The Annual Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge Begins Next Week! (and Here’s How to Prepare)

coming soonIn past years, I’ve waited until the start of the 21-Day Primal Blueprint Challenge to spring it on you. But this year’s different. My team and I have HUGE plans for this year’s Challenge (Jan. 12-Feb. 1) — so huge that I’m giving you a full week to prepare to ensure you can hit the ground running and keep up with everything we have in store for you. Furthermore, we’re introducing a new tool to make your Challenge experience more rewarding. And more social. It’s an app, available for your desktop computer or Apple iOS device, that lets you connect with other Challenge participants, track your progress, and keep yourself motivated. So what do you say? Are you ready to start preparing?

But how? It’s easy.

1. Get the App

21day-appTo enrich your experience, we’ve teamed up with Vimify to create a Primal Blueprint 21-Day Transformation Challenge accessible from your desktop computer or iOS-compatible device (iPhone or iPad).

First things first: get the Vimify app and join the 21-Day Challenge. Seriously, go download the app — either to your computer or iPhone/iPad — and sign up right now. It’s free, it takes just a couple minutes, and it will enrich your experience in the weeks to come. (Note: When signing up, make sure you’ve entered your email address correctly and that your password is at least 8 characters long.)

From there, you’ll have a series of Prep Tasks to complete before the Challenge starts on January 12, including:

  • Purge your pantry of all non-Primal foods and restock it with Primal fare. Doing this now allows you to jump headfirst into the Challenge when it begins.
  • Do a Primal Essential Movement assessment. Determine your level of physical fitness so you know what you’re working with and can plan fitness goals accordingly.
  • Invite friends to join you in the Challenge. The strength of this app lies in the community you build, the accountability it promotes, and the healthy competition it provides. You need people to get those benefits.

You can also review the Primal Blueprint Guides to the aspects of Primal living that are especially important to success this Challenge, like the 10 Laws, Shopping Guide, Primal Essential Meals, and the Carb Curve.

After that, it’s a waiting game. Once the Challenge begins, the daily tasks will be linked to the daily challenges, contests, and content posted right here on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Important note: If you want to participate in the app challenge you have to sign up by January 12. There is no joining mid-Challenge. We will be making the app challenge available later this year and on a regular, revolving basis, but there will be a fee associated with future app challenges. Long story short, get in soon!

2. Choose One of the Three 21-Day Transformation Packages

21-Day-Digital-Package2The app is free for everyone. The Challenge is free for everyone. But for those that want to get the most out of the Challenge or could use a little extra guidance, I’ve put together three product packages:

For the Digital Package, you’ll get immediate access to digital versions of the 21-Day Total Body Transformation (the official book of the Challenge), plus an audiobook of the 21-Day Total Body Transformation as well. You’ll also get digital versions of Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals, the Primal Blueprint Poster (a graphic guide to the lifestyle), the Primal Blueprint Shopping List (a complete list of all Primal-approved foods), and an in-depth 90-minute video of me covering all the major elements of the Primal Blueprint lifestyle. You’ll also receive daily email encouragement for the duration of the Challenge, plus access to the app.

The Fuel Package includes all of the above, plus physical versions of the book, the cookbook, the poster, and the shopping list shipped directly to your door. PLUS you’ll receive a bag of Primal Fuel, a Primal Fuel recipe book, and a Primal Fuel blender bottle from which to guzzle all your delicious Fuel creations. It’s the best value of all.

The Essentials Package has everything from the Fuel Package PLUS bottles of Vital Omegas (my high-quality omega-3 fish oil), Primal Calm (my herbal stress-fighting blend), and Vitamin D (because sun is scarce this time of year).

If you have been wondering how the supplements fit into the lifestyle, this is the perfect opportunity to give them a try and see how they work for you. Order today to ensure your package arrives by the time the Challenge begins on the 12th.

Note: The app and the products aren’t necessary to participate in the Mark’s Daily Apple 21-Day Challenge (everyone’s welcome!), but they’ll definitely make your life easier and give you a better shot at success.

3. Get Started on the 2015 Primal Blueprint Recipe Video Contest

Per annual tradition, once again it’s time to make some delicious Primal dishes.

The Prize:

US Wellness has long been a favorite meat spot for MDA readers. A few years ago they donated pemmican and the popular 5 gallon bucket of fat. The last several years they’ve gone whole hog. And by hog, I mean cow. And they’re doing it again this year. US Wellness has generously offered up a cow to the winners of this contest.

For those of you with raised eyebrow, they won’t actually be delivering a mooing, cud chewing, udder dangling live cow to your doorstep. But you will receive the delicious meat that once was that cow. And I’m not just talking about a bucket of chuck. The winners will receive sirloin, brisket, short ribs, back ribs, rib-eye steaks, T-bone steaks, NY strip steaks, Delmonico steaks, filets, bottom round roasts, center cut roasts, chuck, tongue, liver, heart, kidney, beef tallow, marrow bones, beef stock, and an oxtail. Heart and tongue not your thing? No worries. This year’s winners will get to choose exactly what they want as they’ll be receiving $1500 worth of US Wellness gift certificates they can use to order hundreds of pounds of their preferred bovine cuts – all grass fed, grass finished. Check out this Grass Fed Goodness video where you can watch your prize/meal grazing around in sweet Missouri pastures.

But winning won’t be easy. It’ll take work. And Primal food…

The Contest:

Create and upload a Primal recipe video to YouTube. Have you mastered the omelet? Are you an organ meat fiend? Maybe your salad is so mean, it can win a chili cookoff. If so, let the world in on your secrets. Grab your video recorder, and show us how to make something Primal. There aren’t really restrictions on how you do it. The only requirement is that your video relates in some way to the Primal Blueprint eating plan. Show the world (how to prepare) your best Primal dish and you could be the winner of a whole bunch of meat. For ideas on what you can do, check out these playlists for recipe videos from 2012 and 2013.

Primal Blueprint Recipe Videos from 2012

Primal Blueprint Recipe Videos from 2013

The Contest Details:

On YouTube, please title the video “Primal Blueprint Recipe:” followed by your own sub-title.

Upload your video to YouTube and then email me the link. Include the words “Recipe Video Submission” in the subject line of your email. Otherwise, there’s a good chance I may completely miss your submission.

The Deadline: Sunday, January 25, midnight PST.

Who is Eligible:

This one is global, but keep in mind that the US Wellness gift certificates are not available to residents outside the U.S. In the event of a non-U.S. team winning, a prize of equal value will be given as substitute.

How A Winner Will Be Decided:

Video submissions will be posted toward the end of the Challenge. The Worker Bees and I will choose a list of finalists to be voted on by readers.

Fine Print:

  • MDA reserves the right to publish and/or edit any videos submitted.
  • We ask that any videos submitted to this contest remain live on YouTube after the challenge for future visitors to Mark’s Daily Apple to enjoy.

4. Tell Your Friends

As I said earlier, the more people we have participating, the more accountability we’ll all have and the better your individual results will be.

I’m really excited about this year’s 21-Day Challenge, and I hope you are, too. See you all on January 12!

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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60 thoughts on “The Annual Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge Begins Next Week! (and Here’s How to Prepare)”

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  1. Since i only have an android, i joined up online. I think it be fun to do the recipe challenge. Now to think what would be good to make…

  2. Excited to refocus my efforts and get back to the primal basics! Even as a Primal Blueprint Certified expert at some point we all need to refocus our lens on life and get back to our roots. Can’t wait to join and encourage everyone on this challenge! I’ll be documenting my progress on my site as well as on social media. Great way to stay accountable. Grok on my friends!

    “The road to success is always under construction”

  3. Anyone else having trouble with the desktop signup? I fill out the form but when I click “sign up” nothing happens. Perhaps I’ll try a different browser.

    1. I figured it out. My password wasn’t long enough. I’m ready to go now. By the way, I doubt the signup will be my biggest obstacle to success.

  4. I’ve been waiting for this! Can’t wait to start the new year off right!!

  5. lol – in Groks day pieces of silicate would be used as the basis to make tools to survive day to day.

    Now that same silicate is used to make integrated circuits that run the computers with primal blueprint tools to survive day to day.

    you have to appreciate the irony…

  6. This is AWESOME! I’m super excited about the addition of the app, too. We’ve never had that as part of the challenge before.

    I’m ready to go! 😀

  7. YAYAYAYYAYAY!!! I (almost) don’t want to wait till next week!

  8. My android (tablet and phone) is feeling left out here. Looking forward to the challenge though.

  9. If you’re an Android user, you can access a mobile version of Vimify on Dolphin Browser. I’m sure the Chrome browser would work just as well. Works for me. 🙂

  10. I’m having trouble with the vimify app on my iPad mini…it keeps cutting out and/or just showing the loading sign but not doing anything. I managed to sign up and answer a few things but it now won’t load, help!

    1. Same thing on my iPad Air, app will not open, just get the twirly thing. Could become an issue as I have started getting “follower” emails, and I want to get in there to opt out of beong followed.

  11. Just completed the 21 day challenge the day before Christmas… 4kg down and feeling strong. Time to hit it again and harder now that I know what my problem areas are already.
    Bring it on.

  12. I have been having issues being primal for the past few years. I have decided after my vacation back to see my family that I would be going back to being fully primal and improving my health on January 11th (when I get back home). I became engaged just 4 days ago (in the first minute of the new year).

    She is a big motivator in me improving myself and getting healthy. I have more reason than I ever have had to be successful. I’m also working to wrangle one of my friends who wants to lose weight to do the challenge with me! Will see how it goes! A bit of competition will help me keep to it early on (which for me is the hardest time to stick to it)

  13. I purchased the 21 Day Transformation book when it was first published. Is the book mentioned here the same or has it been updated/2nd edition?


  14. just to clarify: I downloaded the app and clicked on “join the challenge” on the app. I don’t have to do anything more on the laptop, right?

  15. I would love to get involved with this challenge but im still recovering from major surgery which involved a full depth skin graft covering much of my left forearm. It was 8 weeks ago but im still working on strength and mobility (plus it’s still dressed full time). I havent gotten involved in a chsllenge like this before (although been mostly primal most of the last few years), others who have – do you think I’d be ok to join in now?

    1. I think that you should always check with your doctor rather than anyone on here. Surgery is far more serious than a somewhat arbitrary start date of Jan 12th, relatively speaking. I’m sure your surgeon could tell you what you can or should not do during recovery. Good luck.

    2. Maybe focus less on physical goals, and more on well-being goals of eating well and resting. You’ve got a whole other time table for the physical recovery.

  16. Is the lack of availability of Primal products available for Android, due to the fact that the version names are sugar based snacks?

  17. Funny you would think the free app would be on android. Hope I can find an old laptop. This should work well with my new primal cycling coach and #trainingpeaks for android training plan.

  18. I have an Android phone too & my iPad is too old to support the app, but I’m in via desktop. Just as with my strength goals, I’m learning to limp along with what I’ve got!

  19. January 12 is a good time to start this — just in time to catch all the failed resolutionaries. I signed up for the laptop app. My pantry is almost already primalized; the real trick is going to be avoiding buying goodies in the store.
    I’m doing this for the fitness. My weight is good, but I’m so weak and stiff!

  20. This might be a dumb question but… Is it safe to have a general protein shake during the 21 day challenge after weight training? I mix it in water, total carbs is 5 grams or so per serving.


  21. I just discovered you a few days ago even though I’ve known about primal/paleo for years. I am so excited as I’ve been devouring the book and all your freebies and informTion. Everything makes so much sense. This is a lifestyle that I can really do. I will be 51 this month. My body feels 71 but my mind feels 21. I want to feel and be a confident, gracious, strong and vibrant 51 year old. Let’s do this!!

  22. looks like a great opportunity for people to jump-start a healthy diet. Many people need is especially people i know.

  23. I am looking forward. Getting my husband to join me. He needs to loose some weight and although I eat clean I want to take it one step further and go Paleo.

  24. Excited to join. Worked on my laptop but the iPhone app keeps crashing when I try to use it. At different fields each time.

  25. Any one else having problems with the vimify app? It works initially but then when you try to open it again nothing happens. I have uninstalled the app and reinstalled it and then it works but if you shut down the app and then try to start it again it won’t work.
    Wondering if it’s just me ????

    1. It won’t open for me either, just the twirly thing. I’m using an iPhone 4s.

      1. Yup same thing, I have a 5s and my iPad. Does the same thing on both.

        1. Yep, I am having the same issues. I uninstalled and reinstalled again, still not working. I have an iPhone 5.

        2. Since I was having problems on the app, I emailed vimify. From Marco at vimify:

          “If you go to your settings, and enable notifications for Vimify that should do it. a We’ll fix this in the next version. Let me know if you run into any more issues.”

    2. I think I got it installed on my Macbook Air, but husband having trouble with his iPad. He is still trying. I was hoping to find solution here in the comment section. 🙂

  26. I’m having the same issues with the Vimify app. I signed up okay and now, upon launching the app, it just hangs on the load screen. The mobile browser doesn’t work either. Is this a new app?

  27. This app works fine on GS 5 android mobile systems. I would recommend at least trying it if you don’t have apple products or convenient laptop/desktop access. It worked fine for me.

  28. The primal essential movement assessment explanation within the challenge on the vimify app seems lacking regarding which exercise one should start with based on their max reps. I’ve done it before through the primal blueprint fitness ebook (which has a good, clear explanation), so I’d recommend people check out the ebook if they were also finding that prep task to be confusing. MDA, you guys might want to consider adding a bit more detail to that task within the app. Just a suggestion!

  29. For those of you doing the phone app, is there a way to search for people? My husband and I would like to follow each other, but can’t find each other! Thanks!

    1. I couldn’t find a search feature, but you could have him answer a daily question and look immediately on the feed (lower left button) for his post to pop up on your app. Then you can click his name and click follow. Hope this helps!

  30. Hi. Im looking forward to the 21-day challenge. My question is about exercise: Instead of having one or two days a week where I squat, pull, push and plank, can I divide it up and do one or two exercise per day, in addition to any other low-level cardio I would be doing that day?

  31. Refreshing myself and my goals.

    As a competitive powerlifter, it can be easy to bend to temptation for food that doesn’t fit the Primal way – additional mass and girth while training can be useful!

    But, if I do this properly, I might even be able to drop a weight class.