These days, it seems like anyone can just come up with a crazy, complex beat-your-body-into-submission or super-trendy-dance-inspired fitness protocol that takes an hour to do and even longer to explain.
It’s a lot harder to come up with and communicate a fitness program that’s simple, easy, and fun.
I met Darryl at Paleo F(X) in March. I was lucky enough to take part in one of his PRIMALity workshops, which was an hour of primal play–from animal walks to piggyback rides to planks and partner work. Frankly, the hour flew, and I spent it alternately sweating and laughing (and getting to meet some really wonderful ladies and gents by playing crab walk tag and otherwise rolling around in the dirt with them…).
Darryl’s approach to fitness is simple: it should be fun and functional. Taking his workshop helped me redefine my own personal fitness goals and reinvigorate my quest to feel and perform better–so the fact that he wrote a whole book outlining the principles of Paleo/primal fitness couldn’t have made me more excited.
I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy–and I’m so glad I did. The book is short, sweet, and to the point. The book is divided into several sections: an overview that explains the science and reasoning behind Paleo nutrition and primal movement, a nutrition section that includes a two-week meal plan, and a workout section that gives three levels of workouts and includes photos and descriptions of each movement.
As someone who’s been pretty immersed in Paleo nutrition for over a year now, I found the overview and nutrition to be a reiteration of most of the information I already knew–but it’s explained really well and with a simple logic that makes this a perfect introductory lesson for someone who is just starting to learn about ancestral health. (I already have a few friends in mind to whom I want to lend this book!)
I was most excited for the fitness plans. I got my personal training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and my understanding of “functional” fitness has been in the context of Bosu balls and cable machines in the gym. So I was a little intimidated to think about “programming” my own Paleo fitness workout. Luckily, Darryl gives you a really easy-to-employ program that involves minimal equipment (worst case scenario, find a park near you, buy a bag of sand from Home Depot, kick off your shoes, and go have fun).
I think that the most important part of this book is the philosophy behind why we should look at fitness and nutrition through the primal lens. Just reading the FAQs section in the appendix made things abundantly, perfectly clear: don’t think of food in the context of “cheats and treats”–the food you eat should be rich enough to be a treat in itself (and the book provides some great recipes if you’re not sure where to start). Don’t think of fitness as an all-or-nothing, train-to-failure endeavor–you can pump out a few push ups or pull ups in the morning, or bear crawl up your stairs when you have the time.
Instead, focus on quality: the quality of your food, the quality of your movement, and, frankly, the quality of your life.
I really enjoyed this book (you might say because it’s a quality read!), and I can’t wait to start my own version of “primal play” in the park near my house. You can learn more about Darryl and PRIMALity at thefitnessexplorer.com, and you can preorder the book here.
(Seriously. Go do it!)
Thanks for the chance to get in on the fun early, Darryl!