Just a quick plug for why “chronic cardio” is not the way to get or stay fit. First of all, jogging (which is the definition of exercise limbo: not-quite uncomfortable but definitely not enjoyable), biking (crotch pain=not primal), and ellipticalling (also known as the awkwardly elevated idiodic movement found only in the gym) are so not primal.
Secondly, I’ve witnessed the benefits primal “exercise” in my own body over the past six months as I 1.) stopped running for any distance over 2 miles on treadmills indoors or outside, 2.) I starting picking up heavy sh*# in the gym a few days a week and 3.) I was reintroduced to the track and the pull-up bar. Track?! You must be thinking, “That’s, uh… running, miss-primal-smartie-shorts.” And yes, I did start running on the track again. But for a maximum of 15 minutes. I started doing 20-30 second intervals (150-200m sprints) walking for about a minute in between. Is sprinting primal? Hell yeah, it’s primal as f*#k! And the time I spent working out went from 6 or 7 days a week to at most 4. And minutes spent in the gym dropped from around an hour each time to, on average, forty minutes a pop.
The sad part is, lions aren’t around to chase us as much now so we tend to think logging hours on a mechanized moving platform (i.e. a dreadmill) is the way to revive our health or “get fit.”Wrong. Break out of the pack of semi-fit, skinny-fat women fighting for the fully functional machines in the cardio room and go outside and run like you’re Xena the Princess Warrior.
If you don’t believe me when I say you can safely cut the cord with chronic cardio equipment, take a look at the studies done at the University of Virginia and McMaster University which are summarized below (from Mark’s Daily Apple, today) and then call a friend and walk to dinner somewhere across town. You’ll be back in time for a 15 minute sprint session or maybe you’ll decide today is one of your many rest days. Whatever you do, be kind to that bag of skin you’re in and channel your inner princess warrior.
“University of Virginia researcher B.A. Irving took two groups of women and had them do conventional low-quality cardiovascular exercise or high-quality brief cardiovascular exercise. The two groups burned the same number of calories exercising, but the high-quality brief cardiovascular exercise group spent significantly less time exercising while losing significantly more belly fat.”
“McMaster University researcher M. Gibala separated people into high quality brief cardiovascular exercise and traditional cardiovascular exercise groups. Over the course of the two-week study, the brief cardiovascular group exercised for two-and-a-half hours while the traditional cardiovascular exercise group exercised for ten-and-a-half hours. At the end of the study both groups got the same results even though the high-quality brief cardiovascular exercise group spent 320% less time exercising than the traditional cardiovascular exercise group. The researcher put it like this: “We thought there would be benefits, but we did not expect them to be this obvious. It shows how effective short intense exercise can be.”
She’s getting ready for her first sprint