« Les Secrets des Kettlebells »

"Les Secrets des Kettlebells" par Pavel Tsatsouline

« Les Secrets des Kettlebells » est la traduction française du grand classique parmi les livres consacrés aux exercices avec Kettlebells et leur utilisation en préparation physique, « Enter the Kettlebell ».

« L’entraînement avec Kettlebells… Le meilleur entraînement au combat – et sans donner un seul coup de poing »

– Un agent fédéral de la lutte antiterroriste

Le Kettlebell

Cette boule de fonte avec une poignée est l’AK-47 de la préparation physique. Simple, sinistre, brutal et férocement efficace pour développer une force spectaculaire, une puissance explosive et une résistance à toute épreuve.

Cet outil d’entraînement peut être rude et exigeant, mais il a aussi le meilleur rendement sur cette planète. Bien utilisé, il garantit une musculature ferme et dense, prête à tout encaisser et à rendre coup pour coup.

Le secret jalousement gardé des athlètes soviétiques, l’arme ultime des militaires Russes, le Kettlebell a envahi l’Ouest sans faire de quartier. Le mérite en revient à Pavel Tsatsouline, coach sportif de haut niveau, ancien instructeur des Spetsnaz (Forces Spéciales de l’Armée Rouge).

C’est lui qui a publié en 2001 le premier livre sur la préparation physique avec Kettlebells en Occident (« Russian Kettlebell Challenge »). C’est aussi lui qui a relancé la fabrication des Kettlebells aux États-Unis.

Les hommes forts de l’Amérique n’ont pas mis longtemps à reconnaître ce que leurs homologues russes savaient depuis toujours : rien ne peut rivaliser avec le Kettlebell comme outil de renforcement et même de transformation physique !

La déferlante Kettlebell a bouleversé le monde du fitness américain. Les premiers pratiquants battaient leurs records personnels, écrasaient leurs rivaux et hissaient leurs disciplines à des nouveaux niveaux d’excellence.

Les Secrets des Kettlebells

Avec ce livre, Pavel vous présente une édition largement revue et corrigée de son premier livre, « Russian Kettlebell Challenge ».

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Cinq ans se sont passés après la mise en place du premier programme de certification des instructeurs du système RKC (aujourd’hui StrongFirst). Cinq ans d’échanges, d’analyse et de recherches supplémentaires. Pavel a retravaillé son ouvrage de référence de fond en comble. Son objectif : vous offrir encore plus d’efficacité d’une manière la plus claire et la plus directe possible.

  • Développez une force et une puissance utiles pour répondre aux exigences les plus extrêmes que votre sport, votre métier ou votre vie peuvent vous imposer
  • Décuplez votre endurance et votre résistance pour tenir jusqu’au bout sans rien lâcher
  • Forgez-vous un corps de guerrier(e) : fort, souple et agile, capable d’encaisser les coups et dominer dans toutes les épreuves

La méthode de Pavel vous garantit la réussite – à condition de suivre tout simplement les consignes !

Si vous relevez le défi, vous n’aurez plus de confusion, plus d’incertitudes, plus d’excuses. Juste une puissance brute, une résistance sans faille et le respect bien mérité.

La valeur du Kettlebell

Le Kettlebell a mille fois prouvé sa valeur depuis qu’il a été introduit aux États-Unis par Pavel. Les pratiquants endurcis de tout bord ne jurent plus que par la force et la résistance extraordinaire que leur procure cet ancien outil russe.

Maintenant, c’est votre tour de découvrir « Les Secrets des Kettlebells ».

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Pavel a fait le travail pour vous. Il a conçu un plan intégrant tous les secrets essentiels de l’entraînement avec Kettlebells. Avec ce plan vous deviendrez fort, résistant et endurant – à condition, bien sûr, de suivre ses lignes.

Laissez Pavel vous apprendre ses secrets et défoncez les obstacles qui vous empêchent d’avancer dans votre entraînement !

Voici quelques secrets que vous découvrirez dans ce livre

  • Faites-vous cette erreur de débutant ? Sachez identifier les pierres d’achoppement sur la route vers votre succès et apprenez comment démarrez vite et bien
  • Neuf secrets qui vous donneront encore plus de force et réduiront le risque de blessure
  • Comment utiliser ce banal objet domestique pour raccourcir de manière dramatique votre « courbe d’apprentissage »
  • Comment arrêter de vous battre contre vous-même et augmenter votre force par des petits (et grand !) sauts
  • Ces deux exercices auxiliaires ont le meilleur rendement de tous : les connaissez-vous et savez-vous les utiliser ?
  • Découvrez cette routine, « simple et sinistre », mais qui vous procure en même temps une résistance exceptionnelle et des épaules larges et musclées
  • Une cause très commune du mal du dos après l’entraînement et comment l’éviter
  • Comment étirer votre dos en toute sécurité (personne ne le fait correctement !)
  • Une façon de respirer vous affaiblit et rend votre dos vulnérable, l’autre vous donne la puissance explosive d’un combattant professionnel ; sachez qu’est-ce que vous devez éviter comme la peste et qu’est-ce que vous pouvez utiliser pour des gains immédiats
  • Cinq excellentes raisons pourquoi notre système sera le meilleur ami de votre dos
  • On vous a menti ! Pourquoi rentrer votre ventre ne protège pas votre dos, mais le rend au contraire plus vulnérable, et la vrai méthode pour protéger votre dos

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Encore plus de secrets !

  • Pourquoi l’entraînement avec Kettlebells peut réduire le risque d’arthrite
  • Une méthode facile pour décontracter les épaules crispées
  • Comment renforcer vos épaules et les protéger dans les sports qui les mettent en danger
  • Quelle simple visualisation peut rendre vos épaules et vos coudes plus résistants et endurants
  • Qu’est-ce que vous DEVEZ savoir sur votre rythme cardiaque et l’entraînement avec Kettlebells
  • Ces exercices auxiliaires peu connus vous garantissent l’amélioration de la profondeur de votre squat, de votre flexibilité, de votre technique et de votre puissance
  • Maîtriser cet exercice auxiliaire fondamental et la plupart des autres seront beaucoup plus facile à apprendre et à maîtriser
  • Pourquoi la plupart des pratiquant(e)s choisissent les tirages plutôt que les squats
  • Comment renforcer vos hanches et vos jambes sans les « exploser »
  • Cette méthode accélère votre apprentissage du Clean sans défoncer vos avant-bras et vos coudes
  • Comment temporiser le mouvement de vos hanches pour un maximum de puissance explosive
  • Apprenez à maîtriser la force que vous générez
  • Comment corriger votre posture pour qu’elle soit aussi parfaite que possible
  • Comprenez la valeur cruciale de la « force lente » : le secret rarement révélé de la tradition athlétique Russe
  • Qu’est-ce que vous DEVEZ savoir et faire pour être plus endurant sur le ring, dans la cage ou sur le tatami
  • Moyen simple d’augmenter la puissance de vos frappes

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Et encore plus de secrets !

  • Comment maîtriser un rythme athlétique naturel de tension/relaxation
  • Caractéristiques clés du Press (Développé) d’un professionnel
  • Comment faire sentir le Kettlebell le plus lourd léger comme une plume
  • Secret du Pr. VERKHOSHANSKY pour augmenter votre force d’au moins 20%
  • Comment les amateurs laissent échapper leur force par leurs genoux et comment les professionnels réparent ces « fuites »
  • Comment tirer le maximum de vos Presses avec le minimum de stress pour vos épaules
  • Un unique exercice auxiliaire isométrique pour augmenter la puissance de vos Presses
  • Où regarder (et ne pas regarder) pendant les Presses
  • Devriezvous laisser descendre le Kettlebell et épauler à chaque répétition ou continuer les Presses depuis l’épaule ?
  • Exercice inattendu pour vous aider à apprendre les tractions à un bras
  • Travaillez vos abdos et vos obliques « à l’ancienne »
  • Méthode infaillible pour accélérer l’apprentissage du Snatch
  • Comment renforcer les trapèzes
  • Comment éviter le choc sur l’avant-bras lors des Snatches
  • Mise en garde cruciale au sujet de vos coudes et vos épaules pour votre première année des Snatches
  • Qu’est-ce que l’USSSST (un Snatch-test de 10 min. du Service Secret des États-Unis) et comment l’accomplir

Ce n’est pas fini !

  • Comment ne pas perdre de vue l’objectif de vos entraînements tout en continuant à vous amuser avec des nouveaux exercices
  • Comment sécuriser vos entraînements pour des gains constants et consistants
  • Programme d’entraînement pour un pratiquant ambitieux
  • Concept mal compris mais crucial de la force intermédiaire
  • Recherches russes ont découvert le jour de la semaine où vous êtes le plus fort (ce n’est pas Lundi !)
  • Travailler plus dur ? Ou travailler plus ?
  • Découvrez la méthode de l’échelle russe pour des gains impressionnant
  • Intervalle de repos parfait entre les séries
  • Méthode du parieur pour organiser votre entraînement aux multiples répétitions
  • Comment transcrire vos entraînements pour des résultats optimaux
  • Pourquoi et comment utiliser les séries chronométrées pour une pratique flexible et sécurisée
  • Comment tester votre Clean & Press : êtes-vous un homme ou encore un garçon ?
  • Pourquoi le Kettlebell est supérieur aux autres outils et équipements de la culture physique
  • Devriez-vous vous entraîner uniquement avec Kettlebells ou utiliser également d’autres modalités ?
  • Comment obtenir des gains supérieurs dans la performance athlétique sans une préparation physique spécifique à votre discipline
  • Effet « diabolique » du Kettlebell pour vous améliorer dans les mouvements que vous n’avez même pas pratiqués

Alors, êtes-vous prêt à porter votre force, votre puissance et votre résistance à des niveaux dont vous ne pouviez même pas rêver avec la méthode sûre, garantie et plusieurs fois confirmée ? Ne perdez plus un seul jour à être moins fort, moins puissant et moins résistant que vous pouvez être !

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Wanted, a man

From Pushing to the Front, 1911 by Orison Swett Marden

Over the door of every profession, every occupation, every calling, the world has a standing advertisement: « Wanted–A Man ».

Wanted, a man who will not lose his individuality in a crowd, a man who has the courage of his convictions. Who is not afraid to say « No », though all the world say « Yes ».

Wanted, a man who is larger than his calling, who considers it a low estimate of his occupation to value it merely as a means of getting a living. Wanted, a man who sees self-development, education and culture, discipline and drill, character and manhood, in his occupation.

A man of courage who is not a coward in any part of his nature.

Not symmetrical

Wanted, a man who is symmetrical, and not one-sided in his development. The one, who has not sent all the energies of his being into one narrow specialty, while allowing all the other branches of his life to wither and die.

Wanted, a man who is broad, who does not take half views of things. A man who mixes common sense with his theories, but does not let a college education spoil him  for practical, every-day life. Who prefers substance to show and regards his good name as a priceless treasure.

Wanted, a man « who, no stunted ascetic, is full of life and fire, but whose passions are trained to heed a strong will. The servant of a tender conscience. Who has learned to love all beauty, whether of nature or of art, but to hate all vileness, and to respect others as himself ».

Wanted a man

The world wants a man who is educated all over. Whose nerves are brought to their acutest sensibility and whose brain is cultured, keen, incisive, broad. Whose hands are deft, eyes are alert, sensitive, microscopic, and heart is tender, magnanimous, true.

The right man…

The whole world is looking for such a man. There are millions out of employment, but it is almost impossible to find just the right man in almost any department of life. Everywhere we see advertisement: « Wanted–A Man ».

We see thousands of students graduated every year from our grand institutions. Their object is to make stalwart, independent, self-supporting men, but they’re turned out into the world saplings instead of stalwart oaks. They are « memory-glands » instead of brainy men. They’re helpless instead of self-supporting, sickly instead of robust, weak instead of strong, leaning instead of erect. « So many promising youths, and never a finished man! »

The character sympathizes with and unconsciously takes on the nature of the body. A peevish, snarling, ailing man can not develop the vigor and strength of character which is possible to a healthy, robust, cheerful man. There is an inherent love in the human mind for wholeness, a demand that man shall come up to the highest standard. And there is an inherent protest or contempt for preventable deficiency. Nature, too, demands that a man be ever at the top of his condition.

Man-timber

The first requisite of all education and discipline should be man-timber. Tough timber must come from well grown, sturdy trees. Such wood can be turned into a mast,, can be fashioned into a piano or an exquisite carving. But it must become timber first. Time and patience develop the sapling into the tree. So, through discipline, education, experience, the sapling child is developed into hardy mental, moral, physical man-timber.

The youth should start out with the fixed determination that every statement he makes shall be the exact truth. That every promise he makes shall be redeemed to the letter, every appointment shall be kept with the strictest faithfulness and with full regard for other men’s time. He should hold his reputation as a priceless treasure, feel that the eyes of the world are upon him, that he must not deviate a hair’s breadth from the truth and right. If he took such a stand at the outset, he would … come to have almost unlimited credit and the confidence of everybody who knows him.

What are palaces and equipages? When a man could cover a continent with his title-deeds or an ocean with his commerce. What is it compared with conscious rectitude? With a face that never turns pale at the accuser’s voice, with a bosom that never throbs with fear of exposure? With a heart that might be turned inside out and disclose no stain of dishonor? To have done no man a wrong … to walk and live, unseduced, within arm’s length of what is not your own, with nothing between your desire and its gratification but the invisible law of rectitude–this is to be a man.

Wanted a man - lumberjacks

Back to basics, for real – Part I

 Every once in a while, usually at some social gathering, when I’m presented to my new acquaintances as a strength coach or, God forbid, « fitness expert », the same question almost inevitably pops up: from the general health point of view, what is THE best form of exercise or physical activity?

The answers people around me immediately start shooting at each other OK Corral style range from running, biking, or swimming to Yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. I’d like to share with you the answer that seems so obvious to me—but somehow, not so much to people I usually give it to.

Adaptation to most common activities

Our particular species has been roaming this planet for roughly a hundred thousand years. During all that time, we continued to evolve by adapting to the prevailing conditions and the most common challenges of our everyday lives.

Would it be too much of a stretch to say the « activities » that have shaped our bodies over the course of millenniums should be those to privilege to keep our « shapes » from softening and dissolving? Seems quite logic to me.

So, what are those activities anyway? If you’re not sure, watch a documentary about « primitive » men still living in the Amazonian jungle or African savannah. Or, for a change, Man vs. Wild, Bear Grylls’ adventures around the world. What do those guys do (or do not)?

– They walk

A lot. Kinda figures: no roads, no cars, no subway. When your basic activity is hunting and gathering you have no choice but to walk. If your game migrates seasonally you have no choice but to follow—you walk. If floods, forest fires, glacier sliding, earthquakes and such are all part of your life, you need to move your settlement quite often—you walk. Walkers we are.

– But not runners, not really

« Primitive » men and women do not usually run. As in « long distance running ». I’ll limit myself to just two reasons. First one, what’s the point? It’s not like you’re on schedule. Want to get somewhere before sunset? Start before sunrise. Or camp. On the other hand, run barefoot in the wild forest—and sooner or later you’ll get hurt. When a « primitive » man was on his own in the prehistoric wilderness, sprained ankle meant death. As simple as that. The second reason is quite evident too. Look at all the animals renowned as good runners: horses, wolves, elks… They’re all four-legged (think about weight distribution). And even then, Mother Nature deemed useful to grant them with another joint between the ground and the pelvis. Unlike humans, their « heels » are well in the air. They basically run « on the tip of their toes ». Born to Run sure makes a nice title for a book. But as sad as it might seem, for a human being it’s just not true…

– « Primitive » men and women lift and move weights

Rocks, logs, killed game, and buddies with sprained ankles. They lift, they push, they drag, they roll, and they carry. They find a way to do what needs to be done without hurting themselves in the process.

– « Primitive » men and women climb

They climb trees. They climb cliffs. Up, down, and sideways. Fast and slow. In daylight and in the dark. Their hands free or holding stuff.

– « Primitive » men and women do run

As in « sprinting ». But—important distinction—rather than a « common activity », sprinting is a survival skill. You won’t outrun an antelope or a bear. But you can buy yourself enough time to throw your spear from closer up before the antelope takes off. Or to get to that cliff the bear won’t be able to climb. Notice that those are short dashes followed by a jump or a throw, rather than acceleration in a straight line on an even surface with enough space to decelerate.

– « Primitive » men and women don’t swim

That is, when they can help it. They’d rather spend an hour looking for a place to ford a river than swim across. Even the populations living on tropical islands would rather use a paddling boat. As with sprinting, swimming is a survival skill. You still might end up in the water against your will. Your main goal then will be to stay afloat and to reach the shore before the hypothermia (or the alligator) reaches you.

– Just to not leave it unaddressed…

Yes, « primitive » men and women do fight and dance. But those are hardly activities our body’s adapted to across the centuries of evolution.

Finally, « primitive » men and women don’t do:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • « Functional training » (as in lifting tiny dumbbells while sitting on a Swiss ball)
  • Roller-skating
  • Bike riding…

The list goes on.

So, what should you do if you wanted to implement this information?

How to be « basic »

Let’s be clear on what we’re talking about. We’re talking about GPP, General Physical Preparation. We’re talking about things that, from the general health point of view, should probably be the bulk of your overall physical activity (including your training).

With that in mind, you probably should:

  1. Walk. As much as you can. Even if your day is made of hour-long commutes and cubicle dwelling, you should still be able to find a way if you set your mind to it. Sit less, stand and walk more. Use stairs instead of elevators. Pick up the habit of hiking on the weekend. Be smart about it, though. Start short, slow, and light. Progressively, add up duration, speed, and eventually, heavier backpack. (A word of caution: you might want to check and fix your gait first, most of us being so much better at sitting than at walking).
  1. Lift weights. The trick is to have them odd enough to stay close to the real world but not too odd—to still be able to program your training and to track your progress. I’m willing to argue that Kettlebells are your best choice. Training with (one heavy or double) bells should probably be the bulk of your weight training. Sometimes, you might want to turn to the barbell in order to submit your system to heavier loads. Sometimes, you may want to use two bells of different sizes, sandbags, logs, stones, tires… I’d say, across the year you might want to spend 25% of your time working with barbells, 50% with Kettlebells, and another 25% with odd objects. Experiment; see what works best for you. Oh, and never underestimate the value of proper instruction: take a StrongFirst Kettlebell Course or find a certified SFG instructor. Your body will thank you.
  1. To emulate climbing, make sure to include the bodyweight classics in your training regimen. Even if you live in the “urban jungle”, Split- and One-legged Squats, OAOL Pushups, HSLRs, and Pull-ups will get you a long way. If available, use rings and ropes. Find a gym equipped with a rock-climbing wall and spend some time on it every two or three weeks.
  1. Learn how to sprint. If at all possible, find a coach to learn proper sprinting mechanics. Then maintain this skill by including sprinting in your training regimen, or at least make sure to do those short dashes when you’re out hiking. You may also want to learn some basic « Parkour » moves and practice them in the same fashion.
  1. In quite the same way, learn how to swim then practice regularly to maintain the skill. When possible, do it in a way close to the real world conditions (for instance, privilege open water to your pool).

And that’s about it.

But what’s with my running? and my yoga (dancing, spinning, mud wrestling…) classes? Can’t I do them anymore?

Sure you can. Have fun, knock yourself out! All I’m saying is you probably shouldn’t make it the main form of your GPP—that is, if physical health is still your primary objective.

Back to basics, for real – Part II

I must admit I was surprised—and saddened—by the violence and contempt of some comments to my article “Back to basics, for real” published on the StrongFirst blog. All I wanted was to share my opinion on a common topic in hopes of maybe helping someone to “cut through the noise”, to provoke some thoughts and maybe, to start a discussion. Not to be shouted and spit at. Apparently, I should’ve shut up and only talk with the permission of those who know better like that “survival instructor” whose comment is still visible on the SF Facebook page and who is “tired of urban people”. What’s worse: those comments could be avoided if only their authors paid attention when they were reading the article. It seems the notion of “common activities” has totally escaped them.

General points

1. I wouldn’t bother answering, but I’m kind of fond of “urban people”. So, on their behalf… While in the military, I was stationed in Djibouti, a small country in Eastern Africa, the very region some of the world’s best long-distance runners come from. One of our missions was to escort our Chief Medical officer when he provided assistance to people dwelling in the desert. While he was getting busy, we would stay by the trucks or patrol around. The natives would not pay us any attention, which made us ideally positioned to observe their habits and their everyday life. I have never, not once seen them running.

2. Several of my friends were stationed in French Guyana and regularly met the natives still living in the tropical forest there. One of the guys has actually befriended a native and came to spend all his leaves in his jungle village. No running reported either.

3. Totally different situation: for the past four or five years I’ve been friends with a homeless guy leaving on the riverbank near my company. Not the type who’d spend hours at the door of some social service waiting for a bowl of soup. This guy grows his own veggies, fishes, and scavenges around the neighborhood. Guess what? He never runs either.

So, aside from not running, what physical activities are COMMON to all those guys? Despite being separated by half the world, they all:

  1. Walk a lot.
  2. Lift stuff (stones in Africa, logs in South America, anything and everything here in the city).
  3. Climb (rocky slopes in Africa, trees in South America, fences in the city).

I believe that those are our most common natural physical activities in a “primitive” (as in “cut from the joys of civilisation”) state/situation. They are now and they were for an extended period of time where they’ve influenced our anatomy and physiology. I believe that from the point of view of physical health, walking and strength training (with and without weights) should be the bulk of anyone’s GPP. All other stuff (long-distance running, yoga, dancing etc.) is totally welcome as long as it doesn’t take over the first two.

Particular comments

In the comments to my post on StrongFirst blog, Dave Smith pointed me to Daniel Lieberman’s presentation. He’s stating that human body is actually well-adapted to running long distance. That presentation included extended reference to what’s called the “persistent hunting”. That is the particular way of hunting proper to few tribes in the Southern Africa. It consists in a team of half a dozen men (or less) first scaring an animal, and then following it through the savannah, forcing it to run almost without stopping, eventually running it to death. Here are those videos so you can judge by yourself before reading my answer:

Daniel Lieberman

Persistent hunting

My answer:

Thanks a lot for the links! Dan Lieberman is brilliant. Whether one agrees with him or not, his presentations are a real pleasure to listen to.

That being said, I remain unconvinced. And as hard and bold as might be the arguing with a Harvard PhD, I’m about to dare. Just for the record: I am not professing the final truth, neither here nor in my article. I am merely expressing my personal opinion supported by arguments—which I’m ready to change if presented with the arguments more solid than mines.

So, here are few remarks on “persistent hunting” and more generally, on human evolution and adaptation.

  1. I might be wrong, but the “persistent hunting” seems highly dependent on restrictive external factors, such as the environmental factor (climate, ground, and landscape), which seems crucial for the “cost” part of the “cost/benefit” equation—injury risk, exposure, and energy cost of the long distance running are different from sand to rocks to swamp to snow
  2. Even more restrictive is the eventual presence/absence of the “concurrence”—bigger and stronger or more numerous predators. The linked video was shot in the Kalahari desert. In slightly more humid regions of Africa hyenas are well known to systematically attack lions to rip off their kill. That is to say that the “persistent hunting” and thus, the long-distance running might not have been widespread enough to provoke adaptations but locally. Actually, it might be quite the opposite: our ancestors would already be “adapted” enough for running to undertake such a form of hunting when conditions presented themselves. More on it below.
  3. I might be wrong, but Dan Lieberman presents the “persistent hunting” in a way that makes one think that all Homo Erectus were running “from 9 to 15 km a day”. He may have his own sources, but in the very same video he uses for his presentation (the one you linked in your comment) the story is slightly different. There are three hunters hunting for the whole tribe and only one of them—the “best runner”—actually runs down and kills the scared animal. Women and most men of the tribe do not hunt/run. So, running is the primary activity of, well, runners. Or would be—if they didn’t have to bring their kill back to their tribe. I’d bet they were walking, not running back home.
  4. I might be wrong, but even if the “persistent hunting” was a widespread hunting method, to surmise it provoked adaptation you must be sure the hunters/runners were also the breeders. As we know, in animal groups the healthiest females breed with the group’s Alpha and possibly his lieutenants. Alpha is usually the biggest/meanest male, enough so to scare/fight off the contenders. Or the meanest and smartest. Anyway, smart or mean enough to delegate the strenuous and ungrateful tasks (such as running down animals all alone in the heat, while the tribe is “unattended”) to his “soldiers” (I suspect not even lieutenants but, of course, I might be wrong).But even if runners/hunters did breed, all other things equal, their injury and hence early death rate were probably higher than average, which mechanically weeded out their genes from the gene pool over a long period of time.That means our skill/capacity in long distance running should diminish over a long period of time, while on the contrary our sprinting skill/capacity should rise because better sprinters were better survivors: remember that joke, “You don’t need to run faster than the lion, only faster than the other guy”? Natural selection.
  5. I might be wrong, but to illustrate his theories Dan Lieberman mostly uses as example long-distance runners. Those are usually people who have freely selected that form of physical activity, stuck to it, and actually got good at it. All of which suppose predispositions, mainly anatomical/physiological. What about people “too heavy” for their height? Those, for example, who have naturally large and heavy bones? What are the long-term effects of the long-distance running on their health? Joint health, especially? I mean, we might be theoretically good at something and “adapted” to it, but that doesn’t necessarily means it’s good for us. Look at sitting.
  6. I might be wrong, but Dan Lieberman himself says this method of hunting started to decline with the invention of the throwing weapons somewhere around 300,000 years ago. Then another, hunting method took over and is still in use today: get close to the animal undetected, shoot/throw to injure, follow the blood trail (easier to track and does not require running), kill, carry home. So, from this point of view, in terms of “shaping the human body” over the last 100 000 of years (as I suggested in the article in reference to the age scientists give to our species, Homo Sapiens Sapiens) the “persistent hunting” would simply be irrelevant.
  7. I might be wrong, but there is a difference between “being adapted” and “having adapted”. Is our adaptation to long-distance running the result of extensive running during some period of our evolution? Or is it incidental to our adaptation to long-distance walking? I’m wondering. Dan Lieberman illustrates the difference between walking and running gaits showing the legs’ use as “inverted pendulum” in the first case and “springs” in the second. True but that implies walking on flat surface only. Actual walking in wilderness implies climbing up and down more or less steep slopes, hopping, jumping, even short sprints—hence, using the legs both as springs and “inverted pendulum”. Wouldn’t it prepare/“adapt” one for long-distance running? Actually, it makes me think about how we prepare for the Snatch Test. One will do a lot of Snatches—and ruin his/her shoulders. The other will do a lot of Swings and Get-ups and just a few Snatches to refine the technique—and nail the test with no problem.
  8. I might be wrong, but beyond all that looms the controversy of human origins. I won’t get into it here, this post already being way too long.

Thanks for reading.