2

votes

Evolutionary workout... what were they doing?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 11, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Does anyone model their workout on EXACTLY what paleolithic people would have been doing? Here is an idea I have been kicking around and figured may be fun....

First, take a long walk. Then a sudden hard sprint. Then throw a spear or edged weapon at a target. Then play tug-of-war with my dog. :-)

Wouldn't that simulate the exact "workout" a hunter would experience? It is interesting to note that current observable hunter/gatherer individuals only "work" about 15 hours a week. And we think we have it all figured out... lol

Edit: I didn't mean to imply that I personaly know what they were doing then. Really, it just seemed like a fun idea to me, if not a little silly. Gosh.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 15, 2012
at 03:26 AM

@Warren - Those two statements are equivalent. And my point stands. We don't really know. We CAN speculate all day long as use modern HGs as a proxy. But really, do any of you REALLY know what modern HGs do all day long? It's easy to be an armchair quarterback, but really hard to play in the NFL. It may be useful to speculate, but be honest, it's speculation. Then it's best to look at whatever science we have to see what really works and what doesn't.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 14, 2012
at 08:49 AM

The question was not "how to model EXACTLY what paleolithic people were doing." The question was "Does anyone model their workout on EXACTLY what paleolithic people would have been doing?"

Medium avatar

(2923)

on January 14, 2012
at 08:40 AM

Take up rodeo? Injuries in paleolithic man and neanderthal skeletons are consistent with modern rodeo performers ...

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 12, 2012
at 06:32 PM

No, I think Dave is correct in that there's some bleeding over of modern on some of those tribes. However, there ARE tribes with minimal to no bleed over. Those are the ones I was thinking of. Now, is it exactly the same, no, but you can make extrapolations.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 12, 2012
at 01:57 PM

Just like we really don't know what they ate on a day to day basis. It surely varied greatly - again by climate, region, etc. We do, however, know that they weren't eating transfats, yellow #5, canola oil or even coconut oil. And they weren't doing crossfit either. I happen to think that crossfit and coconut oil are good things, but they aren't technically "paleo". Insects, honey, dirt and feces are paleo - but I am not eating any of them. If Trader Joe's starts carrying grass fed mammoth, count me in.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 12, 2012
at 01:49 PM

I suppose I am being a grumpy pants, but the the question was posed as how to model EXACTLY what paleolithic people were doing. If you want to model your activity based on your guess of what they did, that's fine by me. Just don't pretend that you really know, because you don't. And neither do I.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:57 PM

Oh dear, Dave S is being a grumpy pants. Let's hope he had a good nights seep and calmed down a bit eh? lol. I think I understand where Paleo_Pal is coming from. He wants to do enough of the right kind of activities to do his body some good. I get the impression that he is thinking of fun ways to exercise without a gym. Yes get out in the woods or whatever, with the dog. Find things like rocks to throw. Drag, throw and carry fallen tree limbs. Carry heavy stuff for as far as you can. Fingers crossed, you don't bump into Dave S out there though or he will tell you off. lol

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 12, 2012
at 08:36 AM

Hunting's useful, but the *real* skill is butchering and cleaning. I'd pay good money NOT to have to do that. :)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 12, 2012
at 01:35 AM

I think it's a huge error to assume that modern HG's tell us much about what happened in the paleolithic. Most modern HG's are living in marginal areas and have had at least some contact with western civilization. But don't let me interrupt your fantasy.

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:16 AM

lol yeah, no car spearing. You know, the javelin throw is still an Olympic sport, so I'm not totally off the reservation with my idea!! :-)

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:13 AM

I manager a pet store, so I have to lift 30-60 pounds of dog food and walk it around almost daily. Sometimes I'll carry a 30 pound bag from the back room to the shelf while holding it over my head just for the muscle stimulation.

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:08 AM

That's kinda what i was thinking, James... there are a little over 80 hunter-gatherer tribes left in the world and they are a fairly good indication of what we were all doing per-agriculture.

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:05 AM

Joking aside, if the "peak oil" people are right and/or the economy keeps going the way it is, primitive hunting may become a desirable skill-set!

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:03 AM

I'd like to try primitive hunting, but I haven't even tried regular old hunting with my rifle yet! I really wanted to this season, too. Meat doesn't get more healthful and grass-fed than "it was eating clovers by a brook right before I shot it"!

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 11, 2012
at 10:46 PM

Agreed. In a survival situation, I'll be the guy hunting with a mouse in my hand and wondering why everything's getting away.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 11, 2012
at 10:44 PM

Exactly what they did, no, we don't really know. However, we do know what their closest counterparts in Africa and the Amazon do.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 11, 2012
at 10:43 PM

In an urban environment, I think you'd be arrested for hunting the biggest "animals". The police would look dimly on you spearing cars...

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 11, 2012
at 10:42 PM

Excluding the eating your dog part there afterwards. :) How about tug of war with the dog, then other sprints away with the dog chasing you (to simulate it trying to eat you)? :)

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:35 PM

I have actually eaten squirrel. Tastes like bland chicken. Steak is far better!

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:34 PM

Lacking projectiles... lol! :-)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:09 PM

I like the spirit of fun embedded in your idea! Paul Gasol of the NBA is including "natural movement" in his training so you're in good company.

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 11, 2012
at 03:46 PM

sounds like my ideal Saturday night...

  • C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

    asked by

    (240)
  • Views
    1.1K
  • Last Activity
    1430D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

9 Answers

1
9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on January 11, 2012
at 06:39 PM

I do obstacle courses about every other week (if you have access to them). I do a soft sand run with about 40lbs of weight for 3 total miles once a month or so. I sprint at least once a week and was wrestling once every 2 weeks.

1
4e6e7ce2caee0797f3bd18b464727f76

on January 11, 2012
at 04:27 PM

Go outside walk rather than jog, sprint rather than run, squat, lift heavy, carry, throw, jump, climb, crawl. Actually do the things you would begin to do naturally if you found yourself on a desert island tomorrow with nothing but yourself to keep you company... Because you had to, not because you chose to.

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:13 AM

I manager a pet store, so I have to lift 30-60 pounds of dog food and walk it around almost daily. Sometimes I'll carry a 30 pound bag from the back room to the shelf while holding it over my head just for the muscle stimulation.

1
193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on January 11, 2012
at 03:32 PM

Well I thought it was funny.

I do agree though that in no way could we reenact what was going on with physical activity in the paleolithic era. I mean, for the most part people stayed close to where they dwelled, and hunting wasn't done on a daily basis, only when the need for more food came about. I guess you could attempt to simulate that as some sort of modern hunter gatherer, but as I live in an urban environment, I'd probably end up eating a lot of squirrel and raccoon. I like my steak and seafood.

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:16 AM

lol yeah, no car spearing. You know, the javelin throw is still an Olympic sport, so I'm not totally off the reservation with my idea!! :-)

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:35 PM

I have actually eaten squirrel. Tastes like bland chicken. Steak is far better!

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 11, 2012
at 10:43 PM

In an urban environment, I think you'd be arrested for hunting the biggest "animals". The police would look dimly on you spearing cars...

1
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on January 11, 2012
at 03:26 PM

Lately I have been trying to simulate the physical activity I think makes sense for humans.

In the morning before work, I walk on the tread mill set to the "hill" program which simulates up and down terrain. I very the speed when I feel like it. Plus I walk a lot throughout the day. When I lift, I lift dumbbells with my full body without isolating muscle groups, and I lift them from floor to overhead.

My routine is lacking projectiles.

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 11, 2012
at 05:34 PM

Lacking projectiles... lol! :-)

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 14, 2012
at 05:51 AM

Yes,I must admit your work out plan is a funny one.But it depends on the age of the people .If he/she is old then it doesn't need to throw spear or what so ever.But walking about an hour will help a lot for sure.

0
Medium avatar

on January 11, 2012
at 05:06 PM

First, the Neolithic police came for the spears. Next, the butter knives. Then they came for you, which was fine in its own way. It was when they came for me that I really objected to. Remember, when edged weapons are outlawed, only outlaws....

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 11, 2012
at 03:39 PM

It's not a historical reenactment. There's no need to do exactly what a cro-magnon did.

If you really want to, go hunting deer with just a atlatl or a spear and 3-4 of your best buddies, then disembowel, and carry the carcass back for a few miles to your camp.

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 11, 2012
at 03:46 PM

sounds like my ideal Saturday night...

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:03 AM

I'd like to try primitive hunting, but I haven't even tried regular old hunting with my rifle yet! I really wanted to this season, too. Meat doesn't get more healthful and grass-fed than "it was eating clovers by a brook right before I shot it"!

0
6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 11, 2012
at 03:33 PM

Yeah...erm...sort of. The modern paleo version... I get the Wii out, set it to baseball. While batting I am simulating clubbing some defenceless animal to death. While pitching I am simulating throwing spears at faster animals. If I have time I switch to bowling to simulate the fun my ancestors would have had with the head of the animal they had hunted down (once the brains and tongue were removed and cooked of course).

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:05 AM

Joking aside, if the "peak oil" people are right and/or the economy keeps going the way it is, primitive hunting may become a desirable skill-set!

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 11, 2012
at 10:46 PM

Agreed. In a survival situation, I'll be the guy hunting with a mouse in my hand and wondering why everything's getting away.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 12, 2012
at 08:36 AM

Hunting's useful, but the *real* skill is butchering and cleaning. I'd pay good money NOT to have to do that. :)

0
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 11, 2012
at 03:25 PM

Anyone who thinks they know exactly what paleolithic people did on a daily basis is full of fecal transplant material.

If you like this idea and want to do it, fine. I really don't understand the desire to reenact. I apologize for being annoyed by your question, but I really don't see it as being useful, interesting or funny. (I like funny...)

And I doubt you will get an answer that is correct. There is just no way to know. And I assume it would vary greatly by geography/climate/season/food availability/etc etc...

Maybe someone else who is in a better mood will have a good answer or at least a funny one.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 12, 2012
at 01:49 PM

I suppose I am being a grumpy pants, but the the question was posed as how to model EXACTLY what paleolithic people were doing. If you want to model your activity based on your guess of what they did, that's fine by me. Just don't pretend that you really know, because you don't. And neither do I.

C658d3f110a348a964dcf799002c4c2a

(240)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:08 AM

That's kinda what i was thinking, James... there are a little over 80 hunter-gatherer tribes left in the world and they are a fairly good indication of what we were all doing per-agriculture.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 12, 2012
at 01:57 PM

Just like we really don't know what they ate on a day to day basis. It surely varied greatly - again by climate, region, etc. We do, however, know that they weren't eating transfats, yellow #5, canola oil or even coconut oil. And they weren't doing crossfit either. I happen to think that crossfit and coconut oil are good things, but they aren't technically "paleo". Insects, honey, dirt and feces are paleo - but I am not eating any of them. If Trader Joe's starts carrying grass fed mammoth, count me in.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 11, 2012
at 10:44 PM

Exactly what they did, no, we don't really know. However, we do know what their closest counterparts in Africa and the Amazon do.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 14, 2012
at 08:49 AM

The question was not "how to model EXACTLY what paleolithic people were doing." The question was "Does anyone model their workout on EXACTLY what paleolithic people would have been doing?"

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 12, 2012
at 01:35 AM

I think it's a huge error to assume that modern HG's tell us much about what happened in the paleolithic. Most modern HG's are living in marginal areas and have had at least some contact with western civilization. But don't let me interrupt your fantasy.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 12, 2012
at 06:32 PM

No, I think Dave is correct in that there's some bleeding over of modern on some of those tribes. However, there ARE tribes with minimal to no bleed over. Those are the ones I was thinking of. Now, is it exactly the same, no, but you can make extrapolations.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 12, 2012
at 12:57 PM

Oh dear, Dave S is being a grumpy pants. Let's hope he had a good nights seep and calmed down a bit eh? lol. I think I understand where Paleo_Pal is coming from. He wants to do enough of the right kind of activities to do his body some good. I get the impression that he is thinking of fun ways to exercise without a gym. Yes get out in the woods or whatever, with the dog. Find things like rocks to throw. Drag, throw and carry fallen tree limbs. Carry heavy stuff for as far as you can. Fingers crossed, you don't bump into Dave S out there though or he will tell you off. lol

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 15, 2012
at 03:26 AM

@Warren - Those two statements are equivalent. And my point stands. We don't really know. We CAN speculate all day long as use modern HGs as a proxy. But really, do any of you REALLY know what modern HGs do all day long? It's easy to be an armchair quarterback, but really hard to play in the NFL. It may be useful to speculate, but be honest, it's speculation. Then it's best to look at whatever science we have to see what really works and what doesn't.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!