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Thread: Confused about Primal Fitness page

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    Aussie16's Avatar
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    Confused about Primal Fitness

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    Hoping I can get some help here... I'm slightly confused re the whole primal fitness thing. Ok so a bit of background on me, I have been eating pale/primal for over 6 months now... not always 100% but most of the time. The eating part of things hasn't been an issue (for the most part) it's the fitness side of things that concerns me.

    I have been following MDA on and off for a while now, I've recently finished reading The Primal Blueprint and am halfway through reading The Primal Connection. I've also downloaded the free fitness ebook.

    My thoughts after reading the book and free fitness ebook where 'really that's all I have to do to get fit?' I mean this is what confuses me... Mark says 3-5 hours of low level aerobic activity/week... but to me that seems like nothing. I'm a walker, I walk every night with my husband for minimum 50 minutes each night, sometimes even longer. Am I over doing it? I go to the gym 2-3 times a week and ride the exercise bike for 40 minutes and have started doing sprints on the row machine (5mins).

    In terms of weights... well I'm focusing on my body weight movements now. I used to lift weights, but now I feel like I need to get a handle on my body weights first before adding weights. I struggle with pushups and pullups especially so I'm thinking focusing on those without added weights is the way to go?

    I'm just wondering am I going about this the right way? Also should I be walking more during the day? and if we're only told to do 3-5 hours/week of low level activity and a person does 3 hours in two days, what do they do the rest of the time? I feel like what I'm doing isn't even enough... I see people doing crossfit and their workouts seem so intense I don't know just need some guidance I guess!

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    spuggygirl's Avatar
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    Exercise is a very personal thing. Some people just don't enjoy it and others love it so want to do more. For me, the most important thing is that you enjoy what you do. If you want to do Crossfit then cool, go ahead...frankly it doesn't really appeal to me...but it's far from essential.

    You don't say anything about your age, level of fitness etc. This would have a bearing too, I guess, but really exercise isn't essential. It's a contributor to good health (and to great mental health, IMO) but as they say, abs are made in the kitchen.

    You enjoy your evening walk with your husband? Great. Crack on with it.

    40 minutes on the exercise bike 2-3 times a week. Personally, I reckon that if you're cycling at a steady state, you're not going to be gaining a huge amount from this. In my (admittedly inexpert) opinion, I'd cut the cycling to around 10 minutes of high intensity intervals with adequate recovery periods and then spend the rest of the time lifting weights.

    Yes, of course, it's fine to concentrate on bodyweight exercises, but why just pullups and pressups? What about the rest of your body? I can't do an unassisted pullup or a full (non girly) pressup....yet....but that doesn't stop me lifting some fairly decent weights and working on other areas of my body.

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    When you're doing your walking, are you monitoring your heart rate? I've found that for me to be in the 55%-75% of my max heart rate, I have to be almost jogging on a steep incline (on a treadmill). Also, kudos for being able to be on a stationary bike for 40 min! I have the world's shortest attention span, so extended periods on machines are tough for me!

    Other than that, everything sounds great!

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    Personally I hated exercise for a long time and didn't do anything... I've never been over weight so I guess back then it was a case of not exercising because I wasn't putting on weight. Anyway fast forward time and now I know better re exercise and I want to become healthier and stronger.

    Yes the whole crossfit thing doesn't really appeal much to me either but mainly due to how much it costs to join! I'm happy with my regular gym membership. Also I am 31 and fitness level honestly I wouldn't know! I mean I can easily walk for 1.5-2hrs a day and when I say easily I mean I can walk and talk without huffing and puffing... Am I in the 55-75 heart rate range I don't know but I do know I feel it in my legs, it's not just a regular stroll. And yes I enjoy walking.

    Fair enough re your comment on weights, admittedly I feel like my lower body strength is definitely better than my upper body. For e.g. I can easily leg press 45-50kg (I weigh 60kg) but I can't do a pull-up to save my life, I can do maybe 10 knee push-ups. Squat wise I can do about 20 in rapid succession (non assisted) but again planks I need work on! Weights wise when it comes to arms I can lift 5kg dumbbells... So yes I definite need more in the upper body side of things.

    Anyway I will give your 10mins bike suggestion and weights idea a go and see how it pans out!

    Thanks

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    Hi Sarahelyse... No I don't measure my heart rate... No monitor. Will have to look up how to monitor without one.

    Re the bike... It's just something I've become accustomed to which again is probably not a good thing? Hmmm well thanks for the reply anyway

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    The walks are perfect, and I wouldn't change them at all. Personally, I would turn the bike ride into bike sprints and shorten the duration. I would keep doing the row sprints.

    Pull-ups and push-ups are excellent - no need to add weight to them. Make sure to do your body weight squats too.

    Weight-lifting does have huge benefits, but no it is not necessary.
    "It's a great life, if you don't weaken.". John Buchan

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    KimchiNinja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie16 View Post
    My thoughts after reading the book and free fitness ebook where 'really that's all I have to do to get fit?'
    For years I ran faster/longer than any human should ever run. All the while I was eating a "healthy diet". Yet I was never lean, in fact had slow but steady weight gain...a tiny bit each year, but adding up. I was believing the "calories in / calories out" myth, thinking you could 'run it off'.

    Then I went 100% Paleolithic Nutrition (0% ‘cheats’). Lost 18lbs of fat (not muscle) in 6 weeks doing 1hr moderate cardio 5x per week. Cardio had never been effective before, but combined with paleo it was insane. After 6 weeks I was almost at my goal body fat %, and so stopped cardio (never again chronic cardio for me thank you).

    Now eating lots of food, lift weights a few times a week, no cardio other than normal walking about every day. My body maintains composition effortlessly, in fact getting even leaner/stronger every day doing almost nothing. So although I wouldn't have believed it before as a runner, Mark's right...very little is needed, it's almost all nutrition.

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    little vase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimchiNinja View Post
    For years I ran faster/longer than any human should ever run. All the while I was eating a "healthy diet". Yet I was never lean, in fact had slow but steady weight gain...a tiny bit each year, but adding up. I was believing the "calories in / calories out" myth, thinking you could 'run it off'.

    Then I went 100% Paleolithic Nutrition (0% ‘cheats’). Lost 18lbs of fat (not muscle) in 6 weeks doing 1hr moderate cardio 5x per week. Cardio had never been effective before, but combined with paleo it was insane. After 6 weeks I was almost at my goal body fat %, and so stopped cardio (never again chronic cardio for me thank you).

    Now eating lots of food, lift weights a few times a week, no cardio other than normal walking about every day. My body maintains composition effortlessly, in fact getting even leaner/stronger every day doing almost nothing. So although I wouldn't have believed it before as a runner, Mark's right...very little is needed, it's almost all nutrition.
    Bookmarking this for when I need a little inspiration. Thank you.

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    john101's Avatar
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    There are really most effective suggestions posted by you. I am totally agree wuth you all. According to me exercise is most important part of our health. It keep us fit and healthy. But it only effect that time when you take a proper diet also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KimchiNinja View Post
    For years I ran faster/longer than any human should ever run. All the while I was eating a "healthy diet". Yet I was never lean, in fact had slow but steady weight gain...a tiny bit each year, but adding up. I was believing the "calories in / calories out" myth, thinking you could 'run it off'.

    Then I went 100% Paleolithic Nutrition (0% ‘cheats’). Lost 18lbs of fat (not muscle) in 6 weeks doing 1hr moderate cardio 5x per week. Cardio had never been effective before, but combined with paleo it was insane. After 6 weeks I was almost at my goal body fat %, and so stopped cardio (never again chronic cardio for me thank you).

    Now eating lots of food, lift weights a few times a week, no cardio other than normal walking about every day. My body maintains composition effortlessly, in fact getting even leaner/stronger every day doing almost nothing. So although I wouldn't have believed it before as a runner, Mark's right...very little is needed, it's almost all nutrition.
    THIS. This is what I needed to read today. Going to trail run and be happy about it :-) Also getting into the gym to lift a few times a week.

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