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Health, psychology & science stories


De Vany in a nutshell (New Scientist)

28 May 2000

Art De Vany’s principles of ‘evolutionary fitness’:

• Intensity (intermittent acute exercise)

• Brevity (don’t exercise acutely for too long)

• Variety (mix various acute and less stressful exercises)

• Randomness (avoid routine; arbitrarily mix intensity, frequency, duration, volume and spacing)

• Play (enjoy what you do)

Women: a bit more endurance.

Men: a bit more intensity.

How to gain ‘X-appeal’ (by Art de Vany):

• ‘For most people, a move from mechanistic training to adaptive training would consist primarily of cutting back on the number of sets and how often they work out. This is combined with a little pushing up of the pace and intensity of the workouts, and cutting way back on how long they are, and on the rest between sets... I spend very little time in the gym, usually from 1 to 2 hours a week.’

• For men: ‘Work on calves, traps, neck and back. You look taller - another reliable evolutionary clue that women use to find good genes - if you move more mass to the neck and shoulder girdle and to the calves.’

• One upper and one lower body workout per week, of no more than 40 minutes duration, and one all round workout per week of completely different exercises, is a good model to begin with. The all round workout should be focused on symmetry and grace, and the more intense workouts on the large muscles...’

• ‘Slow-twitch activities include maintaining posture, walking, and slow running. Intermediate intensity activities, such as moderately paced jogging, tennis, and aerobics, mix intermediate-twitch and slow-twitch fibres... Less frequent, high intensity activities like jumping, sprinting and high intensity training, hit the fast-twitch fibre.’

• ‘Rollerblading, bicycling, walking, sprinting, tennis, basketball, power walking, hitting softballs and so on are the sorts of activities that mix IT and ST fibres with intermittent FT action.’

From Art De Vany’s work-in-progress, ‘Evolutionary Fitness'

2013 postscript: Now published as The New Evolution Diet. Also the De Vany website.

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