Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
30 Jun

PrimalCon 2011 Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the second annual PrimalCon, our 3-day (April 15-17, 2011) health and fitness retreat held at the beautiful seaside Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach resort in Southern California. PrimalCon is a total immersion weekend experience of expert-guided workouts, play, leisure, classroom education, camaraderie, and of course the extraordinary Primal feasts. PrimalCon welcomes participants of all fitness and experience levels with leveled exercise groups and strict efforts to ensure appropriate self-pacing all weekend.

The conference fee is $695, which includes all meals and a lavish goodie bag of apparel and other Primal gear. But register by July 31 and you’ll receive a special $100 early-bird discount. To ensure an intimate experience and direct engagement (on and off the record!) with me and our other presenters, slots are limited to the first 100 registrants. You’ll book accommodations directly with hotel ($159-$225/night).

PrimalCon 2010

Hopefully you shared in some of the excitement and magic of the first-ever PrimalCon (April 2010) through our extensive photos, videos, blogging and presentation summaries. PrimalCon represented our first-ever live gathering of Primal Blueprint enthusiasts, and it’s safe to say it vastly exceeded the expectations of everyone who participated. Sure, we served great food and put together a lively and diverse agenda blending lectures, fitness activities and plenty of play, but the truly magical element was in the gathering of like-minded folks who share a deep-seated passion for living Primally. While I’m inspired by the many readers who relate that I’ve touched their lives, I’m not embarrassed to admit that the PrimalCon 2010 attendees touched my life to the extent that I got all choked up at the closing ceremonies!

PrimalCon was launched on a whim, with only a few months advance planning and a “let’s just see what happens” attitude. Well, the event is definitely here to stay and destined to become a centerpiece of the Primal Blueprint movement. While you may have enjoyed our coverage on, I challenge you to do one better in 2011 and join us for PrimalCon next April! Yes, it’s an effort to cover the all-inclusive registration fee, and get yourself across the state, country or globe and into the Embassy Suites resort for the designated weekend, but awaiting you in Oxnard is a vortex of energy and excitement unlike anything you have ever experienced!

Here is an overview of what to expect at PrimalCon 2011:

  • Seminars at the resort will include general sessions with me and other featured presenters with specialized areas of expertise directly related to the Primal movement.
  • Workouts will take place right on the sand or the expansive grass fields of Oxnard Beach Park. Experts in Primal Blueprint Fitness will guide you in small groups segmented by ability, and designed to invigorate you without risking overstress or injury.
  • We’ll have all kinds of fun, games, and relaxation, including leisurely hiking on the beach and sand dune preserve, Ultimate Frisbee matches (of course, no good conference should be without), the top secret Primal Mind/Body Obstacle Course Challenge on the beach (don’t even ask, just show up ready for a challenge!), and a Primal Team Challenge that makes the stuff on Survivor look ho-hum!
  • Hard-core Primal enthusiasts are welcome; we’ll have some lively fitness competitions to test you against worthy competition. However, as aligned with the principles of the Primal Blueprint, this conference is for absolutely everyone. Even if you are relatively unfit or unfamiliar with the Primal Blueprint, this weekend can kick-start a brand new way of life! We’ll group you with those of similar ability for fitness activities, and watch carefully to ensure that you don’t overdo it. You can also feel free to pick and choose your agenda participation at any time. After all, the beach and poolside cabanas beckon all weekend!
  • We’ll have lavish Primal feasts – a custom-order omelet bar every morning, a full-on Primal snack bar to keep you cranking through the day (without disturbing your insulin levels of course!), and then truly legendary dinners. After a busy day, you’ll take a short stroll over from the resort to our heated picnic area at the beach park. Follow the aroma to the on-site Bar-B-Que! You’ll hit the ridiculously colorful and enticing buffet till your heart’s content, and then linger for social time as the sun sets and the fog drifts in to mark the end of the day.
  • Oh, let’s not forget the fully Primal “positive natural stressor”? – the now world-famous Primal ocean plunge. Don’t worry though, you can get from the water’s edge to the Embassy Suites jacuzzi in about 41 seconds (might even count as a sprint workout)!

Getting Down to Details

Fees: Pay your full conference fee before July 31st and get a $100 discount! (as reflected in current shopping cart price). Couples registering and staying together in double-occupancy suites get a $50 discount on the second conference registration fee. Just select quantity “2” for PrimalCon registration and you will receive $25 off the cost of each registration.

Budget Options: If you’re on budget and want to reserve a spot, call us at 888-774-6259 and we will be glad to tell you about our payment plans. Also, if your spouse/partner would like to attend the food gatherings only we have special pricing options. Call to inquire.

Schedule: Sign in at 7:30 am Friday morning, April 15 and then we jump right into the agenda. We’ll wrap up on Sunday at noon so you can embark on your journey home…and show up to work Monday morning a new person!

Travel: Oxnard is about 90 minutes North of Los Angeles proper, about 30 minutes South of Santa Barbara on gold coast of Ventura County coast. For air travel, Los Angeles International (LAX) and Burbank (BUR) airports are your best choices. Commuter service is offered to nearby Santa Barbara. Residents of Southern California and Bay Area/Northern California are recommended to drive (~6 hours from San Francisco).

Lodging: The incredible discounted suite package ($159-$225/night) we have negotiated with the resort for the conference will be accessible within the next week. Visit this page and book your suite now.

Cancellation Policy: There is a $75 processing fee for refunds. 7 days prior the processing fee increases to $125.


FRIDAY, April 15th
Morning: Embassy Suites breakfast buffet, featuring made-to-order omelets.
7:30am: Sign in/Opening Assembly with Mark Sisson.
Morning Activities: Small group rotation through PBF Strength Training Session, PBF Sprint Instruction, and Introduction to Slack Line.
Mid-Day: Primal Ocean Plunge and Primal Snack Bar – delicious Primal snack buffet (veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, hard boiled eggs, jerky, etc.) to keep you cranking till the evening feast!
Afternoon: Primal Blueprint classrom discussion with Mark Sisson. Advanced topics relating to weight loss, Primal lifestyle hacks, extensive Q&A, and sneak preview of Mark’s new book, Reconnect!
Late Afternoon: Small group rotations: Hands-On Primal Cooking Class, Expert Guest Lecture/Instruction (posture, barefoot experience, etc.), and Massage Appointments (45-minute complementary full body massage with licensed therapist).
Evening: Primal Dinner Feast at Oxnard Beach Park. Fabulous buffet of organic barbecue meat, organic locally grown vegetables and endless colorful, delicious Primal offerings.

SATURDAY, April 16th
Morning: Embassy Suites breakfast buffet.
Morning: Energizing gentle movement session at Oxnard Beach Park.
Morning: Primal Team Challenge: Survivor-style group competitions, appropriate for all fitness levels, and celebrating the beautiful natural environment of ocean and sand dunes. Bring your brain, fitness attire and group energy!
Late Morning: Beach Hike, proceed at your own pace and enjoy social time.
Mid-Day: Primal Snack Bar and Free Time/Beach Park Relaxation. Slack line practice, fitness fun/games/practice, small breakout sessions with expert presenters on demand.
Afternoon: Outdoor Play – Mind/Body Obstacle Course and Ultimate Frisbee matches.
Late Afternoon: Small group rotations through Hands-On Primal Cooking Class, Expert Guest Lecture/Instruction (posture, barefoot experience, etc.), and Massage Appointments (45-minute complementary full body massage with licensed therapist).
Evening: Primal Dinner Feast and social time at Oxnard Beach Park. Bust out the truffles and tiki torches!

SUNDAY, April 17th
Morning: Embassy Suites breakfast buffet.
Morning: Energizing gentle movement session at Oxnard Beach Park.
Late Morning: Small group rotations through PBF Challenge Fitness Assessment (Novice, Intermediate and Advanced categories), and small breakout sessions with expert presenters on demand.
Late Morning: Primal Snack Bar and Closing Ceremonies at Oxnard Beach Park.
12:00pm: Hotel checkout.

I’d like to hear from you on a couple levels:

1. Will you attend for sure? Strongly consider? Maybe – need more info?

2. Being over 9 months out we’re still working on the agenda. Do you have any suggestions about what programming would be most important or interesting to you? Are there any guest speakers that you’d most like to see present at PrimalCon 2011? Other comments about the basic concept presented here? Have you been to a health/fitness retreat and had a memorable experience – good or bad – that you might share?

I look forward to seeing you in the flesh come April! Grok on!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Already registered. Can’t wait.

    Lars1000 wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Very glad to hear you’ll be coming out again, Lars! See you in April!

      Mark Sisson wrote on June 30th, 2010
    I only have one weekend with plans in all of 2011, and that’s the weekend! :(

    Melodious wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Seriously? I am really sorry, but that really sucks. Can’t you switch those plans? The PrimalCon is sure to be more fun then anything else…. maybe? I have no idea what your plans involve, lol.

      Primal Toad wrote on June 30th, 2010
      • It’s actually another convention. It’s called Mind Games, and is the complete antithesis of PrimalCon. I went this year, and it’s 3 days (April 15-17) of staying up late, playing competitive board/card games, evaluating them, with a room full of junk food to eat from.
        It’s a load of fun (I went this year), but totally sedentary.

        Melodious wrote on June 30th, 2010
      • Even though Mind Games was fun, I’m sitting here debating…I’m so torn! :(

        Melodious wrote on June 30th, 2010
  3. I would love to go, but the cost is too much. I had to take a pay cut at work. Maybe the next one.

    Vinnie wrote on June 30th, 2010
  4. I will be attending for sure!

    I just had one question about food. Obviously we’re not gonna be served bread, but do we have to worry about gluten in sauces/marinades/dressing etc? With Celiac disease I’m a bit more careful with this kinda thing. Just wondering if I can actually have a vacation where I don’t even have to worry about this or ask a million questions each meal?

    Kat wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • That’s the beauty of PrimalCon. No bread, pasta, beans, gluten, grains or awkward looks in sight.

      Mark Sisson wrote on June 30th, 2010
      • Thank you! I am way too excited for this!

        Kat wrote on June 30th, 2010
        • I’m looking forward to meeting you, Kat. And by the way, I’ll be sending your comment along to our PrimalCon chef just to make absolutely sure there is no nasty gluten anywhere in sight.

          Mark Sisson wrote on June 30th, 2010
  5. hmmmm… only problem is I work in the ski industry & the resort will still open, albeit that is closing wknd. Rooms are kinda $pendy, but then I remind myself it’s SoCal…

    Peggy wrote on June 30th, 2010
  6. I am signing up without a doubt. No question about it. I have been looking forward to this day ever since you all were enjoying PrimalCon this year.

    I will be camping with my bro this weekend for the holiday and will do my best to get him to come with me. My guess is he will go. He is not primal… yet. He is very interested in the lifestyle… especially since he sees his lil bro infinity times more happy, alive, healthier, stronger, etc.


    You just made the month of June the best month of my life, lol. Thanks! I will see you in April!

    Primal Toad wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Looking forward to seeing you in April, Primal Toad!

      Mark Sisson wrote on June 30th, 2010
  7. I would love to go but I’m not in Grok body form (still too much body weight) :(

    On the salads dressing or sauces, I would be more worried about any possible sources of MSG in the food there. But I could go more on the carnivore side easily to be safe if I did go.

    Edward wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Edward,

      All body types and fitness levels welcome and accommodated for at PrimalCon.

      Lars1000 wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Take it from Lars. He attended last year and saw how things worked.

      Physical activities are broken into groups based on fitness level and all activities are completely optional.

      I really encourage those that AREN’T as fit as they’d like to be and those that DO have some weight to lose to attend PrimalCon. It’s a great way to really kick start weight loss and the Primal lifestyle.

      There’s plenty to learn and experience no matter where you are in your Primal journey.

      Mark Sisson wrote on June 30th, 2010
  8. Chris and I will be there for sure!!! Happy to see you will too, Lars :)

    Kat, this last one there was no gluten in anything. Being on a vacation that WE didn’t have to worry about what was in the food or ask a million questions at meals was possibly the greatest thing about the weekend (that, or the gathering of like-minded individuals Mark referenced above). And I promise, it will be the best food you have EVER eaten!! Without question.

    Soooo excited! :)

    Tina wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Very excited to see you and Chris in April, Tina! I’m so glad you’re going to come out again!

      We were very happy with how the first even turned out, but we definitely learned a few things, too. So expect a bigger and better PrimalCon this next year. See you then!

      Mark Sisson wrote on June 30th, 2010
  9. HOORAY! Tina and I are signed up and ready to get our GROK-ON!!! looking forward to seeing all the previous attendees and new faces!

    chris wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • See you in April, Chris. Grok on!

      Mark Sisson wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Sweet Chris! Looking forward to seeing you and Tina again. Rock out with our Grok out!

      Lars1000 wrote on June 30th, 2010
      • Yes Lars! We will see you there,

        Chris wrote on June 30th, 2010
  10. Please, please think about coming to Europe, preferrably the UK, there are lots of Grokkers here now just dying to join in the fun, but flying 12 hours to the West Coast of America for 3 days just isn’t feasible (never mind very green) LOL!


    Kelda wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Last year we had Tim from Portugal!

      Chris wrote on June 30th, 2010
  11. Really like to attend because a person could benefit from this great 3 day session. I know there needs to be a profit to be made from this PB seminar but $700.00 is a lot for me to spend.

    David wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Trust me, I never would have started putting these events together if it was about making money. Not that there is anything wrong with making a profit, but margins on this sort of things are absurdly tight and the registration fee is as low as I can reasonably go and still cover expenses. For me it’s all about bringing the Mark’s Daily Apple community together for a weekend of great food and great company. That alone is worth all the effort of organizing this retreat.

      In any case, the low margin and huge amount of work necessary to pull this off are added reasons I will likely only have the energy to do one a year.

      Mark Sisson wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • I too thought it was a lot of money, until I experienced it. Ok, enough of the hard sell. I hope you make it.

      Lars1000 wrote on June 30th, 2010
  12. hey folks quit complaing about the price. Remember in life that the price you pay is the solution to the problem.
    So the price to go is not a problem its a solution.

    Monkey Mark

    monkeyMark wrote on June 30th, 2010
  13. I would really love to attend. When you say “any” fitness level…do you really mean that. I am 100 pounds over weight..

    Jennifer wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • They really do mean anyone. there’s no “judging” here in the MDA community…

      Peggy wrote on June 30th, 2010
      • Hi Peggy,

        Just imagine the type of people on the forums, but in person. That’s what PrimalCon is like. Great people, supportive, and of all fitness levels.

        Lars1000 wrote on June 30th, 2010
        • I meant Hi Jennifer,

          Just imagine the type of people on the forums, but in person. That’s what PrimalCon is like. Great people, supportive, and of all fitness levels

          Lars1000 wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Absolutely, Jennifer. As Peggy said, there’s no judging here at MDA, and that goes for PrimalCon, too. Come out to the event and I know you’ll meet some of the most supportive and friendly Groks around. And like I said above, activities will be organized by fitness levels and everything is 100% optional.

      Mark Sisson wrote on June 30th, 2010
  14. I love it! *2nd Annual*. Would love to attend, but cannot. 2012, perhaps. Pipe dream is this: Me, my Inspirationist (CMS) and her DH all attend. It would be fantastic to put handshakes to pixels. However, somebody has to brew and create the coffee served daily– Kitty’s Coffee, Cincinnati, Ohio 2, yes, 2! locations. Yum.

    GSC wrote on June 30th, 2010
  15. Wish we could attend, need to setup PrimalCon East and West

    Ryan wrote on June 30th, 2010
  16. Maybe I skipped it but when is the absolute last day to register for this? I know that if you register by 7/31 you get $100 off but I’m guessing you could still register after that?

    Also, how about getting that French MovNat guy as a guest speaker/presenter?

    Mountain Dew wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • You can register well after July 31. As long as there are spaces open we’ll likely continue to take reservations. But, of course, the discount only lasts through July.

      Mark Sisson wrote on June 30th, 2010
  17. I already fired off an email to my husband, to see if we can work it into the budget: I think we will take the plunge. Maybe it will get hubby motivated to make the move from about 40/60 to the 80/20!

    Jenna wrote on June 30th, 2010
  18. Man, if I had the extra $$ I’d be all over this, the last one looked so like so much fun.

    mike wrote on June 30th, 2010
  19. This is a GREAT event! I’m drooling reading about it. Won’t work for 2011, but here’s to 2012! Keep up great ideas like this, Mark!

    Julia wrote on June 30th, 2010
  20. I wanted to go this year, but had only been primal for a month and talked myself out of going. I told myself I would go next year – so going I am … I registered and put it on my calendar.

    Bmitch wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Kudos to following through with a commitment, Brnitch. See you in April!

      Mark Sisson wrote on June 30th, 2010
  21. Mark,
    I’d love to attend but I live 30 minutes up the coast from Oxnard, would I be able to attend and commute to this event?

    Thanks in advance,

    Jessica wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • People commuted last year. One guy even rode his skateboard in every morning. That’s how close he was!

      Lars1000 wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Absolutely! Living only 30 minutes away means you almost have to come.

      Mark Sisson wrote on June 30th, 2010
  22. I’m going to do everything I can to get there this year

    Peter wrote on June 30th, 2010
  23. Hi Mark,

    would you consider doing a PrimalCon for those of us who live in New Zealand and Australia later this year? Our seasons are back to front so it might be a nice winter getaway for you :)

    Kate wrote on June 30th, 2010
  24. I’m signed up and excited.

    Perhaps there will be a Primal Drinking Contest? (all wine and bourbon? 😉

    Anyone else from NC?

    Mike Wootini wrote on June 30th, 2010
  25. I think a presentation on the Gokhale Method for posture would be great!
    I reeeally reeeally hope I can come to this one!! 😀

    Ika wrote on June 30th, 2010
  26. I am SO planning to attend. Trying to convince hubby to join me. If I can’t convince him, I’ll come myself!!

    Greensprout wrote on June 30th, 2010
  27. Mark, will there be a student price like there was for primal con 2010?

    I’m willing to travel all the way from canada (quebec) to oxnard, but it would be quite expensive. Do you know if there is a camping spot/low budget place where we could sleep?

    Jean-Patrick wrote on June 30th, 2010
  28. OK, hubby has said it’s a go: We’re not signed up yet, but will soon be joining the ranks!

    Jenna wrote on June 30th, 2010
  29. I think I may make the trek from down under. Any other aussies interested in going?

    Paleo Rob wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Mate – as soon as I get my next gig and secure some cash flow I’m in.

      Luke in Oz wrote on June 30th, 2010
  30. I have been Primal since March 2010 and I can’t say enough about my energy increase, body fat loss, and overall better health and wellness. I am so much more energetic and happier at home and at work after becoming Primal! My 60 year old mom is currently adopting some of the primal principles (although slowly). She did order the Primal Blueprint Cookbook from your website and loves the recipes! She is noticing more energy and she tells me she feels 20 years younger! (She used to smoke and eat really unhealthy, so this is a major victory for her!) I am really hoping I can talk her into going to PrimalCon next year to celebrate our new, healthier lifestyles! Thanks, Mark, for all you do!!

    SherryB123 wrote on June 30th, 2010
  31. I’d love to make it back to Oxnard but unfortunately the jobby job doesn’t afford me the luxury of knowing where I’ll be one minute to the next. Is there a possibility for a refund if advance notice is given? Oh and by the way Mark, the cookbook is fantastic!

    Tattoo Nicky wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Call 888-774-6259 for refund details.

      Glad you’re enjoying the cookbook!

      Mark Sisson wrote on July 1st, 2010
  32. I’m mostly a lurker, but I’d put in a tentative maybe. With family in the Ventura area I might be able skimp on the hotel and swing the cost.

    jj wrote on June 30th, 2010
  33. Currently between jobs, so can’t sign up to that amount of US$ (even more in Aussie $) – especially with an airfare on top just yet.

    I really do hope there is at least ONE position available by the time I’m able to commit!?

    Paleo Rob – as soon as I’ve secured my next gig – I’m in!!!

    Luke in Oz wrote on June 30th, 2010
  34. DT and I are in. There’s no way we’d miss it. We’re looking forward to seeing folks from last year and meeting many new groks!

    It’s steep registration price for sure, but considering PB is such a big part of our lives every single day, it seems like a small price to pay to be a part of an event as amazing as this.


    Vanessa wrote on June 30th, 2010
  35. I attended the inaugural PrimalCon in April and truly, it was an amazing experience! And some folks traveled from as far away as Singapore. Definitely worth saving the pennies for such a life-altering and inspiring weekend.

    Jo wrote on July 1st, 2010
    • oh that’s right. I said portugal earlier. Tim was from Singapore.

      chris wrote on July 1st, 2010
  36. Mark,

    I’m active duty Air Force and I’d really like to attend this year, but I’m worried about getting tasked to deploy around that time-frame. Are there any options to refund if the military decides to sends me to the sandbox and I can’t go to PrimalCon?


    Mac wrote on July 1st, 2010
    • I’m sort of wondering the same(ish) thing. I’d love to buy a ticket (we’re currently living in CA and I could drive to PrimalCon – not commuting, but driving as opposed to flying) but we may or may not PCS to Virginia this fall, and airfare would be too expensive.

      I’m also curious about kids – if my husband is deployed or something, would I be able to bring my baby? Would it cost extra? Would it interfere with my participation?

      Joyful Abode wrote on July 1st, 2010
  37. Since I missed the 1st one, I’m a “strongly consider” for this one. The location and time of year are selling points.

    As to suggestions, a panel discussion/Q&A would be fun. A panel of bloggers/health & fitness leaders, etc.

    I also have suggestions for guest speakers and/or folks to lead a fitness program, etc. Paul Chek would be an interesting fit for PrimalCon.

    Also, how about someone from Art of Strength (AoS), like Anthony DiLuglio? AoS blows away cross-fit, because cross-fit is too group-oriented, too obsessed with rigid routines, times (that dang timer!), competing, etc. AoS is a completely spontaneous and non-routine form of ‘cross-fit’ that mixes up more “stuff” that is primal in nature.
    Anthony or one of his people could put on an AoS class.

    Something on the monkey bar gym might be interesting, too. Perhaps a seminar on the best way to utilize available space in your home to set up a primal-type ‘gym’ with suspension training, ropes, kettlebells, monkey bar stuff, etc.

    Karen DeCoster wrote on July 1st, 2010
  38. My wife and I would love to go but alas we just moved into a bigger apartment (more rent etc) (5 blocks away from an organic supermarket yay!) So I doubt we will be able to join. We have been going Primal for about 6 weeks now and I have lost close to 12lbs back and forth and went down 3 belt notches. And she isnt losing as much but is toning up really fast. Wish we could be there, it sounds amazing! Here’s to hoping for 2012!

    Mitch wrote on July 1st, 2010
  39. Just registered! Really looking forward to it. You asked for some suggestions, so here goes.
    1. Workshop on foraging for edible plants.
    2. Workshop or lecture on current day hunter/gatherer tribes.
    3. Spear throwing competition.
    4. Geoff Bond as guest speaker. See #2 above. P.S. His book Deadly Harvest was my first intro into primal eating.

    GROK ON.

    Paul Young wrote on July 1st, 2010

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