Primal Blueprint Workout Plan: The Basics

Based on the feedback I get, people like the Primal Blueprint for its simplicity. All it takes is a reasonably strict adherence to the ten Primal laws for most people to enjoy improved body composition, increased strength and general fitness, better sleep, and reduced inflammatory markers. The dietary component in particular is easy, simply because it stresses the inclusion of good fats, ample protein, and quality carbohydrates – the very same foods that have been naturally selected to appeal to our taste buds – but some have trouble with Primal fitness.

At first glance, this shouldn’t be an issue. No more chronic cardio and no more hour-and-a-half long workouts on the machines at the gym? Great – sign me up! But for those of you coming from a highly-structured fitness background of classes and strict schedules (which is most people, especially newcomers to the Health Challenge with their wrists still smarting from the shackles of Conventional Wisdom), putting the free-flowing, spontaneous Primal fitness concepts into practice can take, well, some practice. It sounds fantastic in theory, but we’re left with that lingering question: what, then, to do (and when, and how, and how often)?

Today, I hope to answer those questions by outlining the basic weekly Primal workout plan. Consider it my attempt at realizing the intangible; structuring the amorphous; anticipating the spontaneous. Just as the “planned randomness” of scheduled intermittent fasting carries all the metabolic benefits of actual food scarcity without being technically random, this Primal Workout Plan tricks the body. It’s a workout “plan,” with a few staples (squats, sprints, lots of low level aerobic activity), but by and large the Primal workout schedule provides a framework for those who need it while offering a wide variety of movements, routines, and exercises to keep everything fresh.

Monday – Sprint
Tuesday – Lift Heavy Things
Wednesday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest
Thursday – HIIT
Friday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest
Saturday – Lift Heavy Things
Sunday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest


Sprinting is pretty self-explanatory: run really, really fast in short bursts of output. Barring previous injury, we’re all built to sprint – which is why it’s a staple of Primal fitness. It builds both anaerobic and aerobic capacity while promoting growth hormone secretion, fat mobilization, and maximum power development. Simply put, if you want to build lean mass and burn body fat, sprinting at least once a week is the way to achieve both. Want proof? Just compare the bodies of your average sprinter and your average marathon runner. Which would you rather resemble?

Sprinting isn’t just about running blindly. You could do that and see some results, sure, but it’s probably better to go into it with a few goals outlined. You could try my beach sprints (sand technically not required, but it helps with dampening the impact and increasing the resistance) or perhaps some hill sprints (when I had my knee problem, hill sprinting worked best because I wasn’t “falling” as far on each step, if that makes sense – plus it’s hard as hell!). You could even do uphill sprints on a bike, or wind sprints in a pool. For me, sprinting should be about maximum effort at all times, which is why I tend to shy away from Tabata sprints on my dedicated sprint days. Twenty seconds at a time with a mere ten seconds of rest just isn’t enough for most to maintain top effort; it’s a great option for HIIT metabolic conditioning, but if I’m trying to tap into my burst power energy pathway, Tabata is too limiting. If you can maintain top speed for twenty seconds at a time performed eight times over the span of four minutes, though, be my guest! Most will find somewhere in the seven to ten second range more suitable. Take as long as you need to recharge between sprints, of course, and run on grass, sand, or trail with concrete as a last resort. Shoeless is best, followed closely by Vibrams (Geez…I’m starting to sound like a spokesperson for Fivefingers!). Your session shouldn’t take much longer than ten minutes.

For a few more ideas on sprint training visit this page.

Lift Heavy Things

I went over a somewhat advanced strength and muscle building routine a few weeks ago, but three days a week isn’t necessary for the average PBer who’s just interested in building/maintaining a little lean mass while developing strength and fitness. Two days a week of intense, heavy lifting is plenty for overall fitness. Besides, it’s not like you’re going to be doing five different variations of the bicep curl or spending an hour on the leg machines. You’ll be going all out with the classic, compound movements. Barbells, bodyweight, and honest hard work.

In the future, I plan on expanding the scope of our workouts by introducing new movements each month, but for now we’ll focus on the old stalwarts: the back squat, the deadlift, the bench press, and the overhead press. For experienced Groks, you should center your two weekly strength sessions around these basic barbell lifts. Tuesday might look like this:

Back Squats
Bench Press
Bent Over Rows
Dips (weighted, if possible)

And Saturday:

Overhead Press
Pull-ups/Chin-ups (weighted, if possible)
Thrusters (VIDEO)

Now, those are just suggestions. Feel free to switch it up and try different exercises (but at least do squats), or play around with the reps and sets. When I hit the weights, I tend to aim for four to five sets of five to eight reps for each exercise.

Beginners unsure of correct barbell form or people without access to equipment might try something like this for Tuesday:

Air Squats (or just the bar to practice form)
Lunges (perhaps with dumbbells)
Inverted Row (VIDEO)

And for Saturday:

Air Squats
Handstand push-ups/presses

Obviously, for optimal strength development access to a barbell with weights is desirable, but – depending on your overall goals – completely unnecessary for basic strength training.


High intensity day should be extremely exhausting. This is the day you’re going to dread, but luckily it’s only once a week! Make it count. If you find yourself looking forward to it, you’re either a sick individual or you’re going way too easy on yourself. The key here is metabolic conditioning – subjecting yourself to a steady barrage of multi-joint, compound exercises performed rapidly and with little rest to build muscular and anaerobic endurance. HIIT (high intensity interval training) day could be anything from a simple workout of ten sets of five pull-ups, ten push-ups, and fifteen squats, to the aforementioned Tabata intervals (sprints, burpees, squats, pull-ups, etc). For the most part, HIIT day workouts can be performed with little to no equipment (as in the Endorphin Mainline, the Prison Workout, or the 15 Minute Workout), but you can also put together an extremely solid metabolic conditioning routine using equipment, like the sledgehammer, the mace, or the sandbag. Just do it hard, fast, and don’t let up for a second.

By the time you’re tired of (as opposed to “from”) those workouts, you should be able to come up with some interesting alternatives to keep you busy. Also, stay tuned for more updates from me – I plan on introducing new routines on a regular basis to avoid stagnation (nothing worse than getting bored with a workout).

Rest/Play/Move Slowly

To rest, play, or move slowly – that is the question. Since the PB is largely about listening to the body’s natural cues, you’re going to have to trust yourself to make the right decision. If you’re worn out, take it easy. Give those muscle fibers a chance to repair. If you have a bit of energy left, go for a hike and just Move Slowly. Enjoy nature without turning it into a workout for a change. If you have a ton of energy left, though, load up a heavy backpack and climb some trees and scale some cliffs and do some tree branch pull-ups on that hike.

You can also use these days to play – with your kids, with the dog, with your buddies, with random strangers in a public pick-up game. My personal favorite is Ultimate Frisbee, but any game, whether structured or spontaneous, will do. And hey, if your idea of a good time is even more exercise or more strength training, that works too. As long as you’re enjoying yourself and whatever you’re doing doesn’t feel like work, you’re officially playing.

These days are also great for sport-or-profession-specific training. Trying to make the varsity basketball team? Go shoot jumpers for an hour straight. Got a fireman’s test coming up? Do some extra HIIT and strength work (hey, maybe the sledgehammer would come in handy here).

Three days of rest might sound excessive, but you could actually need it. If you’ve been hitting the Lift Heavy days extra hard and pushing yourself on the Sprint and HIIT days, three days of rest might be perfect.

Or, not. You decide.

Well, I think that’s a decent start. This simple plan provides some specifics for those that need some direction and a good deal of flexibility to accommodate a variety of fitness levels. It’s subject to change and refinement, but all in all it’s a solid basis for anyone interested in a Primal workout plan. Most anyone, from the experienced hunter-gatherer to the hesitant newbie, should be able to use this guide to build strength, burn some fat, and get on the right track toward true Primal Fitness. Grok on!

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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87 thoughts on “Primal Blueprint Workout Plan: The Basics”

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  1. I did a 30 minute sledgehammer workout this morning and it wiped me out! 16 lb. sledgehammer and an old tire. Primal!

    Tomorrow I’ll sprint. I love primal workouts because they can be done quickly but you still get great results.

    1. Oh man, join the club. I buried a tire 3/4 into the dirt in my backyard and it’s a pretty good target now so I don’t have to rip up the lawn.

      If you do them regularly, a good workout I stumbled upon was a 1 min on/1 min off repeated 10x, with shorter rests on subsequent workouts. If you can eventually shorten it to 10 minutes straight [switching hands every minutes obviously] you’re a beast. I find shortening the rests gets a lot harder when you’ve got the mega 16lb hammer.

  2. Thanks for your examples of HIIT days. I was never quite sure where to begin there. Funny, I just got home a few minutes ago from picking up an old tire from a truck/farm tire shop so I can try some sledgehammering. Got the hammer last week so I am all set to go.

  3. I’ve got a nice 10 to 15-min strength training routine, and I move slowly a lot (and rest a lot). But I need to work more on sprinting (i.e., remembering to do it). When I take my daughter to the park I always get a little HIIT in on the “kids” playground equipment. And it’s amazing what a game of tag with 4-7 year old kids can do to a 40 year old dude!

  4. Can you explain to me the difference between HIIT and Tabata Sprints? I’ve always thought they were basically the same thing.

    1. Tabata sprints are an example of an HIIT workout. There’re lots of ways to put together a HIIT.

      Though Tabata’s are ‘sprints’, they don’t let you recover fully before the next sprint starts. So, they’re not really appropriate for the Sprint Day of the schedule. You’ll need more rest between efforts on those days

  5. re: lifting heavy things:

    i added “straight leg deadlifts” today in lieu of the standard deads.

    60% of the weight i was using for standard deads was plenty of a challenge – my core is going to be a mess tomorrow!

  6. Would you consider the interval routine from “Body For Life” (running etc. for 1 minute at each intensity level where 5=50% of max 5,5,6,7,8,9,6,7,8,9,6,7,8,9,10,5,5 for 20 minutes total) an acceptable/ideal/passable HIIT workout? I have done these running (not too often any more – plantar faciitis), on the elliptical (mainly – minus 40 in the winter – need I say more) and just today did one swimming (freestyle except for breast stroke on the easy (5,6) intervals). Ouch! I nearly keeled over (pardon the nautical pun) and think that I can safely say that I did met Mark’s criterion for “dreading” the next one of these workouts. But it this an acceptable HIIT workout? Any comments/suggestions/feedback would be welcome.

    p.s., I also did a couple of bodyweight workouts a la prison workout (without chin ups – need a chin up bar) and that also filled the “dread” quotient.

  7. What’s a back squat? Is it different in some way from a squat? Can HIIT training be done w/a jump rope?
    Thanks…from a relative newbie…

    1. Beth, there are several varieties included in the term “squat”. The descriptors tell you where the weight is placed. A back squat is where you rest a barbell across your upper back (there are different variants of this too). There are also front squats (barbell up on your upper chest/clavicle area with elbows pointed out away from your body), and overhead squat (barbell held overhead with a fairly wide grip). Of course this just scratches the surface, but these are a few of the more common variants. Always keep weight on your heels (don’t come up on your toes) and try to keep your knees from falling inward (toward each other) as you squat.

  8. That looks like a great outline. I like to mix up my work out routine, both on a weekly and seasonal basis. I think what I do incorporates most of the concepts, probably with a bit too much cardio work during summer.

    From November-April I workout indoors mostly, gym climbing and swimming two times per week for each. Rock climbing counts as “lifting heavy things” I think, because you lift youself up steep cliffs/walls! When you really go for it rock climbing, it’s pretty strenuous. Stretching and pull-ups are part of my twice weekly climbing gym routine and we “lap to failure” during these sessions, as well (climb the wall up AND down repeatedly, fast, until our muscles fail and we fall–on belay with harness and rope!) We also climb without a rope on low stuff; falling to the padded mats gives me some weight bearing exercise. The climbing gym is a fun social scene where I hang out with friends; my teenager climbs there with her friends on the same nights, so it’s really positive. In the pool, I do sprints and intervals. I run on the treadmill sometimes, too, and try to get to California to ride my bike and soak up some Vit. D as much as possible during these months. My job (teaching) keeps me on my feet moving all day and I also run with my students on the “track” (the gravel driveway the our country school!). As the weather improves we start ditching the gym more and more to be outdoors rock climbing and mountain biking. The climbing involves lots of hiking with heavy packs for the approaches. Sometimes I trail run. July and August are usually big mountain biking months, as the cliffs are too hot to climb and my climbing partner is usually guiding rivers then. Summer rest days can be spent hiking along trout streams, paddling my kayak around the lake just mellow, or walking the “slack line,” which is great for core and balance (it’s like a tight rope except that it’s webbing and it swings from side to side.) Though my workout routine is unconventional, I think it fits with the primal principles and shows how one’s individual preferences for play can be woven into a workable plan.

  9. I alternate between Lifting Heavy Things 3x week and doing Intervals 3x week (one session is tabata- my HIIT..ugh! But I’m probably too easy in myself). Still, I’m pretty strict about this schedule. While on our honeymoon on Nantucket last week we biked, swam, played frisbee (thanks Mark!), paddleball, kayaked- all low level cardio, every day. I’ve never felt stonger or more relaxed yet energized. Was in bed by 11, up at 7…and did not miss the usual routine at all (disclaimer: I was only able to be 60% primal– had to indulge in a little fried clam bellies, beer & lobster rolls!) If I didn’t live in a city, a true free-form primal workout would suit me just fine!

  10. Every time I do deadlifts i feel pain in my lower back the next day and my ‘trick’ knee starts popping more often and is sore the next day as well. Any reason why this might be happenning? Any way I can improve my form? Most of the folks at my gym don’t seem to know much more than I do about proper form.

    1. You should find a trainer (even if it’s not at your gym) to check your form.

      However, you don’t have to do deadlifts at all. For people with bad backs, tight hips, and poor ankle mobility, single leg exercises can be a better bet.

      Reverse Lunge
      Walking Lunges
      Split Squat
      Bulgarian Split Squat
      Single Leg RDL

    2. Ryan, I don’t know what to do about your knee, but the lower back thing can be solved by adding an ab exercise. I had lower back pain when I did Deadlifts with perfect form. When I started hitting a tire with a sledge hammer and intentionally flexing my abs on the down stroke I didn’t have any problems the next day. I guess it’s a yin yang thing. 🙂

  11. I’m so excited to have this framework! I’ve been gleaning the information about working out over the past few months of checking this blog daily, but it’s nice to have it all in one nice little list. And it’s what I have discovered I prefer anyway.

    Yay for primal workouts being my preferred way to play!!

  12. Does anyone have suggestions for someone with previous back surgery and needs to be careful with their back and in their 50’s? Some of these exercises sound intense

  13. Last question: Can someone doing the Primal lifestyle train healthily for a “Sprint Triathlon”? It is the baby Triathlon. Does anyone have hints of what to eat prior to such a race. Should these races be avoided? Thank you

  14. This schedule came at just the perfect time. I totally needed some direction with my workouts. Thanks so much, Mark!

  15. Sabio I too am now worried about being too thin. Never thought I would have to say that coming from a high fiber “heart healthy diet” where I couldn’t shed 10 pounds now I am not sure how to maintain?

    I think your sprint tri will work with the primal life style. They are short but, intense. Just think about killing something or running from something that might kill you. What to eat prior to a sprint I like Bananas, cantalope, basicaly anything easy on the stomach. I have been having a problem with cramping since going primal, watch your salt intake you may have to up it a bit before the event. Most of all DO NOT TRY ANYTHING NEW on race day! Try everything out prior to your event and most of all have fun!!

  16. Mark (and fellow Apples),

    Exactly how hard to do you need to sprint for Tabata? I’d like to give them a try for HIIT (they’re what a Gymboss was made for ;)), but 20 seconds all out sprinting, followed by only 10 seconds recovery (repeat 8 times) seems extreme HIIT: I know what I feel like after one of those 20 second!! So, should Tabata be conducted at 90-95% of standard sprint efforts?

    My current (hill) sprint sessions are 4 x 20 seconds all out(particularly unpleasant for the last couple of seconds as the gradient gets steeeper at that point!) followed by 4 x 8 seconds, again all out, with slowly walking back down the hill as the ‘rest’. I usually ‘warm’ up beforehand with 4 x 20 seconds at about 70-80% up the hill, while maintaining proper sprint form.

    I also try 3 x 60 second runs on the flat (slightly uphill) using the 4 minutes slow walk back (which I sometimes stretch to 5 minutes!) to the start as recovery. I suppose this effort would be at 85-90% (feels more like 150% third time round!), would this intensity be better for Tabata intervals?

    GROK ON!

  17. Ryan- I started deadlifts a few weeks ago and my lower back was sore as well. You really need to concentrate on keeping your back arched slightly upward (keep your chin up and shoulders back.) Also, from what I have read online, keep everything tight before you start your lift. Keeping my lower back tight before I begin my lift has worked wonders. Form is everything. In my experience, my soreness went away after about 5 lifts. Also, I tried to lift too much weight my first few sets, so I concentrated on form with smaller weights and that helped as well.
    Eegah!- I think the point is to go all out on the tabata.

  18. I really like this but the following variation would suit me better I think…

    Monday – Lift Heavy Things
    Tuesday – HIIT
    Wednesday – Lift Heavy Things
    Thursday – Sprint
    Friday – Lift Heavy Things
    Saturday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest
    Sunday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest

    Anyone else have their preferred variation?

  19. Here is my workout for the past 3 weeks:
    Monday-Weighted pullups 5×5
    Weighted ring dips 5×5
    Handstand presses 3×8
    Ring pushups 3×10
    Inverted rows 3×8
    (above are done HIITish style)
    Deadlifts 5×5
    Wednesday-Weighted chinups 5×5
    Squats 5×5
    (other exercises the same)
    Friday-Repeat Monday’s workout

    I like to alternate pullups/chinups and squats/deadlifts

    Saturday- tabata sprints

    Three mile walks with wife and kids as much as possible. All workouts take around 20-25 minutes.

  20. That is what I do Nathan, but I’m wondering if Mark’s p[an was more healthily ideal. Any opinions?

  21. I always part far from the door at work. Then I get a morning and afternoon sprint in just doing the car-door run. Most days I run up the stairs inside as well.

    Then Monday is volleyball with friends.

  22. Oh man, I envy you guys that can follow this. It sounds so awesomely perfect.

    I try to stay as primal as possible, but have to compromise due to limiting factors, [being a busy college kid being a major one] and the primal way of working out is one I really wish I could do. Playing rugby on the school team follows a lot of the same principles, but with higher volume: ie, 3 strength sessions, more sprints, more playing obviously, and the killer – more slow jogging or running at times. It’s definitely fun playing a sport, but I love exercising primally when I can in the offseason or during breaks.

  23. I don’t think using Dwayne Chambers as an example of the sprinter’s physique is very helpful given his ban for drug use. Many marathon runners have excellent physiques – one thinks particularly of the Kenyan greats.

    It seems that you are making the error of using the propaganda techniques which you so often accuse others of adopting to make your case. It is not necessary and it undermines a lot of the good sense elsewhere on your site.

  24. Workouts, I have workouts at work every day, try fighting calves on a feeder, for an hour 2 x daily at least I ‘m only bucketing 50 now. Forgot how easy it was to have a pump! Anyway instead of those squats, ballet is good enough sure tightens the rear end and gives nice legs, just wasn’t working on the stomach.
    Being a girl bit worried about this birth control thats putting hormones into me, getting the odd bit of heart pain, have had one leg done for varicose veins and get pains in that too. Is it the hormones (as is illegal to cut off my husbands whatnots)or the diet, anything special I should cut out?
    Ps 1.79cm and about 63kgs

  25. This is great! There may be some adjustments for me with Tuesday & Thursday 2 hour rugby practice and games on Saturday, but I really need the conditioning! Being new to rugby, the practices are kicking my a$$! And I need much more strentgh as well. Seems like the perfect article at teh perfect time~

  26. I’m confused about the difference between HIIT days and how they differ from “lift heavy things” days.

    Is an HIIT day workout anything that is pushed to the extreme? e.g., it could be sprints, or pushups, or lifting weights, etc. ?

    And if an HIIT day can be weights, how is that different than a “lift heavy things” day? Do I just lift lighter or with less intensity on my “lift heavy” days?

    Thanks in advance for helping a newbie get sorted out!

    1. Lifting heavy weights sets off your endocrine system. This can be useful for burning fat but may make you feel lethargic for a few days. HIIT workouts can give you a lot of the benefits of weight training but seem to give you energy + fat loss.

      Example: If I do workout A (below) I am energized and burn x amount of fat. If I do workout B I am lethargic for a few days but burn x+1 amount of fat.

      Workout A
      Sledgehammer (tabata) then,
      20x sledgehammer + 20 KB swings (20 min)

      Workout B
      BB Burpee, Clean, Push Press (20 sec on/2 min rest, 8 rounds) then
      5×5 Deadlift
      5×5 Clean
      5×5 Snatch
      5×5 Bent row
      2 min rest between sets

  27. Also, for an HIIT workout, let’s say I do Tabata intervals w/ pushups. Do I then need to add other exercises w/ Tabata intervals to make it count?

    E.g., does 4 mins of tabata intervals (hard as I can) on pushups mean I’m done? Or for it to count, do I then need to do another 4 mins of tabata intervals on squats, and so forth?

    It seems the key difference between whatever I do on HIIT day and my other days is that the HIIT workout must have a) all-out intensity the whole time, b) little or no rest.

    Can anyone clarify for me, please?

    1. Thanks, Steve. It also seems that a key difference between HIIT and “lift heavy” is the use of actual heavy weights.

      So, while I may be lifting things that are heavy in an HIIT workout (such as my body, a sledgehammer, etc.) it’s different from a “lift heavy” workout because it’s not dedicated to heavy barbell exercises in repeated sets. It’s more about intensity and endurance than lifting very heavy things.

      Is that a good way to think about it?

      Thanks again!

      1. The idea behind HIIT is the 20 to 30 seconds that you go at 100% intensity. I have done both tabata and the “sprint 8” or whatever it is called. You cannot go 100% in rounds 2-8 of tabata but it will still set off HGH. The idea behind sprint 8 is that you recover in between bouts of 100% intensity. In my opinion, as long as you are truly at 100% intensity, the sprint 8 approach is better.

        “Sprint 8” – Sprint, jump rope, cycle, etc – 30 sec 100% rest 2:00

        Here are my top workout picks (in order) for stimulating HGH:
        Deadlift, Clean, Snatch, Bent row – 5×5 max weight
        Bench press, Squat, Lunge, Military press – 5×5 max weight
        Sprint, 30/2:00, 8 rounds
        BB Burpee, Clean, Push Press, 30/2:00, 8 rounds
        Sledge hammer, 30/2:00, 8 rounds
        Heavy bag, 30/2:00, 8 rounds
        Cycle, 30/2:00, 8 rounds
        Jump rope, 30/2:00, 8 rounds

        I am going off of my own estimation of muscle gain and fat loss.

  28. Thanks again for the above help, Steve. Really useful.

    At the risk of sounding like an idiot, what does “BB” mean? (eg, a BB burpee)

    1. Barbell. You’re not an idiot 🙂 I should have written that.

      I do a burpee with my hands on the barbell minus the push up. I then clean and push press 135lbs as many times as possible for 30 seconds. Rest 2:00 and repeat 8 times. One of the best full body workouts.

      This workout is hard to do mentally (at least for me) because people usually don’t like to go to the ground, then get up, then go to the ground… But once you “dive in” it becomes easier.

      1. Awesome, thanks for the explanation. Do you just do one burpee per round, or multiple burpees before you do the clean/press for 30 seconds?

  29. I do a burpee, clean the BB, push press it, then immediately go back down and repeat the entire process. I usually repeat this about 4-6 times per round depending on fatigue. You can go light and do it quickly or go heavy which is what I do. If you go heavy you will get a great core workout.

      1. 30 seconds @100% intensity (strength or speed) and 2:00 off is HIIT.

  30. The yards 200 feet deep…Plenty of room.
    and I have a bench…
    lets see what happens with this addition to my crossfit week….AWAY I LEAP!!

  31. I had a question about this basic schedule and the one in the Primal PDF. Besides the shift in the order (which is no big deal), this schedule has 2 Lifting days and one HIIT. In the PDF, the HIIT is a “move slowly day” and HIIT/WOW are recommended instead of a lifting day. Why the shift in philosophy.

    For what it’s worth, I think the 2 Lifts + 1 HIIT/WOW is more to my liking, and I trend toward this schedule. I was just wondering if there was a reason for the discrepancy.

    1. I have the same question . I also don´t understand why in this article the using of barbells and other means of adding weight are recommended instead of the bodyweight´s workouts performed in the PDF.

  32. Oh this looks great. Its not too complicated but incorporates all the important types of sports. Thanks a lot!

  33. What if I like long cardio work outs? I enjoy going out running for hours at a time, not everyday, but I typically log 40-50 miles a week and I like it. Wouldn’t this theoretically fit with a “primal” lifestyle anyway, with the first form of hunting be persistence hunting?

  34. Does anybody have any experience with Chalene Johnson’s TurboFire HIIT workouts? I just recently discovered PBF. Last time I “sprinted” was about 10 days ago doing some intense dancing. I figured it was time for another sprint, so I popped in the HIIT 15 DVD (since I stopped doing the “chronic” cardio sessions of 45 – 55 min in length). It was super-intense, and I feel great! I am not sure if I’m working too hard… Though the whole thing including warmup and cooldown took 15 minutes. Just a thought and wondering if anyone else has tried this. Thanks!

  35. Hey, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet
    Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, excellent blog!

  36. Can track runners (mid-distance sprinters) train using these guidelines? Specifically 400 m hurdlers? Having gone through four years of high school track, I’m really rethinking my whole concept of working out and being in shape. I want (or at least wanted, I’m still working through what I’m really after at this point) to run track in college because I really do like hurdling, but I don’t know if this will be enough endurance-wise to compete (and complete) a full 400 m race, with hurdles.

  37. quick question, are primal workouts good for bulking up? Im not talking body builder type of a body, just beefing up the muscles i have. add some size. Thanks for the replies in advance!

  38. Hi there!
    Thank you for all this wonderful info! I am excited to get started!
    I am afraid I am still confused as to what the difference is between the sprints and the HIIT workout is. It seems like the same thing (but obviously isn’t since its on 2 different days)
    Will you please help me understand the difference?

  39. Hi,

    I am on your diet now. I love it, and I have lost weight look better by far! It seems as if your diet is a very good one for wieght loss and maintance, well moreso, for it is actually part of a lifetyle.

    I am a MMA/Boxing Athlete. I have an injury, so I am staying away from the guy. But I plan to seturn soon.

    I am worried, becasue boxing and martials arts routines are very challenging to ones endurance, and the can rely on plenty of energy reserves. I am concerned about not having enough reserves or zip to perform when I go rely on producing ATP, etc. Do you have any suggestions?

  40. Man, still confused. Does a HIIT session consist of multiple 4 minute tabatas? If not why not put a tabata in front of whatever other workout your doing, do a few a week?

    1. John, HIIT is what you make it. Here are some suggestions:

      Go Heavy: Clean and jerk a heavy weight for 30 seconds, then rest 2:00. Repeat until you feel “overwhelmed”. (2-8 rounds) Also: Sprinting, heavy sledge hammer, etc.)

      Go Quick: Clean and jerk a light weight for 45 seconds, rest 2:00.

      Tabata is definitely not my preferred method of HIIT but is 8 rounds that last 4 minutes. It is not repeated.

      You could also do a search for “sprint 8”.

  41. I like the concept of caveman exercise, very functionally based. Modifying some of the sessions to suit non-runners is also something to consider.

  42. You might be primal if you consider cooking bacon with your shirt off a HIIT workout!

  43. Thanks I love this plan! Was wondering though – I love dancing and attend classes in Ballet and Contemporary at least 4-5 x a week with 1-2 classes per day, classes running for 1 hour each. I would love to do more weights (only get in 1 30min session atm) and also the sprints and HIIT. If I was to follow this exercise plan as well as do dancing in the evenings, would this be way too much for my body? I dont want to compromise on dance but I want the primal benefits of these exercises too. Any suggestions?

  44. Hello

    Could working out both in the morning and in the afternoon be to much?? for example Streath training for an hour in the morning. After a 8 hour work day, doing rather a hiit or sprints or up hill and stagnet cardio running would be my afternoon workout on that same day. Is this to much?

    Thanks so much guys!!

  45. About how long should the HIIT workout be? All the others give a length suggestion…

  46. With some books inside it, my backpack becomes a customizable kettlebell/torso weight vest thing! No need to buy any equipment!

  47. What do I do if I have injuries? My right side: carpel tunnel in my wrist, lower back pain/sciatica, and my right knee has pain even while walking. But I can do elliptical, hill climbs and weightlifting (I cannot do HIIT i.e.. burpees pushups).