WOW: Housework

Complete 5 cycles:

10 Clean-the-Walls (5 clockwise, 5 counterclockwise)
15 Floor Scrubs
14 Trash Bag Tosses (7 each side)
30 Meter Petulant Child Carry


Warmup: 30 second Grok Squat.

Common housework is interesting in that it forces you to interact with the world across multiple movement plane using various objects. You’re bending, squatting, reaching, making circular motions with your arms while balancing precariously on one foot to dust the spot you missed. We’ve all spied that one errant sock on the floor while hauling an armful of laundry to the washing machine, that mocking sock that we can’t help but try to retrieve (with a single finger or maybe our foot) without dumping the rest of the laundry. If that isn’t a comprehensive exploration of the ranges of natural human movement, I don’t know what qualifies.

So with that in mind, I put together a WOW based on common moves you might perform while doing housework. They aren’t exactly what you’d do on an average day of chores, but they’re close enough. To make them tougher, I added weights.


Grab a moderate weighted object, one that you can shoulder-raise in front of you with two hands and elbows fully extended. You should notice the weight, but you should be able to do about ten reps pretty easily. I used a 25-pound weight plate. Hold the weight at your waist and squat down until you hit parallel. While maintaining that strong bottom position and keeping your core and hips tight and stable, make five big clockwise circles with the weight, and then five big counterclockwise circles.

Floor scrubs:

Use a towel to wrap the weight you just used for cleaning the walls. Get on your knees with the swaddled weight on the ground in front of you. Put both hands on the weight and scrub the floor with it, using your abdominals to pull the weight toward you and push it away. This is similar to an ab rollout, and a smooth surface, like linoleum or hardwood, works best.

Trash bag tosses:

Get something reasonably heavy that can take a beating, like a sandbag, a weight plate, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, or a duffel bag of old books. Grab it and give a good heave to the left, trying to toss it as far as you can. Drive the leftward toss with your right leg through the heel and squeeze that right glute, kinda like you were throwing a punch. Alternate sides until you hit fourteen total throws.

Petulant child carry:

Carry an awkwardly shaped, reasonably heavy (shoot for at least 1/2 your bodyweight) object for 25 meters, using any carrying method you like. Just get there and then dump the thing.

A few things to remember:

  • Core stability is absolutely essential, especially when cleaning the wall. Get tight before you drop into the squat, because once you’re at the bottom, you’ll be compromised.
  • Keep your elbows straight throughout the wall cleans and the floor scrubs.
  • If you find your knees sliding during the scrubs, put a towel or a floor mat underneath them.


No variations. Just scale the weights to your strength level as needed.

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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