Month: October 2009

Trick or Treat: Yea or Nay?

There are menacing spirits about tonight. Truly horrifying, ghastly ghouls in shiny, enticing packages. Resting ominously in bowls, baskets and bags, they await their jolly little prey. With the power of the Pied Piper, they will lead all manner of small witches, scarecrows, Spidermen, vampires, princesses, cowboys and gypsies toward ebullient, screeching glee, then sugar shock and moody mayhem this evening. Dastardly little devils, aren’t they…?

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Primal Blueprint Fitness Standards

(This is the fourth part of a four part series on fitness. Part 1: What Does it Mean to Be Fit?, Part 2: Could You Save Your Own Life?, Part 3: Modern Fitness Standards)

Yesterday, we explored the multitude of modern fitness standards spanning a variety of professions – soldier, cop, firefighter, Olympic athlete, pro athlete. We discussed the amorphous, free form standards held by pure fitness methodologies like CrossFit, as well as the simple but starkly delineated physical benchmarks a “real man” must satisfy as laid out by Earle Liederman. And though I didn’t even get into all the other fitness markers of the various athletic subcultures (ultrarunners, mountain bikers, soccer players, body builders, kayakers, backpackers, etc.), I’ve concluded that modern fitness is, by and large, incredibly splintered and heavily specialized. If you were to take a cross-section of examples of ideal athletes from every sport or activity imaginable, you’d get a veritable motley crew of different shapes, sizes, musculatures, and body types. Each would have wildly different capacities for strength, power, speed, endurance, agility, balance, and precision, and you’d see a wide range of resting heart rates, inflammatory markers, chronic injury rates, stress levels, and immune systems. And, if you had X-ray vision, you’d probably see an assortment of liver, heart, kidney, and other organ sizes.

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Modern Fitness Standards: How Do You Measure Up?

(This is the third part of a four part series on fitness. Part 1: What Does it Mean to Be Fit?, Part 2: Could You Save Your Own Life?)

Organizations whose members are expected to engage in physical activity as an essential aspect of affiliation – the various branches of the military, law enforcement agencies, fitness methodologies like CrossFit – necessarily impose standardized fitness benchmarks, minimum requirements which every prospective member must satisfy. When a significant portion of your professional identity is predicated upon your ability to catch (or kill) bad guys (bad guys, mind you, whose primary objective is to avoid capture), you’ve got to be able to run, jump, support your own body weight, and adequately perform all the other physical activities that might come up in a day’s work. The various fitness standards are an attempt to ensure candidates are up to par in their respective areas.

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Going Primal Helped My Asperger’s

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

I experienced an unexpected side effect from following your plan.

I suffer from a form of autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome, the two worst effects of which are difficulty with eye contact and not understanding facial expressions.

Within a week of starting The Primal Blueprint, I noticed I was looking my boss in the eye, which is something I have had a lot of trouble with in the past.

I’ve always found eye contact to be very difficult, even with loved ones.

I just thought you might be interested in hearing about this, I’ve heard gluten-free diets could help children with autism but I’m 53 years old and have lived with this my whole life.

If I never lost weight or felt better (I’ve also lost a lot of weight and feel better than I have in years!) I would do this plan just for the connection I have found with my family and co-workers.

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Could You Save Your Own Life?

(This is the second part of a four part series on fitness. Part 1: What Does it Mean to Be Fit?, Part 3: Modern Fitness Standards)

Yesterday, I explored the malleable meaning of fitness, including how our ideas of fitness (both reproductive and physical alike) have drastically changed over history. What began as a reliable indicator of a person’s ability to survive and provide for his or her family or tribe has lost its urgency, and becoming fit in the modern world is now a choice, rather than a necessity for reproductive survival.

Or is it?

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What Does it Mean to Be Fit?

(This is the first part of a four part series on fitness. Part 2: Could You Save Your Own Life?, Part 3: Modern Fitness Standards)




The capacity of an organism to survive and transmit its genotype to reproductive offspring as compared to competing organisms
The ability to conduct oneself in physically demanding situations; to function effectively in emergencies; to display superior body composition and aptitude in matters of strength, cardiovascular capacity, power expression, reaction time, speed, agility, flexibility; to evince generally superior health and resistance to injury and disease

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