Workout of the Day



It’s no secret that we (speaking of our society in particular, and of humans in general) have a strong affinity for sugar. Not only is it nearly ubiquitous in popular Western cuisine and a primary center-piece of indulgent behavior, it’s also so darn good that it seems like we just can’t help but crave the stuff. And, in a sense, this is true.

If we take a trip back to our evolutionary past, it starts to make sense. A strong liking for sugar was, back then, an evolutionary advantage. Our hominid ancestors who had an affinity for sweetness would be drawn to consume riper, more energy-dense fruits, which would result in more energy, higher chances of survival and reproduction, and so on. Sweetness was also likely an indicator of something more easily digestible and not poisonous. This advantage of having a sweet tooth would carry on for a long time, through hunter-gatherer societies, and likely up until the point where societies of abundance started popping up. In short, way back before human civilization and agriculture and Big Gulps, you were better off if you had a sweet tooth. Now, not so much.

The challenge for us is that we are still (genetically) very much like our sweet-toothed ancestors, but our context and lifestyle couldn’t be more different. Back then, coming across a tree full of sweet fruit was a rare treat (and sweet fruits back then, by the way, weren’t nearly as sweet as our modern equivalents which are intentionally bred for higher sweetness). Now, some pocket change can buy you a soda with a few hundred grams of easy-to-consume sugar, it’s in everything from salad dressing to wheat bread to barbeque chicken, and marketers target everyone from impressionable children (have you ever noticed that the junk food snacks are often positioned at the eye level of children?) to adults bored at their office job. And the worst part, rates of diseases like diabetes show that we’re not becoming any less inclined to eat the sweet stuff.

What was once an evolutionary advantage is now, in the context of Western society, a practical death sentence. While this is perhaps a bit dismal, it’s true that our physiology is not ready for the world we have created for ourselves. What this means is that it will take awareness and discipline to move beyond our basic physical urges. Recognize that sweet stuff tastes very good for a very good reason (historically), but that you’re not living in the world in which that advantage was born. The world and the ubiquity of sugar and the marketing isn’t going to change for you and make the problem go away, so the only solution is for you to change your behaviors to overcome the challenge.

- PS


  • For time:

    • 200m double overhead DB carry (50/35)


  • “Nicole”

  • 20 min AMRAP

    • 400m run

    • Max pull-ups