You may have heard of Paul Chek’s 6 Primal Movements.
The basic movement patterns that mirror the functional movements our ancestors needed to stay fit and strong.
I thought I’d have a bit of fun with how these movements also reflect the mindset component of fat loss. As you’ve likely heard me say fat loss is simple – not easy.
Similarly I imagine life for our ancestors was (more) simple – certainly not easy.
At a highly basic level:
They moved more.
They ate natural one ingredient foods.
If only it was that simple now right?
Perhaps you feel like at times it’d take a hungry saber tooth to get you sprinting?!
Or the only way to avoid yumbo-French-crepe-cake-with-custard-filling-and-chocolate-ganache would be if it never even existed?
Back to those 6 primal movements, here they are as they were applicable to the day to day life of your caveman guys and gals:
SQUAT: To move heavy objects.
BEND: To build shelter & prepare food.
LUNGE: To traverse rough terrain & to throw.
PUSH: To push heavy objects & to fight.
PULL: To pull heavy loads, pull objects from the ground & also to row.
TWIST: To throw & hunt.
Although each movement is just as vital to our health and fitness today, sadly they do not happen as a natural part of day to day life and need to be structured into a training routine.
I’m going to run through each movement as it relates to creating the most effective MINDSET for fat loss.
A SQUAT is a strong, solid, stable movement.
It’s strength comes from the core… and it is my metaphor for core VALUES: those emotional states you seek out naturally, that you are drawn to. Where you spend your time, energy and money reflects your core values.
Your core abdominal muscles and your core values are the foundation to build your results around. Without first building the foundation you risk injury or you veer off track.
=> Staying true to core makes every decision clearer and easier. Whenever you are faced with a difficult decision the solution is to ask yourself if the action you are considering is aligned with your core values.
So for example: 2 of my core values are freedom and integrity. That means any difficult decision I face is passed through the filter of “will this allow me to experience more freedom and more integrity?”
To BEND is to demonstrate flexibility and to be malleable.
BELIEFS are where you will benefit from exhibiting these qualities. A belief is a possibility filter. The beliefs you take on are made up – they are not right or wrong – the only important thing is “does this belief get me the result I’m looking for?”
=> When you realize a belief is not getting you the desired result the most valuable thing to do is to trade in that old ineffective belief (“I’m just not an exercise person and I have a slow metabolism so I’m meant to be fat”) for one that is much more effective at getting the result you want.
Sticking rigidly to beliefs that are not serving you holds zero value. You won’t merely stay stagnant at status quo…. a toxic belief will build on itself, attracting more evidence to support it’s limited thinking. The more flexibility you can embrace the more options for success and for happiness you have available to you.
A LUNGE is to me a perfect balance between focusing on future PLEASURE and also the present PAIN you are willing to endure to achieve said pleasure.
To complete the movement you stand tall and look straight ahead, yet are also well grounded in the present to sink straight down through yourself.
=> Every aspect of creating your best health requires an awareness of the pain you will experience if you choose not to take the necessary actions to achieve your desired result and also a complimentary awareness of all the pleasure you have yet to experience as a reward for taking those actions.
The pain will motivate you with a less specific, perhaps inconsistent (arrrgggh, let’s just get outta here!) moving away force while in balance the pleasure will inspire you with a laser focused, compelling (magnetic) moving towards force.
The PUSH movement represents our ability to push beyond COMFORT ZONE and escape status quo.
Although it is natural to seek out all things safe, stable and predictable… to seek certainty and to resist change – this is an approach of zero growth leading predictably to an average life. As I know you’ve experienced, it is only when you are truly pushed to your limits that you realize your true limitless reserves of strength.
=> If you’ve previous viewed;
Your comfort zone = safe, familiar and pleasurable. And
Beyond your comfort zone = uncertain, obstacles and pain…
then next time you feel yourself tempted to cling to the need for certainty… anxiously filled with ‘the need to know’ before you take that next step or commit to give it your 100% remind yourself that:
Your comfort zone = Pain and boring, status quo. And
Beyond your comfort zone = Pleasure, opportunities, and growth.
The PULL movement represents your GOAL and all that is pulling you towards it.
Your goal is so much more than your perfect size, weight, body fat % or fitness. Beyond that, it is everything that being YOUR ideal health/shape will give you. What will it allow you and all those your love to experience? The goal or the pull is the potent “for what purpose?” question that compels you to decide to take those simple daily actions you know you need to take long after the initial excitement/motivation/novelty/discipline has worn off.
=> Success comes from an ability to take those actions you know you need to take – whether you feel like it or not. The people taking those actions have no more time, energy, expertise or support. They DO have absolute clarity and commitment to their individual ‘what this will allow me to experience’ pulling them forward.
To TWIST requires mobility and agility.
A twist can cover all angles and open up OPTIONS and opportunities. This is vital. The options you feel you have available to you will determine your happiness. Big call? I’m not just talking vanilla or chocolate!
=> I mean the choice and freedom to live aligned with your VALUES and BELIEFS while working towards the attainment of your GOAL. Options to escape the PAIN you have experienced in the past and seek out even more PLEASURE. The times in my life – be it through family illness, a bad relationship, career or financial stress – that I have been most unhappy have basically boiled down to me feeling trapped… living without options, without hope and not experiencing the freedom I seek. Options are freedom.
WOW, so light and fun has turned a little heavy! Let’s finish with a:
Fat loss moves body-weight workout to incorporate all 6 primal movements.
I LOVE my dumbbell and barbell work, however body-weight is also super effective… especially to build a strong core. This is an ideal little routine to throw in on cardio day, when you’ve only got a few minutes patience with those boring cardio machines and still want to get your sweat on and get your heart rate racing! 2-4 circuits. Repetitions as you can manage. I like 16-12 in round one, pyramiding down by 2 repetitions each circuit I complete.
SQUAT: Low Sumo jump in then out squat.
LUNGE: Switch Lunge.
PULL: Hoop chin up
PUSH: Push up.
TWIST: Oblique v-up.
Everyone loves a bonus right?
… well, there’s also a #7 Chek movement and it’s GAIT.
There is so much room to play with this one that I’ll give it a whole post.
Look forward to seeing you for Part 2 HERE, till then…
“The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” Confucius.