What is Primal? – Part 2

Primal is not yet a very well-known term – it describes a lifestyle based on evolutionary knowledge, that is all about gene optimization. In my previous article, I presented you with a food pyramid and explained how to eat according to Primal principles (in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, check the article HERE), but today I’ll be talking about another, just as important topic – movement.

I have a very important message for you – working out will NOT help you lose weight!

That’s right, extra hours in the gym or 5 bonus miles on your daily run won’t help you trim your waist. On the contrary, chronic exercise, aimed at rapid weight loss (or any extreme result) can trigger an increased desire for quick energy (yeah, you guessed it, I’m talking about carbohydrates), inhibit fat metabolism, supresses our immune function, and puts our body in a stressful situation where it begins to break down our muscles. Not only that, chronic exercise affects the hormones that affect our fat storage – the body is trying to make sure it survives our next chronic session by storing its energy.

Isn’t that completely crazy?

Don’t put your sneakers away just yet – aerobic workout

Even though exercise won’t help you lose weight, this doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be a priority.

Easy, daily activity improves the functioning of our immune system, fat metabolism and the functioning of our brain. This doesn’t include only the so-called “planned exercise” (running, cycling, dancing, yoga, Pilates …), but also everyday life movement – cycling to the grocery store, walking the stairs, or strolling around the park. Don’t forget about the element of fun – do something you enjoy and invite your friends for a volleyball tournament or go swim in a nearby lake to cool down from these crazy temperatures.

Light exercise has a beneficial effect on our bones and joints, helps us regenerate from more intense workouts (more on this below), reduces the risk of injury

But what IS the right intensity?

Determining the maximum aerobic heart rate isn’t easy, and the formulas do not give us the exact value – there are many different opinions on how to make measure it, however Primal Blueprint is a supporter of the simple formula presented by dr. Phil Maffetone, who says that the maximum aerobic heart rate is calculated as follows:

Maximum Aerobic Heart Rate = 180 – Age

The formula was tested by thousands of athletes over decades and can be determined without complicated laboratory tests.

By the time we become more fit, the maximum rate will of course increase, but this does not mean that it is a good idea to exceed the calculated rate.

Formula adjustments

Subtract 10 if you are not completely healthy, recovering from a surgery or if you are taking medication regularly.

Subtract 5 if you have recently been injured (sports injuries), you catch a cold for more than 2x a year, you have allergies, asthma, you don’t train regularly, or have only recently started.

No adjustments: regular training (4x / week) for at least 2 years, without the aforementioned issues.

Add 5 if you are a professional athlete or you regularly participate in competitions.

Anaerobic Exercise - Your New Best Friend

Short, high-intensity exercise and occasional sprints have an anti-aging effect, as they improve the functioning of our organs, optimize our body composition, improve our well-being and cognitive functions, and generally help us develop a body that’s in top health.

The ideal training lasts for a maximum of 30 minutes, it is intense, enjoyable and includes functional movements, which we also perform in our everyday life, during everyday tasks.

It is very important that we do not perform the trainings when we’re tired, but do it when we are rested and full of energy – so there is nothing wrong with skipping or rescheduling if we do not feel our best.

Sprinting = Your Secret Weapon

The great tools in your sports bag are sprints. Yes, SPRINTS! Occasional all-out, maximum effort work outs trigger a series of positive neuroendocrine, hormonal and genetic changes that affect the development of muscles, fat burning, increase our energy, and delay aging. Sprinting also increases insulin sensitivity, positively influences levels of testosterone and growth hormone, stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis, and increases the size of mitochondria (which, amongst other protects us from oxidative stress, the main indicator of aging), improves our cognition and increases mood by reducing inflammation and improving delivery of oxygen to the brain.

Primal recommends, that in order to harvest maximum benefits, we sprint once every 7 to 10 days. The sprint should last between 8 and 20 seconds, and there should be sufficient rest between the individual series (4-6 repetitions). Sprinting can also be performed on a stationary bike – in this case, one sprint should last up to 60s.

These are the Primal lifestyle recommendations, if we want a healthy and fit body. Below you can also see a Fitness pyramid, which captures everything I wrote about today. For all the additional questions send me a text via website or Instagram!


How are you going to take care of yourself today?

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