Meet Mark

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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Tag: mobility

Why Grip Strength Matters—and 10 Ways to Build It

The scientific literature is awash in correlations between a person’s health status and various biomarkers, personal characteristics, and measurements. As we hoard more and more data and develop increasingly sophisticated autonomous tools to analyze it, we’ll stumble across new connections between seemingly disparate variables. Some will be spurious, where the correlations are real but the variables don’t affect each other. Others will be useful, where the correlations indicate real causality, or at least a real relationship.

One of my favorite health markers—one that is both modifiable and a good barometer for the conditions it appears to predict—is grip strength.

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Why an “Ab Routine” Isn’t Necessary (and What I Do Instead)

One of the first things people do when they start working out is focus on their abs—crunches, sit-ups, leg lifts, bicycles, and the like. I mean, who doesn’t want a six-pack? Entire fitness schools have sprung up around the idea of targeting your abs with direct work. Take Pilates. In its purest iterations, it’s considered a “total body” philosophy, but the way most classes seem to go you end up spending all your time doing a bunch of complicated crunches and other targeted ab work (and grimacing every time you cough for the next week).

Let me make a radical proposal here. All this ab work isn’t necessary.

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Healing Plantar Fasciitis: Best Shoe Choices

Good morning, folks. My friend and frequent co-author, Brad Kearns, is stopping by the blog today with a follow-up post to his recent article here, How to Cure Plantar Fasciitis. You can catch Brad on the Primal Endurance Podcast, his weekly keto show on the Primal Blueprint Podcast, and on his new personal podcast venture called Get Over Yourself. If you haven’t checked it out, I’d recommend it. I stopped by a while back for a two-hour show Brad ended up calling “The Ultimate Mark Sisson Interview.” Thanks to Brad for sharing his experience with plantar fasciitis in today’s post and accompanying video. Enjoy!

Since you’ve worked so hard to heal your chronic pain by making longer, stronger, more supple muscles and connective tissue, let’s make sure you never again regress into plantar fasciitis hell! Today I’ll detail how to transition gradually and sensibly toward a more barefoot/minimalist lifestyle—and what types of shoes will interference the least in that process (when you have to wear them).

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Mid-60s Check-in: 5 Ways My Workout Has Changed

I’m 65, and though I’ve been able to stave off the worst of what normally passes for the “aging process”—as can almost anyone by paying attention to how you eat, sleep, train, move, and live—the fact remains that I’m not training like I used to.

It’s not so much that I’m “losing” a step, although it happens to the best of us. It’s that I’ve totally transcended the need or desire to train hard for the sake of training hard. There are no more competitions. My ego is content on the training front. I’m not wrapped up in pounds lifted or miles run.

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How To Cure Plantar Fasciitis

As many of you know, Brad is my longtime writing partner, host of the Primal Endurance podcast and host of the weekly keto show on the Primal Blueprint podcast. (He’s just started his own podcast recently called Get Over Yourself. You can check it out and even listen to an edition he’s called “The Ultimate Mark Sisson Interview.”) Our relationship goes back 30 years to when I was Brad’s coach during his career on the professional triathlon circuit. The start of Brad’s chronic plantar fasciitis ordeal dates back nearly that long, until he was completely cured in a matter of weeks back in 2011. Hence, the subject of today’s post! If you are a sufferer, pay close attention because we dove deep into this topic and are giving you the tools to never suffer again.

Indeed, as Brad will detail shortly, miracle cures are possible, even for extreme sufferers. About three years ago, Brad was over at my place on a Monday and noticed me spending a lot of time rubbing and stretching my chronically tight Achilles tendon; it had taken its weekly beating the previous day at Ultimate Frisbee. I tried the prolonged stretches he details in the article and experienced immediate relief. (Around the same time, I also started to experiment with the early supplemental collagen products on the market, which also helped my foot issues and other joint aches and pains clear up.). 

Enjoy today’s article, and let us know your thoughts on this treatment protocol. 

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How to Deadlift

Despite its common association with hardcore bodybuilding, the deadlift is a genuine full-body exercise that (done correctly) can support even a beginning strength training program. Lifting, as many of you know, is one of The Primal Essential Movements. Ideally, lifting heavy things should mimic the activities of everyday life and build the strength necessary to make these activities easier for us—throughout our lifespan. Deadlifts do just this. They’re one of the big, compound lifts that trigger the hormonal response systems and build functional strength that make carrying bags of groceries (or the occasional kid) less strenuous—and safer. It’s the kind of strength our ancestors enjoyed, whether they were building shelter on the savannah or working farmland.

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Dear Mark: PUFA/SFA Swap, Ticks and Meat Allergy, HIIT for Older Men

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m doing three quick topics. First, what are we to make of the studies in which replacing saturated fat and trans-fat with omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fat seems to reduce heart disease? Second, although red meat is nutrient dense and generally a more interesting option than plain chicken breast, some people have legit red meat allergies (tick-induced or otherwise). What do I think about that and the tick situation in general? And third, is HIIT an effective (and safe) option for middle-aged men?

Let’s go:

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A Power Yoga Flow to Improve Functional Strength

Today’s post is offered up by the good folks at PaleoHacks.com. I’ve always been a fan of at-home, bodyweight workouts, as many of you know, and this routine is worth adding to the rotation. Enjoy, everyone.

A Power Yoga Flow is just what you need to improve your functional strength, mobility and stability. But you may be wondering: ”What is functional strength?”

Functional strength is just what it sounds like—the strength to function in your daily life. Many of the movements you do regularly require lifting, bending, stepping, squatting, twisting, muscular endurance and more. A lack of functional strength makes life more difficult. You may get fatigued or winded simply by doing everyday tasks. By following a functional strength and mobility sequence like this Power Yoga Flow just a few times per week, you can increase your functional strength.

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What Can Heat Do For Your Health?

A few months ago, I explored the benefits and applications of cold therapy. Today, I’m going to talk about the benefits and applications of heat therapy—one of the most ubiquitous and ancestral therapies in the history of humankind. You name a culture and—as long as they didn’t live in perpetual tropical heat—they probably had some form of heat therapy. Native Americans had the sweat lodge, those of Central America the temazcal. The Romans had the thermae, which they picked up and refined from the Greeks. Other famous traditions include Finnish saunas, Russian banyas, Turkish hammams, Japanese sentó (or the natural spring-fed onsen), and the Korean jjimjilbang. People really like the heat.

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My Supplement Routine: What I Take, When I Take It, and Why

Back in June during the 21-Day Challenge, I asked you to share questions you had about my personal health routine, and I’m looking forward to answering those in the coming months. We talk a lot about generalities here, and for good reason. Research can and should drive principle, but oftentimes while we wait around for it (or have questions about the overall validity of what’s out there), n=1 self-experimentation can tell us a lot.

Over the years, I’ve gathered ideas for that experimentation by reading the studies and listening to others talk about the choices they make. All of it together has—and continues to—inform the routine I follow to live the life I want. Among the many questions you sent were inquiries about my supplement regimen. Today I’m sharing what I take, when I take it, and why.

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