When Did the Icing Become More Important Than the Cake?

So when did we all agree that complexity and gimmicks were required for programs to work?
People are more focused on having 12 different variations in their bicep workout than achieving a proper pull up. Can you do a chin up with an extra 100 lbs... can you even do a chin up at all??

 This 71 year old man can!

This point is fundamental!
Achieving reasonable levels of skill at these basic movements is mandatory for the development of more complex  skills and movements, for preventing injuries, and a healthy body in general.

 I doesn't matter how "toned" you are if you cannot chin up or deadlift your bodyweight you are weak!
Franco Columbu can chin up! He was strong too, coincidence? I think NOT.

Got Squat?

You used to, what happened?
If you cannot comfortably do a full range squat then you lack mobility!

If you are still chasing the calories in vs. calories out without addressing food quality, getting enough sleep and sun then you are still unhealthy.

How many hours of cardio are in a jumbo cheese puff anyway?

Without these things, then you have no cake to put your icing on.

Some of the Fundamentals:  
-ass to ankles squat
-chin up
-bodyweight deadlift
-the ability to sprint
-getting enough sun and sleep
-food quality

This is where you start, if you have those things then well done! If not then keep it simple and make this your priority. These basic skills done well will provide more health and fitness than anyone outside of competitive sports is likely to need. Even if you were a competitive athlete or had goals beyond these specific movements, this is still the foundation to any quality progress. Olympic athletes do in fact use swiss balls, for skill work, AFTER they have done a 5x5 squat at 500lbs. In other words there is no reason to worry about which color to paint your walls when you have not yet laid down the foundation.

So if you are one of the few that have these skills, can you add quality, difficulty or complexity? Muscle ups or a one arm pull up? Free standing handstand push ups? You can take this path any direction and as far as you like, either way the foundation still needs to be in place first! Now get busy baking your performance cakes ladies and gentleman!

Read this. Then Read it Again, and Again...and Again

"No one does anything they don't want to do, EVER." -My Dad

It sounds crazy but it makes sense eventually. Even the most selfless person on earth behaves that way because they WANT good for others more than for themselves.

This article was brought to my attention today. It was written by Charles Poliquin, one of the most original and successful strength and conditioning coaches in the world.

Read it

then re-read it daily, until you can recite it word for word.
I've never found a better or simpler paradigm for living a healthy, vibrant and active life.

The Myth of Self Discipline


Speed Record Fitness.

At StoneAge Athletics we define "fitness" as the ability to DO...whatever it is you set out to do.
Swiss alpinist Ueli Steck is one of the best examples of what we mean. His goals may not appeal to everyone, but his results speak for themselves, and for what it takes to accomplish "impossible" things.

Just some fun facts. The Eiger's north face is 5,900 feet high. That is a vertical mile. It has killed 64 people since it was first climbed in 1938 earning it the nickname "Mordwand" or Death wall. Ueli's time of 2 hours and 50ish minutes means he was climbing an average of 34 vertical feet per minute up steep dangerous terrain to a summit that is 13,000 feet above sea level...

This one is longer but gets into his training and mindset more.

Ido Portal

Ido Portal is badass. We have been big fans since first discovering him through Robb Wolf and Ido's  website. He is a Martial Artist, Dancer, Capoerista, and master of some pretty impressive skills. The results of his focus on movement quality and creativity are a big part of the reason we organize our training the way we do.
For your inspiration and amazement we have collected a couple of our favorite videos...

Paleo, Running, and LSD

There has of late been a major shift in the pendulum of popular opinion about endurance athletics. Activities like distance running have fallen out of favor as evidence accumulates that it is not as healthy as once assumed. Training methodologies like Crossfit, P90X, Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint, Robb Wolf's Paleo Solution all recommend high intensity, strength training, and sprinting as safer and more effective than endurance training.
I want to take a closer look at this trend as i believe that while strength and speed are invaluable, there are some significant paradoxes between historical evidence and the anti-aerobic point of view.
This topic has been beat to death in many circles but there is, in my opinion, still room for review, some useful discussion, and most of all some recommendations on avoiding the downsides of Endurance training if your going to do it.

Too Much or Too Little, Never in the Middle.

"The only constant in Nature is change."
We, as part of nature, are well adapted to cycles and variation. Yet we rigorously apply linear constants to ourselves and our lives. We work 8 hours everyday, 40 hours every week. We eat and exercise in carefully organized routines, repeated over and over. We chase calories in calories out. We become obsessed. We become neurotic.

Could that neurosis be a result of forcing regularity onto a natural system designed around cycles and variation? 

Going Barefoot Pt. 2: Run (in the) Forest, Run!

Now is time for the fun part. After working your way through Barefoot pt 1, we get to start the sexy stuff!

You've been walking, working out, and doing some sprints either barefoot or in minimalist footwear. But the goal (for me anyway) was running through the wilderness barefoot, taking advantage of the improved balance, economy, and sensation of being shoeless. Not to mention the crazy looks on peoples faces when you run by "unprotected" from natures dangers.