MovNat Erwan Le Corre paleo primal movement natural

MovNat is Coming Back to Australia!

I was thrilled to see MovNat is returning to Australia early next year.  I didn’t know much about MovNat until Erwan Le Corre’s talk at the AHS earlier this year, but after hearing him talk and watching some of his demonstrations it looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it for myself.


There are going to be two day workshops in Melbourne on 24th & 25th March 2012 and Sydney on 31st March to 1st April.

Erwan Le Corre is also going to be at PrimalCon 2012, so it looks like being a MovNat April!

Have you booked your spot yet?!

MovNat Erwan Le Corre paleo primal movement natural

HIIT High Intensity Interval Training paleo diet primal fitness crossfit tabata exercise-min


As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been a regular at the gym for a couple of years now.  My workouts are primarily HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), which seemed to be unanimously agreed to be the best training method at both the AHS and Nora Gedgaudas’s recent seminar.

HIIT is designed to incorporate bursts of high intensity sprints with recovery intervals.  The sprint sections are typically 60 seconds or so, enough to use every last bit of stored energy in the muscles.  This is very different to “chronic cardio”, where hours can be spent in the gym mindlessly pounding the treadmill.  HIIT improves endurance, fitness, lean muscle mass and oxygen consumption (including after the workout, resulting in fat burning for hours after the workout).  Injury from over training is also a lot less likely with HIIT.

During the last two months of so, I’ve upped the number of HIIT sessions to three and am amazed at the difference in my fitness and strength.  I can’t wait to see how much fitter I’ll be in a few months time.  Before Paleo I went through phases of chronic cardio and never achieved anything like the results I am enjoying today.

I’ve been reading lots of differing viewpoints about eating post work-out, and am currently trying the not eating post workout approach.  The idea here is that after using up all of your stored energy your body has to use body fat – and as soon as you eat it will stop that process and start using the food as fuel.

I’ve read how our bodies are capable of so much more than our minds believe.  I’ve therefore been asking a lot of fit people how they deal with the mental aspect to training.  There seem to be a few approaches, such as only focusing on the next five reps (instead of the whole set), complete distraction by focusing on music for instance, or focusing on the end goal.  I’m going to try a few different approaches myself to see if changing my thinking can enhance my performance.

What kind of workouts do you do?  I’d be really interested to hear how you approach the mind aspect of your workouts too.

HIIT High Intensity Interval Training paleo diet primal fitness crossfit tabata exercise-min

Pink boxing gloves paleo primal HIIT fitness crossfit exercise gym-min

Pink Boxing Gloves

My first ever pair of boxing gloves arrived at the gym last night (er, a Birthday present to myself?)!  They’re pink and quite possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.  I’ve even got matching pink gloves to wear inside (though on reflection, perhaps that’s a bit silly as I won’t be able to see them?)  I can’t wait to wear them with my pink VFF’s!

In the five weeks since I moved from a big commercial gym to a small, independent gym (my PT moved – and I followed), my fitness and strength have increased significantly.  I notice it every day, whether I feel the need to run up a flight of stairs two at a time (which I’d previously have walked up) – or even just lifting previously heavy things at home.

Since the move, my gym sessions have got harder and much more challenging.  My two weekly sessions are based on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and typically involve a lot of strength work and short bursts of cardio.  Every session is completely different; the only constant is that it’s never easy!  I used to hate exercise, but now I love it and am always looking forward to my next session.  I think it takes a while for people new to exercising (as I was two years ago) to go from hating it – to loving it; but trust me, if I love exercise – anyone can grow to love it!

Last night’s session involved the bike and the rower, kettle bell swings, kettle bell cleans, medicine ball, sprints, squats, core work, and stretching.  I moved up to a 16kg kettle bell last night for the first time, which I’m very excited about.  Hopefully that will start feeling less heavy soon!  I recently started doing a circuits class once a week – and adding more sprints into my commute.  I’m sure these factors alongside my fairly strict Paleo nutrition plan have all had a part to play in this sudden increase in fitness!

Future sessions will feature my new boxing gloves – and some heavy ropes which will be arriving at the gym very soon – I’m intrigued to see exactly what we’ll be doing with those?!

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I’m excited to see how much fitter and stronger I’m capable of becoming!

Is your style of exercise completely different to mine?  Are you the fittest you’ve ever been?

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Paleo Birthday Resolutions

It’s my birthday today, which is the perfect time to evaluate my achievements this past year – and to focus on what I want to achieve in this brand new, unchartered year.

This past year can be summarised by one word for me: Paleo!  I’ve travelled to America twice for PrimalCon and the Ancestral Health Symposium and met so many amazing, lifelong, Paleo friends along the way.  I’ve refined my Paleo nutrition and found what works for me.  My housemate and a few friends have adopted a Paleo lifestyle, which I am thrilled about.  I’ve spent a lot of time this year researching and reading in the Paleosphere – and of course, I started this blog.  My biggest personal achievement this year has been my fitness.  I have never been as fit as I am now and it enhances almost every aspect of my life.  Linked into all of these factors, my sleep has been another huge transformation this past 12 months.  I used to really struggle to fall asleep, sleep very poorly, then struggle to wake up in the morning.  The last few months however, I’ve been tired at bedtime, sleeping soundly and waking up before my alarm almost every morning!

It seems like a timely point to work out what I want to achieve between now and my next Birthday, with the help of some “New Years” resolutions.  So, from tomorrow: –

1.       I’m going to see the sunrise and sunset every day.

This is going to be quite a challenge, but it seems a really important link, to the body’s natural circadian rhythm.  After all, we should live alongside the natural day; staying up until 4am isn’t good for us.  Here in Sydney Sunrise is between about 5:15am (this month) and 7am in the winter months.  This should be fairly easy.  I’ll get up just before sunrise, so I should see the sunrise on my walk into work.  The time of year will then determine how long I spend in the gym/ swimming pool before I go to work – or perhaps I’ll even start work early?  Sunset will be a lot more of a challenge, as in Sydney it varies from around 4:50pm in June to about 8:10pm in the summer months (I do miss those long summer evenings in the UK!).  I’m not sure how I’ll tackle this one in the winter, but the summer should be quite achievable.

2.       I’m going to get rid of five things every day.

One Primal area I really struggle with is minimalism!  I have a lot of “stuff”.  My friend Lars over at Primal Minimalist has recently started a new daily habit of de-cluttering his house by five things every day.  I could honest do this every day for the next year – and probably still have quite a lot left by my next birthday.  So this is what I’m going to do!

3.       I’m only going to eat local food.

I think I’m probably fairly compliant on this one already, when I eat at home.  When I eat out however (which is all too frequently), I often have no idea where the food is sourced from.  I need to know this.  I think it’s really important to eat local food (and ideally, organic).  This should also mean I am only eating seasonally, which is also important.  I can hopefully achieve this by bringing in my lunch to work, and eating out less.  When I do eat out, I’ll be very careful to select somewhere that uses local food – and I won’t be afraid to ask!  One area that might not be possible is coconut oil; I’ll investigate further, but may need to make an exception here.

4.       I’m going to up the ante on my chin-up & fitness mission.

By my next birthday I want to be able to do ten unassisted pull-ups and be working towards hand-stand push-ups!  I also want to be considerably fitter and stronger than I am today.  As I have never been as fit and strong as I am today, this is all very exciting new territory.

Are you still sticking to your New Years or birthday resolutions?  Which new Paleo habits would you like to adopt?  What do you think of my resolutions?

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My Current Fitness Mission paleo diet primal crossfit gym exercise pull ups chin ups-min

My Current Fitness Mission

In addition to walking & running, I have two or three sessions a week of high intensity interval training style workouts, which I love.  I’ve been doing this for over a year now and have made significant progress.  The more progress I make however, the more my fitness ambitions grow.

Originally I wanted to be able to do “proper” man push ups.  I can finally do these now, though they aren’t pretty.  Yet.


My biggest fitness ambition is to be able to do proper, unassisted chin-ups.  I’d be thrilled to be able to do one, but ten would be incredible.  I’ve been using an assisted chin up machine at the gym to help me achieve this.  It has a counter weight, which you can gradually reduce – until the day arrives where no counter weight is required.  The counter weights are gradually reducing – and my other strength routines are no doubt helping towards my aim.


My aim is to be able to do a few proper chin-ups by April – at PrimalCon 2012.  That gives me six months to get stronger.  I will conquer them!

Can you do chin-ups?  Do you have any fitness goals that you’re working towards?  Share in the comments, below

My Current Fitness Mission paleo diet primal crossfit gym exercise pull ups chin ups-min

My daily commute barefoot paleo network sydney harbour bridge walking running-min

My Daily Commute

When Mark’s Daily Apple launched this video competition, it seemed like the perfect excuse to learn some new Mac skills, after buying my first ever MacBook Pro a couple of weeks ago.  I’d been thinking about making a video of my commute into work, as the sun rises behind the Sydney Opera house, whilst I run/ walk over the Harbour Bridge.  Perhaps with a cruise liner going under the bridge, at the exact same time I ran over it.  Yeah, didn’t happen like that.  By the time I found my camera I completely missed the sunrise and the weather was terrible.

So, let me know what you think of my first ever video!

I think walking is one of the best forms of exercise there is.  For me, walking to work is perfect.  There are no excuses or putting it off – I have to get to work, I have to walk!  My commute is 4.6km (2.9 miles), each way, so door to desk, via shower, it is well under an hour.  I’m increasing the amount I wear my Vibrams each week too, I’m almost up to every day.  If I were to get the bus, by the time I’ve waited around for a bus, it wouldn’t be that much quicker – not to mention the unpleasantness of buses at rush hour.  On the way into work it’s mainly downhill and I often run.  I’ve got particularly bad at needing to overtake EVERYONE in front of me.  I used to walk most of the way home, but since I’ve upped the fat in my diet, and decreased the carbs, I often have so much energy I feel compelled to run.  Even after a long day at work.  Crazy!

Another huge benefit I see in walking, particularly in the summer, is that I get a lot of sun exposure – but not the intense midday sun.  Great for keeping my Vitamin D levels topped up.  I also really enjoy the time to just be mindful and enjoy the fresh air and scenery, or listen to music and podcasts.  I wouldn’t swap this part of my day for anything!

Before I moved to Australia, my commute used to be 19 miles, in a car, on a motorway in the UK.  It doesn’t get much less Primal than that!

In addition to walking, I also do high intensity intensity training two or three times a week, with my fantastic PT, Karl.  In the year since I started these sessions, my strength and fitness have improved significantly.  I’m making slow, but steady progress in my push-up and chin-up ambitions!  I will master the unassisted chin-up, I will!

What does your fitness look like?  Do you walk to work too?

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How to get cheap vibrams vff five fingers barefoot shoes running sydney australia-min

How to Get Cheap Vibrams

As I explained in my previous post, I love running barefoot, in VFFs.

My Vibrams

My Vibrams – I’ve got a pair of pink Treksports and black Classics. So far.

When I was in America for PrimalCon & the AHS this year, I was so shocked to see how cheap Vibrams were, compared to here in Australia.  I bought two pairs, the Treksport in pink from a big outdoors store in Texas and a pair of Classics in black from another store in San Francisco.  Each pair worked out at well under $100 AUD, including taxes.  Not only were they cheaper, but the stores stocked so many different models, colours and sizes.  I should have bought more.  It takes going overseas to realise how expensive things are in this part of the world.

The bigger sports shops in Sydney seem to carry just a few models, and you can forget about getting them in exciting colours.  The bigger Rebel Performance stores sell a small selection, for upwards of $169.99 AUD, which is a lot of extra money to pay, especially for a small selection.


Vibrams can be expensive in Australia

I bought my first pair of Vibrams on Ebay last year.  I carefully researched the model and tried an equivalent pair on in the city, to make sure I ordered exactly the right size.  I still paid about $100, so not that much of a bargain.  They arrived and I was instantly disappointed with Vibrams in general.  The toes were all the same length – meaning only my big toe would fit properly.  The top of my other toes didn’t even reach the bottom of toe section!  I initially assumed this was just how they made them, perhaps I had freaky toes, as they weren’t all the same length?  On close inspection it became apparent that the box and literature in the box was quite odd too.  It was upside down and back to front.  I think I probably spent my hard earned cash on a pair of fake Vibrams.  So my word of warning is be really careful where you buy them from.  If you buy them online, be sure they are genuine!

Luckily I wasn’t put off and after meeting so many VFF owners at PrimalCon I soon realised how they were supposed to fit and behave.  I bought my next two pairs earlier this year.  The difference is incredible!  They are an amazing fit.  Wearing them feels as close to barefoot as I’m realistically likely to get in the city centre.

Prices generally do seem to be coming down in Australia.  I found a sale today at the Adventure Mega Store in Sydney CBD selling VFF’s starting at $99, which seems to be a great deal (but I’d love to find a better price in this country).  They had by far the largest range I’ve seen in Sydney.  I also saw an indoor yoga style for the first time (with 40% discount) which looked perfect for dancing, though I’d need to see how they would compare to my existing dance footwear.  I don’t have the “Sprint” model, and think this might be a good choice for my next pair, I’m very tempted.

cheap vibrams VFF

I found a good sale on Vibrams in Sydney today…

If your toes do happen to all be exactly the same length, I could do you a great deal on a second hand pair of VFF’s.  Unworn…

Have you found any good deals on Vibrams in Australia and New Zealand?  Have you found a great stockist with lots of choice?  Have you managed to get any “real” ones shipped here at a good price?  I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below.

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NLP paleo boy running marathon primal diet-min

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s NLPaleo Boy…

Author:  Kevin Bees (whole 30 sceptic-turned convert)

OK, a Marathon run (42.2km / 26.1m) is not very ‘Paleo’.  But, let’s play for a while to find out how ‘Paleo’ eating could impact a distance runner and ask the question:

What would happen if you mixed the Paleo diet, 28 degree heat, with a Whole 30 sceptic-turned-convert into the Sydney Marathon?

I did just that… and the results are in, and have been counted and verified… and you want to hear this, especially if you are non-Paleo runner (or any non-Paleo athlete for that matter).

NLP paleo boy running marathon primal diet-min

Pre-run preparation:

  • Training– my training was actually not exemplary.
    • Between 21 May and 14 August I did not run.
    • Between 14 August and the 18 September Marathon, I squeezed in six runs only.
    • In this time, and before I started the Paleo diet, I had to drop out of a training run at 22km due to lack of energy.
    • Two weeks later and fuelled by the Whole 30 Paleo diet (and some simple and powerful NLP techniques), I accidentally ran a whole marathon when aiming at 30km.  (I don’t run with a watch or Satellite Navigation, and I have never made that mistake before – since my reducing energy would prompt me to stop… which in this instance it didn’t!) 
  • Fuel – Whole 30 Paleo for the four weeks prior to the Marathon.  Therefore pre-race pasta feast – gone.  This was substituted for the much tastier and enjoyable Chicken, Sweet potato and pumpkin… which I incidentally had for breakfast too the next day.  (My only Paleo cheat in this process is GU gels whilst running).

The BIG day:

Arriving at the race with a face full of banana, I meet my Non-Paleo running partner.

I thought it would be a good idea to join this running partner since she is younger, fitter and well trained. Her personal best is 3H 44Min and mine is 3H 47Min – so, hopefully some inspiration to knock a few minutes off of my best time. (Plus she has a very nice bottom, so it would be a pleasure to run a few steps off of her pace!)

The Start

Bang… the gun goes and we push across the start line to the tune EVERYDAY I’M SHUFFLING (and my slightly amended lyrics):

Paleo-Grok is in the house tonight,

Everybody just run a good-time

So fit you gonna keep your mind

Everybody just run a good time.

And we’re off.  For the first 10km we settle into a comfortable pace.  Only, I am noticing that I am going a little faster than my pace setting friend… and she is getting to check out my butt instead.  Lucky girl.

At this point, I have no idea if I am faster or slower than hoped (still no watch), but I just keep running at the pace that feels comfortable.  Only another 2km and I fully settle into my faster stride and my friend and I run our own races.

It wasn’t until the finish line at 42km that I actually realised what had happened.  I thought my friend was having an off day and going slower than we expected, but in actual fact, I was faster than I could have even dreamed.

I smashed my personal best by 13 minutes.

In the heat.

With very poor training.

That’s 13 minutes off of my personal best.

‘Chuffed’ doesn’t quite cover it – especially when I understand the story of the post run statistics:

  1. Energy consistency
    1. My 1st, 2nd & 3rd 10km were all 50 minutes (give or take a few seconds).  Over this distance you would expect a degradation of performance… impressive since I had no pacemaker… just my own feeling of energy.
    2. My 4th set of 10km was also very close to the 50 minute mark and probably would have been equally consistent except for the two convenience stops.


  1. Comparative performance improvement

My rank Vs other runners in the race at each set of 10km went:

  1. 1,027
  2. 596
  3. 383
  4. 369

And the last 2.2km – arguably the hardest:

  1. 57

Put another way – in the hardest 2.2km, I was in the top 1.5% of all marathoners.

Do you think I might have got higher if I didn’t stop and pose for these too??

The Paleo diet delivered me consistent energy to make this achievement a reality and left me with enough juice in the tank to finish very strong.


Watch my finish video here, I’m the fast one!

The best part about this is that I know there is more to come.

30 days of Paleo, poor training, and I smash a personal best.

What if I combine this new fuel source with a training program that is greater than six runs!?

With a Paleo diet, you too can see, hear and feel your goals coming to you faster too, can you not?

Give it a go… NLPaleo Boy say so!

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The Problem With Shoes

I used to wear heels every day, and bigger heels at weekends.  When I wasn’t in heels I’d be wearing my supportive, shock absorbing, high-tech trainers.  After a lot of running I ended up with shin splints, apparently cause by incorrect over pronation.  My physio had some impressive equipment & software which took measurements of my running and feet, to create a pair of orthotics to put in my shoes.  These forced my feet into the correct pronation.

Since I’ve been leading a Primal lifestyle, I became very interested in barefoot running.

The problem with shoes barefoot running vff vibrams paleo feet walking running-min

At PrimalCon earlier this year I was fortunate enough to have a lesson with Barefoot Ted, which was an amazing experience.  I’d never given much thought to running style before, so it was very eye opening.  When you try to heel strike with barefeet it is not easy to do – yet when you wear trainers with lots of cushioning, it’s easy – and lots of runners do heel strike.  Running in shoes constricts the natural movement that your feet would otherwise take.  Our ancestors had to hunt for their food and walk and run considerably more than then average office worker today.  So it makes no sense that we now need to wear expensive high-tech shoes, in order to be able to run safely.

I now wear very soft soled ballet style shoes every day, and of course vibrams as often as I can the rest of the time.  Since doing this I’ve noticed that my footprint has changed – indicating that I have managed to improve my pronation.  I’ve had no leg or feet related injuries – despite now walking (with the occasional sprint) my daily 5km commute to and from work.

Vibrams are  great practical way to go barefoot around the city.  Tomorrow I’ll share my tips about buying a reasonably priced pair in Australia.