I'm Darryl Edwards (aka The Fitness Explorer), founder of Primal Play, a paleo nutritionist and author of the books Paleo from A to Z and Paleo Fitness based in London, England.  This blog documents my experiences with a Paleo lifestyle that has made me fitter and healthier in my forties than ever before. I am a contributor to Paleo Magazine and presenter at various symposiums globally such as Paleo:f(x), PrimalCon, AHS (Ancestral Health Symposium), Thr1ve.Me, and other events globally. I am also founder of the first Paleo conference in Europe, HEALTH Unplugged which took place for the 3rd year running in Autumn 2016.

What is Primal Play? 

Eat for Health, Move for Life!

More about me...

More about my services... 

Recent Updates
Latest Tweets

We Love Paleo Documentary

Learn more about We Love Paleo



Facebook

Link Love
Search The Site
Newsletter

 Join my newsletter today for FREE. No Spam. Ever!

--------------------------

Categories
Reading List
  • Animal Moves: How to move like an animal to get you leaner, fitter, stronger and healthier for life
    Animal Moves: How to move like an animal to get you leaner, fitter, stronger and healthier for life
    by Darryl Edwards

    Animal Moves

    • improve strength, speed and stamina
    • increase mobility, flexibility and stability
    • look, feel and perform better

    Find out more and details on how to purchase at www.animalmovesbook.com

  • Paleo from A to Z: A reference guide to better health through nutrition and lifestyle. How to eat, live and thrive as nature intended!
    Paleo from A to Z: A reference guide to better health through nutrition and lifestyle. How to eat, live and thrive as nature intended!
    by Darryl Edwards

    "If you are looking for a simple way to better understand Paleo concepts, Darryl's Paleo from A to Z guide is the go-to resource.
    -Mark Sisson, best-selling author of The Primal Blueprint and publisher of Mark's Daily Apple

  • Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    by Darryl Edwards, Brett Stewart, Jason Warner

    "This book is a useful reference to enable individuals just starting out on the Paleo path as well as those who want to explore more challenging, playful and interesting ways to move."

    -Robb Wolf, New York Times best-selling author of The Paleo Solution

     

  • 7 Day Introduction to Paleo Fitness: Get Fitter, Get Stronger, Get Healthier in Seven Days. Move as Nature Intended.
    7 Day Introduction to Paleo Fitness: Get Fitter, Get Stronger, Get Healthier in Seven Days. Move as Nature Intended.
    by Darryl Edwards
  • The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
    The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
    by Robb Wolf
  • Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    by Robert M. Sapolsky
  • Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health & Boundless Energy (Primal Blueprint Series)
    Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health & Boundless Energy (Primal Blueprint Series)
    by Mark Sisson
  • Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    by Rick Smith, Bruce Lourie, Sarah Dopp
  • Wahls Protocol, The : A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
    Wahls Protocol, The : A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
    by Terry Wahls, Eve Adamson
  • Protein Power
    Protein Power
    by Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades, Mary Deans
  • Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    by Christopher McDougall
  • In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    by Michael Pollan
  • Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    by Michael Pollan
  • The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    by L. Cordain
  • Vegetarian Myth, The
    Vegetarian Myth, The
    by Lierre Keith
  • The Second Brain
    The Second Brain
    by Michael D. Gershon
  • The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    by Loren Cordain
  • Eat Drink Paleo
    Eat Drink Paleo
    by Irena Macri
  • Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL is Wrong with My Numbers?
    Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL is Wrong with My Numbers?
    by Jimmy Moore, Eric C. Westman

Entries in Methode Naturelle (3)

Monday
Oct182010

Video: Park Bench as a Balance Beam

Video: Balance Work (Practice)

Balance - the ability to control the body's stability whilst moving (or stationary) regardless of its base of support.  One of the 20 Components of Fitness.

The video below is of me attempting to use a park bench as a balance beam. 

 

 

 

How to improve your balance:

There is no need to use a BOSU, swiss ball, balance board or a park bench for that matter.  There are much simpler methods.

For example try brushing your teeth whilst standing on one leg (do this barefoot).

Aim to stand on one leg for the duration of brushing e.g. 2 minutes in the morning on the left leg, and then the other leg at night.  You may only manage a few seconds to begin with, but this will increase over time as your skills improve.  

The intention is not to hold on to anything or to put the other foot down to gain support.

Vary the amount of knee bend each time, this will not only strengthen the muscles that support the knee but also help prevent injury and knee pain.  This may be uncomfortable to begin with but is necessary to promote stability in the joints.

Also spend time balancing on the heel, balls of feet, inside and outside of foot.  This will help to sensitise the foot whilst improving ankle mobility and strength.

To control and minimise re-balancing use the hip/core as the primary area of control (rather than the arms) to maintain balance.  

The hips, knees and ankles should work together in an integrated fashion.
Monday
Aug232010

60 Second Interview: Erwan Le Corre (MovNat)

 

 

Who are you?

I'm Erwan Le Corre.  A man with a vision, that aims to explore life and be true to my nature.  To enjoy and share my experience with others.

What is fitness to you?

I am interested in movement, the way we move in nature.  To be fit, is to be 100% practical and adaptive.  To prepare me for life, not a mirror or to look good on a beach.

What are your goals?

Moving naturally is the best way.  I want to make this vision accessible to everyone.  That everyone feels free to exercise any time, anywhere.  The way that humans have been moving for millions of years, efficient, strong, healthy and free.

What is one of your main concerns in relation to health?

That fact that people have lost the ability to move, squat, walk.  That one day everyone will become couch potatoes.

There needs to be a cultural shift, which goes beyond fitness.  It is a philosophy.  To be strong, happy, healthy and free.  Not weak, depressed, sick and imprisoned.

What is your favourite exercise/activity?

Jumping!

What is your favourite meal?

Organic scrambled eggs, bacon, coconut oil on a bed of green leaves and walnuts.

Blog:

http://www.movnat.com

Wednesday
Jul142010

MovNat - Exploring my True Nature

 

MovNat:

My first exposure to MovNat (pronounced Move Nat) was reading the 2009 Men's Health article "Fitness to Survive in the Wild".  

I was intrigued not only with Erwan Le Corre's MovNat but also the similarity to it's distant cousin Parkour - "the art of movement".  This is not surprising as there is common ancestry.  Both are based on the early 20th Century Methode Naturelle (Natural Method - "be strong to be useful") by George Hebert.  MovNat however contains much more of its ancestor's DNA, modernised to maximise efficiency with additional categories of movement.

Components of Fitness:

Even though I have covered a great base of fitness with Crossfit/300 style training and furthered my education with qualifications in Personal Training.  I still felt there was something missing.  In many aspects some of the components of fitness e.g. balance, accuracy and agility don't have the same prominence as the areas covered by strength, speed and power.  

In order to progress to being proficient in all fitness domains, I had to explore them with equal dedication.  MovNat seemed to speak my language, but at times appeared too abstract.  Was this suitable only for those who spent significant time outdoors?  With that in mind I subscribed to the newsletter, pondered those questions and assigned this to the 'interesting list'.  Hastily moving onto the next workout of that particular day... 

Little did I know there was time for more personal development.

So what happened?

Since then I've read Frank Forencich's book 'Exhuberant Animal' (and attended seminar's exploring natural movement).  I've read several books on Evolutionary Fitness.  I've researched Paleo and 'real food' nutrition and studied movement based therapy in managing low back pain.  All of these experiences have re-affirmed my belief that highly varied movement across many disciplines is more important than a specific fitness 'regime'.

I watched the MovNat video: "The workout the world forgot" (see below) again.  It then dawned on me, this was all about the expression of natural movement, variable, adaptive and functional.  This got me excited again!

 

 

I decided it was time to learn more.  I booked a place on the MovNat 5 day workshop entitled the 'Reawakening'.  This was held at the beautiful Summerville Lake Retreat in West Virginia, USA.  July 6 to 10, 2010.
 
This covered movement, and lots of it!

Movement:

MovNat's 12 movement patterns stem from the fundamental moves that humans universally possess.  Regardless of cultural differences, heritage or environment: humans were designed to run, jump, carry, lift, climb, etc.  Movements we often take for granted as part of our fitness goals, either neglecting to do any of these or just focusing on one or two of them at the expense of the others.  These moves are natural and as Erwan demonstrated on more than one occasion, may one day prove essential for your survival.

Nutrition:

A strict Paleo diet, prepared on site by Allie (consisted of 3 meals a day):

organic meat/fish/fowl,
good fats,
nuts,
fruit/vegetables.  

Avoiding sugar, grains, diary and processed/refined foods and drinks.  

We avoided the afternoon crash, burn and hunger pangs typically experienced on typical Western diets.  Inbstead we sampled a rich and diverse menu used to fuel workouts and to aid in our recovery.

The highlights:

We were assessed on the first and final day to compare our 'before and after' abilities;
We explored techniques in all MovNat movement patterns;
Introduction to optimising the body's ability to perform everyday and extraordinary tasks;
Focusing on scaling, efficiency and safety;
Creating combos of movements with mindfulness, relaxation, focus and control;
The food!

 

Coaching:


Erwan and Vic imparted their knowledge via theoretical and practical presentations, personal experience, inspired debate and on-going assessments.  We were challenged both physically and mentally with his passion, authority and philosophy.

"Power is nothing without efficiency, accuracy and control"

Erwan's instruction was sublime, scaled to the abilities of the group as well as individual instruction.  Erwan was patient, but tough when required.  Safety and technical precision was also presented in context.  Vik's encouragement and anecdotes were refreshing.  The correct balance at all times between instruction and hands-on tuition. 

Metaphorphosis:

Everyone on the workshop experienced significant development.  Tasks we struggled with on day 1 we found much easier to perform on the final assessment day.  

Of course the process continues.  I look forward to working on all those skills picked up on the workshop as opportunity presents itself.  The diversity and varied ability of the attendees allowed us to focus on the efforts of pulling together as a team. I was also able to re-focus on my own goals and the new path I wish to take. 

Summary:

I realised my search for the ideal workout programme, or prescription is not what MovNat is about.  Nor is it what I need.  

It is about a lifestyle, where you engage the mind and body to explore fundamental movement patterns in whatever environment you are in.  Breaking out of the confines of modern life to re-engage with nature, adopting a 'real-food' diet, and sharing this knowledge in a pragmatic fashion.  

This workshop allowed me to create workouts combining these essential movement patterns in a fun and interesting way.  Using various degrees of intensity, interaction with the natural environment - (the only limitations being your imagination).  

I want to be prepared for anything in the fitness domain.  MovNat seems to offer one of the highest levels of variability, natural movement, breadth, skills transferability and scalability I have experienced to date.  The possibilities are endless.  Many times throughout the workshop I realised brute-force was not enough, intelligent application and technique was often just as, or more important.  I will now incorporate MovNat into my workouts, in conjunction with my strength and conditioning work.

Now I am back in England, there is only one area where I strongly disagree with Erwan.  With the British climate being so temperamental I will be doing these workouts indoors as well as out!!!

Thanks Erwan, Vic, Allie and all involved that week in West Virginia.  For helping me to explore my true nature.

-Darryl.