Exercising the Caveman Way

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Early cavemen were believed to be fitter, stronger and healthier than the average present-day human. Indeed, fitness was a necessity and a natural result of their daily routine, which mainly consisted of hunting and gathering.

Cavemen didn’t need treadmills or barbells. The energy and strength required for stalking, killing and taking home prehistoric prey was a dynamic and complete exercise all in itself.

The effectiveness of caveman exercise lays in the fact that it was diverse and didn’t require a conscious mental effort to accomplish.

Psychological burn out and muscle stress are among many factors that contribute to an unsuccessful fitness regimen. The key is to be creative and unconventional in simulating our ancestor’s normal habits.

Imagine stalking a giant sloth for Sunday brunch. You can find ways to simulate this caveman exercise by using what is available around you.

To avoid routine, make workouts enjoyable by imagining that you actually are a caveman. Consider each day a new environment with different prey, terrain and other variables.

Here are some interesting ways to do a caveman workout. Feel free to combine them in anyway you like, and put more emphasis on intensity rather than on the duration of the exercise.

Warm-up/Walking: While walking in the park, picture yourself as a caveman hunter stalking a caribou. Don’t stick to the path. Seek out hilly areas or even steep terrain. Doing so makes the experience more realistic. A slab of steak as your reward could just be motivation enough.

Cardio/Running: In between walking, imagine briefly spotting your prey. Run for sudden bursts to simulate closing in on the animal. It might help to carry a make-believe spear during the scenario. Repeat as often as you like.

Light Weight Lifting: Carrying a heavy stick or placing several rocks in a backpack can simulate the projectiles cavemen would arm themselves with. Kill the animal we call “boredom” by throwing the rocks and sticks at a pretend target. What a great way to release tension while toning those arms, too.

Swimming: Imagine having to cross over a river full of prehistoric crocs. Nothing motivates more than the primal fear of being eaten alive. Head over to the pool and swim like your life depended on it!

Heavy Weight Lifting: Congratulations! You just caught your caribou, now it’s time to bring the meat back to the cave. Fill your backpack with heavier stones or pick a reasonable-sized branch and carry it all the way back to the house. Better yet, do some errands and lift the groceries, a ham leg or frozen turkey, all the way back home.

And when you finish up your caveman workout, don’t forget the mandatory chest thumping upon reaching the cave. Do this not only as a celebration, but also to impress the hungry cavewoman awaiting you.

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