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!
My name is J.J. Valdivia and I am a 24 year old personal trainer down in Miami, Florida. First and foremost, I cannot thank you enough for the impact that your book and website have made on my life. I have been Primal now for almost one year and I am in the best shape of my life! I am 5’11, 165 lbs and carry around 6% body fat.
Before discovering The Primal Blueprint I hovered at around 10-12% body fat and weighed in at around 175-180 pounds. All this considering I now exercise less than I ever have my entire life! I used to train six days a week religiously. I would alternate between one day of one hour circuit weight training and another day of one hour chronic cardio. I would count each and every calorie and needless to say I was miserable. I have always been into “health and fitness” and I was convinced that I was doing everything right, or so I thought. Constant overtraining mixed with a high carb, low fat diet led to binge eating on the weekends and a continuous cycle that led nowhere. I was always starving even though I was eating 5-6 small meals a day! Not only that, but I looked exactly the same and saw no results. That was one year ago…
Simulating the overhead press using just one’s bodyweight is the trickiest essential Primal movement yet. The standard bodyweight replacement for the standing overhead press is the handstand pushup. I’m a huge fan, but the reality is that it’s not a realistic prescription for most people right off the bat. Can you imagine Grandpa busting out a set of ten handstand pushups? Not very likely (yet). It’s a tough, tough movement (which is why it works so well and why it’s level 8 in the PBF progression), but luckily you can target the same muscles with a much more elementary movement: the shoulder press pushup.
If you want to pick something up off the ground, you have two options: hinge at the hips or squat down. There’s no question that the full squat is an essential, Primal movement, and yet many folks in modern, industrialized society are unable to perform one. Kids have good squat form (just watch them at play), but their parents are stiff at the hips with rounded backs and tight knee joints. Many more have been taught – by health experts and personal trainers – that the full squat is dangerous, that it will destroy your knees with wear and tear and render you incapable of normal activity. They say a half-squat is perfectly adequate, or, better yet, get rid of the squat altogether and use the leg extension machine! Disregard these “experts.” You need to squat. You don’t need to use a ton of weight (or any!), but you do need to be mobile and flexible enough to reach a full squat below parallel.
Over the next week I’ll be covering some key concepts related to the recently-released Primal Blueprint Fitness. You can get your own copy of the free eBook here. Yesterday I covered proper pushup technique. Next up, proper pullup/chinup technique.
Not everyone loves doing pullups and chinups, but they are an absolutely necessary part of the Primal Blueprint Fitness program. See, with most other bodyweight exercises, it’s possible to make the case for the superiority of their weighted analogues. There is at least a debate to be had for bench presses and barbell squats versus pushups and pistol squats, but nothing trumps the pullup. You could spend years training with lat pulldowns and bent over rows, but they will never match the strength-building capacity of pullups and chinups.
Over the next week I’ll be covering some key concepts related to the recently-released Primal Blueprint Fitness. You can get your own copy of the free eBook here. First up, proper pushup technique.
If you’ve ever taken a PE class, joined the military, played organized sports, or watched Rocky, you should be familiar with the basic pushup. In theory, it seems pretty simple, right? You assume the position, lower yourself to the ground, touch your chest to it, then push back up. Hence, “pushup.”
Primal Blueprint Fitness. It’s finally here! What can I say? My team and I wanted to get it just right, so we spent over a year developing the program before unleashing it on the world.
I originally planned for Primal Blueprint Fitness to be a new hardcover book sold in bookstores as a companion to The Primal Blueprint and The Primal Blueprint Cookbook. In the end I decided to take a different approach. As you’ve probably heard me say, my mission is to help 10 million people take control of their health and fitness through understanding exactly how their body was designed to work. It’s why I started Mark’s Daily Apple and it’s why I’m giving this program away for free.