Caveman Workout

Why We’re Fat: The Missing Link

Caveman Workout

The hunt.

Spear, firmly gripped in my hands. The beast stands proud, ears erect, unaware that he will soon provide my family with a much needed meal.

The ground is dry. If I’m not careful, the twigs and branches beneath my feet can alert the animal at any moment. I lie waiting for the right opportunity… it’s here.

I stand, stepping on one of those little bastards as I throw my spear. Aimed for its neck, the animal gets a head start because of my sloppy footwork. So instead of hitting his neck, it lands flush on the meaty part of his thigh. The huge beast darts away as best he is able. And I chase.

I grab my knife and sprint towards the beast. Hot on his trail, I’m gaining as he begins to slow down… I’m on him. Struggling to contain him, I manage to plunge my dagger into his throat. His death is quick.

That’s what a man used to have to go through to get a meal.

Today, you could say it’s a little different…

Ben StillerThe hunt of the modern day man.

The steering wheel is grasped ever so gingerly between my index finger an my thumb. As I approach, I spot the beast that will soon be my lunch.

I crouch. Squinting, inching closer to get a better view. I pull up. So many choices! But I make my decision with the certainty that makes me proud to be a man. And then I hear a powerful voice booming from above…

“Can I take your order, sir?”
“Yes. Yes you can,” I say with a smug smile dawning my chubby little face. “I’ll have a burger with fries. And nuggets. And a salad. Gotta keep it healthy, right. I have a long day ahead of me spent with my eyes glued to the computer.”

LIFE used to be a workout.

We had to earn our food. Today, the hunt has been reduced to an activity where the act of chewing is more of a workout than ‘the hunt’.

We’ve been getting fatter and fatter for hundreds of years. Athlete’s aside, our workouts are nothing to brag about. We go to the gym, hop on the treadmill, and start talking. Our phones at our ear, brisk pace, sweating like a pig who knows he’s dinner. Then we head home and ruin the entire workout with a massive plate of “well-earned pasta”.

Are we ever going to be true hunter gatherer’s ever again?

No. Not unless it’s by some extreme life choice that 99.9999% of us won’t make, myself included.

What we DO need is to have our workouts and daily life imitate that of our ancestors as much as we possibly can.

And this is how we can accomplish this. Shrinking our waistline, building muscle, and living longer, more productive lives in the process.

1. Workout with extreme intensity.

The VAST majority of workouts don’t have the intensity they should have. We walk into the gym and simply do what’s written down (and that’s even better than most). If we want to be at our apex – which is what I assume you want if you’re reading this article – we need to train like we’re an apex predator.

Each rep should be attacked, not just done.

When we’re training, pain is a great thing. We want to push our muscles and lungs to new heights. For our lungs, we need to open them up for them to expand. We need to reach points of extreme exhaustion.

For our muscles, we NEED pain. It’s in those final few reps before failure where most of ‘the good damage’ is done to our muscles. Yes, the right program is needed, but once you find it, attack it.

Of course you do need to practice proper form, follow different cadences, and take a step back once in a while. The right program will help you with this. You can’t just go to the gym and run around like an idiot. There needs to be a rhyme and reason to what you’re doing. But we need to push ourselves much harder that we are now.

Too much talking, and not enough pain.

*Go hard for 25-45 minutes, then let the recovery process start. A hunt wasn’t 2 hours of sprinting, it was a journey to find the prey, but once found it was quick bursts. A workout shouldn’t be any different. Length and duration isn’t the key, its the quality of the training that matters most. It’s also what’s missing from a lot of gyms.

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Nothing exists quite like the ‘challenge workouts’ you’ll see in this program:

www.thePowerHowseChallenge.com
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2. Walk whenever we can.

Our ancestors obviously walked a lot more than we do today. Even though we might not walk miles upon miles, we can certainly walk more often. Don’t use things like elevators or escalators and instead choose the stairs.

If you can walk a few blocks, then walk. Don’t take your car.

Much is made of “working out”. But an all around more active lifestyle can be a HUGE benefit as well. Join a sports team and have fun while you workout. Most sports are dominated by short, intense bursts and are great for fat loss.

a) It’s a great way to meet new/active people.
b) It’s really fun.

3. Eat only what comes from the earth.

Eat animals. Eat vegetables. Eat nuts, fruits, and anything else that is killed or grown. It’s the simplest, most effective rule to follow.

4. Eat less often.

Having 6 small meals a day does make sense. The more often you eat, the more often you’re going to give your metabolism a boost. BUT, science is showing that it’s the AMOUNT of food that’s important.

If what we eat in one big meal is the same as what we ate in 2-3 smaller meals, the metabolic effect will be the same. When we eat fewer meals, we’re also going to eat LESS. Fewer calories = greater fat loss (within reason).

The hunters of old didn’t have 6 meals a day. They also weren’t fat. Being fat meant – and still means – a shorter life of lower quality with lower energy levels, less productivity, and a diminished chance of attracting a mate.

Eat healthy and work your ass off in the gym.

5. Train like an athlete.

Training for pure looks CAN mean you’re not becoming a healthier person in some cases. It can also mean you’re not becoming all that much stronger or faster.

The focus needs to be on explosive movements, intense training, as well as slower movements with slower cadences. Always explode on the concentric contraction of an exercise and be sure to include things like plyometrics and Olympic lifts into your workouts.

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If you’re looking for a program that helps you accomplish all of the above, have a look at this video:

How to build ripped, athletic, muscle <——

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  • http://www.fitmole.net Keith Lai

    Great post Chad,

    I especially like point #4. One of the greatest decisions I've made in the past years was switching from the conventional "6 meals per day" to eating only 2-3 meals per day now. It's so awesome to know that skipping meals won't harm your body, plus it's much easier to lose and maintain your weight with fewer meals.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/ Chad Howse

      Agreed. It goes against what's commonly viewed as fact in the fitness industry. I have no problem with 6 meals a day – it's just that it's way easier to follow a routine where you're eating 2-3, or even 3-4.

  • http://www.buildingmuscleworkouts.net John T

    Chad this post really opened my eyes towards the discipline in building muscle. It requires hard work.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/ Chad Howse

      Hey John great point.

      All I see from "Guru's" and marketers is that building muscle or losing fat is easy. While it might be simple like this article suggests, it isn't necessarily "easy". They say that so you buy what they're selling. But it requires hard work. Like anything worth struggling for, it requires hard work.

  • Nick Casteel

    Wow, this article really makes things simple for people. If people were to follow this they would not need any other advise or further programs. It's so simple, just : Work out hard, eat natural (the health benefits here alone would probably make a major difference in the majority of people), & walk everywhere you can. I especially like the work out hard part. I see so many people who do what I consider nothing at the gym and then wonder why they do not get results. It seems people are afraid to push themselves, afraid to break a sweat. Heaven forbid they do not finish a set, they might look weak. It is hard to understand their true motivation sometimes.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/ Chad Howse

      Well said!

      I've been caught under a hack squat machine, pinned under a bench press, and anything else because I was going for that last, painful rep. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard every single time.

  • http://www.thewallenway.com Daniel Wallen

    Extreme intensity is missing in most exercisers. It's disheartening, really. I actually get odd looks at the gym because of it–I wish they were due to radiating attractiveness, but I think it's because I work so much harder than the average person. I've only seen one guy in my gym do a deadlift, and maybe 5-10 do squats. It's like they're content to just "show up" and pay no mind to the amount of effort expended. But I've always said that the guy doing a shitty workout with high intensity will always have more success than the guy doing a good workout with low intensity. Of course, doing squats with high intensity would trump "doing the machines," but dragging our feet won't get us anywhere regardless of protocol. I loved the "hunting in quick bursts" analogy. Good read, man.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/ Chad Howse

      Thanks Daniel. It's a very simple look at why we're getting fatter, but it ain't "easy". Hard work isn't sexy, but the results always are.

      Great points man.

  • http://sergeantsergeant.blogspot.com Matthew Miller

    The main difference between modern man and our cromagnon ancestors is simply put: we had no innitiative.

    why work hard for myself when this diet or this supplement can do it for me? people forget that true greatness, true fitness, REAL results are earned through hard work.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/ Chad Howse

      Well said. I like the supplements comment. People are always looking for a quick fix no matter what it is.

  • Spencer

    This article was awesome! I really liked thepoint about eathing food from the earth and this is something that I have tried to do as much as possible. Also, I think that hard work is almost being trained out of people. At college, the teachers are talking about programs that allow you to work from home for a coulple hours a day at most! That's not the type of job I would ever want to have. I mean whatever happened to showing up on time everyday and working a full day as well? With those type of half assed attituedes of not working a full day or shoing up on time or any thing like that, it is no wonder why people half ass it in the gym. Hard work and dedication = a good job, and respect, and like wise, hard work at the gym = good results.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/ Chad Howse

      Well said Spencer!

  • Brad Borland

    To piggyback onto point number 1, stay engaged in the workout. Focus on what you are doing and block out distraction.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/ Chad Howse

      Good point. Even gyms these days have TV's everywhere. It's nuts. So many options to make you lose focus.

  • Rob

    I love this post. I always tell my friends that I workout and train with the anticipation that I will have to defend my life at any given moment and they look at me like I am on drugs. Truth is, I know that the likelihood of me having to defend my life is rare but in the case that I actually have to do so, I will be prepared. If I have to lift something heavy off of someone, I will be prepared. If I have to chase after someone, I will be prepared. They will not. But I have no problem being the one they will turn to when they need someone physically capable of handling these issues. Thus is the life of the sheepdog.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/ Chad Howse

      Great outlook on training. It's yet another example of how working out gives us confidence… not just in our looks, but in knowing that we can defend and protect if that time ever comes. It's a quiet confidence, but a confidence that fewer and fewer men are able to have.

      I like it.

      • Rob

        My favorite quote: Teddy Roosevelt- "Speak softly, and carry a big stick"… Though, in today's society it seems most men speak loudly and carry no sticks.

      • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/ Chad Howse

        Great Quote!