By now you know I have a biased point of view that rigorous endurance training is antithetical to health. Yes, I competed and loved it for 20 years, so I get the appeal it has for so many, but these days my personal focus is on maintaining the highest level of fitness and health on the least amount of work and sacrifice. I want to play and have fun. Still, I get asked a lot by endurance athletes whether there?s any chance they can continue to compete at a high level while eating and training Primally. I used to think it probably wasn?t feasible if you wanted to be world class, assuming as I did (erroneously) that you just couldn?t overcome the need for copious amounts of carbs on a daily basis without crashing and burning. However, recent research into the concept of ?train low-race high? (vis a vis glycogen) and modified approaches to low level aerobic training that focus largely on reprogramming genes to more preferentially burn fat AS WELL AS the use of techniques like HIIT and barefoot training now all seem to show that training and eating Primal could not only maximize performance, but extend your career. If that?s your choice and if you approach it carefully (like Gold and Silver Olympic medalist Simon Whitfield). Since the book came out last June, I have heard from several elite athletes who have not only adopted Primal styles but have improved their performances (and reduced injury, and decreased body fat). Today I thought you might be interested in this ?testimonial? from my good friend Jonas Colting (of last week’s Cocoa and Coconut Snacks), a long-time professional triathlete who has gradually incorporated Primal techniques into his training style.
I’ve been Primal for about two weeks.
In that time, I’ve learned more about how my body works, how ill-informed doctors can be, and how important movement is to health than in all my 38 years combined. This is both mind-blowing and humbling for me.
I’ve always lived in my head. I never had much use for my body, because I was a chubby kid and I became a more-than-chubby adult. I ignored warnings about high-sugar food, went on every diet known to man at the time (from the 600-calorie-per-day no-fat diet to Weight Watchers to the Water Diet, where you ate… wait for it… water and nothing but), you name it, I’ve probably tried it. Exercise hurt and made me sweaty, which meant I had to shower, which meant getting undressed and looking at my body, which I didn’t like doing. It was just easier not to exercise. I hid in books and, later, computers and the Internet. By trade, I’m working on being a sociologist and a statistician – lots of head-work, but not much field-work. (I used to say that that was the advantage of sociology over anthropology: you don’t have to go out into the fields to do your field-work.)
The following real life story is from MDA reader, Tallguy. He has graciously submitted his tale of going Primal and in doing so is participating in this season’s Tell Your Story contest. If you’d like to share your story (and photos) with fellow MDA readers submit your own personal story by August 28 for a chance to win a pair of Vibram FiveFingers and a Grok t-shirt. Grok on!
Getting diagnosed with Parkinson’s wasn’t the ideal way to celebrate my 31st birthday, but then again I didn’t really have any choice in the matter. Over the next 9 years I was a good boy and took the pills and potions the doctors prescribed for me, they don’t cure, they just mask the slow deterioration of a once active body. You name a sport and I played it – in retrospect I had probably worn my body out in the first 31 years on our planet!! Whether it be catching, throwing, running, chasing or skiing I was always on the move.
Thanks to active forum member and fellow Primal Blueprinter, DiabetesCanKissMyButt. Let it be an inspiration to anyone who is living a similar story.
Follow DiabetesCanKissMyButt as she journals her Primal progress in the forum boards.
I used to be a long distance runner and a vegetarian. I was the epitome of health, or so I thought. I even hired a nutritionist to help me with eating during marathon training. She had me eating mostly “good carbs” which was whole wheat everything with some vegetables and protein thrown in for good measure. My protein intake at the time was less than 50 grams a day. Fat, you ask? No way. My fat intake was negligible. That coupled with Gu, Gatorade, Cytomax, and carbo loading for energy and recovery was a sure way to go into sugar overload- which is exactly what I did. I had no clue about the dangers of low protein and fat for endurance events. I was following the advice given to me by my educated running peers, my nutritionist, and my doctor.
For anyone that is now familiar with The Primal Blueprint, you’ll recognize both of the characters to the right. It’s our lovable Primal role model, Grok, and his modern antithesis – your average overweight and over-stressed American – Mr. Korg. (A quick aside: When I read “Grok” I hear it said in my head like “Grok On!!!” But, for some odd reason, when I read “Mr. Korg” I hear it said in the voice of Eeyore.)
In short, my goal with this site and the PB is to help people go from looking and feeling like Korg to looking and feeling like Grok. This is why I am always so thrilled to hear success stories: triumphant tales of people taking control of their health and lives.
I recently received a success story from reader Sterling. It’s the sort of response to the Primal Blueprint that makes all the effort worth it.
Check out the before and after pics and read Sterling’s personal account of transformation below.