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How thorough are the Five Essential Movements?

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  • How thorough are the Five Essential Movements?

    I can't help but feel like I'm missing something. So many people go out of their way to do a bunch of crazy exercises to work each little muscle in their body that it's hard for me to believe that it can all be boiled down to Five Essential Movements.
    I've been doing PBF's Five Essential Movements for about a month now, and I've certainly gotten stronger in those exercises, but is there anything that these movements don't target? If it isn't all that thorough, what are some other Movements that I could do to get a full-body workout from this?
    Thanks.
    -D

  • #2
    Believe it. This works the whole body and can be simplified even further if you drop the plank and the overhead work since almost every full body exercise -- if done properly -- works the core. Pushups, for example, are a form of a plank, and will work the shoulders adequately.

    Ignore the bodybuilders who use isolating machines. Pushups, pullups, and squats/lunges, and variations thereof, are all you really need in terms of bodyweight exercises. If you love the iron, go for the big three (squats, deads, bench) but again, you don't need to stray much beyond that.

    And just to be clear, I have no problem with overhead work for the shoulders, but I don't consider it to be essential if you vary the angles on your pushups. YMMV.

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    • #3
      You can look through the list on Exercise & Muscle Directory

      PBF is quite good in targeting all muscles with body-weight exercises without overloading single muscles by overlap between different exercises.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Abu Reena View Post
        Believe it. This works the whole body and can be simplified even further if you drop the plank and the overhead work since almost every full body exercise -- if done properly -- works the core. Pushups, for example, are a form of a plank, and will work the shoulders adequately.

        Ignore the bodybuilders who use isolating machines. Pushups, pullups, and squats/lunges, and variations thereof, are all you really need in terms of bodyweight exercises. If you love the iron, go for the big three (squats, deads, bench) but again, you don't need to stray much beyond that.

        And just to be clear, I have no problem with overhead work for the shoulders, but I don't consider it to be essential if you vary the angles on your pushups. YMMV.
        If you are going with iron you should also include a press for overhead work. Hell, add a clean to the routine and you have Starting Strength, which is why its such a good beginners program.
        A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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        • #5
          Seemed to work for Herschel Walker who only did pushups and sit ups. In an interview I heard him say that he just never watches TV. He is always doing one of those exercises while watching. Supposedly he does 3,000 pushups a day.

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          • #6
            Well, then. lol
            It really feels like it works a bit of everything, but I wasn't quite sure if I was missing something or not. Primal life is just so much better than Neolithic life in like, every way.
            Thanks bunches for your help, folks!
            -D

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dizzordr View Post
              I can't help but feel like I'm missing something. So many people go out of their way to do a bunch of crazy exercises to work each little muscle in their body that it's hard for me to believe that it can all be boiled down to Five Essential Movements.
              I've been doing PBF's Five Essential Movements for about a month now, and I've certainly gotten stronger in those exercises, but is there anything that these movements don't target? If it isn't all that thorough, what are some other Movements that I could do to get a full-body workout from this?
              Thanks.
              -D
              You have asked the key question that trainers refuse to answer. You have also answerred the question they refuse to answer.

              The key to strength is based on three models

              The energy supply/energy depletion model.
              The muscle power / muscle recruitment model
              The biomechanical model

              You have gotten stronger in those 5 movements because you have done exercises that satisfy the biomechanical model. Once you quit doing them... you will be much weaker. Trainers promote this model to keep you coming back.

              The real secret is to work on the energy supply/energy depletion model and the muscle power / muscle recruitment model.

              This builds real strength and allows to the ability to focus on specialized strength when it is required. That specialized strength is the biomechanical model.

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              • #8
                Could you give me an example of what you mean, Vick?
                -D

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                • #9
                  The energy supply/energy depletion model.
                  This model is about the ability to store glycogen. Glycogen is a key fuel to feed muscles under stress. It is stored in muscle tissue. The more muscle tissue you have... the more glycogen you can store.

                  The muscle power / muscle recruitment model
                  We all have the following types of muscle fibres. Type I and Type II. There are three types of type II that lead to the recruitment model. As you lift a heavy weight the type I says "I can't do it I need help". that recruits type II... if the load is such that the first type II can't lift, then it recruits the next type II. This recruitment continues until the weight is lifted or the muscles fail. When we fail... we promote muscle to grow, therefore we have more fibre types to lift the load we just failed on.

                  This creates the key to muscle strength that all trainers hate.

                  If I stress my muscles to failure then allow my body to rest, heal and adapt I become stronger. My muscle mass increases... (it can't be measured by a tape measure because the changes that occur will reflect the diameter and that takes time before it can be read on the circumference) but it increases the energy supply/energy depletion model and the muscle power / muscle recruitment model because there is more mass present. This creates more storage for glycogen and more fibres to recruit. That makes me stronger.

                  The biomechanical model is based on doing exercises repetitively. This strengthens the nervous system to the muscles. Trainers will tell you not to go to failure... and for this they are correct. Where they are absolutely wrong is that they fail to understand that the biomechanical model is very motion specific. There is no such thing as "functional exercises". You do a exercise, to do the motiion you need to get stronger in. A exercise that is close... isn't close enough.

                  That is the concept. Would you like more info on the specific exercises to acheive your goals?

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                  • #10
                    If I could only do 5 body weight exercises, they would be:

                    push ups (all variations: wide, narrow, elevated, hand-stand, etc.)
                    pull ups (rings, bars, tree branches, anywhere you can reach up and grab something)
                    air squats
                    dips
                    jumping (up onto stuff [boxes, benches, stumps, etc.), over stuff, for distance, etc.)
                    burpees (ok...this is six...but it's really just combing the push ups with the jumping)

                    If I could only do five weighted exercises (in addition to the body weight stuff) they would be:

                    Dead lifts
                    Clean and jerks (all variations: power cleans, hang cleans, hang power cleans, full squat cleans, etc.)
                    squats (back, front, and overhead)
                    KB swings
                    Snatch
                    Last edited by RobbieC; 03-03-2011, 07:47 AM.
                    Striving to live a life extraordinary.

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                    • #11
                      Here's a nice article that relates to the original question. And, yes, I'm mentioned in the article (so is Mark!).
                      "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

                      "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

                      My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Vick View Post
                        The energy supply/energy depletion model.
                        This model is about the ability to store glycogen. Glycogen is a key fuel to feed muscles under stress. It is stored in muscle tissue. The more muscle tissue you have... the more glycogen you can store.

                        The muscle power / muscle recruitment model
                        We all have the following types of muscle fibres. Type I and Type II. There are three types of type II that lead to the recruitment model. As you lift a heavy weight the type I says "I can't do it I need help". that recruits type II... if the load is such that the first type II can't lift, then it recruits the next type II. This recruitment continues until the weight is lifted or the muscles fail. When we fail... we promote muscle to grow, therefore we have more fibre types to lift the load we just failed on.

                        This creates the key to muscle strength that all trainers hate.

                        If I stress my muscles to failure then allow my body to rest, heal and adapt I become stronger. My muscle mass increases... (it can't be measured by a tape measure because the changes that occur will reflect the diameter and that takes time before it can be read on the circumference) but it increases the energy supply/energy depletion model and the muscle power / muscle recruitment model because there is more mass present. This creates more storage for glycogen and more fibres to recruit. That makes me stronger.

                        The biomechanical model is based on doing exercises repetitively. This strengthens the nervous system to the muscles. Trainers will tell you not to go to failure... and for this they are correct. Where they are absolutely wrong is that they fail to understand that the biomechanical model is very motion specific. There is no such thing as "functional exercises". You do a exercise, to do the motiion you need to get stronger in. A exercise that is close... isn't close enough.

                        That is the concept. Would you like more info on the specific exercises to acheive your goals?
                        Oh, Vick, still on this stuff? I thought it stopped working for you and you "moved beyond" it. According to "the model" then, doing heavy deadlifts from the floor only recruits the "biomechanical" model - it's just an increase in nervous system efficiency. Unless you actually can't do the rep, in which case and only in which case the body builds new muscle - the "muscle recruitment model". So muscles don't get bigger because of heavy deadlifts or squats, unless you fail on the last rep. Is that your claim? I just want to know. Cause I've gained probably 15+ lb of muscle over the last several months and I rarely fail my reps, and I have not noticed any difference in muscle growth from failing reps versus not failing reps.
                        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Abu Reena View Post
                          Believe it. This works the whole body and can be simplified even further if you drop the plank and the overhead work since almost every full body exercise -- if done properly -- works the core. Pushups, for example, are a form of a plank, and will work the shoulders adequately.

                          Ignore the bodybuilders who use isolating machines. Pushups, pullups, and squats/lunges, and variations thereof, are all you really need in terms of bodyweight exercises. If you love the iron, go for the big three (squats, deads, bench) but again, you don't need to stray much beyond that.

                          And just to be clear, I have no problem with overhead work for the shoulders, but I don't consider it to be essential if you vary the angles on your pushups. YMMV.
                          + 10000 I've been doing the 5 essential moves for the past 2mths & walking only. I'm currently on vacation snowboarding in SunValley - for the first time ever I was able to stop only 2x on the longest run on baldy. I'm in way better shape than I was 2yrs ago so yes this works and you don't need to do anything else unless you want to lift heavier...
                          The most depraved type of human being is the man without a purpose. ~ Ayn Rand
                          What's your purpose? Mine is Optimal Health.

                          Converted to PB November 2010
                          SW 190lb
                          Leptin Reset Redux (1Sep 2011) SW 170lbs
                          25 Sep 2011 160lbs
                          1 Dec 2011 158lbs!
                          GW ~135lbs
                          5'3"
                          Mother of 2, and wife to a kick ass husband...trying to contain chaos and havoc on a daily basis

                          My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread40609.html

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                          • #14
                            I would Vick

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                            • #15
                              Sorry about taking forever to respond, guys. I wasn't on the Internet much for a couple days.
                              But awesome! Thanks bunches for all the info!
                              -D

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