Monday, December 12, 2005

Monday Fitness Review: The "Caveman" Workout

I thought I'd seen it all. Squats on physioballs. Walking lunges for 45 minutes. But, wait...there's more.

Today's "Healthy & Fit" section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch carried syndicated piece from the Washington Post by author John Briley. The article reviews a "10-minute-a-day strength program called "Cave Man Medicine" promoted by a 65 year-old New York sports medicine physician named Dan Hamner.

It appears this guy, literally, beats himself--slaps and pounds on his abdominals, thighs, you-name-it--to stimulate isometric contractions (a.k.a the body's self-defense mechanism from blows to the body). The author reports this type of activity is painful, but that the good doctor says injury is unlikely because "most of us have built-in mechanisms against using too much force on ourselves; people on anticoagulants could risk bruising and thus should use light taps."

Well, that certainly is common sense.

Apparently the good doctor also throws in a few leg lifts, toe raises and chin-ups. The author really enjoyed pounding on his thighs while doing wall sits. Hey, we've all enjoyed a few wall sits in gym class, basketball practice or with our personal trainer. Why not jazz them up a bit with some self-flagellation? Dr. Hamner claims this and running are the keys to his physical fitness.

Now, interestingly enough, Dr. Hamner's video is available for viewing on the internet, but is not for sale via book, video tape or DVD. He's just put it out there for all to see.

As usual, though, it is not about moving well or really managing your bodyweight in space. It's just another quickie "get hard and toned" so you can look like me gig. Another wacky, narcissistic doctor setting the standard in fitness and health, through the Washington Post and syndication. At least he's not charging for his services.

Here's the link. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think:

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