Improvisation. Adaptability. Doggedness. These are a few of the qualities you’ll need to nurture in order to see you through, and around, the inevitable setbacks and obstacles you’ll encounter on this modern-day, Paleo journey. As in many ventures, it’s usually not the one big thing, but the day-to-day little setbacks that will eventually add up to a resolve-devastating, blow. Be resilient! Don’t allow these setbacks to creep-in and manifest into something bigger.
Here’s a quick example of workout-related improvisation and adaptability. Now I don’t tout myself as being a “guru” by any means, but I do believe that if you can get to the point where I am, as in being able to cobble together an on-the-fly workout (when your previous plans have gone bust), you’ll reap the following, positive benefits:
- obviously, you’ll get in a productive workout, vice totally scrapping the day’s planned bout.
- the positive energy and satisfaction gained from making something worthwhile out of a potential “nada” equates to banked enthusiasm. That enthusiasm will be there for the asking when you need it (and you will need it) at the next impasse.
- ideally (and under the Paleo life-plan), we should be able to adapt to and overcome whatever physical challenge life heaves our way. Living the modern work-a-day lifestyle, however, doesn’t often allow us to demonstrate this ability. It’s nice, every now and again, to prove the ability to overcome a physical challenge from a cold, non-planned start.
Now, I went about my normal workday-morning, pre-workout routine (up at 5AM, assembled the day’s take-in Paleo meals (leftovers), made coffee for the drive, etc.) with the plan of executing (with slight variation) my Paleo Sprint, Heave and Haul workout. However, when I reached the field that morning, I found it to be an unsuitably wet and mushy mess.
So I scrapped that idea in lieu of doing something similar, though indoors. As I made my way toward the gym, I cobbled together, in my mind, a workout that ultimately took the form of something akin to the “Tuesday” workout from this post. However, the moment I saw the heavy traffic on the indoor track, I realized that that idea, too, was a no-go.
I’m really bleeding time now, and lots of it. Then I noticed the the power rack being vacated. Sweet serendipity! Now, quick — what to do? Well, here’s what I ended-up with — and remember, too, the lost time — I’m down to the 20 to 25 minute range now:
- Reverse Lunge x 5’s, each leg
- Front Push-Press x 4’s
- Weighted, Regular-Grip Pullups x 3’s
I was able to squeeze-in three rounds of this, at weight, in roughly 25 minutes. It was close, but I still skidded into work on time by trading an after-shower shave for the third round of this combo. In my book, that’s an adequate compromise.
An interesting aside: at the start of this combo, I just did the reverse lunge and paired it — so as to not waste time in any manner of weight-changing or other transition — with the weighted pullups. But then I noticed that the barbell was, in fact, racked at the correct height — and with an adequate weight for — some front push-pressing. Thus was born this nice little combo. And it turned-out to be a fantastic pairing and a total-body blast. Give it a try yourself. I think it’s a keeper.
Mother Earth News Does Gary Taubes
Now maybe my liking for Mother Earth News is evidence that I actually follow through with my own, self-made dictate of “absorbing what is useful and discarding what is not”. I like to think so. The MEN has a dedicated following of vegans/vegetarians — not exactly an endorsement for what the Paleo-minded would consider worth following. I’m not trying to be glib when I say that there is a reason why the purely vegetarian hominoids went extinct 2.5 million years ago, only to be succeeded by the omnivorous, hunter-gatherer. I don’t construct the evidence, I just react to it. But aside from the decidedly vegetarian-leaning stance, MEN is an otherwise good read.
Give the article a read, and really, give it some serious thought. I don’t agree totally with all that Taubes says — for instance, he seems not to distinguish between endurance exercise (which he rightly identifies as only useful in making you hungry) and high intensity/short-duration (fast-twitch muscle activating) exercise. Also, it’s obvious to me that there is some element to the calories-in, calories-out paradigm — just not nearly to the extent that the “mainstream” would have you to believe. I guess you could categorize these things in my “things I believe, but cannot necessarily prove” file. I don’t argue with what I’ve seen empirically demonstrated, even in light of lacking (i.e., wrongly constructed and/or wrongly interpreted) scientific studies. I’ll always give proven results their due. Knowing all the “whys” behind the end results is merely — though, for me, an actively sought — added bonus.
Thanks to Richard at Free the Animal, for bringing this article to light.