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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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March 28, 2011

WOW: Brave the Weather

By Mark Sisson
18 Comments

Complete 4 cycles:

20 Walking Straight Leg Deadlifts (alternating sides)
10 Handstand Pushups
20 Walking Lunges
10 Pullups
5 Burpees

How-to:

Warmup: One minute Grok Squat.

Supposedly, spring is here in the northern hemisphere, but I’m not seeing it. I’m seeing rain and overcast skies and cold weather, all staunch adversaries of outdoor workout enthusiasts (among which I count myself). What to do?

A normal person would retreat to the gym, or devise some living room workout routine – anything to escape the elements. But, this week, try something different. Instead of admitting defeat, challenge yourself and the unseasonably harsh cold/rain/snow by exercising outdoors with the express purpose of exposing yourself to momentary hardship. Consider that exercise itself is a type of stressor that, when applied to the body, creates a net beneficial result. Sometimes you fear the weights or the hills, but you do it anyway because it’s good for you. Well, this week, you’re adding another layer to overcome. The weather.

Pick the grimiest day of the week. Check your local forecast and plan to workout outdoors in rain, cold, snow, whatever. I want your forehead slick and muddy from grazing the ground on the pushups. Go hard and get it over quick.

These exercises work your entire body and require balance and concentration. In other words, they require focus. You’re going to have a lot going on with the weather, the balancing, the sheer ardor required of you, but these are good things. They will make you stronger. The burpees will help keep you warm in between rounds.

A few things to remember:

  • If you’re not clear on straight leg deadlifts, go over this great simple guide. If you do them weighted, I suggest doing unilaterally weighted deadlifts by holding a weight with the hand opposite from the leg being trained. Right foot down, weight in left hand. Bring yourself up, step forward, switch to the right hand and left foot down. Use a dumbbell, a kettlebell, or a sandbag.
  • Use the same weight (or double them up) for the lunges.
  • As always, use progressions for handstand pushups and pullups if you need to.
  • Go shirtless and barefoot for a nice boost.

Variations:

If you’re blessed with excellent weather right now and can’t find a way to make this WOW work as prescribed, we all hate you. No, but seriously, go out and enjoy it!

What Are WOWs?

  • Workouts of the Week (WOWs) are an optional component of Primal Blueprint Fitness that add a fractal and often fun and playful quality to the basic PBF protocol.
  • In most cases WOWs should only be completed by those that have mastered Level 4 of each Lift Heavy Things Essential Movement. Also, it’s recommended that WOWs replace one or both Lift Heavy Things workouts or the Sprint workout (depending on the WOW) each week instead of being done in addition to the Lift Heavy Things and Sprint workouts.
  • Learn more about WOWs and Primal Blueprint Fitness by getting the free eBook. And access all Workouts of the Week in the WOW Archive.

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18 Comments on "WOW: Brave the Weather"

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Jenn
5 years 6 months ago

Seriously, it snowed yesterday morning in Maryland and this morning was below freezing. Whatever happened to “out like a lamb?!”

AP
AP
5 years 6 months ago

I’m eating the lamb for dinner tonight.

Primal Toad
5 years 6 months ago

Hahahahaha. Love it.

Peggy
Peggy
5 years 6 months ago

sorry jenn, that lamb went somewhere else – we got a couple inches of snow yesterday & about 5″ this morning & more on the way here in the Colo high country. :-/

beachbound
beachbound
5 years 6 months ago

It’s 61 and sunny here in Sacramento. Be right back, going for a quick WoW 🙂

Primal Toad
5 years 6 months ago

Sounds like a lot of fun. Too bad the cold weather seems to be past us here in Grand Rapids, MI. It did not make it to 40 degrees today but will tomorrow and beyond. Fifty is in sight!

Iris
Iris
5 years 6 months ago

I’m right south of you in Niles, and I keep thinking my daffodils and hyacinths are going to die of frost shock…23 degrees this morning. But yes, this time next week should be in the upper 40s. I can’t wait, especially with all the lake effect snow we had this season.

jessie
jessie
5 years 6 months ago

hey mark and MDA readers: what could i sub here for pullups if i’m not pull-up ready yet? thanks! moreandmore

Hal
5 years 6 months ago
jessie – modification is pretty easy to do for a pullup, and there are a couple of different options, based on what you have available. One way is to take some of the weight off by using your leg levered onto a chair (think about standing on a chair, then lowering yourself into the push up position by using one or both feet. I recommend one, so you can keep the other out to catch yourself, just in case). Another is to jump up to the ‘up’ position on the bar and hold a hang for as long as you… Read more »
Mark
5 years 6 months ago

Mark,

it’s Mark !;-)

Great stuff dude, I live up here on Iceland, top of the world … talk about weather !;-)

I call it “alive weather”, because you truly feel you’re alive in the north wind … fresh indeed !;-)

The beach is right in front of my door and I like to do my intervals as well as some body weight stuff there.

Here’s a beginner’s routine that kicks butt:

20 body weight squats, followed immediately by
20 push ups, followed immediately by
20 sit ups, followed right away by
20 hip ups, or “table makers”.

How do you like that?

Thanks,

Mark

Gary Deagle
5 years 6 months ago

Hamstrings are sore!

Kevin Carr
5 years 5 months ago

Thanks for the re-post of my article. You guys have a great site here. Keep up all of the great work!

S. P.
S. P.
5 years 5 months ago

2 quick questions from a total newbie: 1- would swimming laps and/or rock climbing be an acceptable sub for the grok crawl/rock-pushing? There’s not much in the way of grass around here.

2- I’m a big fan of boxing. Does that count as a Grok workout?

Archie
Archie
5 years 5 months ago

Seriously recommend this workout. Did it yesterday, and am still aching a little today because of it.

Do it!

primal_joe
5 years 5 months ago

This was surprisingly harder than it seemed. I did this in 50 degree mist. The single leg deadlift was a little harder than I thought.

My hamstring, butt, and core were a little sore the next day.

Good WOW. I wonder what Mark has planned for the next heat wave?

Sean Kenny
Sean Kenny
5 years 5 months ago

This is an awesome workout. I made it a little more intense by holding 40lbs dumbbells to do the walking deadlifts and lunges. Great Workout. Keep up the great work.

Aaron (Grok Mendoza)
Aaron (Grok Mendoza)
5 years 5 months ago

This was a cool WOW. I did this in 60 mph wind. went barefoot until my toes started to get a bit numb. boy that wind sure was cold!! Out of all of the diff reps the dead lifts took the longest

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