Day 349 (R, 111215) — Getting Ready for Primal: Exercise, Part 1

Moving Primally, Part 1 – Lifting Heavy Things.  Thankfully, since my strength training is already fairly close to what Mark recommends, I won’t need to change my current exercise plan much.

My current exercise plan, which you can see on pretty much any MWF post, consists of:

  • 100 push-ups
  • 20 pull-ups / chin-ups (assisted)
  • 50 dips (assisted)
  • 100 squats
  • 50 exercise ball crunches
  • 20 cat vomit exercises

Mark’s twice-a-week standard Primal workout is:

Reps and Frequency.  I plan to keep doing my normal number of reps since they are higher than his and I find them achievable without undue stress.

I haven’t decided yet if I am going to reduce my workouts to just two per week or if I will continue my three-times-a-week routine.

  • 3 x / week has worked well for me in the past many months and I like the results I’ve seen on this schedule.
  • 2 x / week would be popular with my wife since that means I would spend less time working out and be available to help her with the kids.

The unknown factor here is whether or not dropping down to twice a week would reduce the results I am seeing or have other negative effects (e.g. I wouldn’t feel good after a solid workout as often and would that make a difference?).

Maybe a reduction in frequency could be made up for by an increase in intensity.  We shall see.

Alternative Forms.  On those occasions when I do an alternate form of the exercise (e.g. decline / incline / uneven / plyometric / weighted push-ups or side-to-side / one-legged box / Bulgarian / pistol / weighted squats), I’ll shoot for max reps rather than any particular number.

Differences.  The primary differences between what I do and what he recommends are the exercise choices for abs and shoulders.

  • For abs, it’s plank v exercise ball crunches and cat vomit exercises.  I plan to do them all and alternate which ones I do each week.
  • For shoulders, it’s presses v dips, and, since they work slightly different muscles (dips involve more chest and presses involve more delts), I will alternate these as well.

Putting It All Together – Strength.  So what will my “Lift Heavy Things” workout lookout after I make the change?

1 push-ups 100 / max depending on which form I do that day
2 pull-ups
assisted, working toward unassisted
alternating each week
dips 50 assisted, working toward unassisted
shoulder presses 12 variations
4 squats 100 probably in sets of 25-35 depending on the variation done
alternating each week
exercise ball crunch
cat vomit exercise
plank 60-90 seconds and variations

I’ll cover running on Monday tomorrowTomorrow is Monday will be a special holiday edition of Radio Free New John.


Plan for Week 50.

Day Fast? SCD? Run/Exer?
Sunday Yes Yes No
Monday Yes Yes Yes
Tuesday Yes Yes No
Wednesday Yes Yes Yes
Thursday Yes Yes No
Friday TBD TBD Yes
Saturday TBD TBD TBD
Red = a negative deviation | Green = a positive deviation | Blue = a note



2 responses to “Day 349 (R, 111215) — Getting Ready for Primal: Exercise, Part 1

  1. Pingback: Day 350 (F, 111216) — Getting Ready for Primal: Exercise, Part 2 | New John for a New Year·

  2. Pingback: Day 015-2 (Su, 120115) — A 4HB v Primal Conversation; Plan for Week 3-2 | New John for a New Year·

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