Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sisson: Advice For Beginners

Read on folks and find out how Mark Sisson summarizes what can be a very complex topic, and includes free resources for further information. 

My advice:  do something, anything you will do.  Try and add a little - a little - every year to make your program more complete. 

You need variation - don't do the same thing every day; variety prevents a plateau.  You need intensity - shorter and harder works faster than comfortable but long - at least a couple days a week.  If you can't wreck yourself in five minutes doing body weight work, you are not trying.  And that five minutes of intensity is all you need that day.  You need to play with stuff that's heavy - heavier today than yesterday, a little heavier tomorrow than today.  You don't need to do curls, abs, calf raises, wrist work and hamstring curls - that stuff's low bang for the buck.  If it's what you like, by all means do it.  But the high leverage stuff is multi joint, real movement like your ancestors did in order to remain a "going concern." 

Run, jump, climb, lift, and throw, and do hard fast and often.

Find new movements, find different ways to put movements in sequence, or search out a skill that appeals to you, such as kipping pullups or the snatch, and make learning those part of your warmup.  There are many, many cheap ways to give yourself an adaptive stimulus - kettlebells can be had at wallmart, as can dumb bells and door jamb pullup bars.  You can get rings online for under $40, and hang them off of a tree limb.  You can make a sand filled medicine ball from a basketball.  You can fill a duffel bag from a thrift store with sand for under $25 - better yet, use pea gravel and make small bags to fill the larger duffel for a variable weight.  I made a pushing sled from treated 2x4s and half-inch ply for $30.  You can get a 12" electrical junction box for box jumps from a Big Box Store for under $20.  Etc.  Have a big rock in your yard?  A five gallon water jug?  "It's all good."

Fitness gear can be simple but very effective. 

Without further ado, here's Mark:

Assuming you’ve never done much, if any, strength training before, you’ll want to start with Primal Blueprint Fitness, my basic (free) fitness e-book.
Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dear-mark-mysterious-omegas-and-a-beginners-exercise-routine/#ixzz1kywPTeGA

Two or three days each week of lifting heavy things. To begin with, these “heavy things” will be the 195 pounds comprising your frame. That’s right – bodyweight exercises to start. Eventually, once you’ve hammered out the form for each movement, put on some strength, and strengthened that connective tissue, you can move on to lifting heavy things that are not your own bodyweight. Maybe you’ll join a gym and start moving barbells or machines. Maybe you’ll get into gymnastics and start using leverage to increase resistance. Maybe you’ll lift sandbags and swing kettlebells. The point is this: the early bodyweight days will get you strong enough to handle yourself and your own body so that you can then progress to whatever level you prefer. Putting on lean mass is precisely what you require. Jogging won’t do it – it hasn’t done it, in your case – and the longer you wait, the harder it will be to accumulate lean mass.
One day a week of sprinting. Now, that’s not an entire day of sprinting, which would be ridiculous and frankly impossible. You’ll be sprinting between five and ten times with plenty of rest in between. As an example, my sprint workouts last about 20 minutes total these days. If you’re not comfortable sprinting on a track or flat surface, you can sprint uphill (less impact on joints), in a pool, on a bike, on a rowing machine, etc.. The key is expending maximum effort during these sprint sessions, whichever method of transportation you’ve chosen. You go all out for ten or twelve seconds (or more, if you are fit and can handle it – maybe even up to 40 seconds on a bike) and then rest for a minute or two until the next one. Sound easy? It’s not. It’s simple and brief, but it isn’t easy.
Finally, at least 5 hours of slow moving per week. Walking, hiking, very slow jogging (as long as you can do so comfortably) – it’s all fair game. You don’t want to push yourself here. You’re not running a marathon or racing. You’re not even tracking calories. You’re just getting around. You’re moving your limbs and enjoying a conversation and oxidizing fat the entire time. Slow moving is the foundation of the Primal Blueprint Fitness program.

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