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

WOW: Quality Time

pbf wow 2

Complete 4 cycles of:

100 Meter Leapfrog
100 Meter Foot Race
Tug-of-War (losers do ten burpees)

How-to:

Warmup: 30 second Grok Squat.

Primal Blueprint Fitness isn’t boot camp. It’s not SEAL training, where the intent is to break you down, physically and psychologically, to see how you can handle it. PBF is effective but supportive, and the WOWs are for the people, the kids, the athletes, and the puppy dogs. Put it like this: as long as she’s not in a walker with a pocket full of Fosamax, I expect Grandma to be able to scale most WOWs into something approaching a decent workout, and I expect a strong experienced athlete to be able to scale them up to make a worthwhile one, too.

So, today, with the holidays within arm’s reach and the family members gathering like buzzards around a wounded, stranded gazelle, the Workout of the Week is about spending quality time with relatives engaged in the healthy, fulfilling, communal pursuit of physical improvement and play. If previous attempts to rally reluctant relatives to the exercise front have failed, now’s a great time; most people, having gorged on holiday treats throughout the week, will be down to workout. You know, to burn those calories (even as you mention something about improved insulin sensitivity).

Another thing about the holidays is that they’re so chaotic. There are parties to attend, family to pick up from the airport, flights to catch, dinners to plan, overcrowded malls to visit, and presents to wrap – on top of your regularly scheduled lives. What’s supposed to be an enjoyable, stress-free week or two becomes a mad dash to and fro. Today’s WOW avoids all that, with activities that are decidedly anti-stress (except for the microstressors applied to your musculature) in a period known for massive stress headaches.

You all remember leapfrog, don’t you? You’ll need a partner for this. Have him or her kneel or squat down in front of you. Using your hands against their back for guidance or balance as needed, you jump over your partner and land in the kneel or squatting position in front of him or her, at which point your partner does the same over you. Repeat for 100 meters. Keep the jumps smooth and flowing. If you have an odd number of people in your group, this exercise can be done with three people in the leapfrog chain; just go another 50 meters.

Then, race back to the starting position in an all-out sprint, giving everyone a half minute to a minute of rest. Parties of three worried about those extra 50 meters? Tough – you got extra rest periods during leapfrog.

After the race, assemble everyone into two tug-of-war teams by total strength. It might be the two young studs of the family against the rest of the brood; as long as each side is roughly equal in strength, pay no mind to the numbers. Traditionally, the losers were pulled into a pit of mud and/or water, but I don’t expect you to go that far (although you get bonus points for doing it!). Just establish clear boundaries that, once breached, mark the breachers as losers. Losers do ten burpees, perhaps in time to the disparaging remarks of the winners. Obviously, you’ll need a strong rope.

A few things to remember:

  • When leapfrogging, do not shuffle your feet when you land, nor move backward to accommodate the guy about to leap over you. Leap from your landing position to make them count.
  • “Quality” doesn’t just refer to passing time with loved ones; it’s also about making your movements count. Be precise and efficient when you leap, run, and tug. Focus on quality of movement.
  • Try not to use your partner’s back as a propulsion surface in the leapfrog. Those arms may be strong, but they aren’t designed to jump. Use them more for guidance and balance than generating movement.

Variations:

For Grandma and anyone else who can’t do the leapfrog or sprint, a solo “leapfrog” type jump where you kinda hop along the ground works just as well and is more manageable for the less experienced among us. If that’s too much, just walking or jogging the distance is totally fine. This isn’t about forging senior citizens into elite rippling athletes. I just want people to move when, where, and how they can. Everyone, however, must participate in the tug-of-war, even if it’s simply as an agitator to the opposing side.

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. Had to smile at this. I made A Stupid Mistake and broke my arm last week so thanks for the tips for seniors…

    Alison Golden wrote on December 20th, 2010
  2. This gives me a great idea for a Christmas Day trip to the park!
    Leap frog with my niece and nephew! :)

    Melodious wrote on December 20th, 2010
  3. awsome idea and right timing..we were planning to create facebook group for primal games like this in west Los Angeles , Santa Monica area. it will be good change from sprinting alone..

    salim wrote on December 20th, 2010
  4. How about a round of WOW’s for those of us living in Minnesota (and other places in the the north and midwest) that are buried in feet of snow and can’t get out side much!!! :):)

    Joanne wrote on December 20th, 2010

Leave a Reply

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

© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple

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