WOW: Follow the Leader

Play, for 30 minutes:

Follow the Leader


Warmup: 30 second Grok Squat, lateral, forward, and backward leg swings (10 each leg), 1 minute Grok Hang.

This week’s WOW is going to be a fun one. You need at least one partner (though more are better) and some open space. Implements to play on and implements to pick up and play with are also recommended.

You’re going to play follow the leader. If you’re the leader, you’ll be “leading” the workout. The other(s) will be following. If you’re using implements (like sandbags, kettlebells, rocks, or weights), scatter them throughout the workout area. After warming up, start off with a slow jog. Then, start throwing in random moves. Dive and roll. Shuffle to the right. Take off sprinting, then drop into a crawl. Grab and toss a sandbag, pick it up again, shoulder it, and blast out a set of squats. Climb a tree, if you see it. Do a quick set of five pullups on those monkey bars. I’m not going to lay out a specific routine, because that destroys the essence of the WOW. Just keep things interesting, and slow things down if you need a bit of rest.

If you’re following, keep up! Do exactly as the leader does, and take some mental notes, because halfway through it’s going to be your turn to lead – and you can’t do the same stuff the previous leader did. If you have three or more people, make sure everyone gets a shot at being leader.

Hat tip to reader Ben for the inspiration for this WOW.

A few things to remember:

  • While this WOW will leave you breathless and possibly sore, it’s mostly about the doing. Enjoy yourself. Embrace the moments.
  • Try not to go in with a preconceived plan of action. Tap into that “flow” mind space and go from there. Do not rehearse.
  • Have fun!


Too many to name.

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 WOWs replace 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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8 thoughts on “WOW: Follow the Leader”

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  1. What an amazing suggestion! I am totally doing this tonight with my daughter and boyfriend. This is a perfect workout after our vacation last week camping in the desert (which was the best primal vacation ever by the way). We’ve been climbing on rocks and running around like kids all week. Might as well keep it up!

  2. Awesome Mark. Perfect timing too. I have been doing this on my own for the past few weeks and love it. Instead of having a set regimen I have decided to just move! Just workout!

    I go in knowing if I want to do more strength or more intense HIIT without strength. Then I just do.

    I’ll do X push-ups then a few pull-ups then more push-ups, then some lunges, squats, etc.

    It’s my favorite workout now!

    I’ll have to do this with my grand rapids primal tribe group. I’ll be the leader…. they may be in for a fun surprise!

    Thanks for the idea Mark!

  3. I think the important part of this is to have fun and engage with other people. I love going to the park with my daughter and playing with her and whoever is there. It is the highlight of my day and a good way to stretch a little.

  4. This sounds like fun and it’s basically similar to what I do normally to exercise, except individually (unless my brother is around and up for a workout at the same time I am): fun, sporadic mayhem! Especially after a little black tea + raw honey (nature’s version of an energy drink) with some upbeat music on.
    Very recently I’ve been dedicating much more time and energy to weight lifting / strength training though. I used to train with weights extremely consistently (i.e. wake up, bench press, eat breakfast, bench press, drink a cup of coffee, bench press…)and I was seeing decent results. For the last year however due to many obstacles such as shelter/welfare life without access to the equipment I have at my parents’ house or any possibility of a gym membership I’ve needed to get most of my exercise being outside walking around with a backpack or handbag all day, climbing (specifically trees, a little bit of cityscape), random bodyweight stuff (do dips 20 feet or so up in a tree.. you may just make a new personal record because there’s no way you’ll let yourself fall!), stretching, and just a little bit of weight lifting (sometimes just using rocks such as in this WOW.. which are great for grip strength by the way due to the uneven and oddly shaped surfaces).
    What I found was that in the last year I got more skill (such as being more nimble and flexible and monkey-like) with a seemingly more natural physique without muscular imbalances, but at the cost of strength, power, size, endurance and tone in some of my muscles.
    Now that I have the temporary priviledge of living in my parents’ house and being well-fed again and getting a bike I’m going back to what I know works for me: biking at least 20km a day adjusting the pace for comfort, doing lots of random calisthenics, climbing a bit, and lifing weights and eating WHEN (When Hunger Ensues Naturally).

  5. Sounds fun! I am totally going to do this today with my 3 kids and their neighborhood friends at the playground. The other parents already think I’m nuts anyway!

  6. Great one! This will be a fun one with kids. Sounds like a great day to follow the leader to the park!

  7. I always love that the Work out of the Week’s can be adapted to do with kids!! Follow the leader is a perfect example!! My two little boys would love doing this with Mama and Daddy!!! Too Cool!