Episode #1: Chronic Cardio with Mark Sisson


Description: Welcome to the very first episode of the Primal Blueprint Podcast!

Fans of Mark’s Daily Apple and the Primal Blueprint have been asking for a podcast for ages. I think it’s about time we have one, and I’m excited about the possibilities.

The Primal Blueprint Podcast is hosted by my long-time friend and integral member of the Primal Blueprint team, Brad Kearns. The two of us will be welcoming expert guests from the ancestral health community, including Primal Blueprint Publishing authors, and will also be answering your very own questions. In fact, click the button below to submit a question right now, and we’ll try to answer it in a future podcast. (Please try to keep your questions succinct.)

As with everything we do here at Primal Blueprint, my mission with this podcast is to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness. In early episodes I’ll be discussing some of the big topics that many of you may already be familiar with: the 10 Laws of the Primal Blueprint, the 80/20 rule, intermittent fasting, and others. But stick around as we explore new territory and troubleshoot your problems as the podcast develops in coming months.

Now, on with the show. Today I discuss the common phenomenon of an excessive and overly stressful approach to fitness, for which I coined the term “Chronic Cardio” back in 2005. Chronic cardio applies to not only endurance athletes, but to devotees of CrossFit, exercise class junkies, or anyone who is inclined to overdo it on exercise and compromise health in pursuit of fitness. I discuss how to adopt an alternative strategy and philosophy, where you perform the optimal amount of exercise necessary to realize your fitness goals, nurture your health, and promote longevity – as opposed to compromise your health and accelerate aging when drifting into a chronic approach to exercise.

Topic timestamps:
Chronic exercise: 00:47
A changed position: 02:50
Well-informed choices: 05:50
A game: 07:30
Faulty logic: 09:19
Breakthrough workouts: 12:16
Overtraining: 15:30
Diet: 17:04
Transition period: 18:11

I’d love to hear what you think. Be sure to leave a comment below with your thoughts and suggestions. Grok on!

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  • Download Episode #1 here (right click to “Save As”)
  • Download a transcript of this episode here
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19 thoughts on “Episode #1: Chronic Cardio with Mark Sisson

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  4. Nick

    Hey Mark,

    Glad to hear the podcast is back! I am continuing to adapt to low carb eating and am curious how you calculate your Max Heart rate to then determine 70%-75% for those slower runs. I have heard that 220 minus age isn’t that effective. Any feedback is much appreciated!

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  6. Corey B. (Long Beach, CA)

    An interesting talk. Not being an “elite,” indeed, probably not an athlete of any kind, it was mostly over my head–but I will point out that after adopting the “21 Day” page as my instruction book on all things diet, exercise, and (some) lesiure activity I have gone from being obese to just overweight (still losing), from having chronic joint pain to the point where I had to wear back and knee braces at work and could only cycle–not even walk–for exercise, to where I now jog on the beach for an hour or more in my Skeletoes or up, over, around, and back over Signal Hill three or four times a week with a few sprints and some incline pushups, dips, and squats thrown in, and walk at least a couple of miles every day…I mean, most of the men half my age or less still pass me up (I’m 59) but I feel fantastic. And my contemporaries are pretty much all at home, watching TV, and gulping medications in between trips to the Doc or the ER…your point about not hitting it too hard (plus low-carb Primal eating) is right on not just for training but for physical rehab as well! Thank you Mark.

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  8. Amy

    Great podcast Mark, thank you! Always good to hear this message in the new year – I know it is easy for me to fall back into old habits when I think about losing weight.

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  14. Maria

    This blog is the fascinating one and it induces me to know more about it. Thanks for the sharing this blog and keep on sharing these kinds of useful blog. 💗
    Great cardio work out plan! I can totally do this at home. In getting fit and healthy doing cardio is really important.

  15. Kate

    Great blog, this is something I have been struggling with. I can’t wrap my mind around not doing cardio every day, do I hit the gym 5-6 days a week and right after do 35-40 minutes cardio. I know I could give me to my lifts if I would stick to weights alone. If I started skipping cardio on weight training days, could I do an hour safelt on cardio only days without burning muscle for fuel? This has been a real mental struggle for me. Thank you so much!


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