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PBF Motivation & Boredom

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  • PBF Motivation & Boredom

    Hey all,
    It's been 5 months since I've gone primal and I've lost 35 lbs, gotten rid of diabetes and my medications for diabetes, and went from a size 38 waist to a loose 32. Still got some ways to go but pretty damn good progress.

    The eating has been relatively easy after the initial shock of carb loss...

    However, the working out has been a different story.

    PBF could not be any easier, any simpler, and any more convenient. Mark has done the ultimate "hack" in KISS reduction in exercise. But I stilll hate it... I have always hated exercise. The only thing I like about it is AFTER it's over. The before and during are not at all fun for me. Don't like the burn, don't like the sweating, not one bit. I have used will power to push myself this far, but it's not sustainable. Just this boring, I re-read the PBF PDF and was really motivated and did one cycle of the 5 primal movements, but couldn't get myself to go through the second cycle. Mind you, I have progressed from only doing wall push ups to being able to do 25 real push ups. I have progressed from wall squats to doing 50 regular squats. And I can do full 90 seconds planks and 45 second side planks. I just hate every second of it.

    There are some bright spots. I absolutely love sprinting. I have had some issues with cramps and hamstrings pulls. But I have been able to sprint for the last month without any cramp or hamstrings issue. Running on grass with the wind in my face is a lot of fun. I think I've improved my gait and my speed and with the weight loss, I feel "lighter". So sprinting outdoors on the grass is "fun".

    Also, I've spent the last year, especially the last 6 months, learning a form of Tai Chi that is more intense than the one most people think of when they think of Tai Chi. This one is really taught more as a martial art, has more kicking and jumping, and I've progressed into learning sword combat forms. However, I classify the Tai Chi sessions in the "move slowly" category as it's good for my joints, tendons, cardiovascular, and is really about movement more so than LHT or cardio.

    So I think I've got the move slowly part down and the sprinting part down. It's just the LHT part that is really challenging me mentally. I think it may be the last component as I'm a little on the "skinny fat" side and if I could conquer LHT, I think the additional testosterone release and muscle building will help with the last 15 pounds.

    Any suggestions, wisdom, hacks that have worked for others?
    OptionJedi Journal

  • #2
    First off, congratulations on your successes. Nice job!

    Originally posted by OptionJedi View Post
    Just this boring, I re-read the PBF PDF and was really motivated and did one cycle of the 5 primal movements, but couldn't get myself to go through the second cycle.
    (emphasis mine) Heheh, that was an awesome slip-up right there.

    I just hate every second of it.
    Yeah, if you hate it, it's almost certainly not going to be something you're going to stick with for long.

    So I think I've got the move slowly part down and the sprinting part down. It's just the LHT part that is really challenging me mentally.
    Any suggestions, wisdom, hacks that have worked for others?
    I'm right there with you. I get bored with every "routine" I've tried. Perhaps because it becomes such a predictable...well, routine. For the most part I'm not greatly motivated by my ability to increase my reps, the amount of weight I can lift, etc. I've done:

    - Essentially random bouts of pushups and pullups for the better part of a year. Got bored.
    - PB fitness for a couple months. Got bored.
    - Simplefit for a couple months. Got bored.
    - Some crafty perversion of Simplefit using a weighted backpack. Got sore joints, then got bored.
    - Nothing for a couple months. Got weaker, and bored.
    - Started up my random pushup/pullup routine again, this time with a weighted backpack. I'll probably get bored soon.

    For me, the only thing that keeps me doing the whole LHT part is changing up the exercises when they get boring. That bothers me a bit. I wish I were satisfied with a particular routine and motivated by observed progress through that routine. But it's not so. Sadly, the only things that seem to motivate me to LHT lately are:

    pride: "Crap, a couple months ago I could do almost 20 pullups, and now I can barely do 12!"
    vanity: "I still look like a skinny SOB, maybe I can fix that."
    health: A vague, yet persistent nagging in the back of my mind that working out will improve my health and longevity.

    It's good that you're already doing the sprinting and Tai Chi. If you can keep that up and enjoy it, 2 out of 3 isn't bad. For LHT, I suggest trying to find a skill you're interested in (handstand pushups? planche pushups? muscle ups?), and let that motivate you to work harder. Or, just pick a routine and roll with it until it gets boring. Then tweak it it a bit, try a new one, or take a short break. You might find that you just need a lot of variety. One thing I do when I lack motivation to LHT is strap on a 50lb backpack and wear it around the house for a while. Run up and down stairs (carefully) with it on, cook with it, etc. Sometimes you gotta get creative.


    • #3
      i also like variety, so i do variety.

      luckily my yoga practice is weight bearing and challenging and i move through and advance postures and learn do to new things, and so it keeps me occupied. I have fun with it.

      so, maybe consider "astanga yoga" or "power vinyasa yoga" -- because it will complement your martial arts nicely (and your sprinting), and qualify as LHT. i like it because you are always moving, and with powre vinyasa yoga, always changing. with astanga, you are learning the 5 main sequences, but most people only ever learn the first two. i've only learned a small part of the third series, and i've been doing astanga yoga (as part of the yoga i do) for the last decade! so, it takes time to learn, but it's similar to your martial arts studies.


      • #4
        See Mark on play
        Ancestral Health Info

        I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

        Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.


        • #5
          Big L,
          Thanks for the suggestions. I guess it's not so much boredom as I think about it so much as it is I don't like it. The eating was easier. I didn't like not having carbs I loved, but I could balance by having more protein that I really loved even more. I had really big steaks, lamb chops, ribs, you name it just as psychological compensation for no mashed potatoes, rice, and noodles. Funny though, once I knew I could have as much as I want, and I took advantage of that for a little while, my desire went down to a normal level and I get quite satisfied on a moderate amount of protein now (along with the fat). Never did use veggies to "offset" my reduction in carbs though.

          In LHT, there is no substitute I can use. I guess Hedonist's suggestion of finding some kind of play that can substitute for LHT is the ticket. Maybe I'll try rock climbing (the indoor variety, real rock climbing without all of the safety gear just scares the crap out of me).

          I tried Astanga yoga about 15 years ago for about 3 months. It was in one of these yoga places in San Francisco that turned up the heat in the room just to make sure everyone sweat like a pig. It was really difficult in that you had to be really fit to go through the program. I sweat very easily so my yoga mat might as well have been a surfboard since it was just covered in sweat. I kept slipping and sliding and wasn't' able to hold my poses. You're right, the strength required and flexibility and balance all together was very overwhelming. I eventually was able to get through like half the class but a little too rough for me at the time. The Chen style tai chi I do is good because I can control the level of energy expenditure by how low I squat and how much internal energy I channel during the movements.

          I've looked at the WOW archive also, none look that appealing to me as they are all look too hard for me right now.

          Other than rock climbing, is there other "play" that can sort of substitute for the LHT part of the program?
          OptionJedi Journal


          • #6
            typically, astanga is not practiced in a heated room, so perhaps check out another studio. you can do the same with yoga (control intensity).

            but if you don't like it, don't do it.


            • #7
              Might be worth checking out Crossfit or maybe finding someone or a group of people to do LHT type workouts with. I've found that it is always easier/more fun/more intense to work out with other people.
              "Canned food is a perversion,' Ignatius said. 'I suspect that it is ultimately very damaging to the soul."
              - John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)


              • #8
                Give rock-climbing a try. That's the one I want to try in the "money-available future!"
                There are two wolves fighting within a man's heart, one is Love, the other is Hate. The one that wins is the one you feed.

                My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. - Jack Layton

                The Primal Adventures of Griffin - Huzzah!


                • #9
                  Hey Goldsmith,
                  Thanks for the advice. I hope to get to your level of achievement some day. Crossfit unfortunately is challenging for me as I travel to Asia once a month and am usually on the road during the week with a pretty erratic schedule.

                  Thanks. I love that climbing a rock requires "money". I hear you, I looked into joining a rock climbing gym and it was over $100/month for the whole family. Sounds like fun though but definitely hard to cost justify. But I wouldn't do it anywhere other than a gym as the thought of doing it in the "wild" kind of unnerves me.

                  Maybe I just need get over myself and tough out the 30 minutes...
                  OptionJedi Journal


                  • #10
                    it's much more fun in the wild. we boulder near our house. it's cheap and easy.


                    • #11
                      I don't rock climb during the colder months of the year (from september through april or something like that) because the indoor facilities are very expensive. As soon as the weather gets better I take advantage of the free climbing walls available here in Copenhagen. Maybe investigate if there are any free outdoor ones where you live?


                      • #12
                        I agree that taking a class makes boring body weight exercises a lot more fun. Another thing to consider is to run your sprints and in between, do some pushups or squats or planks or something like that. You could also force yourself to clean your house better by moving the furniture around when you vacuum. You could pick up a rock like Knifgill does or do the sandbag thing. Flip a tire in the back yard maybe? I know these things sound pretty boring to me, especially the house cleaning. Rock climbing is pretty boring because you have to spend so much of the time NOT climbing. You could try trail maintenance, you know, cutting bushes with saws and loppers, repairing tread with a McCloud or doing rock work. Lots of volunteer opportunities available depending on where you live. Check the local weekly paper and see if there are any crazy classes you could join. Hell, maybe even a drum circle would do something for you. Bang on a drum and dance the night away.
                        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                        • #13
                          Not sure if this is useful, but I take a dance class once a week or sometimes less, which I enjoy hugely and it motivates me to do small regular amounts of exercise in between classes to stay in some sort of shape so I can do enjoy it and progress a little.