Archive for the ‘Stone-Age Bodybuilding’ Category

I’ve long enjoyed doing lifts with my favorite stones in my backyard at night, with the light of the moon shining down on the glistening primeval rock.

But lately I have been thinking about a concept in sport conditioning that we call “periodization“. Typically, this involves a yearly competition or sports season; the days and months that lead up to that date are focused around preparing that athlete for that season. Certain physical attributes take longer to develop than others; one attribute also builds upon another. The result is supposed to be an athlete in the prime of his or her condition, just at the time that the competition demands it.

For “casual” (non-competitive) athletes it’s also a reasonable tactic to break up the training so neither the athlete’s mind nor their body becomes stale and adapted to routine.

Would our atavistic barbarian (perhaps ourselves) have some ritual ordeal that was performed in time with the natural rhythm of the seasons? Maybe he’d turn his eyes toward the phases of the moon, something that anyone living outdoors would be constantly watching and wondering what was up there?

Astrologers today suggest that certain processes should be saved for specific phases of the moon. During the moon’s waxing phases (from New Moon up to Full Moon), we are supposed to do things that involve increase, beginning new enterprises, planting seeds, etc. As the light of the moon increases, so should your hopeful endeavor; in this case, hopefully building strength. This covers about two weeks.

The waning phases (from the Full Moon through to the next New Moon), are involved with decrease, removing and ending things, and so on. As the light of the moon fades, so should an undesirable item or quality.

I am not entirely sure what to do with the waning phase, but since many of us have weight to lose in various areas, and since it’s intelligent to augment weight training with cardio training as well, let’s experiment with dedicating the second two weeks of this cycle with running and the like.

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Turkeys in the mist.

I spent my Sunday morning hiking in the wilderness. As usual, when I’m not a Sherpa to other hikers, I went off-trail. This time, I deliberately followed a game trail up a narrow wash, mindful that I would have to thrash through dense underbrush.
As I went up, I remembered a recent MovNat class in a park, where we walked over even ground with mowed grass, and tried to pretend we were stepping over obstacles and under tree branches and the like.

And it hit me: that was an abstract and theoretical “exercise” – this wasn’t even exercise, I was moving up the slope, trying to get clear of the undergrowth. It wasn’t a game; I was contending with Nature as my wild barbarian forebears once did.

I also did pullups on a tree-branch, thick with moss, and I did clean and jerks with a boulder of unknown poundage.

Move Natural

Posted: July 24, 2012 in Stone-Age Bodybuilding

The reason we “need” exercise is that we have been spending our time inventing labor-saving devices, and now sit at work, or if we don’t, we repeat the same motions all day long, then we sit in our cars, drive home, sit in our couches… get the picture?

MovNat, to my understanding, simply puts us back in the environment where we were before we had so many labor saving devices.

From the MovNat webpage: “Human beings possess locomotive skills such as walking, running, jumping, balancing, crawling, climbing, or swimming. In addition to locomotive skills, human beings also utilize manipulative skills such as lifting, carrying, throwing, and catching, and combative skills, such as striking or grappling.”

So in the class, we went through each one of these, and explored the variations in each one. For the walking portion (which served as a warmup), we walked across the park and Brian, the instructor, guided us on a fantasy (as children might) – this time we were in Jurassic Park. So we crouched as we walked, looked right and left for dinosaurs, walked backwards, over “boulders” and stooped as we entered a “cave”, then pretended to ford a river, leaping from rock to rock.

My favorite was the climbing portion, although my shoulders were giving me problems.

I think that is worthy of further investigation. This concept could be applied to a walk in a city park, especially if there is a parcourse installed, or in a nearby wilderness or semi-wilderness trail.

This certainly something that dovetails very well with the concept of the Paleo Diet, and the Paleo Lifestyle. Ogg would approve.