Caveman Training in a Modern World – Part 2

In part one I mentioned that ‘Paleo’ is not a clear concept, and has gained a lot of hype over the past few years. In my world, a paleo-style of exercise doesn’t require gyms, exercise equipment, fluoro trainers, lululemon attire, expensive and potentially harmful supplements, viewing your biceps in a mirror or kissing your guns, backstabbing other trainers/coaches for which you believe are inferior teachers, competing for the most weight lifted or the most pronounced washboard abs.  Paleo exercise, like paleo nutrition goes back to basics of what would seem to be a healthy way to move, eat and live, without all the garbage.

Paleo Training Plan

I grabbed Paleo Movement King and MMA Fighter Rob Hill for his advice on the best, primal exercises to mix together in a short, intense workout. As a professional MMA athlete, Rob does this for a living, and if you’ve ever watched MMA you will notice how primal, functional, fit and strong their bodies are required to be.

This is what Rob came up with:

“In summary, if you want animal like performance and power, train like an animal! My choices of exercises can be done with minimal equipment and matted area or playground equipment, and I stress, volume, intensity, and be creative!

They include things like – 

  1. Sprints over short distances with obstacles
  2. Squat jumps, sprawling and burpees.
  3. Bear crawling, leopard crawling, goanna crawling. 
  4. Scrambling around bags on you knuckles (like a monkey!), 
  5. Push ups, chin ups, pull ups, back bridges, sit throughs, planking holds, handstand push ups and walks
  6. Rope climbing, monkey bar swings, hanging positional holds, battle ropes, Sledge hammer swings, Sled drags, tyre flips, medicine ball throwing and slamming, heavy bag slams, heavy bag ramp runs..

The list of exercises that man would have carried out over the last 250,000 years is endless. And you can be sure as hell that our ancestors spent a damn lot of time wrestling with each other, something which I believe is part of our evolution.     

A typical conditioning workout for me as an MMA fighter would consist of performing a set of these exercises for a time period like this – I would perform 6×5 minute rounds with a 1 minute break, performing a different exercise every minute during the round and repeating the exercises done through the first two rounds throughout the workout.” Rob and I came up with the following workout. It is intense! – 

1. SPRAWL – SQUAT – JUMP up the length of the mat and sprint back (1 minute)

2. BEAR CRAWL up the length of the mat and sprint back (1 minute).BEAR-CRAWL-sydneystrengthconditioning-cavemantraining-paleoexercise-300x200-min3. FORWARD / BACKWARD TUMBLES up and down the length of the mat (1 minute) rolling over the shoulder.

4. GOANNA CRAWL up the length of the mat/ LEAP down the length of the mat (1 minute).

5. SIT-OUTS (1 minute)

SIT-OUT1-sydneystrengthconditioning-cavemantraining-paleoexercise-300x200-minSIT-OUT2-sydneystrengthconditioning-cavemantraining-paleoexercise-300x200-min6. STOMACH JUMP-UP TO SPRINT down the length of the mat (repeat for 1 min).  

When you’ve done all six exercises, you have 1 minute rest before starting again for another 3-4 sets.

This may just be the most intense workout you have ever done !


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