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Gear switch from high intensity exercise to PBF

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  • Gear switch from high intensity exercise to PBF

    I'm looking to start introducing Primal Blueprint Fitness in the next few weeks. The first step will be to ramp down from the quantitiy of exercise I do now.

    Lifting Heavy Things and Sprinting, especially, seem to get a lot of buzz from people around here who claim it was the biggest deal-maker in their phsyical transformation. But I'm curious where y'all started from.

    For chronic cardio peeps, like those training for marathons, adding in some high intensity sprints and some weight lifting will always make a difference - it really paints a complete picture of fitness; something pure endurance training sorely lacks. Folks who were previously very sendetary and/or had a tumultuous stop-start relationship with exercise would undoubtedly find success with PBF too, since this type of met-con exercise is a) short, b) easy to do without needing to join a gym, and b) provides great results quickly.

    I don't fall into either category and am curious as to how Primal Blueprint Fitness will work for me. Hoping a few here can relate and talk me off the ledge.

    I teach 8-10 fitness classes a week at a high intensity. These are not long, drawn-out steady-state cardio endeavours; these are classes based on interval training (aka, Sprints). I spend approximately 50% of these classes with my heart rate elevated into the high end of the fitness training zone. I do this 5 days a week, with 1 complete rest day and 1 sorta-rest day where I do some yin-style restorative yoga for my weary connective tissue. In addition to the interval-based cardio classes, two of my weekly classes are BodyPump - a barbell class that emphasizes high reps and low weights. I supplement this with heavy lifting in the weight room once or twice a week (aka, Lift Heavy Things).

    PBF seems a lot like what i'm doing now... except LESS. I know conventional wisdom is probably clouding my judgement, but I'm concerned that reducing the quantity I exercise so as to fall more comfortably into PBF guidelines will NOT give me the incredible physique gains everyone here touts. I think I might even lose the general level of fitness I've achieved.

    [side note: I know Mark is an example of an athlete who's fitness greatly improved when he made the "downgrade" to PBF, but I personally don't consider endurance runners purely "fit." They are good at one thing: running for a long time. I've always taken a complete approach to fitness - mine and my clients' - focusing almost equally on all of the primary and secondary components of fitness. PBF seems to do this too. In other words, PBF is a greatly reduced version of what I'm already doing.]

    A few years ago I started to work on getting my cortisol issues in check. My current 8-ish classes a week are a significant reduction from the 16 I was doing a few years ago (which was doing a great job of keeping lots of belly fat on me). The belly fat went away when I dropped to 8 classes - and quit my crappy stresssful job - so I'm definitely convinced that overtraining is bad. But I'm not convinced that what I'm doing right now is "overtraining." And, for people like me, I think Mark's approach to fitness might ring in as... undertraining?

    I don't do any Moving Slowly right now, and am looking to incorporate that, first and foremost... although MS doesn't seem to get NEARLY the same credit for fitness improvement as sprinting and LHT does around here. Moving Slowly will be the only truly big change in my fitness regimine because I've already got Sprinting and LHT on lock. But I'm going to change up my current heavy-lifting practice and make it more functional, MOVNAT-type stuff, and also see if I can lift heavier weight for shorter periods. And I'm going to move my sprints off the treadmill and out to the pavement - as soon as the pavement emerges from under the ice and snow. In order to fit this all in and still have a life (and my coveted 2 rest days!), I'll be downgrading to 4-5 fitness classes a week. Eventually. As soon as I can talk myself into it.

    I just wonder if I'm going to see losses in my physical fitness since this will be a net reduction in quantity of high-intensity exercise.

    Has anyone else here come from a high-intensity fitness background and successfully made the move to the kinder, gentler PBF way of training without losing cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular endurance, etc.?

  • #2
    Hey Erin, just wondering what the results were for you? I'm currently deciding to do a down shift to PBF as well and have the same questions. I'd love to hear your perspective.


    • #3
      A few good articles:

      Cardio Bunny? Stop It – Stop It Now! Sohee Lee Fitness
      Listen Up, Ladies: Minimum Training for Maximum Results

      Ok, two, but read them. I am reducing my workload and upping the intensity of my weights in the hopes of getting the body I want.