So, was it typical for Paleolithic man to wake up in the morning and crank out 1000 crunches to impress the babes? Maybe go for a leisurely 7 mile jog? I guess I’ll never really know since I was born in the 80’s – which is really the dawn of the current “fitness” movement (long runs, aerobics class, sweet leotards, Richard Simmons & Jane Fonda, etc). I would venture to think however, that paleo-man had more important things to think about than his six-pack; then again he probably didn’t even know what a non-six pack was. Current research shows that most of our Paleolithic ancestors were much like modern day super athletes. Standing about six feet tall with large muscular bodies, these men would not have any problems competing in some of our most grueling competitions (or the women in figure competitions). This makes plenty of sense if you think about it. They are genetically identical to us, but lived a lifestyle devoid of chemical toxins (as developing infants, toddlers, and adolescents, not to mention in utero), didn’t eat a poorly recommended diet full of grains and sugar, got plenty of “exercise”, and got adequate amounts of rest and sleep.
What did these people know that we seem to have forgotten? Well, survival for one. This was a much different concept than it is today. Then it meant that no matter what age you were, you better be able to sprint for your life, and it meant being able to carry heavy things around camp (housing, big animals, etc). Our hormonal system evolved through the demands of these specific “exercises”. That’s why growth hormone and testosterone are so highly elevated during and following brief intense bouts of sprinting and lifting heavy things. This is why we want you to deadlift heavy and go all out on your burpees! Also, paleo-man did not find it necessary to spend a lot of time “jogging” or “ellipticizing”. This is counterproductive many times as it leads to a chronic increase in your main stress hormone: cortisol. It also decreases growth hormone and testosterone production (marathoners have decreased levels of these hormones), while making you ravenously hungry. Instead of wasting time with “cardio”, at the Boro, we will focus on exercises that do the following: increase function, stimulate growth hormone, stimulate testosterone, make us stronger, increase mobility, don’t take hours out of our day, and challenge our balance and coordination. So, when your friends/family/co-workers ask you what you do over here, say “I do what’s necessary to optimize my gene expression”, and watch the look of confusion come across their face. Also, if you know a chronic “ellipticizer”, refer them over to the Boro so that we can reset their mindset to a more primal way of living! Until then, stay fit and live healthy.