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

WOW: Grok’s Rock

The response to last week’s inaugural Workout of the Week (WOW) was fantastic. A big thanks to everyone that participated and commented. And a special thanks to Mark’s Daily Apple reader and PBFer Brett Yahnke for submitting the first ever WOW video. If you haven’t seen it yet take a look.

Last week we discussed throwing as an important human movement pattern. This week it’s part of the WOW. Give it a shot and report back with your times. Grok on!

8 cycles for time of:

50 Meter Sprint
25 Meter Grok Crawls
25 Meter Lunges
Weighted Squat Throw

Warmup: A static Grok squat and a few 50 meter runs at moderate effort.

How-to: After a light warmup, jog into a sprint and go all out for 50 meters. Slow down, stop, turn around and Grok Crawl halfway back to the starting line. Stand up and perform lunges for the final 25 meters. Grab a weight and turn around. Perform a full squat with the weight held in both hands at your chest. When you come up throw the weight up and forward, away from your body, using both hands. Any type of weight (medicine ball, sandbag, old bowling ball, large rock, etc.) that you can hold and push from your chest will work. Choose a weight that is suitable for you and err on the lighter side this first time. Approach the weight, pick it up, and repeat the Weighted Squat Throw to the 50 meter mark. That completes one cycle. Repeat 8 cycles for time.

Variations: To make things easier ditch the weight during the Weighted Squat Throw. Replace with Squat Jumps: when coming up out of the squat position leap forward using both feet.

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 WOWsreplace 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.

Reader-Submitted WOW Video

A big thanks to Mark’s Daily Apple reader and PBFer Sean from Catalyst Conditioning for submitting this WOW video. Grok on!

P.S. When performing the throw attempt to make it part of the upward squat motion. That is, press and release the weight at the top of your squat instead of standing up and then throwing the weight.

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 am doing this tomorrow morning. I can’t wait!

    Primal Toad wrote on August 23rd, 2010
  2. This looks great; I love the creativity of these workouts. I’ll be doing this later today with a good friend. Grok on!

    Gary McGhee wrote on August 23rd, 2010
  3. ok, so the dogs will love it with me doing the Grok crawl around at their level. So, what does an added 55lbs do for the work out when you’re carrying around mutts on your backside?! :)

    jenella wrote on August 23rd, 2010
  4. Imagine how much fun those dogs will like the weighted squat throw when they’re the weight.

    Gotta get me a lighter weight. A 35-pound kettlebell won’t work. Or maybe it will.

    Godzilla wrote on August 23rd, 2010
  5. 28:30
    used a 10lb medicine ball.
    full lunges for first 4 rounds, then did half depth lunges for the last 4 rounds.

    mainiac wrote on August 23rd, 2010
  6. Looks like a ‘crossfit’ workout of the day.

    Only, its a workout of the WEEK.

    Huge reason I love the Primal Lifestyle.

    Tony Ingram wrote on August 23rd, 2010
  7. I currently have tendonitis in my left Achilles tendon. I have substituted sprints in these workout with either Kettlebell Snatches or swings i.e. 10 snatches (5 each side) for the 8 cycles. Just an idea to overcome injuries!

    Donald wrote on August 23rd, 2010
  8. I did this workout on a nice shady path in the woods. I couldn’t find a decent size rock, so I used a small log … it worked pretty well. I got pretty winded after just two rounds, so I had to pace myself to complete all 8. Total time was just over 21 minutes.

    John F wrote on August 23rd, 2010
  9. Weird, I was doing the squat and rock throw the other day before this WOW was posted. My primal ESP is awakening :-) !

    John wrote on August 23rd, 2010
  10. These are great ideas, but I can’t really use them. I workout only at home, using a few square feet of floor and dumbbells. Do you think you could make WOWs for people in my situation? what would be “Sprint” at home? I do a lot of planks, push ups, general bodyweight workouts, but I do have difficulties with coming up with good sprinting ideas to do in these conditions, without much jumping over my neighbors’ heads…

    Yoannah wrote on August 23rd, 2010
    • Can you not take a stroll to the park? These workouts are great because you can do them just about anywhere without any equipment.

      Patrick Proulx wrote on August 23rd, 2010
      • I walk a lot, and that’s about it. I don’t like exercising on a street and I don’t really have any place around to run sprints. I don’t have a car to drive to a park or something of that kind…

        Yoannah wrote on August 23rd, 2010
        • There aren’t any schools or city parks in your area where you could exercise on the grass?

          What about just sprinting in place (not moving forward). It’s not ideal but if you’re forcing your legs up and down, that’s at least something.

          Today, I went to the park and did last week’s workout, but later, my gf wanted to do a workout but didn’t want to go outside and she did the pushup/squat jumps and skipped the sprints. It still exhausted her.

          This week’s workout isn’t great for that, but you can modify. You can do lunges without moving forward. You can sprint in place. And sub crawling for a plank (with kicks) and do explosive pushups for the throws.

          The point is mostly to do some hard intense exercises for 10-20 minutes and just switch it up once in a while. If you don’t like or can’t do one part of it, try switching it up. If you don’t like the second option, next time, try something new.

          No matter what, you’ll get a hell of a workout and that’s what matters.

          There are limitless

          Patrick Proulx wrote on August 23rd, 2010
    • You can adapt all of these movements for a restricted area.

      50 Meter Sprint – sprint in place with high knees.

      25 Meter Grok Crawls – crawl in place kind of like mountain climbers.

      25 Meter Lunges – you can do scissor lunges.

      Weighted Squat Throw – do the squats but just lift the weight over your head.

      Also use the Tabata interval instead of distance.

      20 seconds on the first activity, rest 10 seconds, then 20 seconds on the second activity……

      StevieB wrote on August 24th, 2010
  11. WOW Week 2, what a WOW
    27 1/2 minutes for the full eight. Loved the break half way through when someone asked “Why I was doing this, most normal people don’t do this?” I said I was “training to play”, he didn’t get my joke though. Might have turned him onto it, we will see next Monday for the next WOW!

    Robert wrote on August 23rd, 2010
    • “training to play” — great answer though!

      Jen wrote on August 24th, 2010
    • Congrats!! I came in at 34 minutes.

      It was a tough workout but to be honest I was literally thinking about the fact that I was doing this was that I was training to play… lol.

      Primal Toad wrote on August 24th, 2010
  12. I will try to spread this out over the course of the week so I dont get too tired.

    Wish me luck!

    debbie_downer wrote on August 23rd, 2010
  13. I agree that any ideas to help those of us who are stuck at home indoors for our workouts would be great. I am okay to do the sprints at a park for now, but live in Canada, and in a few months will have no way to do anything like this outside (without risking frostbite of course).

    Darcy wrote on August 24th, 2010
    • I’m in Quebec and I’ll do this in the snow, no problem. Crawls and sprints in snow will be challenging but I don’t think frostbites will be a problem since it’s a short and intense workout.

      Nancy wrote on August 24th, 2010
    • You have to remember that it is August and so for 99% of the people reading this blog snow does not exist.

      When winter time comes I am sure he will have different WOWs that will be more for the cold, maybe..

      Primal Toad wrote on August 24th, 2010
  14. 8 circuits in 12:19

    used a 20 lb medicine ball for squat throws. the lunges were unexpectedly difficult.

    futureman wrote on August 24th, 2010
    • 12:19? Seriously?

      I am waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind then…

      My time was 34 minutes. I did the squat hop.

      I am pretty fit – not super fit- but very fit. You must be a personal trainer or something.

      Well when I think about it… using a weight and throwing it would have been a hell of a lot easier… DAMNIT.

      Primal Toad wrote on August 24th, 2010
      • he must have been moving for the bear crawl! those added alot of time for me.

        mainah wrote on August 24th, 2010
        • What added a lot of time for me was the hop squats. Those took up more than half the time for me – literally. I strongly believe that throwing a 10 lb. medicine ball, rock or whatever as far as I can and jogging to it would have cut my time by at least 10 minutes. Oh well… I got a great workout in!

          Primal Toad wrote on August 24th, 2010
      • Skinny doesn’t equal fit, kiddo.

        Geoff wrote on August 26th, 2010
        • “Skinny doesn’t equal fit, kiddo.”

          Skinn doesn’t equal healthy either.

          kayumochi wrote on August 26th, 2010
        • And fit doesn’t equal healthy.

          kayumochi wrote on August 26th, 2010
  15. Ooooof!! I took my kids to a local playground and sprinted through soggy grass and concrete. Made 5 rounds (only three with rock tossing). Just started moving like Grok with last week’s WOW, so I’m a total newb! Y’all are blowing me away with these times that you’re posting.

    Family Grokumentarian wrote on August 24th, 2010
    • I my little four year old son has a great time with me on these. We have races to see who can run the fastest. Of course, he always beats his Dad. 😉

      Primal_Joe wrote on August 24th, 2010
  16. I’ve been doing a tabata squat set once a week for several weeks. My score for today was 22. Would this be considered part of a sprint workout or LHT workout? I normally do them on a LHT day as a replacement for regular squats.

    Jerry H wrote on August 24th, 2010
  17. I loved this WOW, and therefore I’m a satanist because Mark Sisson must be the devil!
    8 rounds in 29.34. I subbed the throws with 10 squat-jumps/round, after 25 meters realising that tossing 20 kg’s worth of weightplates wasn’t that kind to the soccer field I was using. Nasty little ninja-tripholes for the local soccer-team to come…

    Raidho wrote on August 24th, 2010
  18. This looks brutal. Can’t wait to try it!

    ThePrimalBrett wrote on August 24th, 2010
  19. Dang can’t wait for my twisted ankle to be 100%. No sprints for me yet. Living vicariously through you all. Will do two a week until I catch up.

    Lars1000 wrote on August 24th, 2010
  20. 10:50 through 6, then the basketball court tore a nice piece of skin off of my palm. Grok wouldn’t have been able to call it quits, but that’s a luxury we have. I’ll try it again on the grass when it’s not raining. I will say that WOW is a smoker though.

    PartyLikeAGrokstar wrote on August 24th, 2010
  21. What is the difference between a “Grok-squat” and a bodyweight squat AKA air squat? Im just curious.

    RAndy wrote on August 24th, 2010
    • There isn’t a difference. It’s just like there’s no difference between a Grok Crawl and a Bear Crawl.

      PartyLikeAGrokstar wrote on August 25th, 2010
  22. Nice workout. Tried it out with 25 lbs D-ball. 21:37. My butt is killing me now from the lunges.

    Nick wrote on August 25th, 2010
  23. If you wanna be like GROK…Use “GROK Approved” heavy items.
    Fire up some neuro-muscular connections without covers or handles, that are awkward and out of shape.

    I actually love my beer keg to lift and toss around…your sure to see a difference.LOLOL

    DAVE PARSONS wrote on August 25th, 2010
  24. new to the Primal scene so wasn’t sure what I’d find to throw (was resigned to the idea of squat-jumps during this WOW.) as i walked up to my sprint area in my local park, wouldn’t you know it, there in the high grass lay a good size rock to grok (i’d say 30 lbs.)

    got a nice cut on my hand from the grok sqaut (the rock was odd-shaped and sharp) but the blood just added to the grokiness as i crawled through the grass. had an audience of older types on the porches by the end. maybe i should have let out a “yawp” as i threw my rock.

    14:58 for the 8 circuits.

    keep ’em coming Mark!

    Jack wrote on August 26th, 2010
    • btw – not a cut from the grok squat…from the squat throw.

      Jack wrote on August 26th, 2010
  25. Grok on, Jack! That’s excellent:)

    Debra wrote on August 26th, 2010
  26. 8 rounds in 13:20 using two 10lb dumbbells in each hand for the throwing. I broke one dumbbell in half when I threw them in the air and they clanked against each other. Oops. Guess I better find something better to throw next time.

    MamaSofi wrote on August 26th, 2010
  27. 21:26 with 20lb basketball full of sand.

    10 year old son 19:59 with 6lb medicine ball.

    Grok crawl was the worst part, and the run felt like rest :O

    Paul C wrote on August 26th, 2010
    • Just some stats for those that want to compare: 40 yrs old, 6′, 175lb, fairly well conditioned and strong, this type of workout I consider my weak spot. A year ago I would not have been able to finish 8 circuits.

      Paul C wrote on August 26th, 2010
  28. 22:12 for 8 rounds. I used a 6lb medicine ball, and my lunges were quite shallow due to the burning quads :) There was a lot of panting going on, but keep ’em coming, I love the challenge!

    Maureen wrote on August 26th, 2010
  29. Congrats to all for participating!!!

    I managed 13’15” with a 20lb medicine ball.

    I couldn’t control myself from grunting in a very Grok fashion through all the crawls and the lunges were burning agony from set 2.

    Roll on next week!!

    AdamOfBondi wrote on August 27th, 2010
    • Quick public confession – having watched the member video I realised I didn’t do the throwing part correctly – I just thought it was one throw, not 50m of throwing!

      My time above is therefore completely void and I’ll do it properly shortly. Be interesting to see the time difference… :-)

      AdamOfBondi wrote on August 31st, 2010
      • Quick update for this WOW – redid it doing 50m worth of 20lb squat throws and ended up with a time of 20’03”.

        AdamOfBondi wrote on September 6th, 2010
  30. 17:05 with a 10 pound dumbell for squat throw. Not as hard as last weeks WOW, but I loved it! Brought a friend with me and she said she had “fun”. I am a personal trainer and I never hear my clients say that working out is fun!

    fitgrl wrote on August 27th, 2010
  31. 20:20. I found the lunges to be shockingly difficult. I used a 15lb kettlebell for my throwing object.

    Trevor wrote on August 27th, 2010

    Suckered a former student, my wife and a co-worker into this. Kept the details vague till showtime. :)

    Footage is a bit dark (new camera, learning. Next WoW will be better.)

    25:29 using 55# sandbag

    Sean wrote on August 27th, 2010
  33. This is a great addition to this website! I hope to see this become an ongoing section! It gives some helpful insight into the primal fitness routines and lifestyle! Keep it up!

    michaels48 wrote on August 28th, 2010
  34. Crawling tore up my core which was great. My boxing coach likes that. I used a 35 lb kettle ball and only had to toss it 3 times roughly per pass, I need something heavier I think. Can you believe you can’t buy a damn sand bag around here?

    Mike Wootini wrote on August 31st, 2010
    • @Mike: Grab a cheap gym bag and fill it with pea gravel. Cheap option!

      Sean wrote on September 2nd, 2010
  35. Done @ 12.35 with a big rock 15-20 pounds.
    My legs hurt…alot.
    I even got a crowd, 2 old ladies where watching me with interest.

    Was great fun though :)

    William wrote on September 6th, 2010
  36. Better focus on form taken to heart!

    Sean wrote on September 13th, 2010
  37. Used a 5kg weight plate as the rock, possibly should have used something a bit heavier, but to be honest I was greatful for the lighter weight as the Grok crawls/ walking lunges were killer! Took me 30mins to do all 8 cycles, so don’t think this is a quick one! We recorded the whole workout here:

    Grok crawls are fun!

    Craig wrote on June 24th, 2014

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