Dear Mark: How Are You Training These Days?

SlackliningOne of the most common questions I get from readers is the same one I get from people who have no idea who I am or what I do: “What’s your workout, dude?” Because I write a blog that discusses the latest fitness research, some of you might get the impression that I’m constantly switching up my routine to incorporate the latest and greatest. Many times, you assume that because I wrote approvingly about something, I must be doing that thing. Well, by and large, I am not doing that. Even if some particular lift is proven to build the most strength most efficiently, I mostly stick to my tried and true. I’m no longer an elite athlete. I don’t need the latest and greatest. If it works for me and my goals, I stick with it. Of course, it helps that the way I train was already fairly consistent with the latest research, and is easily fueled by my Primal Blueprint eating strategy.

Here’s one of the latest inquiries into my training:

Are you sticking to strictly bodyweight workouts these days or do you still hit the gym once a week or so for a heavy weight session?


For the most part, yes: bodyweight training still comprises the core of my training. Pullups, pushups, squats, lunges, rows, assisted handstand pushups, planks, dips. I’ll sometimes throw on a weighted vest or play around with angles and leverage to increase the resistance, but those are the basic movements that I work on. While I generally try to find time to do these outside, I admit that I often do these in the gym, mostly because I enjoy the social interaction that I don’t otherwise get standing at my desk in my home office most of the day. In terms of actual equipment I use, I might do some dumbbell presses (I’ve mostly given up barbell pressing – bench or otherwise – after a nagging shoulder injury at the hands of the bench), maybe some triceps pull-downs or extensions. Once a week I do a leg-focused routine where I mix in some hamstring work and an inner-outer thigh machine. This has helped immensely in my rehabilitating a decades old hip-flexor issue. I’m also a big fan of the leg press. I use a weighted hack squat machine to obviate the need for a spotter and to reduce the risk of back injuries.

No matter what, I always make sure to get a sprint session in every single week. At least one. Usually one. It’s the one workout that I can do for 15 or 20 minutes start-to-finish and feel like I’ve done enough for a couple days. That’s a good feeling, isn’t it? And nothing “cuts you up” like sprints. (BTW, if you’ve plateaued on weight loss, it’s the first addition I would make to your program). I prefer running beach sprints, of course. Something about the waves lapping at my feet, the cushion of the sand making it easier and harder all at the same time, the scenery. Ironically, my weekly Ultimate game is the hardest sprint workout I do all week – except I don’t call it a workout; I call it play. If I’m still feeling stiff from those games, I’ll often hop on the stationary bike at the gym for some cycling sprints.

I don’t run distance anymore, but frequent slow moving is still my bread and butter. I walk at least a couple miles each day, and oftentimes more than that. Weekends usually include at least one lengthy morning hike with dips and climbs and uneven surfaces, always in Vibrams. When I feel up to it, I’ll bust out a few hilly jogs or sprints within that hike.

I’ve switched things up a bit with respect to programming, however. With all the new books, events, and other ventures I’ve been involved in on top of the regular blog writing, my work schedule has been more hectic than ever. I’m not complaining, of course. I wouldn’t be anywhere else but right here doing what I’m doing. It does affect my training time, though. It’s inevitable, so I’ve had to roll with the punches and adapt to the new environmental context, especially when I travel. I guess the greatest revelation for me is that if I am forced to take a few days off (zero training) my fitness is not adversely affected. I can just pick up where I left off. That’s a huge relief from the old days of feeling immensely guilty for missing even one day.

The biggest change has been when I train. Rather than allot specific, extended blocks of time to my workouts, I’m getting workouts in when and where I can as opportunity presents. My workout volume has remained the same, but I rarely train for more than 20-45 minutes at a time.

I’ll often find myself writing snippets of posts in between snippets of training, and vice versa. Write a paragraph, do ten pullups. Every twenty minutes of writing, take a break and do a quick superset of squats, pushups, and bodyweight rows. Do a two minute plank every time I leave and reenter my office. Five minutes of slackline practice in the backyard while waiting for a manuscript to print out. Write an email while sitting in a squat. That kind of thing. I really, really enjoy it so far, and I don’t seem to have regressed, fitness-wise, but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll write a post sometime down the line looking closer at the “train throughout the day” method versus the more traditional method. So far, though, I like the freedom from set workout times. It’s also likely that this is how Grok “trained” – intermittent activity throughout the entire day. More on this later.


Of course, all this training is just a foundation for what I really love to do: play. I train so that I can play harder and not get injured. I strength train so that I can hang with the younger guys in Ultimate Frisbee, snowboard five days in a row or fight the waves when I’m standup paddle boarding. I sprint so I can beat the competition to the disc. I walk and hike so that I can spend all day out on the water if I want without losing steam. I slackline to improve balance and core strength. More than anything, I stay fit so that I can stay mobile and engaged in this life. At 60, I feel incredibly healthy and fit, perhaps more than ever before, and that’s no aberration. We can all stay this way, provided we eat well, exercise, and play as much as possible. We won’t all look or perform the same, but I’m serious when I say that everyone can be healthy and fit enough to enjoy their twilight years. It doesn’t have to be TV dinners, pill organizers, and dim, dreary living rooms illuminated only by daytime TV.

If you’re going to take anything away from the way I train to apply to your own training, start playing, guys. And start gearing your training toward supporting your mode of play.

That’s about it for my training these days. Some has changed, a lot has remained the same. What about you guys? How have you been working out these days? Thanks for reading, everyone.

TAGS:  dear mark

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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79 thoughts on “Dear Mark: How Are You Training These Days?”

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  1. Good to hear, Mark.

    I’m in my mid-twenties and as of the beginning of July I’ve moved away from my 3x per week barbell training to a more organic primal fitness. Throwing in some sprints once or twice a week, and my new favorite: going to the nearby sandpit and exploring the endless ways of playing up and down the sand mountains in a manor that would hint at HIIT. Even the dogs can join!

    The way life should be.

    1. Come to think of it, you might know of this sandpit from your teen years: Ever go to Gambo road in Gorham, Maine?

    2. my classmate’s aunt makes ($)68/hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 9 months but last month her payment was ($)20459 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more… c­a­n9­9.?­?­M

  2. Mark, this might be a silly question, but for the purposes of benchmarking, how many press-ups / pull-ups / squats can you do?

    I’m stuck at about 25, 7, and ~50 respectively.

    (I’m a 40 year old male.)

    1. Those numbers are still pretty good anyway, but always strive to do more. Wayland says to double those numbers – I say, if you reach that goal, keep going.

      Honestly, it’s great that you’ve still got this standard of fitness at your age, especially since so many people over the age of 40 here in the US are overweight or obese. Actually, I see you said “press-up”, probably meaning you’re from the UK? Anyway, the obesity situation there is similar to the situation here.

      “It doesn’t have to be TV dinners, pill organizers, and dim, dreary living rooms illuminated only by daytime TV.” I agree with this 100%. I’ve written about this before – – I think it’s a damn shame for people to grow old without enjoying the fruits of health and youth.

    2. Don’t go by Max reps Scott. Those numbers are very respectable though. You would want to maybe work to increasing the pullups. Best way is a technique called “Grease The Gain”. Do your 7 pull ups as often as possible throughout the day. I started doing this a few weeks ago and my output doubled in a week. Every time I walk past my pullup bar at home I’ll jump up and fire out 5 pull ups. Maybe 3 times a day one day, and 10 times a day the next – just depends on the day and how often I’m at home that day. Within a week I was effortlessly firing out 10 pullups each time. It’s a great technique and it fits in with the Primal routine greatly.

      1. Like Cal said, it’s “Grease The Groove”, not “Gain”! But the idea is still the same! It’s worked for my plank time.

  3. Mark, I would be interested in hearing more about that nagging shoulder injury some time…how you think it happened, how you’re working with it now. I got my nagging shoulder injury from dumbbell presses. BTW that first pic of you amazed me…who has that kind of balance? Wow!

    1. *Correction: I got my nagging shoulder injury from dumbbell flyes.

  4. Hey Mark
    I’m a fitness instructor teaching several classes a week and have a passion for Muay Thai. How would I adapt the primal fitness approach to my own training taking into account my work and sporting loves?

  5. I’ve started doing the intermittent working out throughout the day thing too. I do supersets of some combination of push, pull, shoulder, and legs. It definitely feels like the most intuitive way to train, because my workout volume is directly correlated with my energy levels. If I feel good one day I may do ten or more sets. If I’m feeling tired I may just do one or two sets or none at all. I seem to be noticing some modest strength gains as well.

    1. Interesting. I may try this approach instead of the usual 2 times a week at about 25-40 minutes of bodyweight stuff. The HIITs is key though. Gotta sprint baby!!!

  6. A Monday Success Story! Looking fine, my man!!
    And it sounds familiar–with young kids, my office to run, a garden always in need of attention, and meetings with clients all over the place, it’s been key to allow myself the freedom to spontaneously maintain fitness as schedule, weather, and kids’ availability allows. Another good aspect of the Primal approach. Thanks.

  7. I had to do a double-take on the top photo. At first-glance, I thought you were holding a bottle of vodka while walking on the slack-line.

    Now that would just be showing-off!

  8. (BTW, if you’ve plateaued on weight loss, it’s the first addition I would make to your program)


    Thanks Mark. I have plateaued on weight loss and want to keep building muscle and get that ripped look (I’m already on the way) and need to really add in a commitment to sprints it sounds like!

    Thanks again!

  9. Interesting about your frequent workout system– this month I’ve begun doing tiny workouts as breaks from work, a la Pomodoro technique, & to my surprise it makes a HUGE difference in how I feel, both as I’m working & at the end of the day. I used to just stretch or walk from room to room, but now I try to get my heart pounding with modified pull-ups, push-ups, squats, vigorous hooping & two-at-a-time stair climbs. Just 3-5 minutes every half hour. Crazy how much better it makes me feel! (I do more formal workouts too, but less often now.) I’ve noticed my metabolism seems to be revving up lately too– there could be other factors, but I wonder!

  10. My wife and I cancelled our gym membership a year ago, and I haven’t lifted a thing but myself since—my strength, flexibility, conditioning, size, and appearance have all improved tremendously, and I can workout barefoot, alone, and in minimal clothing. The sheer amount of stupidity and wasted time going on all around me in the gym was almost too much to bear anyway. Much, much, much happier now.

  11. Good stuff Mark! It sure seems to be working!

    It’s a real inspiration seeing you live the life of your dreams and being healthier than most think is even possible.

  12. Mark,

    I also have a nagging hip flexor/hip mobility issue. What types of exercises are you doing for your inner/outer thigh work that helped with your injury?

    1. This was the major injury that had cut short my running career 30+ years ago and had still plagued me day-to-day (nothing like waiting 3 decades to address a bio-mechanical issue, eh?). It began with a commitment a few years ago to work at least once a week for a year with a specialized physical therapist who used a combination of yoga and pilates to “open up” and strengthen the hip and groin area. I would hold some fairly bizarre poses or positions, propped up with blocks or a pilates machine for a few minutes at a time, but got increasingly stronger and more flexible – and with far less pain. I went from been incredibly compromised (like 10-15% strength/ROM) to I’d say 85% of what I would consider normal for a fit guy. After I stopped working with her, I committed to maintaining with inner-outer thigh, squats and some post workout stretches….and sprints, of course.

      1. Thanks Mark! I’ll have to look into adding some yoga into my routine

      2. Foam roller (rumble roller!) and lacrosse balls (2 of them taped together, and a single one) have been my friends for years, have helped a lot with my hip mobility. I have at work the inner/outer thigh machine, will start to use it. And thanks Mark for your post years ago suggesting the Romanian deadlift: it did miracles for me!

  13. At the beginning of summer I started doing incline push ups at work every chance I got…this mostly happened in the bathroom using the counter and every time I visited the basement of our office. I was amazed by the gains I saw over just a few weeks, and even better loved the way it made me a stronger softball player (hitting it to the fence more than a few times, and leading my team in triples). I’m now on the floor doing a set of 8 tricep push ups (no longer in the bathroom!) at a time, and can see a huge difference in my arm muscles and my performance as an athlete. It also always got my blood flowing and kept me alert at work, so now I’m all about the training throughout the day method if at all possible!

  14. I remember the first time I tried to do 10X100s. Sorta thought it was a wuss workout compared to the 10 mile runs and 2 mile swims I was doing at the time.

    After 6 sprints I thought I was doing to die. Bent over gasping for air, veins pounding, I called it a day after 8.

    Ten 100s is a serious workout.

    1. mrfreddy, Hah! I had that discussion with a major surfer buddy of mine last night. We both agreed: with the SUP technology as it is now why would we sit for 20 minutes in the line-up waiting for “the one” when you can catch pretty much everything from a SUP and rarely get wet or cold. Dude, I totally get where you are coming from and applaud your mad waterman skills – and the whole surf culture. And I am aware that we SUPers are starting to encroach, so I never go to surfer-only breaks when I do catch waves. Plus, I just have a short attention span, I guess. Hat’s off to you, man!!

      1. Glad you know not to encroach, I hate those guys. And I’m just kiddin ya, I do think SUPs have their role/place in life. Friend of mine uses his to explore unsurfed breaks on small days-sounds and looks like fun to me.
        But on a good day at a good break, I’d much rather paddle into a wave on something a bit more maneuverable.
        And don’t you live in Hawaii? Why you worried about getting wet!!??

        1. Being in New England, my wife and I discovered kayaking.
          Love to kayak. In summer, two and three times per week.
          Wednesday evening, mid-week, best. Half-way to sunset, relax enjoy, paddle back. Load boats back on vehicle during civil twilight. problem is in southern NH, sunset gets earlier and earlier, so that by early September, we only have about 45 minutes to paddle. But, my wife and I then go back to our Fall/Spring other favorite, and bicycle ride. And there is nothing like a good New England hike in the winter, in the White mountains. One of the best playgrounds in USA, New England. SUP’s are just starting to catch on, most are over on the coast. Unfortunately, NH got a short shrift with only about 12 miles of shoreline. But, Maine and MA have a few places to go. But, there’s also lots of white-water kayaking in the Spring – even if a litle cold, though….

  15. I’d love an article about intermittent training throughout the day. That’s what I’ve naturally gravitated toward in the 7 months that I’ve been primal. It was made much easier when I recently jury-rigged a standing workstation for my home office. I no longer have to get out of a chair and then go do something — I can just go do something, like hit the floor for a few pushups or a plank while files download, etc. I find myself squatting (sumo, chair, full), standing on one leg, dancing and otherwise just moving nearly continuously throughout my workday now. It definitely feels “right” and much more natural, for me, then setting aside a block of time to change clothes and do a formal workout.

  16. Awesome and I train very similarly. I don’t have much time between work (drive up to 700 mi a week) and home life (2 kids under 4) so I train when I can and it usually ends up to being about 45 min to an hour a day with the main focus on bodyweights. Every 20 minutes I rotate between push-ups, squats, pistols, lunges, L-sits, planks, dips and walking the stairs or if it isn’t raining in Georgia a 20 minute walk outside after lunch. This type of training allows me to keep my energy levels all day and over time it really adds up in regards to endurance. Herschel Walker said it best, “Its not how many you can do but how often you can do them”.

    1. Bread made with coconut butter and smothered in grass-fed butter.

  17. I just started working out again, after almost 1 year of not training. Yesterday I had my first training session for a couple of months, I ran about 20 minutes at a local soccer field and then I did bodyweight exercises. I am still able to do about 15 push ups, but my pull-ups are terrible now, I cannot do more than 3-4! I then decided to take 12, how? I did a set of 2, had a one minute break and did 2 more, until I reached 12. That is my strategy for reaching 12 pull-ups, I will do 2 reps x 6 for a week and then next week I will do 3×4 and the week after than I will do 4×3, until I can do 12 pull-ups again. Anyone else tried this strategy before?

    1. Good to experiment. Another idea is on your last rep (or last attempt) hold your position in a partial pullup until you have to let go. After you drop down grab some dumbbells and do some overhead presses to “finish the burn”. Also, I found working on your grip strength (plate pinching, grippers, farmers walks, reverse curls) over time added a couple of extra reps to my pullup count.

      1. Thanks for the tip, I will try it out. what I did do on my last attempt was to do as many as I could above the 2 I was supposed to, I only made 1 and a half more before I had to let go though.

      2. You mention working on grip. I have a nagging pain in my forearm when I do a chin up. Is that related to grip or strength? I’ve been able to do only 2 or 3 for months now, whereas before I was able to do at least 5 consecutively.

  18. Must say my workout can be a bit sporadic based around whatever sounds fun. As a personal trainer I have to work on specific issues with many clients, so by the time my workout comes around the idea of a really structured program doesnt sound fun.

    Ultimatley if your workouts aren’t enjoyable you won’t do it. Was on about an 8 month park bodyweight kick, now it’s back to barbells! And of course hiking!

  19. I read fitness training material constantly, I’ve worked with a lot of trainers over the years (from front page of muscle magazine body building champions to functional fitness gurus) and what Mark is doing is about as sensible and optimal as you’ll find IMO. I’m doing pretty much what Mark is and doing the 8 / 16 IF eating schedule. We’re almost the same age (I’m a couple of months older) and I’m pretty lean and fit BUT my lower abs, sad to say, sure don’t look like his LOL. Anyway, best wishes to everyone on finding and tweaking as needed a workout regimen that works best for you.

  20. I certainly do need to play more! As for the training I am having fun. I sprint once a week, in my vibrams, 8 x 100 meters. Counting to eight has never been more beneficial. I hit the gym once or twice as well, doing either a body by science protocol and more recently stronglifts 5×5 type resistance training. Do tons of the bodyweight stuff at home, enjoy pushing myself…I can do a set of 40 pushups (proper form and not too fast!) and working on 50+, can do a 10 minute plank (I know..What for?!..well, I like to listen to Stairway to Heaven and other lengthy tunes!) I am 52 years old and have turned so much of everything around over the past almost two years. It has been life changing and I am so grateful to Mark..thank you!!! Went to the gym with my son on the weekend and got put through paces. Taking up doing dead lifts and squats every so often..wicked, talk about doms. Definitely recruiting more muscle fiber. Have a wonderful week everyone.

  21. Nice article Mark and thanks for answering my question…:)

  22. Any comments on “rebounding” — those wee trampolines for working out (or standing) on? Being heavy (well, fat) and having arthritis in my hips (although way less since I went mostly primal!), I have to be careful. (I do my sprints during my water aerobics class! The ladies think I’m nuts…)

    Of course, the guys selling them rave about them… and it IS persuasive… (I’m even envisioning a stand-up work desk WITH a trampoline instead of a mat!) But, what’s you impression?

  23. Great stuff as usual Mark!

    Regarding injuries and down time: I am coming off reconstructive foot surgury on my right foot. The good news is that 10 weeks post op I’m almost back. The bad news is that I’m having the same operation on my left foot next week. Any advice as to how keep from loosing too much strength when laid up for several weeks?

    Btw, I was 300lbs and diabetic 3 years ago at age 40. After transitioning to primal living I’m 185lbs, in the best shape of my life and enjoying life in a way that I never thought possible!

  24. “To hang with the younger guys…”

    Ah yes, I can certainly identify with this statement. Never thought one of my fitness goals would be to make sure I can KEEP UP, but so far all is well, and I can even out perform quite a few of the young bucks thanks to a primal lifestyle. Thanks for all your work.

  25. Mark you look great. I’m glad you were able to make headway on those hip flexors, not fun times, I’m guessing. My husband and I are behind you a few years and don’t think of ourselves as entering “twilight” years by any means. We hang very well with the young ‘uns! We feel young in mind, body and heart – and look okay naked too!

  26. I am so confused about how I should be working out. I have an read through the entire book of Mark’s the 21 Day Total Body Transformation one. But I still do not completely grasp how I should be working out. Isn’t there anyone who would be willing to speak with me via e-mail, text message, whatever. I really want to start incorporating the Primal way into my workout. I would be so appreciative. I beg of you, please.

      1. Mark,
        Oh, how happy and excited I am! I can’t wait to finally get some clarity on some things I am confused about. This is just great! Hey, Mark, do you drink milk? If so, I bet it is raw, and organic. I’m so thankful there is someone like you who has put all of this together for us. I actually began doing the primal lifts (push-ups, pull ups, squats, planks) after a long time of being pretty much a slug and doing nothing. I can not believe how weak I am. I want to get strong again. And lean. Thanks for responding to my post, Mark. Happy and healthy day to you.

  27. I do karate 5-6 x/ week and to me I feel like this is ‘play’. I walk-a lot! I climb trees. I’m adding in more T Tapp since I quite like the focus on alignment.

    I do some heavy labour a few times but keep it to not too often, b/c it is quite intensive.

    Everything I do is to help me perform best in karate.

    I’m looking to add in swimming.

    All in all I love to be on the move. I just feel great!

    There are times where I might take a nap if I am feeling a bit more tired than usual—and don’t feel ‘wussy’ for doing it.

    At some point I might add in some more strength training, but for now I like the T Tapp isometric positions.

    Mark, you’re an inspiration, but I find inspiration in myself too, since it’s up to me, not you to be physically active and live my life to the fullest. 🙂

  28. I LOVE paddleboarding, wish there was a place I could go closer to my home. I will live vicariously through you! For now, I will just have to stick to my unexciting burpees!

  29. I have been doing impromptu workouts for several months following an injury (self induced at the gym / didn’t want to drop the barbell and tried to lower it while out of position!). They are fun due to their random nature. Just grab the pull-up bar mounted in the doorway and see “whatchagot”.Pushups/quats/planks/dips/whatever. I still do Tabata sprints once a week. Maybe jump on the bike and try to use the hills (and the headwinds) to make a workout of it.
    All that said, I don’t think you can benefit from bodyweight exercise to the extent that you can from “pumping iron”. The stressors are of a different type and don’t produce the same results. IF you want to be strong, use the basic barbell lifts and it will happen! If you want to be fit, do the bodyweights.

  30. Wow you have an amazing body and it really shows the hard work you put into it. I admire you for your consistency in your workouts and for achieving a fit and healthy body. Not all men can attain that because it requires a lot of discipline and hard work.

  31. Hi Mark!

    You inspire across national borders, across ages, across physical disciplines and while everyone´s focusing on the superficial aspects of training, you remain solid and true to what health should be all about.

    So let´s go out and play!

    Thanks for motivating me!


    22 year old girl from Stockholm, Sweden

  32. We play social and competitive team tennis 3-6 times a week. Get lots of sprints running down lobs and drop shots. It is a fun sport that gets us out to play all the time. If you used to play as a kid (or never played) it is easy to get back into it or learn how to play – just call your local club. Great way to socialize, especially if you are new to an area. Most cities have leagues through the USTA that range in levels and competitiveness. We met most of our friends through tennis. Nothing like a great mixed doubles match followed by a refreshing beverage!

  33. I’ve been doing a 20 minute slow burn style, aka HIT style, work out once a week, for years. Plus surfing almost every weekend during the warmer months (I surf at Rockaway, Queens, NYC), and maybe once a month during the winter. Oh yeah, I play a little corporate softball once in awhile too.
    I find that a HIT workout gives me all the fitness I need to hit the waves. Actual surfing, ie paddling and chasing waves, does add maybe another 5% or so, I would guess. But HIT gives me a very solid base to work from.
    I have the classic extra 20 pounds or so that plagues a lot of low carbers (been low carbing for 11 years), so I might try adding sprints to see if that does anything. Might also help with the softball, I find that the sudden sprints involved in that game bother my 56 year old legs a bit.

  34. Spending a week in rural NH and applying these same principles to break a sweat daily. Standup paddle boarding, sprints at local track, hiking in the mountains and of course, swimming in the beautiful lake. I love getting outside!

  35. Mark you are such a cool guy and a true inspiration! I’ve been reading your blog for years but never tell you how much I appreciate your down to earth style.

    Anyway I travel full time in an RV so I workout with kettlebells and body weight outside as well as yoga almost everyday usually outside too. The other day I did yoga on a lake at Glacier NP and it was amazing!!!!!

  36. My husband and i do just like you do Mark! We mostly get our workout from “hanging” ,mowing lawns, LOTS of play time in our “playground” made from trees and we keep our sledgehammer close by just in case we get a hammer fit…Lots of “fishing” but really what we catch every time is a good conversation and a great workout from climbing Huge rocks to get to our fishing spot.Scrapping our knees like 7 yr old kids do 🙂 .Lots of movement and believe me it will get you sore.I love my pull ups from our trees too. Thank you for all you do Mark and worker bees!!!!

  37. Hi Mark,

    Awesome post! It’s very interesting and insightful to see how you train these days.

    I’m very excited about the intermittent exercising thing. I’ve started putting it into practice today after reading this post yesterday. So far so good, I really like it, it’s way more fun!

    A question popped up right away; With this approach to training/exercise, do you take rest days?

    Looking forward a full post on this topic!

  38. Hi Mark,

    I’m in awe of the muscle mass you maintain at your age. Do you use any sort of testosterone/hgh? As far as I understand it most people find it very difficult to maintain significant muscle mass as they age due to these compounds diminishing natually as we age, right?

  39. Mark,

    This is one of the most helpful and practical posts I’ve read in a long, long time. I’ve been weight-stuck for several months and have gone back to IF to try to get things going, but I’m also finally feeling like I’m ready for more movement and activity (65 lbs less of me to move around helps, as does healing adrenal glands!), but with homeschooling and freelance editing, I have to be intentional about it. It doesn’t help that it’s too hot right now in Arizona to go outside during the day to do anything but sweat.

    After reading your post and the comments, I finally see my way clear. I’ve already done a few sets of incline push-ups on our bathroom vanity and am going to figure out some other triggers for other exercises, triggers that happen through the day.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  40. Hi,
    I am just starting out using the body weight training. However, I have a problem finding places to do pull ups other than the gym. At work I go into a spare room for press-ups, squats, lunges and burpees etc but ideas for pull ups would be great. I find reading the blogs inspiring. I am on holiday soon and hope to put the beach sprints into action.


    1. If there’s a solid table you can slide under at your work, bodyweight rows might be a decent alternative to work some of the same muscle groups. Another option, depending on how your house is set up (need a stable doorframe with wall space above and to the sides), could be setting up an Iron Gym at home–they retail for $30-40 but probably go for cheaper on CraigsList.

      1. I soooo want a bar across my door to do pull-ups/chin-ups!! I LOVE doing pull-ups. I don’t even do it for any ‘exercise’ or ‘strength’ in mind, it’s just so fun to do them, especially doing them at random times and on whatever I can find.

        Eg. bus stop: There’s a bike rack looking thing. It’s low to the ground, so I am sitting in a 90′ and I pull up from there. My legs are stretched outward and I have to ‘lift’ those too. Great fun and the thing about bus terminals is you’re kind of excused for possibly looking ‘strange’. Haha.

        Here’s another cute story from the bus terminal. Some girl who looked about 10 (later I asked and she was 9). She was running across /balancing on the side part of the bike rack. I joined her HAHA and it was just a great time. She thought it was cool that an adult was joining her in this ‘silly game’. 😀 W00000t!!

  41. Good post Mark,

    Depending on the season, my workouts change. This summer I have a huge focus on golf (lots of moving at a slow pace), so my workouts have become less frequent and shorter. I still get my strength workouts in at the gym, but they are shorter. Maybe 30 mins doing heavy squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, or shoulder press. With all the great summer weather I like to get outside at the park and do sprints, crawling, handstands, muscle ups, and other bodyweight stuff in the sun. In the end though, it all depends on your goals, and staying in sufficient shape is not that complicated along with a primal diet:

    Grok on!

  42. What I do: Wake up and sprint first thing in the morning (my makeshift cup of coffee), run a mile or swim a mile, light weights, old-fashioned jumping jacks (a classic), mat work with stretches and amateur gymnastics with plenty of moves that I make up myself… (keeps me interested) One day off per week (no exercise no eating), one week off per month (the uncomfortable week)… I walk everywhere when I don’t want to pay for gas….
    guess that’s it

  43. Hi Mark, interesting read about experimenting with unplanned workouts as time permits. In doing this, should one be concerned about overworking the same body parts on consecutive days without adequate time to recover? E.g. doing push-ups on everyday and overworking the chest. Thanks.

  44. Hi Mark

    I have a question in regards to training frequency. If you train 5-6 days a week 45 minutes to an hour at time would a high fat moderate carb diet still work? Moderate carbs being around 150g?

    Thank you