A while back it seems a cute little diet ran into a hunky exercise regime while shopping at the farmer’s market. The two clicked instantly, and have been in bed together ever since. Why is crossfit so popular among the paleo crowd, and vice versa?
Also, the paleo crowd also seems to hate, almost vilify cardio. Why? Persistence hunting is still practiced today by HG cultures in Africa, so endurance events seem right up the “evolutionary exercise” alley.
Crossfit and Paleo are in bed together because crossfit is about improving performance as much as possible. In that regard, I notice Paleo improves my ability to perform at a high level so it makes sense to keep it up.
I think Paleos tend to say no to cardio, and focus on strength training for a few reasons.
One is that Kurt Harris did a post on running and CVD in which he indicated that cardio causes heart disease when that cardio is something like marathon training. http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2009/11/1/cardio-causes-heart-disease.html and a follow up: http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2010/3/21/still-not-born-to-run.html
The second reason for limited cardio is that IMO it's easy for one to start overtraining when you add in a bunch of cardio. Lets face it, it's pretty addictive once people get into it.
And a final reason for no cardio, or limited cardio, is that cardio releases hormones which compete with the hormones released from strength training. Cardio can effectively negate your heavy lifting. People here tend to want to be fit and strong and are well read so hearing about competing results means they might want to drop the cardio and focus on strength. See this article: http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/strength-and-endurance-training-can-both-the-elements-be-mastered-at-once-40846
Answer to 1st question is pretty simple really - it's a great diet to enhance overall CrossFit performance. I've been paleo for just over 3 months and I can't believe the difference in my strength, muscle gain and fat loss. We do it 'cause it works. I think they also compliment each other in the sense of the whole primal/functional mentality. CrossFit is based on functional movements, something closer to what our early ancestors might have employed, not on machine-enhanced or -generated movement (though the true "paleo" version of CrossFit would be MoveNat, in my humble opinion) :) And paleo, well that speaks for itself.
2nd part - don't know anything about that. We do "cardio" (i.e. working our heart muscle at an elevated rate) every day that we train CrossFit, pretty much. We run. We jump. We climb. We row. We sprint. We skip. We don't do it on a treadmill or an elliptical trainer, though. Maybe that's what you mean? We don't like cardio machines?
It's your choice....
Strength and conditioning coaches often describe CrossFit's programming — or lack thereof — as senseless and random. Alwyn Cosgrove notes that this "all over the place" programming can be dangerous:"A recent CrossFit workout was 30 reps of snatches with 135 pounds. A snatch is an explosive exercise designed to train power development. Thirty reps is endurance. You don't use an explosive exercise to train endurance; there are more effective and safer choices."Another one was 30 muscle-ups. And if you can't do muscle-ups, do 120 pull-ups and 120 dips. It's just random; it makes no sense. Two days later the program was five sets of five in the push jerk with max loads. That's not looking too healthy for the shoulder joint if you just did 120 dips 48 hours ago."Mike Boyle adds, "I think high-rep Olympic lifting is dangerous. Be careful with CrossFit."And here's Charles Poliquin: "If you try to do everything in your workout, you get nothing. CrossFit is different, and maybe even fun for some people, but it's not very effective. No athlete has ever gotten good training like that."
I dont want to contribute to crossfit's treasure chest.
I can do some powerlifts, swing a kettlell, walk the dog without paying for the priviledge.
I don't know anything about Crossfit, so can't comment on that.
The reading I've done recently (there's been a lot and I can't remember exact sources) doesn't seem to vilify cardio per se, but does vilify the massive amounts of indoor equipment-based cardio that a lot of people do, as well as long-distance running. Walking 2-3 miles outside (looking for food) with some sprints (chasing prey or running away from danger) seems to mirror the cardio hunters would've gotten.
Greg Glassman advocates paleo in his definition of fitness. Not directly, but you can see how it's leading:
"Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat."
I don't think the Paleo community necessarily vilifies cardio. I think that long cardio didn't aid in previous weight loss or health of many paleo-people, so they (ahem, we) probably are a bit bitter towards it.
I think there's an interesting sociological perspective to add to this, aside from the other great answers provided. In this day of a great communication device - the Internet, coupled with easy tools in which to create content (blog hosting and tools, forums), you have an explosion of people with the desire to A) improve health-wise and B) communicate their findings.
Of course, there is likely a pretty large dose of vanity involved ("hey lookee at my fabulous abs on this new diet and workout lifestyle!"), but regardless of intention, there is definitely a convergence of a type of person who are motivated to look, feel and do better (athletically) and wants to share it.
I really do love the experimental nature of these groups - people willing to test the conventional doctrine and report back - pro or con.
Relevant I think.
Here we have a qualified, practicing British doctor who advocates paleo. Her exercise regime is HIT (High intensity training). Not a random selection, she explains her reasons. http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/
Bear in mind Dr Myhill is a specialist in ME and has written papers on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Personally I did HIT training for years with good results before turning to powerlifting and karate as sporting activities.
However, if the objective is health, not sport, social activity, financial gain etc, I am going to say Dr Myhill is correct, at least generally speaking.
Oh hell, if one thing doesn't kill us another will. Do what you love, live while you live then die and be done with it!
Remember when we decided that fat killed us, no wait, its sugar that kills us, no hold on, carbs kill us, and lifting weights is ok, except all them free radicals and such it squrits out, and lots of cardio will make your heart strong, oh, wrong again, long runs make your heart explode, but sprints that make you feel like you heart will explode, don't make your heart explode.
The thing to keep in mind about science is that it's always wrong, hopefully it always gets alittle closer to being right, but you can bet the farm that its at least a little bit wrong. No one has 'the answer' there isn't a 'right way' that's why they say 'life is a bitch'. No Paleo man/woman ever made a hobby out of what they ate or how they got around, killing, sleeping and screwing took up 100% of the day, and they took it as it came.
They're married primarily xuz Wolf was a big part of both at the right time.
Vilifying cardio has gotten silly. I don't run. Ever. I loft weights. That's it. However I don't think it's as simple as running promotes cortisol-release. Crossfit workouts release cortisol. So does a slightly extended session for me with iron. Just eat carbs ASAP afterwards and you'll be good. I think actual marathoning is horrible. But that does not ipso facto make normal running that bad I don't think.