WOW: Bringing Home the Kill

1 Mile Carry (1/4 of your bodyweight)

Variations on this WOW are encouraged. See the “How-to” and “Variations” sections below.


Warmup: A couple rotations of the Grok Squat and Grok Hang.

Time to complete: Approx. 20 minutes

Grok regularly carried heavy objects over long distances. Whether moving camp, carrying baby Grok to and fro all day long or bringing home the kill, carrying was a part of Grok’s life. And it should be part of yours, too.

Grab a heavy object (kettlebell, heavy rock, water jug, barbell, dumbbell, sandbag, loaded backpack, weight vest, etc.) that amounts to a quarter of your bodyweight and carry it 1 mile. That’s 40 lbs for an individual that weighs 160.

I recommend changing your carrying method over the course of your trek. Put the weight on one shoulder, then the other. Carry it in one hand, then the other. Place it across your arms or bear hug the weight. Drop it in a backpack or tie the weight up in a towel and throw it over your shoulder. Do whatever it takes to get your “kill” from point A to point B. There are no time limits and faster isn’t necessarily better. Take breaks as you need them, but try to keep moving and from placing your weight on the ground. Once you reach the 1 mile mark you’ve successfully brought home the kill.

Give this WOW a try and report back in this comment board with your experience.


While you can “just” walk and carry the weight, I do recommend throwing some natural movement patterns into this WOW. Grok’s environment wasn’t always perfectly flat and smooth like the paved streets and sidewalks of suburbs and cities across the modern world. Venture out onto a trail where the terrain and grade is less certain. Alternatively, find a long flight of stairs or a tall hill and work it into your mile trek. Also, spontaneously perform a few lunges or side steps, make use of the sidewalk step, walk in a crouching position, or vary your pace. The idea here is to add a fractal quality to an otherwise low, slow and steady workout.

To decrease the difficulty:

  • Decrease the distance.
  • Use a lighter weight. Shoot for a lower bodyweight percentage (e.g. 10 or 15%).
  • Go low, slow and flat.

To increase the difficulty:

  • Increase the distance (e.g. 2 or 3 miles or more).
  • Use a heavier weight. Shoot for a higher bodyweight percentage (e.g. 50 or 100%).
  • Vary your pace, get spontaneous with your movement patterns, trek on uneven ground, and work in some stair/hill climbs.

Do it indoors:

  • A 1 mile walk takes about 20 minutes. Do this WOW indoors by moving about your house for that duration of time. Keep things interesting by working in some spontaneous natural movement patterns (see above).

This WOW can be done by anyone that can walk and carry an object. It can be done indoors and outdoors, and the only equipment needed is some kind of weight. Attempt the WOW as prescribed or adjust it to suit your fitness level.

What are WOWs?

  • Workouts of the Week (WOWs) are an optional component of Primal Blueprint Fitness that add a fractal and often fun and playful quality to the basic PBF protocol.
  • In most cases WOWs should only be completed by those that have mastered Level 4 of each Lift Heavy Things Essential Movement. Also, it’s recommended that WOWsreplace one or both Lift Heavy Things workouts or the Sprint workout (depending on the WOW) each week instead of being done in addition to the Lift Heavy Things and Sprint workouts.
  • Learn more about WOWs and Primal Blueprint Fitness by getting the free eBook. And access all Workouts of the Week in the WOW Archive.

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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37 thoughts on “WOW: Bringing Home the Kill”

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  1. hee hee, I already did this accidentally over the weekend. I rode my bike to my storage unit to put it away for winter (about 2 1/2 miles away). Then I went & got some dog food (frozen raw, of course) & walked home with about 15lbs on my back. I tried to set a 4mph pace & even did over a mile barefoot. That was my mistake – I haven’t toughened my soles enough & got a couple blisters. live & learn…

  2. This sounds awesome, may be one of the last nice weather weeks up north here to do this outside and barefoot. look forward to this tonight or tomorrow.

    1. I also did this WOW on accident over the weekend. Wife had the car and i ran out of propane while grilling. I carried the empty propane (20#) to the store and the full one (40#) back. Nearly 2 miles round trip.

  3. While there’s zero chance for me to try this right now, it sounds like a great workout! I’ll save this for next spring. 😀

  4. anyone any comments on this:

    Stone Age flour found across Europe

    Once thought of as near total carnivores, early humans ate ground flour 20,000 years before the dawn of agriculture. Flour residues recovered from 30,000-year-old grinding stones found in Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic point to widespread processing and consumption of plant grain, according to a paper published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1.

    1. It says the ground-up material was from the roots of cattail, and some part of ferns. “Roots” is not grain, it’s tubers. We eat the tender shoots of ferns, again, not grain, but I can’t see grinding green shoots anyway. Maybe the underground rhizomes of ferns are starchy? Would it be worthwhile to find fern leaves with ripe spores and grind those, which I suppose would technically be grain? I can’t see getting many calories from fern spores, especially if you have to grind them.

  5. I did this yesterday walking 1100 massive steps up and 1100 down koko crater with a 20# back pack on. I had to walk half mile downhill to the start of the stairs and then half a mile back up after mission completion. THEN walked accross to hanauma bay- another long and steep descent- and after a 20 minute swim without my kill- walked back up the steep hill. Plus a bunch of walking- over a mile- to and from bus stops. I think i’ll do it again next weekend 🙂

  6. How about carrying a 45 lb 5 year old on your shoulders for a mile! That’ll be a tough one!

    My son is going to love this WOW! He just loves any chance to make his old dad suffer!

  7. I do this at leat once a week! We have beautiful all terrain trails here in Maple Ridge, shove some weight in a back pack and off I go with Fred (my pup)

  8. Did this today. It was fun. In hindsight I should have moved farther or used heavier weight. Still fun though!

  9. Sometimes I load 40 lbs into a backpack and run my errands on foot. Great workout but the two 20 lb clubbells sticking out garner some weird looks…

  10. was feeling bad about not doing my scheduled workout for the day until I saw this. Killed a deer this morning with my bow, and had to drag it out of the woods. Was actually quiet a workout. Plus some good organic meat too.

  11. How about the variation where you actually hunt down and kill a large animal and then carry it home to eat?

  12. I accidentally did this on Saturday!! I carried a cast-iron dutch oven and griddle pan at least two miles home from the store. I’m a petite person, so it felt a little nuts! Hmm … wonder what percentage of my body-weight the cookware equals.

  13. I’m totally carrying my 40lb backpack everywhere but my back tomorrow at school! All that walking has to be WELL over a mile…

  14. I have about a half mile walk back from the grocery store. I load up the basket as heavy as I can and carry the goods in a cloth bag slung over my shoulder, onto my back, to get it home. I switch the bag to the other side half way home.

    Now I need to add some variety to my walk and carry it up and down the stairs for another 10 minutes after I get home.

    Soon I will be known as the crazy old lady in town.

  15. Hey Mark, I just read that article saying that a study showed starch grains to be found on a grinding stone from people that lived 30000 years ago. My first response was that we don’t know how often it was eaten, when it was eaten, and what kind of starch it was exactly. I know we shouldn’t totally fear the potato, except that it’s a dense carb. Any other thoughts? Thanks again for all the great info.

    1. I read the same article. First off, roots/tubers/starches do not = grains. The article I read made no mention of actual grains. We also do produce amylase which suggests we have evolved to eat starches (think starchy veg/roots/tubers again). BUT, grains are a whole different topic–with all sorts of antinutrients, phytates, lectins etc that makes eating them a much more difficult and toxic affair for humans.

      Also, 30,000 is not that long. Most paleo/primal folks are emulating a diet similar to what was eating at least 100,000 years ago.

      HTH! 🙂

  16. What I love is that my 3yo is just about 1/4 of my body weight. This is perfect for us when he gets tired while we’re on a walk (I’ll throw him in the ergo backpack and just go!)

  17. This is perfect for me since I toned down my training. I find it a great filler between harder workouts. By harder I still don’t mean as hard as I was training before. I’m really enjoying just “staying fit.”

  18. This was great, I took my 65lb sandbag out. I devised a route that would simulate bringing my kill home from the hunt. I alternated arms, shoulders and dragging. The terrain was part wooded (tall, sharp, needled grass, trees) and part construction/quarry. lots of rock piles, cliffs and rough terrain. It was also late at night, again simulating bringing the kill home finally after tracking it all day. So not seeing hazards made this a very fun workout. On the open fielded area i acted like i was being chased by other prey for my kill. Stumbled and fell many times, scratched and bruised and loving it.

  19. I’ve done this one as well before and it’s a great workout! I did it in the parking lot of my CrossFit box after a WOD and I did 1/2 my body weight (90#). I ran the mile in 9:17. Not bad considering there’s 8 hills to climb and it was post-WOD (after hunt/kill). Was thinking of GROCK the whole time…

    Guess I’ll have to do this one again; Keep the fun coming, Mark!!

  20. Carried my 45 lb (I weight 190) 5 year-old half way on my shoulders carried him in my arms half way.

    Time 22:13.

    This was a little harder, especially at the end, then I thought, but my son and I had a great time doing it. It kind of felt like play!

    Thanks Mark, it was a great WOW!

  21. I have an old backpack that I “retired” from my regular backpacking, so I tossed in a 25 lb and 2 – 10 lb dumbells. Total weight was about 47# with the pack. “Back in the day” before I was an experienced backpacker our packs would routinely weight 45# but these days its rare to go over 30#. Going back up to this kind of weight brought back some not so fond memories!

    Getting the weight situated took a couple tries but then I was off. The route I took included a small hill, up going out, down coming back. First 1/4 was a no brainer “this is easy”, my brain said, but my legs (who apparently have a longer memory said, “just wait (weight?)”. Another 1.4 mile down and I was feeling it.

    I had a good strong tune in the earbuds to help power me and I had the trip back in good order. Felt it mostly in the tops of my thighs.

    Good times!

  22. On my vest(50#) walk I decided to bring home a piece of beaver felled tree(100#)
    150# @165 for about one KM.

  23. What a great workout! We have the perfect weights to do this with at home, a cute 25 lb boy, and a sweet 35 lb girl. They’re less than 25% of our body weights, but that’s OK. Dragging them home from the playground sometimes is just like dragging home a “kill.”

  24. I just tried this one tonight – fantastic! I took 50 lbs worth of plates, put them in an old backpack, and went for a good half hour walk with my girlfriend. This one doesn’t look too hard on paper, but it sure gets grueling after awhile. Definitely going to add this one to the rotation more often. Thanks, Mark!

  25. I know that this is an old post but I have a 50# vmax weight vest and live in south florida so i go to the beach and hike for 3 miles in the soft sand with my ipod cranking while checking out all of the beautiful ladies! Definitely one of my favorite workouts. that soft sand is a KILLER!

  26. I love this work out, although I have another variation too. I’ll do 20 minutes before hand of a brisk walk for 2 minutes, sprint (8-10mph, or whatever you can do) for 1 minute. Alternate until complete. That’s the “chasing down the kill” portion. Then I’ll carry it home for a mile.