Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Blog is Moving

I have decided to move to a different blog location. Please follow me at  The new blog should have a cleaner look and will not have the problems that were experienced her with comments and viewing on mobile devices. Hope to see you there.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Conversation With a Runner

Over the 4th of July holiday I had the chance to have a “discussion” about fitness, nutrition, and running shoes with a former marathoner. Can you guess how that conversation went?  It was what I expected for the most part.  There were a few surprises.  I had no idea runners were so attached to their running shoes!  I had just come in from running some sprints.  I had worn a pair of minimalist shoes(Nike Free TR’s. Not really that minimalist, but they are what I have.) since the holiday festivities were held right outside where I was staying so I was worried about debris in the grass and the pavement was a little hot to go barefoot in the Florida heat.  I mentioned how I would have preferred to run them barefoot, as I find it better.  The runner then went on to inform me of the role good running shoes play.  Apparently, it is important they be flexible, with proper padding in the heel, and good arch support.  I was told how if I don’t have those things then I will suffer from any number of ailments from running, ranging from shin splints to stress fractures in my heals over time.  I informed him that that is not the case for me, and that if those are problems people face then they are not running properly.  Well, that went over like a fart in a wet bathing suit.  Experienced runners don’t like to hear they are doing it wrong.  But riddle me this Batman, if the arch is one of the strongest load-bearing structures(the Roman aqueducts are still standing after all), then why do we need to “support” them?  You only need to have cushioning in the heel if you are slamming your heel down on the ground.  In that case, then yes, you will hurt yourself without it.  I used this example, let me know if I’m off base, If you were pounding on your hand with a hammer and realized “hey, this hurts”, would you A) develop a padded glove to wear that will absorb the shock and minimize the impact of the blow, or B) STOP HITTING YOURSELF!  The running shoes are simply masking the problem, and further weakening your foot in the process.  As a species, we’ve been developing for a very long time, and the ability to run is a big part of our development.  The amount of time in our history that we have been wearing modern style shoes is a mere blink of the eye in the big picture of human evolution.  Something tells me natural selection is a little better at determining what works best for us than Nike, Asics, Saucony, and New Balance combined.

I am far from being any kind of expert on barefoot running, or in running in general.  I am just getting back into it, and retraining myself after a lifetime of poor technique.  But there are people out there that know quit a bit, and they are worth listening to. People like Prof. Dan Lieberman, Chris McDougall, Barefoot Ted, and Barefoot Ken Bob.  If you are interested you can find their books here, it is definitely worth your time.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Primal Adventure Store

I have decided to put items I feel are useful in this Primal Journey available in a store here on the blog.  Trust me, there is nothing but good stuff in it.  Everything there is either something I personally own and use, or would like to own.  Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and take a look.  There are books like the Primal Blueprint and The Paleolithic Solution, as well as some cookbooks. Training books and DVD's for things like kettlebells and barefoot running.  I even put workout gear like kettlebells, weights, and even sledgehammers!  There is a selection of different workout timers, so you can get to work on the Tabatas.

It is all done through, so there should be no worries about security at check-out.

***This is not some sales pitch.  I'm not telling anyone the need to, or should buy anything from me.  For those that know me, you know that most of my workout gear is homemade, and I'm a big supporter of body weight exercises.  YOU DON'T NEED TO BUY ANYTHING FOR THE PRIMAL/PALEO LIFESTYLE TO WORK FOR YOU.  I just felt like this was a selection of some useful stuff that can aide people along their way, so I thought I would put it in one convenient location.

I hope you find it useful.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tabata: What is it and why should you do it

We've all heard of the Tabata, but what exactly is it?  The Tabata is named for a study done by Dr. Izumi Tabata and his colleagues at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan.  Here is the abstract from PubMed:

1.Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996 Oct;28(10):1327-30.

Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max.

Tabata INishimura KKouzaki MHirai YOgita FMiyachi MYamamoto K.


Department of Physiology and Biomechanics, National Institute of Fitness and Sports, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.


This study consists of two training experiments using a mechanically braked cycle ergometer. First, the effect of 6 wk of moderate-intensity endurance training (intensity: 70% of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), 60 min.d-1, 5 d.wk-1) on the anaerobic capacity (the maximal accumulated oxygen deficit) and VO2max was evaluated. After the training, the anaerobic capacity did not increase significantly (P > 0.10), while VO2max increased from 53 +/- 5 min-1 to 58 +/- 3 (P < 0.01) (mean +/- SD). Second, to quantify the effect of high-intensity intermittent training on energy release, seven subjects performed an intermittent training exercise 5 d.wk-1 for 6 wk. The exhaustive intermittent training consisted of seven to eight sets of 20-s exercise at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max with a 10-s rest between each bout. After the training period, VO2max increased by 7, while the anaerobic capacity increased by 28%. In conclusion, this study showed that moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power does not change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems.

To sum it up it is 20 seconds of maximum effort on a given exercize, followed by 10 seconds of rest.  this is done for 8 cycles for a total of 4 minutes for the full cycle.  If these are done properly, as in you don't hold back(max effort means just that) the Tabata will provide one hell of an intense workout.

What I like about them is how versatile they are.  My personal favorites are doing kettlebell snatches and swings, but the options  are limitless.  You can do them running sprints, jumping rope, bicycling, with burpees, with a sledgehammer, a heavy bag, etc., etc., etc.  Get creative with them.  Put several Tabatas together with a brief rest between and do something different for each one.

I use my little Gymboss timer to keep track of the intervals, but there are also some free Mp3 downloads out there also.  There is one at that is good.

Now get out there and have fun with them.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Welcome to My Primal Adventure.  This Blog is dedicated to getting back to our true nature, both physically and mentally.  We as humans have forgotten who we really are.  To quote Erwan Le Corre of MovNat, we have become "Zoo Humans".  It is time for us to break this cycle, and get back to our true nature by getting back to nature.  To get back to where we should be physically it will take eating and moving the way we were designed to.

Eating:  Whether you call it Primal, Paleo, Ancestral, Evolutionary, or any of the other titles given to it, it is about eliminating the foods that are harmful to us(even when Conventional Wisdom tells us they are good for us) and embracing the foods our bodies were built to use as fuel(even when Conventional Wisdom tells us they will kill us).

Moving:  We need to learn to develop functional fitness.  Our bodies are amazing machines that have been developing for millions of years through evolution.  The traditional models for exercise will lead you to believe that isolation movements while lifting weights or long, tedious hours, grinding out mile after mile of chronic cardio are the only ways to be healthy.  The truth, however, is this will only set you further back from making real progress.

Mentally:  Humans have become detached from our environments, detached from nature, detached from our food, and detached from ourselves.  It may seem strange that I'm sitting here at a computer and writting this on a blog on the internet, but we need to turn off the computer, get out from in front of the TV, and get away from technology.  We need to get back into nature.

Now don't get the wrong impression.  No one is saying to put on a loin cloth and run around grunting.  We are not pretending to be cavemen.  We are simply acknowledging that we evolved in a certain way and to embrace that in order to maximize our overall health and happiness.

The transition may be scary at first, but it is completely possible and easy to do.  Once you embrace this lifestyle you will be amazed at where it will take you both physically and mentally.  I hope through this blog I can help by sharing what I have learned and by sharing my own experiences