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!

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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 Virtual Training (9)

Wednesday
Aug212013

Testimonial: Virtual Training (12 Weeks Later)

 

 

 

 

Testimonial: Virtual Training (12 Weeks Later)

40 years old today! How do I feel?

12 weeks ago I started my conversion to a Paleo lifestyle and undertook Darryl's distance training programme. I had a strong vision in mind - "Fit for 40" was my motto. I wanted to shape up, feel agile and full of vitality. I wanted to be the best Mumma I can be for my kids. Yes, I wanted to lose 30 lbs/14kg (and I have) but I REALLY wanted to be able to do a proper "man" press-up and fit into jeans I bought in New York ten years ago - well before I had my first child, never mind the second. And I can do those things too!

I genuinely haven't felt this vibrant since I was in my 20s. This week my trendy optometrist genuinely thought I was going to be 30 when I was discussing a "big birthday coming up" - and yes, it did make my day! Friends and family are regularly making comments like, "Wow, you look fantastic", "your skin looks amazing, what have you been doing?" and "how do you have so much energy!?". Which just goes to show, losing weight is not the same as gaining health! By week 8, the results were so tangible that my husband, sceptical and resistant, is now 100% on board with the Paleo lifestyle. He doesn't need to lose any weight, but he was inspired by how energised I am!

 

Waist at belly button:

Start - 98cm

8 weeks - 80cm

12 weeks - 76cm

Total - 22cm/8.7 inches

 

Love handles:

Start - 101cm

8 weeks - 88cm

12 weeks, 86cm

Total - 15cm/6inches

 

Hips:

Start - 112cm

8 weeks - 101cm

12 weeks, 97.5cm

Total - 14.5cm/5.7inches

This evening I am going out for dinner and wearing a UK size 8 (US size 4) silk dress. I feel amazing and so proud of what I have achieved in 12 short weeks. This has really transformed my life, and the benefits are tremendous! I can't thank you enough Darryl.

The First 14 Days!

Read about the challenges at Week 4

What was the state of play at Week 6?

My first 8 weeks!

 

Thursday
Aug082013

Testimonial: Virtual Training (Texas)

Testimonial: Virtual Training (Texas)

In my ‘adult’ life I have experimented with a lot of different movement/exercise/get-your-butt-going programs. I’ve done belly-dancing, fencing, kick-boxing, jiu-jitsu, skateboarding, roller-derby practice, yoga, various group exercise classes, swimmercize, treadmills, gym memberships, and crossfit. All of those were great, and I had a lot of fun with most of them; however, something was lacking in all of them. It was the same thing over and over again. I’d go to class thrilled and excited, I’d go to the gym ready and pumped…but it faded. It faded, and I couldn’t figure out why. Even when there were exciting things. Even when the things changed. It faded. The excitement would die down. Why? I finally figured it out. I didn’t want to ‘go to’ something. I didn’t want to ‘just work out.’ I didn’t want to ‘practice.’ I didn’t want to ‘be the best.’ I just wanted to move and have fun doing so.

How could I do that and achieve my goals of fitness? How could I supplement my already healthy lifestyle? How could I egg myself along? Easy…the answer was training with Darryl Edwards! I knew Darryl’s playshops from PaleoFX. I had met Darryl, had taken his playshops, and had admired the activities happening when I couldn’t participate…so when the time came, I hopped on the chance to take his virtual training! I have to tell you, it was more than worth it! Darryl gets it. He asked for my goals, he said to be specific. He got me down to the nitty-gritty! Darryl worked with ME…with MY goals, within MY constraints and limitations…but he also pushed me and reminded me that not everything is easy, but everything CAN BE fun and games.

Darryl’s virtual training program is tough, I’m not gonna lie. It can be hard work. It can also be fun! The thing is, the training I got from The Fitness Explorer was centered on me, focused on my goals, supportive whether I was good at something or whether I felt I weak, and ever-changing. It also reminded me of how fun movement can be. How I can do a variety of things with just the stuff around me (be they traditional such as deadlifts or sprints or be they silly and playful like plankball or running backward).

I have to say, even though he’s all the way in the UK and I’m over here in Dallas, Texas (worlds apart), The Fitness Explorer, Darryl Edwards virtual training is an outstanding program! One I wish I could just live in! I feel I am the best me! It has made me realize the importance of not just working out, but moving and recognizing what I can do with the environment around me, regardless of what that is! Nothing compares! NOTHING!

-Rachel Flowers

Thursday
Jun272013

Testimonial: Virtual Training (8 Weeks Later)

Testimonial: Virtual Training (8 Weeks Later)

 

When I started my Virtual Training journey 8 weeks ago, I made a commitment to give it my best shot. I had no idea that the results would be so dramatic!

I am spending the morning going through my wardrobe and taking to charity yet more clothes that are too big. Wooohooo!! No - I don't keep "fat clothes in case": In case what?

My primary goal was to improve my overall health, strength and stamina. I was clinically obese, felt out of breath going up one flight of stairs and tired quickly when playing with my kids. I simply wanted to set them a good example of a healthy active lifestyle and to be able to join in and play!

8 Week Result Highlights


  • Waist circumference – reduction of 18cm/7 inches

  • Weight loss - 8.2kg (1 Stone 4lbs or 18lbs)

  • Resting Heart Rate – a reduction from 94bpm to 64bpm, a huge improvement!

  • Body Fat % - reduced from 40% to 32.7%, no longer morbidly obese!

  • Metabolic Age: reduction from 54 to 42

  • Dress Size: reduction from UK 16 to 10 (US 12 down to a 6)

  • Plank Test – improvement from 55 seconds to 2 minutes 35 seconds

  • plus many other areas of improvement in fitness and health! 

By reducing my abdominal, visceral fat and blood pressure I have also significantly reduced my previously elevated risks of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

What else?

What I notice daily is waking up with bags of energy, feeling physically confident, able, stronger and more agile. I always feel I have more energy in the tank. What other people notice is how I look. I always thought these “before and after” shots were hokey, fake, photo-shopped pictures or the result of surgery, or maybe even simply pushing out and sucking in your tummy. Not so. This genuinely really is me 8 weeks later - no tummy sucking - and I have worked hard for it. The reason I am not wearing the same clothes is because the “before” clothes hang off me.

There will always be someone sceptical that dismisses these results as “natural post-pregnancy weight loss”. But I know from my previous pregnancy that I did not nearly triple my plank time, lower my resting heart rate and blood pressure by doing nothing. I certainly wasn’t in this shape or feeling this full of energy during the years between pregnancies either.

Anyway my kids don’t care about these numbers. What they care about is that Mumma joins in, runs about, hangs upside down, climbs trees, instigates bear-crawl racing (super-hero training), has FUN and plays with them for hours and hours without needing a break. Being able to play has inspired me much more than weight loss and measurements. It means everything to me that they will remember me this way when they reflect on their childhoods in years to come.

Thank you Darryl – this process has been genuinely transformational on many levels. The bespoke nature of your Virtual Training program has been superb and has allowed me to benefit from your expertise without being in London. And this is just the start! There is a significant amount of room for improvement and I am looking forward to reaching new goals as we continue the training over the coming months.

I feel very emotional when I look back at how far I have come in the last 8 weeks.

-Zoe

The First 14 Days!

Read about the challenges at Week 4

What was the state of play at Week 6?

 

 

Wednesday
Jun262013

Testimonial: Virtual Training (6 Weeks Later)

Testimonial: Virtual Training (6 Weeks Later)

Week 6

Wow! Life is so much more agreeable when you feel energetic and capable.

I am really starting to reap the benefits of eating delicious nutritious food and restoring my strength and stamina. Despite broken sleep nursing my baby, I wake feeling refreshed and ready to go.  I can’t remember the last time I had a headache!

The physical benefits cannot be overstated - I feel significantly more confident and able to meet life’s challenges.  What a difference to basic daily activities: running up the stairs without feeling out of breath; climbing trees and joining in a game of football in the back garden.  What is most amazing is that my children discern the difference and will ask me to play games that were formerly only “Daddy games”.   I really love that I can catch my 25kg son sprinting and jumping up at me!  Bonus cuddles.

Being an active Mumma is what this lifestyle upgrade is all about – but a fabulous side benefit at the end of 6 weeks was putting on this UK size 10 (US size 6) dress for a family party.  

-Zoe

Read about the First 14 Days

Read about Week 4