In life, as in chess, forethought wins.
So here’s the irony: An Evolutionary Fitness-styled workout “regimen” — and I’m loathe to use the term, but that’s the best approximation I can conjure at the moment — should emphasize the intense as well as the fractal. To put this in layman’s terms, workouts should be short, taxing, and come about randomly. And the workout itself should be random in nature, with modality and exercise selection changing from instance to instance. Neither the short nor the taxing — nor modality or exercise selection, for that matter — is any real problem — this we can effectively plan for. But it’s the random, the fractal nature that, if we have normal work-a-day commitments, can be difficult to achieve. Difficult, but not impossible. However, establishing a fractal (or random) pattern is even more difficult to pull-off, in my opinion, than establishing a routine schedule. In other words, you’ll have to be even that much more committed than your “routine” brethren. Why do I say this? Because lumbering through a routine workout schedule — while being a definite improvement over nothing at all — requires only a small amount of commitment and willpower. And once the habit is set, it’s pretty much there, ingrained and stable. And it’s probably going to be something along the lines of a bodybuilding workout, or — even worse — a low-impact aerobic routine, like jogging. Randomness, on the other hand, requires establishing the habit of doing something extremely difficult, in a non-habitual way. It’s constantly putting your body in a state of having to adjust and overcome. And to pull this off,you have to learn (if it’s not natural to you) to love the unknown.
So, how do we fit random into a scheduled and routine existence?
Well, will you shoot me if I tell you to plan for it?
I’m really not trying to be at all flippant about this, but that’s exactly what must be done. It can be as simple as keeping a workout journal and creating the habit of working on what you haven’t worked in the longest while. This is mostly how I handle it. And though I do place more emphasis on my perceived weaknesses, I don’t repeatedly hammer them. I’ve also done things like, assigning a certain type (or modality) of workout to either numbers on a die, or playing cards. Pick a card, roll the die, and hit it. I’ve also done whatever Crossfit’s workout-of-the-day is. And although Crossfit is just a tad bit endurance-heavy for my liking (appropriate, however, for its target base), it most closely resembles the Paleo template of any other mass workout site I’ve seen. At those times when I need an inspirational kick-in-the-ass, I’ll use the Crossfit WOD as a muse to create my own, more Paleo-friendly workout. The key is, quite simply, to cultivate and embrace a love of the unknown and the random; even as you have to plan for it.
Let’s Consider Friday’s Weight Circuit. 6:30 AM, September 19th, 2008
- RDL + Shrug, low-pull fashion. Wide PC grip (i.e., “narrow” snatch grip). Quick, but controlled, to bar just clearing knees, then explode to finish, pin shoulders to ears and hold for a count before resetting to the floor. x 4’s
- Jump squat with safety bar. No toe-off. In other words, jump via a (mostly) heel push. Start each rep with quads just above parallel. x 3’s
- Weighted dips. Explosive, try to lift hands free from the rack on each rep. x 3’s
- Feet elevated, clap pushups. Stick landing at the bottom position, i.e., chest just about an inch from the floor. x 7’s
4 total rounds at weight. Approximately 35-minutes, warm-up included.