T Nation

Real Paleo Exercise

Since I cannot post in the Livespill’s good article today.

I would also add sprinting outside is another animal than on a treadmill.

I would like to add my personal experience: as a former fat boy, I unfortunately took up jogging in a misguided attempt to lose weight. I wish I had known about T-Nation back then, but I spent countless hours racking up the miles and put two half-marathons and one full marathon under my belt.

Though I wouldn’t trade those experiences, I wish I had made better use of my time, and I definitely have suffered some wear on my knees–worst of which I feel makes me unable to do sprint training without pain. Hill sprinting definitely is a good alternative, except when you don’t have a hill. My favorite cardio assistance these days is jump rope training, I highly recommend CrossRope for a good workout.

There is one question that I philosophize about and I’d love to know how some of the authors would respond–I thought the human ability to sweat is a unique trait to our species, one which allows us to do a lot of work over time. It’s speculated that this allowed our Paleo ancestors to tire out hunted game.
I think that our bodies seem better suited for endurance work than high-energy work, but really what it all comes down to is our bodies are remarkably adaptable–so be sure your lifestyle forces it to adapt in a way that you want it to!

Everything is better outside. I wish I had access to an outdoor gym.

[quote]Helphy wrote:
There is one question that I philosophize about and I’d love to know how some of the authors would respond–I thought the human ability to sweat is a unique trait to our species, one which allows us to do a lot of work over time. It’s speculated that this allowed our Paleo ancestors to tire out hunted game.
I think that our bodies seem better suited for endurance work than high-energy work, but really what it all comes down to is our bodies are remarkably adaptable–so be sure your lifestyle forces it to adapt in a way that you want it to![/quote]

The general idea is that the human body is built to walk/jog/sprint after prey for extended periods of time. Eventually the prey gets exhausted and just drops dead, whereas we’re fine.

But, that doesn’t mean that we have to be jogging the entire time. Nor do we have to be sprinting the entire time. That’s the problem with all the jogging people do. The human body is built for endurance. Endurance doesn’t merely mean jogging for hours.

In the context of the hypothetical hunting scenarios, it could mean walking at a pace that lets you keep the prey in sight for several miles, then jogging a couple of miles to get your prey moving and exhausting itself, then occasional sprints to really get it going. Who knows.

But the most probable truth is that the average ancient hunter-gatherer was substantially stronger in endurance/power than your average folk on this forum, and trying to make comparisons wouldn’t really work unless your life also revolved around walking 10+ miles a day and hunting things that move much, much faster than we do.

Yeah i spent years 15-17 doing a ton of distance running to lose fat, went from 230lbs to 155lbs. Remembered being pretty weak, rememberd actually having LESS FREQUENT AND SOFTER WOOD. But hey…i could run relatively slow for a lonnng time, which is useful(?)

Some place i worked at the manager did alot of triathalon stuff, very big on long distance stuff, he talked to me about how he randomly tore a glute muscle while sprinting after a frisbee one time.

No surpise there.

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
I would also add sprinting outside is another animal than on a treadmill.
[/quote]

Sprinting on a treadmill shouldn’t even be called sprinting.

Maybe more like, ‘running-kinda-fast-while-risking-an-accident-the-whole-time’

I agree that endurance hunting, whatever it exactly entails, would be one quintessential paleo exercise.

Other aspects:
-carrying and dragging stuff, especially important after a hunt.
-some form of missile weapon based sport, be it archery, stone flinging, blowgun etc
Most of these are rather skill based and non-strenous, the majority of bows would have a pathetic strength compared to medieval warbows.
-climbing [trees]
-wood chopping and working
-canoeing

make a whole hunting scenario based workout… walk carrying a very light load 5-10 lbs ( a baby for throwing perhaps) for 1-2 miles, sprint a moderate distance 100-200 yards (after an unsuspecting pedestrian), throw something(the baby), drag something heavy for 50-100 yards total ( maybe a neighbors body), lift something heavy, BW or heavier, then carry some moderate load 45ish lbs for 1-2 miles to finish

ive done a walk around my neighborhood 1.5 miles, then sprint up the hill to my house ~140 yards, chunked a medicine ball, done a keg carry and load about 30 yards (175lbs) , dragged a prowler in the reverse fashion for about 50 yards, then finished by walking the neighborhood one more time with a 45lb sand bag. taking reasonable breaks when needed 30-90 seconds.

Any outdoor workout that is geared to resemble an ancient hunt would absolutely have jogging in it. If anyone here thinks that early man didn’t jog he better think again. He sometimes covered vast amounts of space and I can assure you that he did more than just walk. There was walking and sprinting no doubt but jogging (slow running) was also part of what he did.

There should be no bias against jogging as it has its proper place in a sound fitness routine, depending on the trainee’s goals of course.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
There should be no bias against jogging as it has its proper place in a sound fitness routine, depending on the trainee’s goals of course.[/quote]

What does jogging provide that rope skipping doesnt?

[quote]chillain wrote:

[quote]ZEB wrote:
There should be no bias against jogging as it has its proper place in a sound fitness routine, depending on the trainee’s goals of course.[/quote]

What does jogging provide that rope skipping doesnt?
[/quote]

Well for one I prefer jogging on a trail or beach then jumping in place, I am not much for cardio so enjoyment is big.

Persistence hunting has absolutely no scientific backing insofar as actually being performed by hunter gatherers. Hunting is primarily ambush style and off shoots of that. The book Born to Run is a thought experiment by two anthropologists who have the hobby of jogging. Not to say it absolutely can’t be done, but there is no evidence of any hunter gatherers doing it, outside of a few modern groups that do it purely out of ritual and not often at all. Anyone with basic math skills can figure out that you’d be dead fairly quickly if you tried to subsist off of this method for any length of time. And any human with a brain can figure out easier and smarter ways of hunting as soon as the sharp stick was invented, not to mention hunting in groups. People try to argue whether Man is a sprinter vs jogger, but the reality is that human beings are more adaptable than any other creature on earth. We are the ultimate jack of all trades-we are pretty decent at everything and excel at nothing in comparison to the rest of the animal kingdom when it comes to physicality. If fossil evidence is any indicator most prehistoric humans were jacked hunters. Capable of a variety of tasks from lifting heavy objects and sprinting very fast (there are records of modern hunter gatherers being able to keep up with fast college track athletes in a sprint) to covering VERY long distances via walking. Add on our large brain (in fact the brains of prehistoric humans were larger than modern humans)and we were wrecking machines capable of dealing with large Sabertooth tigers, dire wolves, and short nosed bears.

[quote]1000rippedbuff wrote:
People try to argue whether Man is a sprinter vs jogger, but the reality is that human beings are more adaptable than any other creature on earth. We are the ultimate jack of all trades-we are pretty decent at everything and excel at nothing in comparison to the rest of the animal kingdom when it comes to physicality.[/quote]

Indeed. I always think it’s silly to reduce the argument down to jogging vs sprinting. Hunting was for food, not exercise, and would have been done in the most efficient way possible:

Make trap/ set ambush
halt animal
stab with stick
BBQ

[quote]caveman101 wrote:

[quote]1000rippedbuff wrote:
People try to argue whether Man is a sprinter vs jogger, but the reality is that human beings are more adaptable than any other creature on earth. We are the ultimate jack of all trades-we are pretty decent at everything and excel at nothing in comparison to the rest of the animal kingdom when it comes to physicality.[/quote]

Indeed. I always think it’s silly to reduce the argument down to jogging vs sprinting. Hunting was for food, not exercise, and would have been done in the most efficient way possible:

Make trap/ set ambush
halt animal
stab with stick
BBQ
[/quote]

It seems to me that early hunters would have been both lazy and risk averse. Excluding displays occasional of prowess, they would always have been looking to get the most for the least. Furthermore they would have wanted to do it in the safest way possible as any significant injury would be potentially life-threatening.

Trapping in particular makes good sense both in terms of calories in vs calories out and risk management. Setting up a series of deadfalls and snares adjacent to well used animal runs and trails and then periodically walking your trap line to see what you got has a huge survival advantage over either running an ultra marathon to exhaust an antelope or sprinting flat out across uneven ground without any type of meaningful protective foot wear.

Even better still would be to panic a whole herd and stampede them off a cliff and the casually walk down and reap the rewards. Of course some physical exertion would be inevitable but I expect conservation of energy would be key. As always, our biggest asset would have been our brains.

So, to me, it’s not so much jogging vs sprinting as it is Tarzan vs McGyver.

Actually with some further digging, it appears that there is no evidence any hunter gatherers ever did any persistence hunting.

[quote]1000rippedbuff wrote:
Persistence hunting has absolutely no scientific backing insofar as actually being performed by hunter gatherers. Hunting is primarily ambush style and off shoots of that. The book Born to Run is a thought experiment by two anthropologists who have the hobby of jogging. Not to say it absolutely can’t be done, but there is no evidence of any hunter gatherers doing it, outside of a few modern groups that do it purely out of ritual and not often at all. Anyone with basic math skills can figure out that you’d be dead fairly quickly if you tried to subsist off of this method for any length of time. And any human with a brain can figure out easier and smarter ways of hunting as soon as the sharp stick was invented, not to mention hunting in groups. People try to argue whether Man is a sprinter vs jogger, but the reality is that human beings are more adaptable than any other creature on earth. We are the ultimate jack of all trades-we are pretty decent at everything and excel at nothing in comparison to the rest of the animal kingdom when it comes to physicality. If fossil evidence is any indicator most prehistoric humans were jacked hunters. Capable of a variety of tasks from lifting heavy objects and sprinting very fast (there are records of modern hunter gatherers being able to keep up with fast college track athletes in a sprint) to covering VERY long distances via walking. Add on our large brain (in fact the brains of prehistoric humans were larger than modern humans)and we were wrecking machines capable of dealing with large Sabertooth tigers, dire wolves, and short nosed bears.[/quote]

False and misguided. Here is a compiled list of differences between our avolutionaory ancestors and humans, and how those changes favor endurance running (ER). I compiled this relatviley wuick, and all have matched sourcing which I can provide if asked, but since this is not a class I’d rather not take the time for references.

Starting with some comparative anatomy of the fossil records between primates:

Humans
· Homo Erectus, had the first apparent changes for improved walking motion
· Mass-spring mechanism makes it the metabolic cost of transport (COT) lower when slow jogging then fast walking (U shaped curve)
· Mass-spring exchanges kinetic and potential energy differently
· Tendons/ligaments, store elastic strain energy then release in propulsive phase, however is optimally used by certain mechanics
· No primates other than humans, are capable of Endurance running (ER) due to anatomical differences related to the Mass-spring effect (compare achiles tendon, longitudinal arch of foot, etc that are absent in other primates)
· Four types of ER demands, Energetics, strength, stabilization, and thermoregulation
· Pendular mechanics for walking vs. Mass-spring for running (achhiles is more functional when jogging due to stored elastic energy from the stretch of the muscles.
· Consistent storage and release of energy
· Springs include: Achilles tendon, iliotibial tract, peroneus longus, longitudinal arch
· Hypothesis is that Achilles tendon was absent in Australopithecus, and originated in the genus Homo
· We have Long legs relative to body mass
· As a results stride length is most often used to increase speed due to energetic factors
· Reductions in distal limb mass =reduction in metabolic cost of running
· More compact feet and shorter toes (human foot is 9% of total leg mass, 14% for chimpanzees)

Strength/compliance
· Due to large GRFs , limit stress through limb compliance, and mid-foot strike
· Forces are travel through the body through the joints, evidence of this adaptation comes from comparative anatomy of Pan and Australopithecus, Homo has substantially larger articular surfaces (which are necessary for vertical forces of Bipeds vs. quadrupeds) Interestingly these are not matched in the upper body

Stabilization in Humans
· Larger erector spinae muscles (rotational support)
· Gluteus maximus (activation directly proportional to running speed)
· Narrower pelvis, greater degree of rotation at hips
· Shoulders not habitually shrugged (which is common amongst things that climb)
· Reduction in forearm mass, decreases COT, useful in elbow flexed position common in running
· Nuchal ligament absent in chimps and australopithecines, head stabilizer

Thermoregulation/Respiration
· Eccrine sweat glands best developed in humans
· Reduced body hair
· Mouth breathing (smaller nasopharynx than apes) less resistance to bring in oxygen and unloading excess heat during expiration

Toes (from Walking, Running and the evolution of short toes in humans)
· In walking toes support 30-40% of body mass, running 50-75%
· Toes, digital flexors, control COM during propulsion
· Shorter toes are thought to have a lower metabolic cost when running

We have absolutely evolved to be exceptional endurance athletes, but not necassirly for running marathons, or at least making people think that anyone can do it. But just the fact that thousands of terribly out of shape people can actually do a marathon every year (irrelevant if they walked parts of it) is a testament to just how finely tuned endurance athletes we are. Very few animals can do that.

colt, I don’t really know what to make of your copy & paste post but look at it from this way:

It is very, very unprobable, that we evolved into execptional endurance athletes because

-Nearly no indian tribe hunts in that particular way. They do other stuff, though, like fishing, trapping, spearslinging, clubtossing, bolathrowing, antpicking, honeystealing etc
The list is long, and it can all be done with comparatively very little fuss.

-to my knowledge, the cheetah’s way of hunting has the highest catchrate among predators with ~80% rate of success.
If we’d be such smooth-hustlin motherfuckers, even that would be shit because the caloric investment is insanely high!
Focusing on endurance hunting would be a great way to die out quickly. Miss your prey just once (it falls into a chasm, goes into hippo territory etc) and you’re nearly dead. And not just one hunter, a whole group is now seriously starving after a marathon.

“Lads, I guess we can always try tomorrow, after we eat Gronk - COME HERE GRONK!”

-why are we omnivores again, when outrunning deer until it drops is so easy?

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:
colt, I don’t really know what to make of your copy & paste post but look at it from this way:

It is very, very unprobable, that we evolved into execptional endurance athletes because

-Nearly no indian tribe hunts in that particular way. They do other stuff, though, like fishing, trapping, spearslinging, clubtossing, bolathrowing, antpicking, honeystealing etc
The list is long, and it can all be done with comparatively very little fuss.

-to my knowledge, the cheetah’s way of hunting has the highest catchrate among predators with ~80% rate of success.
If we’d be such smooth-hustlin motherfuckers, even that would be shit because the caloric investment is insanely high!
Focusing on endurance hunting would be a great way to die out quickly. Miss your prey just once (it falls into a chasm, goes into hippo territory etc) and you’re nearly dead. And not just one hunter, a whole group is now seriously starving after a marathon.

“Lads, I guess we can always try tomorrow, after we eat Gronk - COME HERE GRONK!”

-why are we omnivores again, when outrunning deer until it drops is so easy?
[/quote]

I’m sorry you think I “copy and pasted” but i typed it up in word previously and trsnfered into here, which changes the format.

Not sure you can deny the recognized scientifc facts of our Comaritive Anatamy that I previuosly stated.

Look, it sucks to think about it, I get it everyone on this site wants to think we are born to squat, bench, clean, etc. I wish that were true, but unfortunately I dont let my personal beliefs get involved with evidence.

Also, I never stated that we have come from running continuosly for long distances, but as a previous poster has said, a combination of walking, jogging, sprinting.

Now, this is not to say that persistence hunts took place by all groups in various parts of the world.

But how else can we explain all of the anatomical differences found between us humans other primates?

Achilles tendon is virtually inactive in walking, along with the Longitudinal arch of the foot, the shorter toes, etc. Why else would we develop those anatomical traits?

We certainly aren’t ‘born to squat, bench and clean’, on this we can agree.

But your list is still wonky in my opinion.

It is similar to what vegans write in defense of their herbivore theory.
in other words, just because we can do some things or geown some organs doesn’t have to mean we are exclusive endurance hunters.
Some facts in your list are crazily distorted.
E.g. (Barefoot) walking though the woods is NOT possible with a “virtually inactive” achilles tendon.
or
the account of various anatomical facts- yes we have a nice ass that chimpanzees lack. Which is one big part of the reason they cannot walk upright very well and we can.
What has that to do with the endurance hunting theory?!

For a sound paleontological theory, I’d like to see a timeframe.
Are we talking about a human ancestor? If so why should we care?
He certainly wasn’t successful enough to switch to a full-fledged carnivore. Which is strange, given his superexpensive hunting tactic (see my last post).
Or are we talking about homo sapiens sapiens?
Why did he venture into many non-endurance huntable regions so fast, then?
Why do practically all native tribes today hunt with ridiculously minimal effort? In contrast, I’ve read about one african tribe who supp. engages in endurance hunting.

There are other adaptions that are even more amazing.
Which animal can build and hurl a killing/stunnung device with such precision?
That takes some serious calculation.
So we are ‘throwers’, maybe?