“Hey I have some questions about that PaleoFit thing.”
“The sweet workouts I put together for PaleoPlan.com?”
“Yeah, yeah those.”
“I’ll only answer them if I can post them online, since other people may have similar questions.”
“Fine by me.”
“Great! What’s your first one?”
Q – Do I need to buy any equipment before I start?
A – Our workouts are designed for the person that has little time to workout, and may either not have the time to go to the gym, or just has a preference to workout at home. Therefore, for many of our workouts, there is no equipment involved or needed. Sometimes there is a jump rope, pull-up bar, or something to jump on that is necessary, but for the most part we are trying to make these workouts as accessible as possible!
Q – These workouts seem really short. Where’s the hour long stuff?
A – You are correct that our workouts rarely go more than 20 minutes and they are designed this way for two reasons.
1 – We find that the short length makes it more approachable for people, if they think, “Hey, it’s only 10 minutes? I’ll have a go at that!” then we feel like it’s a good thing that we got people moving, instead of not doing anything on any given day.
2 – One of the tenets that CrossFit, as well as many other training modalities (i.e. HIIT, Tabata), embrace is the philosophy of intensity, and, therefore, brevity. Essentially, if we are asking people to workout at a high level of intensity (which we are), then they should be gassed pretty quickly. You can run 100 meters at a much faster pace than you can 5000 meters; that’s just the way the human animal is built. With PaleoFit workouts, we want to be pushing each person’s “top end.” We don’t want people cruising through the workouts at 60, 70, or even 80% of their full effort. We want it all! Most of our workouts are designed to fit into the 5-15 minute realm for just this reason; to keep intensity up!
At the gym I run, CrossFit 1440, all of our classes are an hour long. Of that hour, about 15-20 minutes is spent warming up & mobilizing, followed by about 10-15 minutes spent reviewing technique. Then, depending on the day, about 10-20 minutes is allocated for workout time, while the remainder of the class is time for recovery & perhaps post workout mobility/stretching. Even though we are “in class” for about an hour, the vast majority of our workouts fall into that 5-15 minute range. And that 5-15 minutes is far from easy! We can attain great levels of fitness with shorter workouts, as long as there is the right level of intensity involved.
Q – These workouts seem really simple, like some only have a couple movements. Can I really get a good workout doing so little?
A – Our PaleoFit workouts ARE rather simplistic. Usually they only involve 2 or 3 movements! This is quite by design :) We, once again, want this to be very approachable for people, and yet still be effective. We would think that if we programmed things like CrossFit’s Filthy Fifty (link), people would check out before they even start!
It is true that you can get a good workout with more movements. But I would also submit that very, very effective workouts can be designed with only 1, 2, or 3 movements. Some of the most famous (and brutal) CrossFit workouts follow this very paradigm. Think of the workouts Karen, Fran, or Cindy: they each have 1, 2, and 3 movements, respectively, yet they are crushing!
Q – These workouts seem too easy/hard. What is there for the beginner/advanced person?
A – We like to think that we’ve given a person at any fitness level something to work with. That being said, our workouts may be very, very hard, even at the “easy” level for someone who’s been away from their fitness for a very long time. They also may be considered not hard enough for someone who has been at the elite levels of fitness. This is why, for most workouts, we have a Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels noted. If that isn’t enough, we also place suggestions in the workouts about how to make the workouts both easier and harder! It’s magical…we know :)
If you want to find out more about the PaleoFit program, you can do so here.
And, of course, we always love more questions! :)
About Max —
Max Shippee is the coach behind PaleoFit, a workout service we provide at PaleoPlan.com. H grew up in a very small town in northern Maine, minutes from the Canadian border. Growing up in the woods, and being the son of a dance teacher, he’s been physically active his entire life. He has embraced health & fitness philosophies ranging from body building to endurance training, before finding CrossFit and its performance-based approach to lifelong fitness.
Before finding a fit with the Paleo approach to nutrition, Max had also tried numerous nutritional practices, including raw food, veganism, and Atkins. A father of three, he’s as proud of his family as he is of his business, CrossFit 1440, in suburban Los Angeles. Max has Level 1, Kids, and Mobility Certifications from CrossFit. He likes the geeky things in life, including Legos, lasers, and computer operating systems named after cats.