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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Barbarian Fitness and Nutrition- PaleoJay podcast #36

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Another designation I have always had for Paleo Quick Start nutrition and exercise is "barbarian fitness".
I know that this just makes people think somewhat negatively about the concept: I mean, weren't barbarians just stupid, and not really "civilized"?

Well, that's right, in a way... they were open to the advantages of civilization, but were also well aware of the weaknesses of civilized living.  Barbarians, in their best sense, have been paleolithic tribal people who also took advantage of the technologies developed by civilized folks when those technologies were to their advantage.

Think of barbarians as living on the "outskirts" of ancient civilizations; primarily Rome.  Germanic tribes were predominant, but there were others; the Celts, the Thracians- many others.

I imagine that they respected the civilized achievements of those Romans, but were highly suspect of the other, what they would have seen as decadent aspects of that same civilization!

I think we, as Paleo folk, are kin to the barbarians:

Living on the outskirts of a civilization that we realize has become... decadent.
Poisoning the environment, lacking in morals, even eating foods that are sadly lacking in the nutrition needed by vital, active humans- barbarians are willing to AVAIL themselves of the benefits of civilization, but are also all too aware of the drawbacks of the lifestyle- the Neolithic grains, the relinquishing of basic human rights to an aristocracy and priestly class- the subservience of civilized stratified life!

So, as "barbarian fitness" practitioners, we should imagine ourselves as living "on the edge" of a corrupt empire, taking advantage where we can from it's bounty, but also cutting ourselves off from the many corrupt shortcomings that have settled into it's workings...

Take the BEST of civilization, and PRESERVE the best of our hunter/gatherer forebears_

This is the role of the BARBARIAN!

To take the best of both worlds.  A kind of hunter/gatherer- civilized person amalgam.

And, speaking of taking advantage of the best way of doing things, let’s talk about sculpting your body- weights and machines are the best way, right?

Wrong!  This is another case of civilized thinking getting it wrong- machines isolate individual muscle planes of motion, and build mostly just bulk.  Free weights, while a better option, also primarily build muscle bulk, and when you haven’t developed the all -important mind-to-muscle connection that is what really lets you tense and develop the musculature with symmetry and proportion- kind of the look of a classic greek statue, not a 300 pound lineman or Olympic or power lifter...

The very best, and most accessible option for maximum safety and optimum results for both men and women is visualized resistance!

You’ll almost never hear this talked about, simply because, just like the Paleo/Ancestral/Primal/Barbarian diet- there is nothing to sell!

You just tense the muscles of your body, methodically, throughout their complete range of motion, kind of a “flexing meditation” that you perform through each plane of motion in turn, until your whole body has been stretched, renewed, and stimulated to grow and shape itself in the very best way for your own genotype!

Sounds too good to be true, I know, but it really is the best thing since sliced brea---, uh, no, I mean since grass finished beef liver on the grill with hollandaise sauce!

Just add in some bodyweight exercise to finish- pushups, chinups, straight legged situps, hindu pushups and hindu squats, and finally some sprinting once a week or so...

You will naturally develop your body to it’s own God given potential, and most NATURAL, appealing, and functional state.

 I do have an eBook about it, explaining the how-to’s in detail, but there is also plenty of info right on my site at www.paleojay.com

So- eat like a barbarian, train like a barbarian, and you will look, feel and perform like a barbarian!  And that is definitely a positive!


J