Is it better to not follow an explicit exercise routine?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM


I have followed certain weight lifting regimes in the past but I am now questioning how paleo it is to follow a repeated routine week in week out. Am I correct in asserting that, in paleolithic times, every day would hold a different amount of exercise (walking distances would vary, sprint times, weights lifted would all change etc). Taking this into consideration, would it make sense to mix up exercise far more often than the 6-8 week bodybuilding mentality? Im talking about every week being a different amalgamation of sets, target muscles, interval training etc.


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on August 28, 2013
at 06:38 PM

If you're goal is some sort of paleo-reenactment, then you would definitely want to vary things up greatly -- include tons of walking, carrying large uneven objects, sprinting, etc.

However, if your goal is making size, muscle-aesthetics, and/or strength gains (any or all of the above), you need to have a targetted approach. That approach does not need to be a "week in, week out" repeating routine or program.

Size, muscle-aesthetics, and strength are gained in one way: the use of heavy weights via resistance as a catalyst, and premium food as nutrition to fuel growth. The frequency of your routines need to be as frequent as you can handle while always starting any day's routine fully recuperated to maximize gains. (Heck, you may not even be interested in maximum gains.) You will not make gains if you aren't rested. Overtraining is probably the most common mistake really diehard and energized people make when training for bodybuilding, strength, or olympic lifting. (Suffice to say "overtraining" is not the same as "training hard" -- overtraining specifically implies having "lapped" your recuperation abilities.)

However -- besides "stick to form" and "slowly progress in weight" -- that's the only real caution: don't overtrain. However you design your program, be it cyclical routines, a 6-8 week growing window, a mish-mash of excercises you do once every week whenever the mood strikes you, eat well, get enough rest, and record your efforts so that you know that you are making identifiable gains.



on August 28, 2013
at 06:47 PM

Just because man did something in the paleolithic does not make it optimal.

While man probably did some varying types and amounts of exercise -- he most definitely did not lift weights. Maybe carrying some logs, or dragging a kill, perhaps picking up some rocks to build a foundation of a shelter -- but the idea of varying your weight lifting regime to introduce some paleolithic reenactment is a bit ridiculous. Paleo man did not bench press. Paleo man did not put a tree trunk on his back and squat. That's not to say either of those things are bad. But if your goal is reenactment look to something like movenat

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