Okay, so I was looking for something new in the exercise realm and I saw this lead-in for OUTSIDE Online:
The Workout that Time Forgot: Will caveman calisthenics be the next big thing for adventure athletes?
As an archaeologist who teaches about the Early, Middle, and Upper Palaeolithic (aka Early, Middle, Late Stone Age in sub-Saharan Africa), as well as the Neolithic, and one who knows a thing or two about prehistoric and contemporary hunter-gatherers, I couldn’t resist checking out this article EVEN THOUGH I knew it was going to be like watching a train wreck — I just couldn’t turn away.
I will spare you my diatribe about everything wrong with “Caveman Camp”, wait, no, I just can’t let one thing go, we no longer use the word “caveman” BECAUSE there were also cavewomen AND not all Palaeolithic people lived in caves – that’s just ridiculous.
Moving beyond the obvious mistakes made by those who use the past for motives that have to do with money, yes, I am a wee bit bitter about this, here are the basics of the Palaeo lifestyle:
“MovNat is a comprehensive lifestyle,” Le Corre [founder of this movement] tells us. “It’s about diet and nutrition. It’s about exposure to sunlight and nature…MovNat [is founded] on the premise that humans once dashed around untamed landscapes with power and grace, gathering berries, toppling mastodons, and so forth—and that proficiency at such things will help reconnect us to the world in which we evolved.”
Besides romanticizing the past and promoting the same old tired “Man the Hunter” scenario, I agree that people should get outside more and that using nature to exercise is a great idea – I like that part of the Palaeo workout approach. I will also agree that LeCorre is in fantastic shape – however – other tenents of the Palaeo-lifestyle are just wrong:
Run. Howl. Eat Meat. Repeat (excerpted from Outside Online):
Tenent 1: Avoid foods that were unavailable before the advent of agriculture and animal husbandry (like dairy and grains). Instead consume mostly meat, fish, fruits, veggies, and nuts.
Tenent 2. Exercise like early man…
Tenent 3. Focus on skills that have a real-world application. Instead of mindlessly working out, throw things, catch things, climb trees, jump from rock to rock, practice holding your breath, play with your dog, etc.
Tenent 4. Stress your system. Skip a meal once a week or so. Try working out first thing in the morning without breakfast. Participate in something competitive, like a race or a game.