I’ve been reading up on The Gabriel Method and trying out his ideas to see if they work.
I’m still not finished reviewing his plan, but I have found ONE very important idea in everything he says. It is possible to trick your body into getting thin by giving it positive stress.
One of those positive stresses is exercise. We need to convince our bodies that they need to be thin so we can outrun the predators or fight them off if we’re cornered. In his book, Jon Gabriel talks about a time when he was riding his bike. A vicious dog started chasing him, nipping at his heels. It took over a minute to shake off the dog and after he had pedaled himself away, he felt more vitality than he had felt all day.
The idea is to envision that we are in danger during an interval workout. Whether we are running, walking or riding a bike, it can be difficult to imagine that a pack of dogs are at our heels when the treadmill is steadily keeping its pace. Even if I boot the speed up for a minute, it’s kind of hard to materialize blood thirsty animals at my heels.
Then I remembered that I live with one…
My dog, Sid, has never been vicious with me, but every day, he turns into an panicked lunatic. It happens Monday through Saturday between 9:30 am and 11:00 am. He starts barking and beating himself against the front door each morning the mail carrier delivers our mail.
So I set my audio recorder right next to the door and recorded his barking. After a couple of days’ worth of screeching at our postal worker, I was able to compile the recordings into an MP3 that is a little over a minute long. I’ve set this MP3, called Primal Reaction, as my Power Song on my Nike+. Every few minutes, I set the treadmill to the highest speed I can maintain for one minute, hold down the middle button for three seconds and the sound of five dogs barking at my heels gets my heart rate up faster than running on the treadmill could possibly do. It really sets off my flight response.
You can download it here:
- Primal Reaction – by Laura and Sid Moncur Right click the link and choose Save As…
I’ve also been exercising with Wii Boxing. Despite the cartoony feel of my opponents, I have found that if I truly pretend that the guy wants to hit me, I get that adrenaline surge from the workout. Wii Boxing was the only section of Wii Sports that got my heart rate into the cardio zone, but I can keep boxing opponents for a twenty minute workout and by the time I’m done I’m sweating, breathing heavily and all wound up. It truly sets off my fight response.
When it comes to fight or flight, we humans have been at the top of the food chain for so long that it’s only natural that our bodies have been convinced that it’s safer to be fat than thin. Especially since we go on diets and impose a famine on them every January, our bodies are trying to hold onto the fat so that we don’t starve to death. A few primal workouts every week just might be enough to convince our bodies that it’s more important to be fast and strong. Maybe we can trick our bodies into making us thin so we can run away or fight ourselves out of sticky situations. That’s the whole goal of a primal workout.