When we think of the word ‘Ancestral’, it normally provokes strength, hunting, fight or flight responsiveness and adrenaline. Man vs Beast in a battle for survival….Normally it would have the connotation of living on the knife’s edge. But I’d beg to differ.
When I think of ‘Ancestral’ I think of less complication, less distraction, more focus on the natural and above all focusing on keeping things functional.
We can strip out the distractions, the complications and focus on the task ahead. I think for a lot of athletes that’s the appeal of training and competition – to be able to drop out all other distraction and apply pure focus to achieve their potential. But how can you get into a similar place with your state of mind and your training?
Whether labelling a more honed, intelligent and healthy version of yourself as ‘Ancestral’ or not, you can boil down the parameters for your journey into a few simple guidelines. I’ve based these on some similar lessons from Ben Greenfield. I’m going to go through each one and hopefully help you to become a more ‘Ancestral’ athlete.
Adjust your perspective
Look at things in a different light with a different approach. If you have been training a certain way for a while, explore other options and methods. Make sure you explore every plane of your body movement.
Get used to being uncomfortable
Pushing your body to it’s limits, and beyond, is the way to progress and establish solid gains. Make sure every session improves on the previous session in one way or another – whether through rest, reps, time under tension, etc.
Before you say it, no - this is not contrary to point 2. You need to create an environment and surroundings for you to feel comfortable in to be able to produce your best, and to limit distraction. With a solid grounding you can push yourself even further.
you’ll have to be prepared to put in the hard graft. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, and you have to start somewhere. One day what you consider impossible will become your warm up!
Make time for love
Love in life takes many forms. But you have to find time for that enrichment and nourishment of the soul too. Be open, meet people, find love. It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. Take time to spend with your loved ones, as more often than not they can pus you further than you ever thought you could go, and they will always be there to support you.
This one is definitely one of the most important. Try and eat as much natural wholefood as possible. Pre cook and prepare meals for ease and time saving. Use plenty of green veggies, fruit and grains. Anyone that tells you fruit makes you fat is an idiot. Whether plant based or not, derive your protein from natural sources and eat plenty of it!
Empty the trash
Strip back what distracts you and feels unnecessary. This can take many forms and contexts. Start by listing what these might be so you can analyse them with care and attention. With access to so much these days, this can be quite a difficult one to practice, but if it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t do it.
Science backed is always the way
– Always follow scientific proven methods, not the latest fads on social media. Get used to the boring reading of scientific journals, as they are a wonderful source of research backed information. Keep focused on what has already been proven and established.
Keep the mind clear
Again, strip back what distracts you mentally. Practising mindfulness, deep breathing techniques and meditation can all help to manage mental pathways. These sorts of techniques can also help to manage your emotional state as well.
This one can often get away from us with how instant life can be. But just remember you’re a human being in a world filled with other human beings all just trying to get by. Hold others to the same standards and forgiveness you would hold to yourself.
These are just a few of the methods you can use to live the most ‘Ancestral’ life that you can. Strip things back to basics and keep it simple, whether in life or your training. At the Gravity Fitness Store we have equipment that can help you perform the most basic and functional movements, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your training ‘Ancestral’!