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

The 2011 Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge Begins Now

If you want to lose weight, gain muscle, reduce stress, increase energy or just generally look and feel healthier you’ve come to the right place. Oh, and you can win lots of cool Primal gear, too. That’s right, it’s the annual Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge!

The 30-Day Challenge Details

So what’s the challenge? To get Primal, of course! I hold this 30-Day Challenge every year to encourage Primal beginners to give this way of eating, moving and living a try because I know it works, I know how empowering it is, and I know it changes lives.

I also do it to motivate those that have been dabbling with the Primal lifestyle for a while, but haven’t fully committed or still have some room for improvement (myself included!), to go all in and resolve to finally tackle whatever it is they want to address in their lives.

The actual challenge itself is pretty straightforward. The details can be found in the image below. I recommend downloading the 30-Day Challenge flyer here, and clicking on the links to learn more about each of the topics. (And maybe print a few copies to hand out to friends!)

No sign-up required. Anyone can participate. Just commit to the challenge, and check back every day for motivation and guidance.

Above and beyond the challenge as outlined below, I encourage you to make your own personal challenges. Customize your goals to fit your needs and commit to 30 days starting now.

Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge

The Primal Leap – One-on-One Support

This 30-day challenge perfectly complements The Primal Leap. The Primal Leap is my effort to provide one-on-one support and step-by-step guidance to those looking to lose weight, take control of their health and get Primal for life. If you would like expert feedback and be told exactly what to do and when to do it The Primal Leap is for you. Learn more here.

Community Support

Just like last year, I highly encourage you to use the forum during the challenge. In it you can start a “Primal Challenge Journal” to publicly state your goals and track your progress.

Create a journal to receive positive feedback, advice and help along the way from myself and the Mark’s Daily Apple community.

The 30-Day Challenge Contests FAQs

The main challenge itself isn’t competitive but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some friendly contests along they way!

Over the course of the next month Mark’s Daily Apple and sponsors will be giving away thousands of dollars in prizes.

Here are some rules and answers to FAQ:

  • There will be a new contests nearly every day for the duration of the 30-day challenge (through Oct. 11), so check back daily!
  • All contest prizes relate in some way to the Primal lifestyle. You won’t find any miracle weight loss pills, tummy crunching sling-a-ma-doo-dads, or whole wheat health blast jazzer snackers.
  • Some contests will require a bit of leg work while others will require something as simple as commenting on a blog post.
  • There is no limit to how many contests you can participate in.
  • The duration of any one contest depends on the nature of the contest. Some will last a few weeks (to give you time to complete the contest task) while others will be as short as one day. All deadlines are Pacific Standard Time.
  • Contest prizes will be awarded either by a random drawing, by reader voting/polling or by an executive decision (who I think should win!).
  • Some prizes will only be available to United States residents. If you live outside the U.S. and win a prize that can’t be shipped internationally an alternate prize of equal value will be awarded.
  • I’m not being paid by any company that is sponsoring the contest with a prize.

To track all the contests visit the 2011 Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge Contest Page for daily updates.

New to the Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple?

If you are new to the Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple and don’t know where to begin here are some resources to get you started:

1. Not sure what it means to “Go Primal”? Check out these articles for the basics:

2. The Primal Blueprint 101 Page

3. The Forum – Ask any and all questions you have about the Primal lifestyle.

4. The Book

5. What to eat? – Primal Blueprint Recipes on MDA and The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals

6. Have a question? – Contact Me

Tell your friends and family about the challenge so they can get Primal, too! Use the “ShareThis” link below to send this article via email.

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. My challenge for the next 30 days is:

    1) Make sure I get at least 2-3 days of LHT in

    2)Get in 1-2 weekly sprint sessions


    Georgette wrote on September 12th, 2011
  2. My challenge during this 30 day challenge is cut back on dairy and stop drinking Starbucks Mocha. The Starbucks mocha is going to be very tough for me to quit.

    Holly T. wrote on September 12th, 2011
    • We’ve cut way back on Starbucks with a stovetop espresso pot and a milk frother. Unsweetened almond milk actually froths really really well – like to four times its size. I add a bit of Stevia to the almond milk before I froth it because I like my lattes sweet.

      AliceAitch wrote on September 12th, 2011
  3. I’m so excited! My personal challenges are to make primal lunches for my husband and myself for work. Also to stand at my desk more often. I’m lucky to have a standing desk, why not use it!? :)

    Anna wrote on September 12th, 2011
  4. My challenge is to sprint once a week.

    Karen wrote on September 12th, 2011
  5. My goal right now is to do more moving slowly – to the tune of a walk at lunchtime 3 times per week and at least one long walk on the weekends to get me up to at least 3 hours per week.

    JennF wrote on September 12th, 2011
  6. My personal challenge this year is to commit fully to the Primal lifestyle focusing on getting enough sleep, keeping to my exercise schedule and most importantly making time to play and have fun :)

    Francesca wrote on September 12th, 2011
  7. I have 3 extra challenges for this 30 days.

    1) Give up diet soda for 30 days.
    2) Get more sunlight.
    3) Try not counting calories or macros for 30 days.

    Tracie wrote on September 12th, 2011
  8. I’m giving up grains. Pizza will be the hardest, but I’m committed to trying.

    Hilary Hollebon wrote on September 12th, 2011
  9. My personal challenge is learning to cook primal! I am not very creative in the kitchen and I would love to be able to expand my culinary repetoire.

    namelesswonder wrote on September 12th, 2011
  10. So excited for this…it’s just what I needed!

    Personal goals:
    +play more!
    +follow the PB fitness guide

    Annie wrote on September 12th, 2011
  11. My personal challenge is to go 100% strict with my nutrition for the entire challenge! (Especially added sugar…) I’m also going to commit to blogging every day about the positive affect that the challenge will have on my life (

    Carrie wrote on September 12th, 2011
  12. 1) Start sprinting once a week again.
    2) Stop cheating with sugary junk & grains (no cheat meals or cheat days for at least 30 days!!).
    3) Increase to at least 5 hours of low impact movement every week instead only doing probably 2 or maybe 3 hours like I’ve been doing recently.
    Really good timing for this challenge to start! I lost a decent amount of weight the first 4 months, but I have slowed the last 2 months. Still seeing progress, but July 4, Labor Day weekend, summer gatherings, etc., etc., have caused me to not be nearly as strict as I had been. Now I cheat a little bit almost every day. I need to get really focused again, as I have more weight to lose & I haven’t consistently been under 100 carbs per day in a while. :-(

    TJ wrote on September 12th, 2011
  13. I’m in the sprint-committing boat. For the longest time I’ve been dreading/avoiding them for a long time, but I’ve done one sprint session a day for the past two weeks,and I find there’s nothing quite like running for your life. And I mean “running for your life” in more than one way!

    Conor wrote on September 12th, 2011
  14. I’m committed to REALLY eliminating grains and sugars and getting rid of my heartburn issues.

    Pete wrote on September 12th, 2011
  15. My challenge is to get more steadily into the fitness part of things. I’ve got the moving slowly part under control, so I need to start lifting heavy things and sprinting. Tried a couple sprints last night and was amazed at how fast my body can move now that I’ve been eating primally and lost a bunch of extra weight!

    Rachel S wrote on September 12th, 2011
  16. I’m fully committed… I bought the book two weeks ago before I got the notice for the challenge… almost finished the book and I hate to say no to a challenge… I’d been training CW for my first marathon, so transitioning to a more primal regimen may prove most difficult but I’m game… Day 1 and challenge on!

    Michele wrote on September 12th, 2011
  17. I’m going to use a half hour of my lunch 3 days a week to do light weight/high rep workouts. Why not all five work days? Because my heavy workout days fall on the other 2 days ;p and I like having the weekend for outdoor family play time.

    Brad wrote on September 12th, 2011
  18. My personal challenge will be to “primalize” my pantry!

    Vickie Mills wrote on September 12th, 2011
  19. This is my third stint on the primal blueprint in a year, I have trouble sticking to it past a few weeks. I’ve successfully lost weight each time then fall of the horse. So my challenge is to give up caramel colored carbonated beverages once and for all and to make it all thirty days (and beyond). I need to eventually catch my brother who is now 185-190lbs through the primal blueprint.

    Dan wrote on September 12th, 2011
  20. My goal is to lose 10 more pounds before the end of the 30 day challenge!

    I went primal (with zero cheats) from Jan 2011-May 2011 and lost 15 lbs… But I slacked off this summer.

    It’s time to get back in it – to win it – and to lose the last 10 lbs and stay healthy the primal way for life!

    So excited about this challenge!!

    Christina Gillick wrote on September 12th, 2011
  21. I’m in the midst of a Whole 30, so my personal challenge is to shut off my phone/computer by 830pm so I can get a full nights rest, and to start walking the dogs every morning at least 2 miles for my easy moving (including some short sprints with the pups). I also need to add in some lifting.

    Since I’m already no grain/no added sugar/no legume/no choc or alcohol, I’m good there! 😀

    Abbe K wrote on September 12th, 2011
  22. I need to get my sprints in. LHT is no problem, nor moving slowly.

    jeff wrote on September 12th, 2011
  23. I want to concentrate on eating more whole foods and not relying on protein powders to supplement as much as I used to.

    Oh, and 8 hours of sleep a night would be nice :)

    heliodora wrote on September 12th, 2011
  24. My challenge is to get 8 hours of sleep and start exercising!

    Jessica wrote on September 12th, 2011
  25. My personal challenge is to learn to cook primal to love my meals and to give up grains.

    kai wrote on September 12th, 2011
  26. My own personal challenge – I’m starting Crossfit later this month!! Thankfully I have a couple of weeks with the Primal Challenge to get my nutrition fully on track before I start working out regularly at my box. I’m TERRIFIED but also know that it could be one of the best things to happen to me.

    Primal Kitchen's Family Grokumentarian wrote on September 12th, 2011
    • It WILL be one of the best things to happen to you.

      Ginny wrote on September 12th, 2011
  27. I’m excited for the new 30-day challenge. I started on my paleo journey in Nov 2010. This summer, I got off course a tiny bit, particularly with exercise. My challenges are:
    1. Get more consistent sleep – in bed by 10pm!
    2. Reintroduce “lift heavy objects” 2x a week.
    3. Minimize sugar/fruit intake (no more than 1-2x a day).

    Jessie (Alexandria, VA) wrote on September 12th, 2011
  28. It’s finally here! On top of getting serious about eating and moving primally, my personal challenge is to quit smoking for good…horrible, I know, but I’ve cut back considerably and am finally in the right mindset to quit!

    Nellie wrote on September 12th, 2011
  29. I’ve been pretty fully primal for months now, but what I need to do is cut way back on dairy, to just heavy cream for my tea, and plain yogurt with berries for a treat. All the rest is going bye-bye (yes, that means YOU, Haagen Dazs!)

    I will also get sun every morning by doing my workout in the back yard instead of inside. Gotta go do it right now!

    HillsideGina wrote on September 12th, 2011
  30. I will get 7.5-8 hrs of sleep at least 6 out of 7 days per week. Continue being dairy/grain/sugar free. Re-eliminate starches. Limit fruit intake to 1-2 servings per week. 3 crossfit WODs each week. Add’l walk/easy moving 2-3 times each week. Extra credit: get my husband to do the challenge.

    BestSelf wrote on September 12th, 2011
  31. I commit to doing sprints once each week. I do the low intensity every day, and I lift heavy things twice a week, but the sprints have been hard to work in.

    Denise wrote on September 12th, 2011
  32. My personal challenge will be finding an effective exercise routine. My first attempt will be trying to get over my fear of walking outside the house. I’m hoping to start on a really short walk, and when I get home without a panic attack I’ll be able to convince myself to take longer walks. I’ve discussed it with my roommate who knows me better then anyone else and we cannot come up with a ‘solid’ reason I have such a ‘fear’ about walking around the neighborhood.

    Lilyheart wrote on September 12th, 2011
    • Is there a park or a “designated” walking area you can get to? That could be useful for getting started… In cities like the one I live (Houston), walking around the neighborhood is not always easy to do, but there are plenty of parks you can drive/bike/bus to and get a good use of your tax money. :-)

      Roxanne wrote on September 12th, 2011
      • That would be nice but I don’t have a car or drive! (for the same reasons mostly) So anywhere I’d want to go to exercise I’d still have to walk through the neighborhood. :( For errands and such, my roommate drives, but he isn’t much into the whole moving thing as he does way to much of that at work.

        Lilyheart wrote on September 12th, 2011
  33. So excited to be part of this! Gonna give me grains, continue with crossfit but also introduce yoga back into the routine.

    jennifer wrote on September 12th, 2011
  34. I’ve been doing pretty well with the diet part of the lifestyle. I just need to schedule the time to do the exercise. I used to be really dedicated to exercise but I’ve been staying in my weight comfort zone due to eating primal so therefore I have been slacking. My goal with the new challenge is to incorporate exercise and get in transform my body even more!

    Heather wrote on September 12th, 2011
  35. Committed to giving up artificial sweeteners. GOOD BYE Diet Coke!!!! OUCH! :)

    Dennis wrote on September 12th, 2011
  36. This past week I’ve been testing the primal waters, so I’m committing to changing food habits and eating more primally for the next 30 days, and also committing to move more – I’ve gotten lazy lately!

    Aileen wrote on September 12th, 2011
  37. Personal commitment for me is going to be bodyweight resistance training 3 times a week. Either Tabata style or just following Mark’s free ebook.

    Joel wrote on September 12th, 2011
  38. My challenge is to do two kettleball workouts and one sprint workout each week. The diet aspect isn’t much of a problem for me, it’s getting up and getting moving!

    loveandbacon wrote on September 12th, 2011
  39. I’m in too! Last year was so fun I was lucky to have my primal leap kit in time for the challenge. I feel like my eating is dialed in so this year my personal challenge it to dial in my movement and fitness level.

    Bobbi wrote on September 12th, 2011
  40. My three top challenges are:
    1. Getting enough sleep
    2. Getting in my sprints
    3. Making sure I cook, so I have good lunches for the week.

    Michael wrote on September 12th, 2011

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