I had the pleasure of meeting Darryl Edwards at PaleoFX last year. I was very impressed with his enthusiasm and love for Primal movement. Darryl made a huge impression on me. He was so motivated to help other people that he offered free workshops at PaleoFX without being compensated. (Click here to see the fun I had — the only fun I had — at PaleoFX last year.) Darryl also flew all the way from England to hold free workshops at PrimalCon Austin this year. He was such a hit that rumor has it he’ll be attending both PrimalCon events next year as a presenter.
A short video from my friend Bryan Barksdale sums it up pretty nicely:
It was just as I hoped it would be: jam packed full of great information to help anyone get out of a chronic-cardio, globo-gym mindset and back into the fun, carefree way we used to play when we were kids. Each exercise is carefully photographed and explained so that they’re easily recreated. The best part of this book is that Darryl has created workouts using different exercises, based on your fitness level and the time you have — but he doesn’t call them workouts. In the world of Paleo Fitness, what you’re doing is a playout. There is no “work” involved.
Darryl carefully explains why you’re doing what you’re doing and gives tips to maximize your efforts. The playouts are organized by level and day – and it’s easy to customize them in whatever manner you choose.
Paleo Fitness also explains the Paleo diet and even has recipes in it, something I was not expecting at all. We all know that diet is 80 per cent of the equation, but rarely is nutrition addressed in fitness books. Again, Darryl shows how different he is from conventional fitness gurus by giving you all the tools you need to be successful.
Now, I may be a bit biased. I took one of Darryl’s workshops and even though it was over a year ago, I still remember every minute of it. I had a blast; I was out of breath because I was laughing so hard and was having so much fun, while also working my butt off. I recognize most of the movement patterns in the book from that session but if you’re new to the world of Primal movement, you may not. My best advice to you is to do your first playout with a friend or two. You’d be amazed at how something that makes you feel silly and stiff while alone in your living room can make you feel alive, exuberant and free out in nature with a couple friends.
Darryl uses the acronym PRIMALity to define the principles of Paleo fitness:
- Practical and Playful Movement
- Restorative Movement
- Instinctive Movement
- Mindful Movement
- Adaptive Movement
- Life-Enhancing Movement
- Integrative Movement
- Tactical Movement
- Youthful Movement
Who doesn’t need to move mindfully and tactically, while adapting to their environment and enhancing their life with restorative, playful, youthful movements? Bosu Ball has nothing on this style of fitness, except maybe a sprained ankle and a dislocated hip. Paleo Fitness is fun, versatile and you don’t need any inflatable equipment.
Bottom line: Paleo Fitness is a fantastic resource for beginners and for more experienced athletes alike. It’s a great companion to CrossFit (get your box to add some of the movements into their next WOD!) or to mix things up the next time you’re working out. Trainers: get a couple of clients together and give them a playout to help foster confidence, trust and camaraderie. The movements in the book will help you feel younger and make you stronger, while also building confidence, balance and joy.