Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Paleo / Primal Exercise

Methuselah has done it again (his last one was an excellent discussion of diet) this time about exercise

intense, brief, infrequent....


Mike OD - LifeSpotlight said...

I think the part I liked the most, was the "and I stopped trying to be him" with the picture of the bodybuilder. That hits home for me as that is the mentality I had in my 20s. Glad I am past that.

helium said...

OK, what did training look like? Humans were "persistence hunters". Humans are extremly slow compared to most other animals so trying to catch them by sprinting at them isn't a very effective way of hunting for humans.

Most mammals cool themself by panting. But they can't pant while they gallop. Humans on the other hand have a huge amount of sweat glands and humans don't have as much fur which enhances the evaporation and thus the cooling effect.
So humans waited for the hottest time of the day and than just kept running at their prey. They just had to be fast enough so the animal galloped. After some time the animal literally overheated, wasn't able to run away anymore and was very week and not realy able to defend itself.

Humans are probably the most efficient endurance runners in great heat.

Robert M. said...


Humans were much more likely pack hunters, like chimpanzees. Persistence hunting would require a serious expenditure of calories and electrolytes on the part of the humans.

See the BBC video of chimps hunting monkeys: is used to close gaps once the animal notices the stalking humans encircling it and tries to escape. Humans using the same chase-funnel-ambush technique as shown in the video would only need to get into spear throwing range.

I suspect running is more useful for escaping other humans than chasing down animals.

Rusty - Fitness Black Book said...


That is a great video. Methuselah e-mailed that to me when he completed it, but you got it up on your blog before I could get to it.

All of my fitness blogging friends read your blog, so I have added it to my RSS Reader. You have extremely solid info on this wonder I see people linking to you all over the place.

I really enjoyed your Luke Carlson interview. I couldn't agree more! I was a long jumper and high jumper in high school. The only way I improved was by actually going out there and jumping. We did a bunch of power cleans, which made my forearms and traps grow...but did nothing for my leaping ability.

Good stuff!


Chris said...

Thanks Rusty

helium said...

@Robert M.:
It's just a theory as is yours, of course. But it's not mine. See for example

And there are (still?) tribes today that use persistance hunting which shows that is actually effective.