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

WOW: Primal Skirmish

3 cycles of:

30 Walking Lunges
Weight Carry/Evade
2 x 10 Pushups
20 Squat Thrusters*

This workout is designed to be done with a partner or group. See the “How-to” section below for instructions.


Warmup: A couple rotations of the Grok Squat and a few 50 meter runs at moderate effort.


  • Sandbag or some other heavy weight for a “Hunt” prize. A 50 lb sandbag works well, but any weight that is heavy to you and your partner will work. A soft weight (sandbag, medicine ball, etc.) is highly recommended.
  • A kettlebell, set of dumbbells or any other weight(s) you can hold at your chest or shoulders and press overhead.
  • Bandana, flag or some other piece of cloth.


Find a large, open field. Set up this WOW by placing the prize (sandbag or alternate weight) on one end of the field and the dumbbells (or alternate weight) on the other, about 50 meters apart. Each “tribesman” needs to wear a flag at their hip.

This WOW has two phases: the “Hunt” and the “Battle”.

The Hunt:

Starting at the sandbag end, each “tribesman” completes a set of 30 walking lunges as he hunts the “prize”. Once you complete your lunges, it’s a sprint for the “prize”. The tribesman who gets the “prize” then has to evade the competing tribesman, all the while lugging the heavy prize around. Once the flag is captured, the prize is handed over and the beaten tribesman cranks out 10 pushups while the other tribesman makes his escape. Repeat until each tribesman has completed 2 sets of 10 pushups. After reaching “stalemate”, the prize is left, and (in time-honored tradition) the tribes go to war.

The Battle:

Sprint back to “camp”, grab the dumbbells (or other suitable weight) and complete 20 squat thrusters.

Rest for 2 minutes and repeat for two more cycles. If the sandbag ended up closer to “camp” than the 30 lunges now permits, just go past it and sprint back.

*How to Perform a Squat Thruster: Holding the weights at your shoulders (or chest depending on the type of weight) perform a full squat (using proper technique). On your way back up from the squat position press and fully extend the weight overhead. Then bring the weight back down to your shoulders while simultaneously performing another squat. The squat thruster should be a fluid motion, with legs and arms working at the same time.


  • If you can’t do a proper squat thruster or pushup substitute movements from Levels 1-3 of Primal Blueprint Fitness Lift Heavy Things (chapter 3).
  • Scale the amount of weight you use to vary the difficulty.

Hat Tip:

This reader-submitted WOW passed the scrutiny and testing of me and my team. It comes courtesy of Mark’s Daily Apple reader Will. Thanks, Will!

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.

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. This sounds amazingly fun. Maybe give the first lunger a little headstart to offset that first sprint?

    Neil wrote on September 27th, 2010
  2. Sounds like a lot of fun! I can’t wait to get back into the swing of WOW’s. I am currently “perfecting” the 5 primal essential movements in the meantime. Maybe I will get around to them in the winter time where tons of snow will be everywhere! That will make for some interesting videos…

    Primal Toad wrote on September 27th, 2010
  3. Similar workout that i tend to do except with different exercises added in.

    The whole sort of interval training is the good way to go though.

    It’s a must for people wanting to keep in shape.

    Martial Fitness Guy wrote on September 27th, 2010
  4. HHmmmm. not as fun with a real partner
    I think. Again, I am alone. But, this time I pulled my kids and their friends into chasing me and catching my tail. So, really I did all the work and they were great coaches and had a lot of fun. GREAT WORKOUT!

    Robert wrote on September 27th, 2010
  5. All this talk about exercising is making me hungry. I’ll be back.

    debbie_downer wrote on September 27th, 2010
  6. Good idea to do this with a partner. I’ll need someone to carry me back to the bench…
    I really like these workouts. Gives you a good interval workout without all the counting off seconds that happens on a stationary bike or treadmill.

    Dave wrote on September 27th, 2010
  7. Great work out! This has been the most fun working out I’ve had in a long time. Some one even commented on it saying it looks a bit like a Monty Python sketch, haha.

    I also show how it can be done solo at the end because my partner was knackered.

    Craig wrote on August 13th, 2014

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

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