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

The Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge

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!

Watch the following video and read the article below for all the details.

Before we get to the specifics of the challenge, today’s contest:

Today’s Contest

The first contest of this 30-Day Primal Blueprint Challenge is a two-parter:

  • Tell your friends and family about this challenge. Call your mom, email your uncle, post this URL on your FaceBook wall, Tweet it, blog about it and otherwise spread the word.
  • In today’s comment board, tell me what you did to tell the world about this health challenge and contest giveaway.

A winner will be selected by way of a random drawing. The winner will receive a mystery prize valued at $200. I am excited to announce that later this month I will be releasing a brand new Primal Blueprint product. The winner of this contest will be the very first person to get their hands on this product. Stay tuned for the unveiling!

This contest ends at September 9, 10 am PST and everyone is eligible.

The Challenge

In past years I’ve been a bit vague about the challenge, asking you to define your own. This year I’ve created some specifics. Of course, feel free to customize the official challenge to meet your own needs and goals.

This year’s challenge is all about aligning your lifestyle behaviors with each of the 10 Primal Blueprint Laws. I’ve created some specific mini-challenges that relate to each law. Every article, recipe, contest and prize during the next 30 days will relate to these challenges – motivating you to “get Primal” at each step of the way.

Challenge #1: Eat Lots of Plants and Animals

Eating right is central to the Primal lifestyle, which is why Law #1 is a five-part challenge:

  • Eat vegetables, fruits, nuts/seeds, meat, healthy fats: This one is pretty straightforward. I’m asking you to eat Primal for 30 days. Commit to it right at this moment. Just one month of nothing but the best food on the planet. In just a few short weeks your body will thank you. If you want more ideas on which foods to eat and which foods to avoid pick up The Primal Blueprint and stay tuned for coming articles.
  • Cook at home: If you don’t know how to cook the challenge above really will be a challenge. Over the next 30 days we’ll be covering some essential cooking skills and techniques that anyone looking to go Primal should master. If you’re the type that dines out more often than dining in, and doesn’t know a pot from a pan, make an effort this month to get into the habit of preparing your own food.
  • Eat clean: The quality of your food matters. While sourcing clean food (organic, grass-fed, pastured, etc.) can be difficult and pricey it’s also an important part of the Primal Blueprint. Let me be clear. If your eating plan strictly consists of Primal foods, but your beef isn’t grass-finished, your eggs aren’t pastured and your vegetables are conventionally raised, you are still light years ahead of most people. But there’s room for improvement. This month I want you find and eat clean food. Stay tuned for tips on sourcing the best and doing it on a budget.
  • Dial in your carb count: If you’ve read The Primal Blueprint you are familiar with The Primal Blueprint Carbohydrate Curve. This month I’m challenging you to take a closer look at your carb intake and make sure it aligns with the Curve. It’s the simplest, surefire way to drop excess body fat and stay lean for life. Stay tuned for tips on how to accomplish this.
  • Remember the 80/20: Not all neolithic food is poisonous. Additionally, the Primal Blueprint and this challenge isn’t about becoming an ascetic. Periodically indulge in sensible vices – high-fat dairy/cheese, dark chocolate, red wine – and take full advantage of state-of-the-science supplementsfish oils, high-antioxidant multi-vitamins, protein powders. It will make the challenge more pleasant, the transition easier and will support your health to boot.

Challenge #2: Avoid Poisonous Things

  • Don’t eat garbage: This is the other side of the first challenge above. If you are eating Primal you aren’t eating chips, cookies, crackers, grains, pasta, beans, bread, popcorn, energy drinks, soda, juices, candy, vegetable oils and fast food. The list goes on. If you want to go Primal the first thing to do is purge your pantry, your fridge and your life of all the junk that has no place in your body. Do it for 30 days. I promise it gets easier and you’ll want to keep doing it because you’ll look and feel better.

Challenge #3: Move Frequently at a Slow Pace

  • Just move: It’s that simple. Just get out there and move. I challenge you to align your low-level aerobic activity with Primal Blueprint Fitness. If you don’t already have the free fitness program grab it now. Get 3-5 hours of walking, hiking, light cycling, swimming, etc., each week. Do it all at once or in batches. Use the logbook at the back of PBF and your forum journal to track your progress.

Challenge #4: Lift Heavy Things

  • Lift your body: If you want to build lean muscle mass and stay strong into your golden years you have to lift heavy things. Align your weightlifting routine with Primal Blueprint Fitness and perform two bodyweight workouts each week. See chapter 3 of Primal Blueprint Fitness for all the details.

Challenge #5: Sprint Once in a While

  • Just move… very fast!: Too many people neglect to include sprinting in their workout routines. They’re the perfect Primal fitness hack that can be done in as little as 10 minutes. I challenge you to perform one sprint workout each week during this challenge.

Challenge #6: Get Adequate Sleep

  • Make sleep high priority: Late nights at the office. Late nights partying. Late nights… watching TV. Whether it’s business or pleasure, we’re busier than ever and sleep is often the first thing to suffer. I challenge you to get adequate sleep every night this month. What amounts to adequate is for you to decide. I think most people know how much sleep they need. Some people get by on six hours a night no problem. Others need eight or more. The important thing is you wake up feeling energized and ready to go.

Challenge #7: Play

  • Get playful: If you’ve forgotten how to play, this challenge will jog your memory. Grok did it and it’s why I train. For the stress-reducing effects, to get you moving without even realizing you’re moving and for the sheer fun of it, I challenge you to participate in each of the four Workouts of the Week this month. Each WOW during the challenge will be decidedly playful. Be prepared to print out the rules, gather your friends and have a blast.

Challenge #8: Get Adequate Sunlight

  • Soak in the rays: It’s difficult to emphasize enough the importance of vitamin D. In a world where we go from our houses to our cars, from our cars to the office place, from the office place to our cars and back home again many of us are woefully deficient. My challenge to you this month is to get 15 minutes of sun exposure each day of the 30-day challenge. If sun is hard to come by in your area take a supplement instead.

Challenge #9: Avoid Stupid Mistakes

  • Listen to your body: This is such a broad Primal Blueprint law the challenge could take many directions. For the purpose of this 30-day challenge, though, I’d like you to be particularly aware of what your body is telling you during each of the other challenges. Feel a sharp pain during a sprint? Be smart and end your sprint session. Skin turning pink while out in the sun? That’s a sign to seek shade and avoid a nasty burn. I want this to be a pain and injury free event, so pay particular attention to what your body is saying.

Challenge #10: Use Your Brain

  • Challenge yourself intellectually: I won’t ask you to throw out your television or read War and Peace this month. But I will say that you are gifted with a huge brain, and you should flex it. We each have the power to solve difficult problems, be incredibly creative, and effect major change. And it all begins in our heads. This month I challenge you to identify one of the intellectually challenging things in your life you’ve been meaning to do and take the first steps to actually doing it. Apart from the pride and satisfaction you’ll derive from following through there are many health benefits conferred as a result. As the saying goes, use it or lose it.

The Primal Leap

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.

The Forum

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.

Daily Contests

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 over $10,000 in prizes.

Here are some rules and answers to FAQ:

  • Yes, I’m giving away a cow. Find out all about it tomorrow.
  • Contests will run every day for the duration of the 30-day challenge (through Oct. 6), 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 the full 30 days (to give you time to complete the contest task) while others will be as short as 1 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.
  • You can track the contests and contest results on the Primal Blueprint Health Challenge Contest Page. It will be updated every day.
  • I’m not being paid by any company that is sponsoring the contest with a prize.

All you have to do to enter today’s contest is tell your friends about this challenge and leave a comment on this blog post.

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

6. Have a question? – Contact Me

7. Check back tomorrow to learn how to tackle Challenge #2: Avoid Poisonous Things.

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. I posted the link on Facebook, told co-workers about the challenge, got two to actually visit, and shared the cauliflower pizza crust recipe with another co-worker.

    bob wrote on September 7th, 2010
  2. Best of luck to all this mont!!

    Dusty wrote on September 7th, 2010
  3. I told my wife – that’s all the accountability I need!

    Jack wrote on September 7th, 2010
  4. Posted it on my FB page, trying to convince my wife the nurse to go Primal with me, she’s lost all her baby weight but is now looking to lose an additional 15-20 lbs i keep telling her this is a lot more satisfying than her SlimFast shakes and still calorie restriction.
    Hard to get a nurse to buck CW though….
    GROK ON!

    goosef wrote on September 7th, 2010
  5. Posted this entry on my blog:

    fearsclave wrote on September 7th, 2010
  6. I posted up on my Facebook ( as well as on Twitter ( I have also sent out an email to all my family members as well as over 350 of my friends!!! Woot! I also posted up PRIMAL its own board & threads with these links on my business forums at ( This is fantastic and we need to spread the word!!!

    TAWFUNGUY wrote on September 7th, 2010
    • Just got my wife and son to commit going Primal for the next 30 days! Friggin awesome! Also got confirmation from my best friend, 1 uncle and 9 of my friends so far to give Primal a chance for 30 days!!!!!

      TAWFUNGUY wrote on September 7th, 2010
      • Im on board, DH is on board and 14 yr old DD is on board! 18 yr old son is half primal half junkie LOL

        Posting on my facebook, and talked to someone in person about her severe joint pain and how this could help. She will be doing some reading today~

        Annette wrote on September 7th, 2010
    • Primal Challenge woohoo!!!

      TAWFUNGUY wrote on September 7th, 2010
  7. I’ve been carefully infiltrating the minds of my wife and mother-in-law for a little over a year now, and I’ve finally worn them down just in time to agree to a 30 day challenge.

    Drew wrote on September 7th, 2010
  8. I told and have gotten my entire family on board, and gotten a couple of good freinds with me doing it also. I’m really excited to start this with them!!!

    Russ wrote on September 7th, 2010
  9. I’m doing this challenge with my friend, and I told a couple of my co-workers about it as well! So far none of them are primal yet, but we can only hope. I’m hoping to kick start my body back into fat loss mode with this challenge. Primal since March, and loving it!

    Baxtherin wrote on September 7th, 2010
  10. Shared with a few family and friends over the long weekend. One was really listening, so we will see what happens.

    Lyndon wrote on September 7th, 2010
  11. I e-mailed the link to my brother. I don’t want to be pushy or preachy about his weight and health issues, but I’m crossing my fingers. I don’t want him to die.

    Shebeeste wrote on September 7th, 2010
  12. posted on facebook and my company’s intranet!

    GabeK wrote on September 7th, 2010
  13. I tweeted/facebooked this post, told my brother and parents about it and will be telling a few friends and will be doing a post any minute!

    Primal Toad wrote on September 7th, 2010
  14. I posted the link to the announcement on Sept 1st and also the link to today’s post on Facebook. I have talked about the challenge and winning a cow at the gym since last week’s announcement with the hopes of spurring a little competition! I love meat! Have lost 9 lbs since Aug 1st due to intermittent fasting with Paleo, but have been eating Paleo since April. Hubby & I are excited about the challenge!

    Karyn (Calvin's wife) wrote on September 7th, 2010
  15. Slowly injecting the primal ideas in the heads of those around me. They are beginning to question CW!

    Phil wrote on September 7th, 2010
  16. So excited to start this challenge… invited all of my friends on Facebook to join us as well!

    Kristy wrote on September 7th, 2010
  17. Forwarded this to my DD hoping she and I can start together to build healthier lives. Thanks so much for this site.

    rubyjean wrote on September 7th, 2010
  18. Family, co-workers, and all my Facebook friends have been advised!

    BarbeyGirl wrote on September 7th, 2010
  19. I’m taking this to facebook and twitter. Even more importantly I have some friends who will be joining me this next month on the challenge..

    Cameron wrote on September 7th, 2010
  20. Posted on Facebook and twitter. Will also post on StrongerGrip blog, DIYstrength blog and send out to newsletter list. Get PRIMAL!

    Ryan J Pitts wrote on September 7th, 2010
  21. I am an Army Reservist, currently on active duty status for a year-long Army nursing course. I told several of my classmates about going primal. We are currently studying cardio meds, and I voiced my frustration with providers turning to statins before recommending lifestyle changes. I have decided I would love to be a holistic nurse!

    other things I’ve done… Posted recent blogs from on my Facebook and loaned The Primal Blueprint to a fellow special forces medic.

    Amy Lee wrote on September 7th, 2010
  22. I’ve blogged about doing this challenge, as well as tweeted about it several times.

    Brandon wrote on September 7th, 2010
  23. So excited about this! Posted the link on my FaceBook wall and will be telling friends and family about it all day long!

    josh wrote on September 7th, 2010
  24. I just emailed my sister and brother-in-law, who are my inspirations, to start the challenge. They’ve been eating this way for a few years and you couldn’t find a more fit couple. Can’t wait to get started!

    Samee wrote on September 7th, 2010
  25. Tweeted it. Already three days in!

    Idaltu wrote on September 7th, 2010
  26. Emailed challenge info to many friends, relatives, and others that I have briefly introduced Primal Blueprint info to in the past.

    Shyrock wrote on September 7th, 2010
  27. Besides plugging the Primal Blueprint to my family and friends (probably more than they’d like), I added a link on Facebook today!

    Jacqueline wrote on September 7th, 2010
  28. I told my family and close friends about it. My mom and partner are already on board… now, to convince everyone else :)

    Cara wrote on September 7th, 2010
  29. I have listed this on Facebook and also sent out a personal email to some work friends I know are looking to make a change!

    Greg wrote on September 7th, 2010
  30. Last month, I gave my diabetic Mom and my arthritic (33-year-old) best friend copies of the book.
    All of my friends here know I’m doing the challenge (actually started three weeks ago).
    My plan is to be the Primal poster child until Christmas, then go see my family and wow them with my new sexy body. :) Since they all know what I’ve been doing, they won’t even have to ask what I did get lose weight/add muscle and generally increase my hotness. :)
    My roommate even cooked the shrimp separate from the pasta for me at her party last weekend. :)

    Melody wrote on September 7th, 2010
  31. P.S. That was a link to the challenge, I mean!

    Jacqueline wrote on September 7th, 2010
  32. I have already lost 90 plus pounds since going primal and I plug MDA all the time . during the labor day weekend a lot of family who havent seen me for months got to hear all about it :) will be plugging the challenge on facebook today as well . good job Mark !!!

    Jason Young wrote on September 7th, 2010
  33. I visited my brother this weekend, we live 8 hours apart — he in the US and I in Canada. Since I can’t find the PB Cookbook up here yet, I picked it up at Barnes and Noble while visiting my bro. He naturally asked about it, and lo and behold, he went online and bought BOTH the PB Cookbook AND the Primal Blueprint Book! Our competitive spirit will have us both winning in this challenge! Which is great because he has his first baby on the way come February, so this maybe a mini-Grok in the making. :-) So pumped for this challenge!

    Alicia wrote on September 7th, 2010
  34. Shared this on my Facebook wall, already getting people who’re interested! Exciting stuff :)

    Adam M Daw wrote on September 7th, 2010
  35. I posted the link to my twitter and facebook… but I’ll be talking it up at the office when I get back after foraging for lunch.

    Michael wrote on September 7th, 2010
  36. Already got my mom going primal. Now, for the rest of the fam

    Rich wrote on September 7th, 2010
  37. I posted the link on my facebook page and emailed a few friends/relatives, who are curious about the way I eat.

    Sherist wrote on September 7th, 2010
  38. My girlfriend and I have been primal for about 10 months now, enjoying a few cheat days (or weekends) here and there. Our families and friends are slowly but surely growing in the primal ranks, too.
    I put this link out there on my facebook page, with careful wording… I think it’s important with stuff like this to give people a “check out how this worked for me, maybe it’ll be up your alley” rather than “you should do this because you need it!” I’m also trying to subtly spread the word at the office and among friends that I’M renewing my primal vows for 30 days, in the hopes that people will check it out on their own without feeling pressured.

    Tyler wrote on September 7th, 2010
  39. Posted on facebook as a link and my current status and was raving about it all yesterday at my Labor Day Wiffle Ball game and BBQ, with its complete Primal Menu!

    Santino wrote on September 7th, 2010
  40. Friends and family and everyone else who’s on my Facebook knows about the 30 day Primal Challenge! Grok on!

    Becky B wrote on September 7th, 2010

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!