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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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February 06 2018

Primal Challenge: Forget the “Best” Workouts

By Mark Sisson
5 Comments

Inline_Fitness_Live-Awesome-645x445-02It’s one of the biggest mistakes people who are looking to reboot their health make—and one of the most common reasons so many are already dropping their New Year fitness goals. Anyone seeing the gyms clearing out yet? The optimist in me wishes they’ve simply found other pursuits outside the gym that interest them more—at home or in leagues or other venues. Experience, however, suggests differently.

“Pursue the challenges that turn you on instead of worrying about what the magazines say is the ‘best’ workout, or the marketing hype that glorifies extreme events.”  — The New Primal Blueprint, pg. 316

For more on finding your own fitness passions and creating an active lifestyle that fits your life, check out some of my past posts on the subject:

“How to Personalize Primal Blueprint Fitness”

“What Is Your Inner Athlete?”

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5 thoughts on “Primal Challenge: Forget the “Best” Workouts”

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  1. Great topic of discussion. It is so important to find the physical activities that we not only enjoy but that are also sustainable over many years. I used to be terribly dogmatic with my workouts and it took years to finally get over this. I’ve done ultra-marathoning, CrossFit and other overly structured plans that I followed religiously, often to the demise of my own health. Now I truly follow the Primal blueprint approach to activity–I move a lot at a slow pace, I lift heavy things 2-3 days a week, I sprint once in a while (about once a week), and I play (with my kids and in a pickup basketball league once a week). There is no more ultra-marathoning these days, just my Saturday morning 4-5 mile easy trail run with a group of 8-10 guys that is more of a social thing and builds friendships. I feel like I have much more balance and use my own instinct and intuition to guide my activity. For example, on a day where I am “supposed” to lift weights or sprint but maybe I had an overly stressful day or didn’t sleep well, I am fine postponing the workout for another day and work on relaxing, going to bed early or whatever. The old version of me would have just pushed through the workout regardless of how stressed I was all for the sake of structure and being overly regimented. It’s nice to be finally free of that perceived dogma!

  2. Throughly enjoy this quick post.
    I have been a gym rat for years but also have the banged up shoulder, back, and hip to go with it. They are all manageable.

    Long story short finding the Primal Blueprint allowed me to find in myself that my body does not like to lift heavy anymore. Nor do I care if I can grace the cover of Men’s Health (although I still have sub 10% BF)!

    Now a days I hike as often as I can, I do a ton of mobility work and fascial stretching, I do Pilates almost weekly, indoor climb, and hit the weights when its the right call. I would argue I am in better shape now that I do not have to go to the gym everyday and instead just move a lot!

    Thank you Mark for giving me the kickstart to look outside of the gym!

  3. I don’t have an inner athlete. Anything that includes reps is a turn-off for me. I did the gym gig off and on for years. Usually a 6-month stint was all I could manage before becoming tired of it and dropping out. These days I just walk at a pretty good clip as often as I can. It requires no membership, no special gear other than a pair of comfortable shoes, and can be done almost anywhere by almost anyone. Walking often gets pooh-poohed by the gym rats, but it’s actually incredibly good exercise with very little chance of injury.

  4. This is so on point with where I am at. I am passionate about what I enjoy doing for a workout. I love working out without stress. So I plan accordingly, and choose what I feel like for a particular day. Surfing, yoga or whatever I am feeling…

  5. My two cents here: I have noticed in the gym at work for two years that there was no crowd in January as usual. I am convinced that the cell phone usage is the main suspect. Why you you go to the gym when you can be staring at your phone anywhere?
    And at any time in the gym if you see six people there, four will be staring at their phones