                      How do you prefer slow motion training to max? is it really that much better than regular training?

                      Like doing a squat slowly on a smith machine, do you feel it superior to doing equivalent weights just not slowly?


                      • #12

                        I misunderstood, then.

                        Thanks for the clarification.


                        • #13

                          Here's an interesting piece by strength coach Dan John, who helped popularize Tabata intervals:


                          In the 1980s, an American Olympic discus thrower noticed that the Russians excelled in throwing events. He discovered these champions incorporated sprints immediately following heavy lift compound weight-lifting moves. These athletes were doing sprints even though their events, such as the hammer throw, were unrelated to running or jumping. He gives several theories as to why sprinting improves performance.