I'll use the 'think like a caveman' approach here, and I'll use Mark Sisson's 'Grok' character as the example. Would Grok have a weak back? Why or why not? If not, what would Grok do in his or her daily life that strengthened his or her back muscles. Do you really think Grok sat around and did pull-ups? Why or why not?
Feel free to extend to any other muscles.
asked byJames (35)
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on July 03, 2010
at 01:49 AM
I used to do rock climbing, and I am pretty sure that groks who were living in rocky/hilly/woody areas had to climb a lot, often fast (if running away). push ups= imagine pushing anything away, big rock, to push tree to make it fall, fighting, etc. squat =lifting anything up, getting up etc....
so yes, I think a lot of our standard exercises do copy what grok could have possibly be doing...
jumping from one rock to another, running and walking through uneven surface, crossing a river - all of that uses muscles we use when doing lounges, squats, jumps etc.
good hand/arm exercises copy natural movements as well - throwing a rock/spear, pulling a rope/branch, breaking bones with an ax, crashing something with big stone, carrying a hunted animal or wounded friend....
so yes, if we don't live very active lives somewhere there in woods, we can try to copy some natural movements.
ETA: I thought I would add something, as I think it's quite relevant.
I am just now spending some off time with friends in Vermont. I am helping them clear some of their land of trees to prepare for pasture. The trees themselves are cut down by someone, and biggest branches separated, logs cut etc., but all the cleaning (by burning) is left with us (three women). There is a lot of lifting, pulling, carrying, dragging, breaking, throwing, pushing... I thought it's my arms that would be sore, but I was surprised that I had to stop at some point, b/c it's my legs that simply couldn't go anymore. I did more deadlifts, squats, lounges of any kind that I did in weeks of workouts! Adding to it lack of balance, need for constant stabilizing, sometimes jumping and fast reaction to whatever comes... I felt my back muscles and abs being tired as well.
I feel I am having a good, real primal workout! (all the scratches are a bonus :P) There is a lot of movements that are very similar to the classic exercises, but now I will know to add a few more as I observe how I move in "real world" :)
on July 03, 2010
at 01:03 AM
I think you should watch some videos of people who live with existing hunter gatherers, it will provide a lot of insight into this issue.
I'll suggest Living with the Kombai, or the other series I've yet to see "Meet the Mek".
The hunter gatherer lifestyle often has a fair amount of intense physical labor, from carrying food, to building homes, taking care of the sick etc.
To specifically answer your question, they probably did not sit around and do pullups, but frequently did some activities that involved heavy pulling, climbing trees or other natural landmarks, or playing cultural games that involved a similar activity.