Nothing screams “beach read” like Pat Flynn’s (& Dr. Kellyann Petrucci’s) Paleo Workouts for Dummies.
Actually, don’t tell Pat, but I was scrounging at the last minute to pack a book or two for my OCNJ vacation, and that one was readily available. I read it nearly cover to cover about 3 years ago; what golden nuggets would stand out to me this time, as I paged through, skimming for wisdom I had let slip from the forefront as I delved deeper into fitness?
It’s strange to realize just how distanced I had become from the principles I was most passionate about 3 years ago.
It only took about 12 hours, though, for those principles to be brought back to their rightful place of prominence. (By my rough calculations, of that 12 hours, only maybe 20 minutes of actual reading took place before I was drinking the primal Kool-Aid.)
[The rest of the 11 hours and 40 minutes consisted of the following:
- brainstorming belligerent responses to the lifeguards when they insisted we not swim outside of the green flags;
- avoiding the beach patrol because we forgot cash;
- jumping after the nieces & nephews as they chased birds, joined other families building sandcastles, and otherwise caused nuisances;
- getting dry only to realize that I had to pee…again;
- begging my husband to spot me for handstand practice (and then spotting my father-in-law’s handstand attempt which entailed a running start and wild arm circles).]
Here are the 5 things I read that totally revived my original fitness philosophy.
- “The first principle of Paleo fitness states that the most basic and appropriate function of exercise should be to condition someone for something other than exercise.” …Exercise is, and should remain, a means (a method) to an end (a goal), but many conventional fitness practices forget this detail, because they take the means (exercise) and make it an end (a sport or competition)” (p. 11).
- Ok, I keep wanting to paraphrase here, but I cannot invent a better way to say this: “Exercise should be a means to health.” It “should promote…vitality–and never, under any circumstances, should it ever detract from that.” Moreover, “Exercise should make you better at all things, at all times, and in every way” (p. 11). I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I aim to be the best exerciser ever. Is that an acceptable goal?
- “Walk to Get Healthy, but Sprint to Get Sexy” is the title of chapter 4, and I just don’t think there’s anything more to say about that. Except maybe “Jog to Get Exhausted.”
- Lately, I’ve been really into hanging out in the very bottom position of a deep squat. On page 86, Pat gives a few ideas of “ways to work the squat into your daily routine,” and one of them is to “eat one time during the day from a squat.” NEW GOAL! (Or, as my husband would say, “new way to be super-weird and draw more attention to yourself than you already do.”
- I just completely forgot about the fact that most of us spend most of the time hyperventilating. Did you know, “If you’re taking more than 12 breaths a minute, you’re overbreathing,” which “arouses anxiety…impairs cognition…and promotes restlessness”? Instead, “practice slow, rhythmic, diaphragmatic breathing,” inhaling for a count of 4 and exhaling for a count of 8 to control your breath (p. 25). Make *crocodile breathing part of your daily ritual!
- Strength = Skill; trained (read: practiced) with the goal of increasing efficiency. Thus, Strength = Efficiency.
Conversely, conditioning should be inefficient. The less efficient and more wasteful of energy, the more effective for fat-burning. Upon reflection, I realize I am sometimes tempted to practice conditioning in order to become more efficient–what a useless endeavor! Conditioning should be varied and fun, wild and unpredictable! This week, for me, it’s running on the beach and bursted, high-intensity bodyweight complexes like this one:
+4-corner hops: 1-3 monkey hops R, 1-3 frog hops forward, 1-3 monkey hops L, 1-3 frog hops backwards (number of hops dependent upon space available);
+burpees (standard or modified);
+4-point plank taps, alternating L hand to R shoulder, R hand to L shoulder, L hand to R knee, R hand to L knee (combining shoulder taps with mountain climbers);
15s rest & REPEAT
*Crocodile Breathing, from page 26:
“1. Lie flat on your belly and rest your forehead on your hands.
2. Slowly draw in a breath as deep into your belly as possible for four counts.
Your belly should push out into the ground, and your sides should also have some outward visible movement. Your shoulders and chest, however, shouldn’t rise.
3. Hold the breath for a count of one, and then slowly exhale for a count of eight.”
P.S. I hear Pat has a fantastic collection of kettlebell workouts–some of which could be used for strength but most of which would be the fun and wild element you might be missing from your conditioning routine.
P.P.S. In case you didn’t notice the active link on the Paleo Workouts book cover image above, here’s your second chance.