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

Workout of the Week (WOW)

I am pleased to announce the inaugural Workout of the Week (WOW). Before we get to the workout, first an explanation…

What is a WOW?

In short, WOWs will test your agility, balance, coordination, endurance, speed and strength. They’ll periodically incorporate Sprinting and Moving Slowly, but will usually emphasize Lifting Heavy Things. Expect to see variations of the 4 Essential Movements (e.g. lunges, dips, rows, kippings, burpees etc.), plyometrics, and HIIT (both time and task priority). WOWs will often ask you to use added weight. In most cases, the kind (sandbag, kettlebell, dumbbell, slosh tube, plate, etc.) and amount (5 lbs, 20 lbs, 50 lbs, etc.) will be up to you. Thus, I generally recommend that you master the 4 Essential Movements of PBF Lift Heavy Things before attempting WOWs, and then using WOWs in place of one or both of your regular PBF LHT days each week.

Anything goes for WOWs, including fun, conceptual Grok workouts (if you don’t know what this means stay tuned!), so check back each week for a fractal workout that mixes things up and keep things interesting.

To learn more about how WOWs fit into the Primal Blueprint Fitness plan get the 92 page eBook for free.

The First Ever WOW

For the very first WOW I’m keeping things simple. No story. No complicated rules. No partners or equipment needed. Just you, your bodyweight and a place to move.

Maximum cycles in 12 minutes of:

50 Meter Sprint
10 Squat Jumps*
10 Pushups

*Just like it sounds. Perform a full squat. When you come up leap straight into the air bringing your hands over your head and your feet off the ground. Then drop directly back down into the squat position and repeat.

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

Variations: If you are unable to do pushups or squat jumps substitute movements from Levels 1-3 of Primal Blueprint Fitness Lift Heavy Things.

Don’t wait to try this WOW. Make time this week to get active and make Grok proud!

Record and Share

Record your workout in your PBF Logbook. The PBF Logbook can be found at the end of the PBF eBook. Be sure to note your state of health, energy level, motivation level, and the degree of difficulty. WOWs will be repeated on MDA, so this information will prove useful in assessing personal improvements and growth.

Also, share your experiences in the comment board. WOWs, and PBF in general, isn’t a competition, but it can be fun and motivating to compare your personal achievements with others.

The First Ever WOW Video Submission

A big thanks to Mark’s Daily Apple reader and PBFer Brett Yahnke for submitting the first ever WOW video. Grok on!

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 modified this and went for 35 minutes and about 2 miles:

    I did 400’s instead of 50’s, the 1st couple at a slow jog, then broke out for an 82, 85, and 90… (82 hurt!) Then the last two I slow jogged the 1st 250 or so, and then sprinted 50 on the 2nd to last, and 100 on the last, then jogged it in.

    I did all the squat jump sets at 10-13 reps. The pushups were combos of plyo pushups, regular pushups, or near press ups putting my feet up on a table.

    It was much tougher than I thought it would be!

    Sean wrote on August 18th, 2010
  2. My only criticism for the Work out of the Week is the abbreviation. WOW makes me think of something else entirely. Punch it into a google search engine. Imagine how confused people will be if they go to a site like ‘wowhead’. Perhaps if you mix in punching some night elves in the face it would be all good. Thanks for the workout Mark, going to do this one today in 95+ 95% humidity! (I keep telling people the humidity is good for the skin!)

    Mike Wootini wrote on August 18th, 2010
    • Haha yea I know what you are talking about. World of Warcraft. I never played that game but I know what that stands for! So, PWOW might work. Or I just say to keep WOW!

      Primal Toad wrote on August 18th, 2010
    • To further confuse matters, I actually co-author a bi-weekly *fitness* column at, “Buffing for Blizzcon.” *laugh*

      Rafe Brox wrote on August 18th, 2010
  3. Oh, followup, I did think of a possible solution without changing the post too much.. what about PWOW or PWW (P.rimal W.orkout of the W.eek)

    Mike Wootini wrote on August 18th, 2010
  4. dang, tweaked my ankle on Saturday playing softball and hasn’t gotten much better… might push it out to next week.. Two WOWs next week? How about that.

    Lars1000 wrote on August 18th, 2010
    • Hi Lars – Just did this tonight in front of the house while dinner was cooking – multi tasking – Holy Sh@* I got 8 rounds and just about died!

      Hey Mark Sisson – Cannot WAIT to get back to my Iron Man training – it’s much easier 😉

      John M wrote on August 19th, 2010
  5. This kicked my butt! I’m sore still two days later (not as sore as yesterday, but still). I only did 6 rounds. I think it was partly due to the heat in the 80’s or 90’s. It still felt good.

    Ris wrote on August 18th, 2010
  6. managed to do 10, although ended up having to do knee push-ups after the 4th or 5th round because the arms just weren’t having it today. ended with a 100m all-out sprint, because my legs were jealous of the jelly-feelings in my arms :). great workout!

    sftyisnoaccident wrote on August 18th, 2010
  7. Did this today: 6 rounds, plus a sprint.


    Going to self-assess on Monday and roll from there (although I have just completed two cycles of Simplefit Level 4, so I was kinda-sorta prepared for this WOW).

    VERY psyched to hop on PBF after close to two years (!!) following the PB for mostly everything else!

    Andy wrote on August 18th, 2010
  8. Hi Mark!

    Hope you’re well. I tried to download the book and my computer kept freezing. And in regards to the code, do we need to type it in or can we copy and paste? It doesn’t seemt to give me access to the e-book.



    Laura wrote on August 18th, 2010
  9. Wow,

    I just completed my first Ironman.
    But, shit – this is tough! Pushups and other LHW activities are knocking me for days…

    Great with a new training program, just when I needed it.

    Thanks all,

    / Lars

    Lars wrote on August 18th, 2010
  10. Ok, I figured it out! Thanks Mark.


    Laura wrote on August 18th, 2010
  11. Gave the WOW a try this morning. 8 rounds plus one sprint. It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective and quick! Looking forward to next week :)

    maureen wrote on August 19th, 2010
  12. I just finished the WOW and I AM TIRED! I tweeked a hamstring after the 7th sprint so that was it for today. I did finish my 7th cycle. Guess I should do a better job of stretching next week. Great workout Mark.

    Jerry H wrote on August 19th, 2010
  13. Holy…
    I see people did 7, 8, 10, 14?!

    I did 3. Yeah, 3. Did ’em in 8 minutes and spent the next 4 minutes trying to breath.
    Then I went for a walk. I feel good now, but 3… WOW indeed!

    Piscator wrote on August 19th, 2010
    • But the real point is you did it!

      Robert wrote on August 19th, 2010
    • After 8 min, I was dead !! I almost threw up !!! Did 6 rounds. Knee push up and not so high jumps at the end ah ah ah.

      Next time, I’ll try to do it slower but for the entire 12 min.

      Nancy wrote on August 20th, 2010
  14. Team, I want to do this tomorrow at the gym with an ergometer (too hot to run @ lunch in Washington DC), but 50m would come up pretty quick. Any reccs on how long to go instead of 50m? I think I saw a commenter say 75m for a standard rowing machine. I like the erg b/c you can increase the resistance really easily and get the off the thing to recover.

    James C wrote on August 19th, 2010
    • Each 50 meter sprint takes only about 10 seconds or so, so maybe try going for 10 seconds of intense activity hard on the erg, double unders etc.

      Matt Muller wrote on August 20th, 2010
  15. Too much coulda woulda shoulda I log 6 + 2 sprints…was shooting for the average 7 but with less than 30 secs left, added one more sprint.

    Quick stats: 6’3 46yo diagnosed w/ NHL in 12/08. I ate my way thru chemo and peaked at 274lbs; no weight loss for the big man. Settled around 265 and spent a year gaining perspective. On May 18 2010 found a reference to the Daily Apple and went cold turkey; there is no 20% at this point. Weighed in tonight after this inaugural WOW at 222. My Onc and GP shook their heads 20lbs ago after I took their advice to lose weight. My Onc even referenced the China Study!

    It’s all about CHOICE. Make good ones. Looking forward to future WOWs.

    Primal P wrote on August 19th, 2010
  16. Hi Mark, Ive been folowing the blueprint diet for about 2 months now, Ive never been over weight, but Ive always had a little layer of fat over my muscles that I could not really get rid of. The primal blueprint amazingly stripped that right off, Ive never been so toned! And its great knowing missing a meal in the middle of the day is not gonna make my muscles shrink and disappear. lol

    Ive also been doing a workout “Body By Science” I found a while ago, recommended by “Andrew Byrne” who also recommended your diet.

    This workout has given me the best results, physically and visually than the past 5 years of conventional working out, and I only go to the gym once a week. I was wondering if you had an opinion on this workout if youve looked into it?

    Goran wrote on August 20th, 2010
  17. Excellent! I did the workout last night at the park. Much, much harder than I anticipated. The squat jumps really nailed me. Took me about 2 hours to recover.

    Can’t wait to see what’s coming next week.

    John F wrote on August 20th, 2010
  18. Great workout…can’t wait to incorporate it. Really liked the visual effects in the video, esp running with the cam.

    However, I have to say this – I did NOT appreciate the “lyrics” to the accompanying music at all. They are crude, rude, and graphically offensive.

    Bob Mass wrote on August 20th, 2010
  19. I did 12 rounds. This was MUCH tougher than I thought. I’ve never done this kind of workout before. I actually stopped at 11:30 because I literally could not lift myself up to do another push up. I’m going to shoot for 13 rounds next time. GREAT WORKOUT!!

    Lisa wrote on August 20th, 2010
  20. Just finished the WOW
    I was doing about 1 round per minute for the first 6 minutes, then ditched the squats and pushups and did 4 sprints, then 2 more rounds. Man that was tough!
    Total 8 rounds + 4 extra sprints. It will be interesting to see how I improve next time!

    Matt Muller wrote on August 20th, 2010
  21. Did 11, but the sprints were not sprints by the end, more like staggers. Those squat jumps are killers. Press ups were fine, almost felt the rest interval.
    This was the hardest workout I have done in a long time. Kind of looking forward to the next one.

    Chris Morris wrote on August 22nd, 2010
  22. Love the concept. CrossFit rules, but without a membership to a box, the specialized exercises and multiple subs make it really difficult to follow.

    This WOW, done barefoot and outside, with 0 equipment, was an AWESOME workout. Shredded me. Beautiful. Keep ’em comin’.

    9 rounds. Tons of fun. Consider me a convert to PB fitness. Only thing missing is a clever primal name and theme for this workout.

    Matt h. wrote on August 22nd, 2010
  23. I did this Saturday morning at a hotel in Austin while I was waiting for my family to wake up. I did a “50 yard” sprint on the treadmill. I did 6 cycles. It was a great hotel workout!

    Can’t wait for the next one!

    Primal_Joe wrote on August 22nd, 2010
    • That’s awesome that you did this at your hotel!

      Primal Toad wrote on August 23rd, 2010
  24. I’ve qualified for Boston Marathon, competed in numerous Triathlons, 2 female figure (bodybuilding) competitions and NOTHING I’ve ever done was as hard as those 12 minutes!!! I’ve been eating Primal Nutrition for almost two weeks and started to exercise this way today. What a change!!!

    fitgrl wrote on August 23rd, 2010
  25. I finally did this, a week late, and it kicked my ass, hahaha.
    I did 8 cycles, although I don’t know if it was 50 yards.
    Also, for my sprints, I gave it all I had, but I’m thinking the last few didn’t look like sprints to onlookers, hahaha.

    I also got my gf to do the pushup/squat jump part of the workout for fun (for 10 mins), and it killed her too.

    I’m loving these short, intense exercises. Looking forward to doing more of these.

    Patrick Proulx wrote on August 23rd, 2010
  26. Great start to the WOW program… Score = 12
    My target was one round per minute which I managed with 4 seconds remaining. However, my pushups were on the knees from round 7 onward. Hope to have my pushups sorted out for next time.

    Killer workout – can’t wait for the next WOW…

    Thanks Mark!

    Adam wrote on August 24th, 2010
  27. This looks like CF for weak people. Very original indeed.

    Randy wrote on August 24th, 2010
    • Does it make you feel good to insult people on a website geared to encouraging people? Fit, weak, strong… Everyone needs to start somewhere. I am extremely fit and did the 12 minute workout and kicked my butt. I did very high intensity, no breaks. My husband did it with me at his level and also had an amazing workout.

      fitgrl wrote on August 24th, 2010
      • Priceless. I just meant that Mark have sort of re-invented the wheel by taking the same movements that are used in crossfit and sprinkled it with “the grok-crawl” etc. Why not call the sprint “caveman run”? I know that Glassman also reinvented the wheel with crossfit. If you looken at how people trained in the 1920’s its obvious that crossfit isn’t completely original. Atleast Glassman reinvented somethibg that was almost forgotten.

        By “weak” i meant that there is little to non weightlifting in the “Wows” so far. Do you agree with that?

        RAndy wrote on August 24th, 2010
        • Ok, I read the whole thread now and CF vs Blue print have already been discussed. Seems like I am reinventing the wheel here. Sorry about that. Peace!

          RAndy wrote on August 24th, 2010
    • Oh, really ? and how many rounds did you do in 12 min. ??

      Nancy wrote on August 24th, 2010
      • I did the workout this afternoon and managed 13 rounds + 50m sprint + 10 squat jumps + 2 pushups. How many did you do?

        The workout was, of course, very taxing but I knew it would be. I do this kind of workouts, and harder ones, at my CF box everyday.

        RAndy wrote on August 24th, 2010
    • Your comment is very mentally weak.

      Justin wrote on August 24th, 2010
  28. I figured since I do 10 x 100-meter sprints every week, this would be a piece of cake. I was wrong. It totally kicked my ass. Completed 6 full rounds. After the sprint portion, doing the jump squats really nails you. You are in anaerobic distress as the whole body has already burned off your quick fuel. Then you hit the pushups. More times than I would care to, I had to pause and a catch my breath. And during sprinting, normally I fly using Vibrams on flat grass. The WOW somehow saps my step form, so I’m fast on the sprint but it’s a real effort and not smooth. Could be the effect of the squat jumps and hardly any rest between exercises. (When doing 100-meter sprints, I take a 2-minute walking break between runs.) This is definitely one workout to keep for testing fitness, and a challenge to get more rounds in. Note to self: Must do more jump squats. The good thing? The pain only last 12 minutes.

    Godzilla wrote on August 26th, 2010
  29. 10 round even, outdoors on grass, barefoot. 6′ 175lb 40 yrs

    Paul C wrote on August 28th, 2010
  30. 9 rounds + 6 jump squats

    Dan wrote on August 30th, 2010
  31. Tried it out last night. It was much harder than I thought, as many others here seems to have experienced. Made 15 rounds, but could barely go home afterwards!

    Simon Jönsson wrote on September 3rd, 2010
  32. 12 rounds in 11:53

    futureman wrote on September 7th, 2010
  33. Can you move the camera around a little more, jackass.

    joe wrote on January 24th, 2012
  34. My WOW rutine for a month.
    Primal Paddle I call it.
    5 miles paddle using an SUP.
    10 minutes of fast turning practice with the SUP.
    100 push -ups in 3 sets, 20-30 second rest.
    Thank you very much Mr. Mark Sisson .

    Todd wrote on July 23rd, 2012
  35. Just like to share the primal routine I have been doing.

    5 mile SUP
    10 minutes fast turns SUP
    100 push-ups ( complete in 3 sets )

    Todd wrote on July 23rd, 2012

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