Friday 4 June 2010

The Primal Blueprint - Mark Sisson

The Primal Blueprint
Mark Sisson
Primal Nutrition
ISBN 9780982207703

Everybody has heard the saying 'So easy a caveman could do it!' But have we ever really thought about it. In reality genetically we are not all that different from our hunter gatherer ancestors. Yet our diet and food and lifestyle has changed more in the last 50 to 100 years than probably and thousand year period prior to that going all the way back before the agricultural revolution. Daniel
Quinn in his fictional Ishmael trilogy tries to teach us about some of the changes that took place when humans went from being hunter gatherer's to agrarian. Mark Sisson in this book after years of research, and experience as a world class athlete has come to the conclusion that maybe our caveman ancestors had some insight we have lost. Marks uses a prototype caveman Grok as our example.

This book The Primal Blueprint grew out of years of personal and communal experience. Mark Sisson was one of the nutritionists who helped develop some of the products sold by Beachbody to supplement their program P90X. But in the five years
since it's release Mark's knowledge and understand has changed radically. The book also grew out of the community of people trying to live Primal through marks website and blog The book is just under 300 pages with appendices. But there are thousands of pages and articles on the website to supplement and support you in trying to make this healthy lifestyle change. The book focuses around 10 Rules of primal living.

10 Immutable Laws of Primal Living:

1. Eat lots of plants and animals.
2. Avoid poisonous things.
3. Move frequently at a slow pace.
4. Lift Heavy things.
5. Sprint once in a while.
6. Get adequate sleep.
7. Play.
8. Get plenty of sunlight.

9. Avoid stupid mistakes.
10. Use your brain.
Basically the primal blueprint will teach you to eat differently, exercise differently and get better results. I know a few people who have gone Primal after doing P90X, and met a few more that are just primal and all have amazing stories to tell and amazing results. On every few weeks there are posts of testimonies of people of all ages from all walks of life who have made the transition to great effect. In many ways based on the results people get it teaches you to live the 80/20 rule get 80% results from 20% of the effort. Eat more, eat great food, work out less and get better results. Now many people when they hear about this program think it is a new version of Atkins, it just is not so. As can been see from the Carbohydrate curve, Atkins aimed for the Ketosis zone, primal aims for a weight loss sweet spot then elevating to a maintenance level for Carb intake. Also Primal emphasis moving, moving often and moving in different ways. The Primal Blueprint also radically modifies the food pyramid, to one that is not controlled by government lobbyists. You eat lots of plants, good protein some fruit and minimal grains. Mark has also created an exercise pyramid that challenges conventional wisdom, one of the big points in this book is that most people over train thus diminishing the returns and even causing injury and harm. Check out the exercise pyramid for Mark's recommendations.
Mark also stresses throughout the book, that living Primal is a dynamic lifestyle, constantly open to change as new research comes up. There are numerous blogs and websites dedicated to the Primal or Paleo lifestyle with tools, tips, tricks to help you on your journey. But Mark also stresses that to begin with do not try and change everything overnight, he sets the goal of aiming for 80% if you live in 80% compliance with the Primal Blueprint your will be in better shape, healthier and have more energy and resistance to illness. In Robert A. Heinlien's science fiction Classic Stranger In A Strange Land, Michael Valentine Smith is a human who has been raised by Martians as the sole survivor of the first human expedition to the red planet. Part of his philosophy is that we need to grok, to understand, to comprehend, to internalize truth, and he has learned a better truth being raised from aliens. Thus in regards to health, nutrition and wise living to achieve balance between body, mind and spirit we need to not only look on Grok as an example but try and emulate him. Applying the Primal foot pyramid and workout pyramid in our day to day life. So basically it comes down to not necessarily so easy a caveman could do it, but so natural the caveman did it. Can you grok that? Give it a try for a few weeks, and not only will you feel better but also start seeing results almost immediately.

All Images courtesy Mark Sisson and

Other Fitness Articles:
Fall 2011 Programs
Workout program March 2012
My Gear February 2012
Fitness My Retrospective

TRX Articles:
TRX an Introduction
TRX Force
TRX Force Tactical
TRX Essential Flexibility

My P90X Series:
Phase I, Phase II, Gear, Phase III, Fitness Options, P90X at 120 Days Out

Health & Fitness Book Reviews:
The Primal Blueprint 21 Day Total Body Transformation - Mark Sisson
The Ten Commandments Of Lifting Weights - Jared Zimmerer

Toadally Primal Smoothies - Todd Dosenberry
Caveman Resurection - Jeff Pickett
40 Days to Optimal Health - Dr. Scott Morris
Eat Stop Eat - Brad Pilon
The Primal Blueprint - Mark Sisson
The New Rules of Lifting - Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove
Bench Press by: Sven Lindqvist
Sly Moves by: Sylvester Stallone
Fit for Eternal Life: A Christian Approach to Working Out, Eating Right, and Building the Virtues of Fitness in Your Soul by: Dr. Kevin Vost
Body for Life 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strenght by: Bill Phillips
Lose Fat Not Faith by Jeremy R. Likeness
Living The Good Life: Your Guide to Health and Success by: David Patchell-Evans
Dump your Trainer by: Ashley Marriott and Marc L. Paulsen

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