Lieberman: being sedentary is pathological

Interesting article here with Daniel Lieberman, the Harvard barefoot running guy.

He talks about how society’s current level of inactivity is completely abnormal from an evolutionary perspective. We are not wired up this way.

AA: Why, in spite of our adaptations, have we gone from endurance athletes to couch potatoes?
DL: It was incredibly recently in history that a large number of humans have been freed from having to do physical activity. My argument, from an evolutionary perspective, would be that not having regular physical activity every day is pathological and abnormal. In a lot of medical studies, we compare people who are sick with controls. But who are those controls? They are relatively sedentary Westerners. I’d argue that we are comparing people who are sick to people who are abnormal and semi-pathological.

Whether you agree with his ideas about persistence hunting or not there is a lot of truth there. Even if that hunting style was a rare event, some kind of constant, low level activity has filled people’s days until very recently.

You don’t even have to back that far. It was true when people grew more of their food, didn’t all own cars and had to do more physical housework. That stuff just isn’t a part of most people’s lives anymore.

The fix?

Lieberman also gives some good, if most likely unpopular, advice. Do we really expect everyone to sort this out for themselves?

AA: What can we do about our maladaptive traits?
DL: If we want to practice preventive medicine, that means we have to eat foods that we might not prefer, and exercise when we don’t want to. The only way to do that is through some form of socially acceptable coercion. There is a reason why we require good food and exercise in school—otherwise the kids won’t get enough of it. Right now we are dropping those requirements around the world.

If we are going to solve these health problems, we have to push ourselves to act in our own self-interest. As a society, as a culture, we have to somehow agree that it’s necessary or face the consequence—which is billions of unfit, overweight people.


Playing around over the weekend – elbow lever

I was playing around over the weekend and discovered I can hold an elbow lever.

It’s not the hardest skill, or the prettiest example, but I’ve never been able to do it before so was fairly happy anyway.

It could be a lot straighter which is what I’ll work on next. I felt crazy tightness around the front of my hip as I straightened out so I wonder if that’s half the problem.

I’ll stretch there and practice more and see where it goes.

Current training – June 2013

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – well not too much at least.

Not a lot has changed this month – maybe the whole consistancy idea is finally sinking in!

I’m not being too rigid with the routine. I will do all of the things listed below at some point during the week but might move things around to take advantage of the good weather. I’m exercising outside as much as possible at the moment. The sunshine is a rare and welcome thing in my litttle part of the world so I want to spend as much time outside as possible.

Work is pretty crazy at the moment as well so a walk at lunchtime is out of the question. Most days when I finish I just want to get out in the park and run around for a bit (once my girls are in bed that is!).

Saturday – rest

Sunday – run (longer 6-8km)

Monday – home

  • Warm up – Becoming Bulletproof, 16kg Goblet squat & curl, 16kg Windmill
  • A1:Windmill – 16kg x 5/5, Turkish get up, 20kg x 1/1, 24kg x 1/1
  • A2: Goblet squat – 16kg x 8 (plus 3 curls at bottom of last rep), 20kg x 6-8, 24kg x 6-8
  • B1: KB deadlift, 48-65kg – 3 x 5-8
  • C1: KB clean & press – 20kg x 10-20 reps, sets vary
  • C2: Hang from bar – 10-30sec between c&p sets
  • D1: Farmers walk – 24-28kg each hand
Tuesday – run 3-4km (maybe)

Wednesday – park workout

  • Warm up – Becoming Bulletproof, run to the park
  • Run around the park stopping off for a few:
    • Push ups
    • Pull ups
    • Dips
    • Rows
    • Crawls

Thursday – Movnat/playing in the morning, swim in the afternoon

Friday – park workout

  • Warm up – Becoming Bulletproof, run to the park
  • This session is more playful: