Fitness Through the Ages vs Today, 6 Training Tips to Regain our Timeless Physical Strength

We’re all looking for some form of reverse evolution as it’s what we need. We don’t use our bodies like we did 100 or 1,000 years ago, so anything we do fitness-wise is there to shore up what we’ve missed out on due to our modern lifestyle. This phenomenon is not familiar to us as humans – now we must supplement what we’re missing in exercise with what we did before naturally…and innately this is very, very new.  

How We Once Were

As we were hunter/gatherers throughout the ages, we performed the movements that were necessary given the situation. Much like with food (we ate what we found available regionally, and this didn’t exclude very much),exercise went much the same way. When we encountered cliffs we scaled them, so we did motions much like pull ups and lunges to perform these feats. It’s also important to note also how often we typically rested. When we encountered enemies we fought them using the pectoral muscles more as we do in combat sports today.

We also walked, jogged and sprinted when necessary, depending on what was needed situationally. That is how simple our fitness was, arguably up until about 100 years ago when we still had to do much labor to bring about crops farming and hunting everything that what was eaten. This is how we have lived historically until just recently. This is how we stayed fit. So how are our natural, age old fitness routines best recreated so that our bodies get what they need in our modern era?

Here’s a cross-analysis of how exercise was done from to 100 to 1,000 years ago, vs how it’s done in our modern era.  *Examples below mentioned after “Now” depict the mere 20% of Americans who get the recommended amount of exercise according to the Center for Disease Control.

Duration:

Now:                      

Exercise is reduced to roughly one short time slot of pure exercise each 24 hour period. Most often little to no exercise is performed outside of these time slots.  

Throughout Time:

Constant if not sporadic exercise throughout the day. Exercise was not reduced to time slots. It was common to get many forms of exercise in smaller or more varied time segments (one could exercise between 3 and 20 times per day, or constantly for large segments of the day).  

Frequency:

Now:                      

Average person about 3x/week for those who exercise

Throughout Time:  

It was common to get many forms of  exercise in smaller or more varied time segments (one could exercise.between 3 and 20 times per day, or constantly for large segments of the day).  

Cardio

Now:                      

15 min to 1 hour per day walking or jogging

Throughout Time: Extensive daily walking. Jogging and Sprinting employed when hunting,fighting or combat training

Resistance Exercise:

Now:                       

Barbells, Dumbells etc.  

Throughout Time:   

Hefting hay,hefting animals,farming, plowing,physical tasks were shared amongst inhabitants,so that a larger % of the population was physically active.

After recognizing these many significant asimilarities between traditional vs modern exercise,it should be obvious to most of us now why most of us have such a hard time staying in shape in modern times like we did in our outdoor gyms of the past when the world was one big jungle gym. The types of movement we use,the frequency pace duration and rests periods between do not even approximate the exercise routines we have performed naturally for thousands of years. And yet we desire the same result – a strong, lean and resilient,glistening body,while ignoring the way we have exercised  naturally throughout the ages.

Outdoor strength training

 

So how does one know if their fitness bases are covered? Below is a list of simple steps we can take to become strong again in the way that we have typically throughout time. Here’s what should be included in your workouts in a daily or weekly basis:  

Boost Your Strength Training Routine With These Simple Tips

Change up your tools:

Think about it – did the average person throughout time hoist only small pigs? Absolutely not! They lifted bails of hay,chickens,held down cows as they were branded,they lifted dirt,water jugs….they carried heavy objects for long distances! If you want to maintain you body,lifting barbells is great, but they don’t solve the problem of varying load TYPE,which will challenge the different strength aspects of your body. Try kettlebell training, training with clubs,cables, rubber bands etc. IN ADDITION to your current routine. Just try something new!#%! Remember how we evolved and what movements we’ve done forever and recreate them! Your joints ligaments,your entire body will absolutely love you for it.

 Exercise Outdoors:

Gyms keep us indoors…many of you hate this. I like to take the kettlebells outside and exercise – this is the answer to large % of the population that doesn’t like gyms. For you cardio-enthusiasts – your routine will just plain be more effective if you simply take it outdoors like we’ve done with our cardio for eons. What’s stopping us now?    

Try lifting throughout the day:

It’s proven that people get stronger by performing sets of lifts throughout the day than by trying to get everything in inside of one set hour per day (It also burns much more calories as the body needs to cool down and warm up for each set). Perhaps the reason why is that culturally as humans we have lifted sporadically throughout the day without condensing our routine into a corner of our lives for eons. That’s just a guess. Buy some kettlebells and place them next to your desk. Try to perform just 10 sets of 10 kettlebell deadlifts each and every day,or 5 sets of 5 as I demonstrate here in this youtube video.  

More Strength Training:

It’s clear that most of the population used to strength train given my analysis above, and now almost no one does. 99% of gym goers either do cardio, weights, or classes such as Zumba. Hey that’s you’re choice – gyms do a good job of offering you everything, so make sure and use everything. Guys do more cardio, and you ladies need to venture into the weight room.

Mobility Training:  

Mobility training is exercise with the goal of increasing range of motion in joints, and improvement of overall movements patterns and posture. Some of this mixed into our routines daily will restore some of the function we’ve lost in our bodies since the industrial revolution. Our sitting in chairs for most of our lives has caused us damage to our hips,lower backs,knees, up and down our kinetic chain of which average person isn’t aware until injured. Sitting is the source of most lower back and hip problems. Chiropractors and Physiotherapists are aware,and that’s why you see their offices open everywhere you look. Spend 15 minutes before or during your workout mobilizing your joints,your spine,your hips,and you’re likely to spend less time needing their services.   

Are you ready to regain your timeless physical strength? Then book your ONE WEEK FREE TRIAL today!

Cardio Speed Training

 

 

By Dan Piper, CPT, RKC, FMS,  Workout4Results.com

Strength Training at Dan’s Barbell and Kettlebell Club, Alameda, CA

4 Comments

  1. Don

    100%… Need to sneak it in whenever, wherever !!!
    I do a boxing workout 6 days a week plus I have kettlebells & bands in my car so I can use them even in a 5 or 10 minute time slot.

    Thx Dan…
    Don Freeman

    PS I also do push ups , full squats ( Chinese sitting ) Hindu push ups & Hindu squats.

  2. Dan Piper

    That Rocks Don! You have the idea and the spirit of age old training.

  3. Dan John shared this on his Facebook page and I can see why. Great work mate. I often think back to what the cave man did for exercise, eating etc and it gives you great perspective on what is happening in today’s world. Everybody could do more of those 6 things. .

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