Mark Sisson, Mark’s Daily Apple. Prime Time.

I never wanted to hate Mark Sisson for a second.

I probably couldn’t have, even if I’d wanted…and making myself hate another over contrived, envious hateful wants, makes me feel less about myself. And even that simply brushes aside that fact that I genuinely love and appreciate the guy, from many angles.

It will always be that Art got me started in all of this. Next was Mark, linked to by Art. Back then, Mark had his kinda cartoon design blog those of way back remember. As a Daily Apple and keeping the doctor away, he committed himself, and he measured up daily to his own commitment. Not only that. When I hit him up for a guest post by me on his blog, he said bring it on. When it was time for him, he showed up on mine. Then later, he did a video interview.

And guess what? By being very dedicated, smart, unwilling to dabble in off-course diversion as I proved myself willing to do, he has maintained his status of what I think, is the Jewel of paleo (OK, Mark: Primal).

Yea, I’m an FOM (friend of Mark). Yep, we exchange an email now and then, a chat on the phone…but here’s really why: entrepreneurship. Paleo/Primal is merely the thing in common. Entrepreneurs (people who have built their own livelihood via providing a livelihood for 1 or more others in a business/trade environment) have an immediate affinity with each other, internationally. I’m not getting into it because non-eutrepreneurs really just don’t understand unless they want to (those who do, do, and I always appreciate it).

A final introductory note. Most of all, in my past post, I was worried about mentioning Sisson, that it would draw out the detractors and would be potentially awful. Didn’t happen. To the contrary. So go figure. Like I said: Jewel of paleo. As far and away as I am from anything like that, I submit to you that I have made a correct identification—perhaps just because.

…Here’s the deal. Mark is on Prime Time NBC Network TeeVee tomorrow night, Thursday, 10/04/2012,  and it’s sweet justice that the person who deserves it the most gets it. That’s cool, makes me sleep well, all of that.

Here’s the deal. NBC, Rock Central, tomorrow night. Here’s a 1-minute clip of the piece.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

It’s longer than that, and in a few exchanges with Mark in email which I hope he doesn’t mind me abstracting, he has zero illusions about not being made to look like a whatever [take your pick] after they edit in the quote from the Docktor in The Experimental Center to give a wry grim, a cutesy acknowledgment—a metaphorical pat on a blond head—and advise you to go back to eating all that that makes you….

….look, far, far different from Sisson at 59.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Erin C on October 3, 2012 at 13:50


  2. AlexaProwler on October 3, 2012 at 13:55

    I’ve learnt a lot from Sisson – health, motivation and business. I like to see the guy get the recognition/spotlight he deserves. Yup, he really is the Jewel of Primal/Paleo…

    • Richard Nikoley on October 3, 2012 at 13:57

      ” he really is the Jewel of Primal/Paleo…”

      Remember that you heard it here first. 🙂

  3. Joshua on October 3, 2012 at 14:02

    And here I’ve been pronouncing it SissON. All frenchy and shit.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 3, 2012 at 14:05

      Look. People can judge him how they like, according to their own various values,

      But he has never been in anyone’s face about any of it, so that should be integrated on any rational judgement,

  4. Karen P. on October 3, 2012 at 14:52

    Love that man. He’s 25 years older than me, and I STILL have the hots for him. And yes, the fact that he remains above the shit-throwing fray keeps him smelling like roses. Smart man.

  5. rob on October 3, 2012 at 15:19

    I disagree with him on certain things (Fat Burner?) and tend to like blogs written by authors who tell their readers to fuck off on a regular basis, but I think that Sisson is an inspiration.

    Women are attracted to him, men want to be him, there can be no higher praise. His site might as well be named “PaleoWiki” because no matter the question, you will find an analysis there. When I wanted to know the merits of white rice versus brown rice, I went to MDA.

    He is a role model for all of us who are getting on in years, something to aspire to.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 3, 2012 at 15:29

      Yea, no doubt I want to be the guy who tells readers to fuck off.

      But someone has to be the elephant, that’s Mark, and who doesn’t trust him with that charge, given what he has demonstrated over years.

      This is important to all of us. It’s good we have such a good man to trust, who has proven trustworthy in my stern judgment,

      • dr. gabriella kadar on October 3, 2012 at 18:03

        Sisson has the anatomy. He is a natural athlete. Not everyone has that. There are people who, no matter how hard they try, are not built to do what he can do. Nowhere near.

        So, yes, what he recommends and stands for are great. Results depend on existing infrastructure.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 3, 2012 at 18:25

        Yes, of course. Nobody knows that better than I.

        Wouldn’t you say, thank you, Mark, for the impeccable inspiration? Over the years, he has been pretty modest abut strutting his stuff, look at me, etc.

      • dr. gabriella kadar on October 4, 2012 at 04:56

        Of course, Richard.

        The irony of it all, on the bodybuilding weight lifting pre-occupation for me at least, is my father. Albeit he participated in athletics as a youth (soccer) but here in Canada he was not doing anything significantly athletic. In fact, he couldn’t do too much running because his right thigh was missing a huge amount of muscle tissue and bone due to osteomyelitis. However, my father had a six pack until he was over 60 years of age. I don’t think this was because he walked the dog three times a day. It was just his build. When he needed to do something physically strenuous, he just could. For some reason he had the muscles to get whatever he needed to do done. He was 5’11” and weighed 155 pounds. The physique was something he shared with two of his three brothers. They were all like those ‘from zero to 100 mph in 2 seconds’ sort of physiology/kinetics’.

        Neither my brother nor I inherited this body type although my older daughter has. We can’t all be natural born athletes, but there is opportunity to make the best of what we have. It just takes a lot more effort for some than for others. I think we need to have respect for how far we can take things and not get injured in the process because that results in setbacks and quality of life issues which can be just as bad as not getting off the couch in the first place.

        Mark Sisson is fortunate. He’s got the body, brains and enterpreneurial skills to succeed in his chosen field. He learned to adapt from experiencing the chronic injuries sustained during his early athletic career. He’s got credibilty because he walks the walk. No doubt about it, he works hard.

      • unRealLife on October 4, 2012 at 11:21

        read Tim Ferris 4hrbody he is not genetically gifted but made progress being a motivated slacker.

      • Karen P. on October 3, 2012 at 19:02

        I agree that he has some genetic blessings we don’t all possess.

        But he’s only a few years younger than my in-laws who have decided they’re too old to make a change and they just “want to have fun” in their old age. Yeah, it’s all fun and games until you get sick and spend the last 10-15 years debilitated and demented. They already take meds for “high” cholesterol and get horribly sick every time they get a new bug. FIL went to hospital with pneumonia last year. Beginning of the end, but they don’t want to interrupt their “fun.”

        So in that sense, I feel like he’s a great role model for those who think this Paleo shiz is all for the young ‘uns.

      • Lute Nikoley on October 3, 2012 at 21:04

        Tell your in- laws it’s never too late to change, I did a few years ago and at almost 75, am enjoying life as much as I did in my younger years, my wife Bonny also. We hardly ever get sick, we still work and are busy doing stuff almost every weekend. We do spend a lot of money on gas going here and there, camping in our 5th wheel, etc., etc., etc. I’ve also been able to drop 5 of the 7 meds I used to be on, including statin and hypertension. Yes, if you want a better life, there is an easy answer. Buy Richards book, it explains it ALL.

      • Dainon on October 3, 2012 at 23:01

        It’s important to remember his ‘base recommendations’ for improvement are much lower than what he does himself. I think he makes no claims that are outlandish or excessively optimistic, and always emphasizes that improvement is a process.

  6. VW on October 3, 2012 at 16:42

    Sisson and, since you brought him up, Devany…. they’re both absolutely great by me. Inspirational, smart, dedicated to helping others. No one can convince me otherwise.

    Sisson also appears to throw an incredibly straight frisbee.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 3, 2012 at 16:45

      “Sisson also appears to throw an incredibly straight frisbee.”

      Strike one.

      Frisbees aren’t paleo.

      • VW on October 3, 2012 at 16:49

        Dammit, the man has sold out.

      • neal matheson on October 4, 2012 at 04:50

        Throwing is, go on make an atlatl!

      • Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2012 at 07:29

        I was able to make atlatl my opening move in Words with Friends recently. Does that count?

      • neal matheson on October 4, 2012 at 10:40

        nice work!

  7. unRealLife on October 3, 2012 at 16:47

    you are the adventurer with passion and vision to try everything within reason.. Sisson so apple pie…got his book never finished it… it is so bland man.. we need your spice..every so often…you tell me to fuzz off it ain’t gonna matter..

    • Richard Nikoley on October 3, 2012 at 17:15


      But, can we agree this should advance and it’s good if it does? Can we also agree that very few people go for my style as opposed to Sisson?

      Sisson is a friend. We’re both doing our thing. No way in the world I can do his thing and no way in the world he can do mine.

      Division of labor, man. I’m happy. Can you get it?

      • unRealLife on October 3, 2012 at 20:37

        but you have already advanced from those idiot name calling bloggers that turned into a brush fire war. we all gotta have fun in our own way…with a little slap stick humor thrown in for good measure.
        I’m happy too they passed 3rd stage clinical trial for a Hypercholesterolemia treatment the Jimmy Moore and Jonathan Carey lipid problem where some cannot eat much saturated fat could be 25% of the population including me.
        its at today so I celebrated with a bit of vino which is not great for my genome type
        I’m happy that you don’t have it.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 3, 2012 at 20:58

        “but you have already advanced from those idiot name calling bloggers that turned into a brush fire war. we all gotta have fun in our own way…with a little slap stick humor thrown in for good measure.”

        That’s a decent way to put it. There such a target rich environment out there.

        I may just take up daily meditation to keep myself better focussed on essentials. Is there any such thing as “rational meditation?” 🙂

      • Jscott on October 4, 2012 at 17:45

        Harris had a some interesting things to say about meditation in a Rogan interview as it compares to psychedelic experiences. Especially MDMA. I would agree with his parallels using compassionate meditation.

        John K Zinn is great. He did a google talk here and takes a group through a meditation sit.

        Meditation, as I know and practice, contains no supernatural. No woo. I also am not trying to use it to improve intuition or discover a super power.

        I use it to pay the fuck attention. To watch my mind in some cases. In other cases to rid myself of unrealistic expectations of reality.

        Mostly to see reality and be able to interact with it while being fully engaged and fully human.

        No woo needed.

        Emwave works great too and it makes a good bio-feedback device especially if you deal with anxiety/depression or want to see an approximation of your Heart Rate Variability which is what meditation influences.

      • unRealLife on October 4, 2012 at 11:40

        meditation is has too much voodoo …does not seem your style

        get an emwave heart wave variability trainer device and tap into same body process for mental and physical balance in a fraction of the time.

        now i’m off to the yellow grunt&groan club where the gold’s trainers tell me to act like a sissy and do light weights.

      • VW on October 4, 2012 at 14:50

        You can find meditation instruction that is totally boiled down to the bare essentials. Jon Kabat-Zinn (sp?) is a guy who springs to mind, as does Dr. Herbert Benson and others. You could probably google those names and find something out about them and meditation. I believe I remember seeing that the guy named Kamal who sometimes comments here has done some work with/for Dr. Benson, so he might be a source of info. (That might be totally wrong… just relying on my shaky memory from reading online comments.)

        Anyway, it’s totally not voodoo. I absolutely do not in any way proselytize or refer to, mention, allude to, comment on or discuss my long-time daily meditation practice with anyone, either here or in real life. It’s not my place to force anything like that on anyone in any way.

        But you asked….

        It strips away the BS. But it’s a strange and non-linear deal. You sort of can’t go in with the expectation that you’re about to improve aspects of your life, yet you sort of do or else you’d never have started, most likely. It’s just that one day you look up, a few years down the line, and realize that things are as they ever were and yet they aren’t….. in a good way!

      • Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2012 at 14:56

        I did a bit of a read up last night on Sam Harris’s writings on non-religious meditation.

        I think I feel it often. It’s kinda in that purgatory between awareness and sleep where your mind comes up with amazing insights. A few times I have grabbed the phone to make a not to myself. Too often, those notes don’t make complete conscious sense to me.

        I wonder if that’s a practiced thing.

      • dr. gabriella kadar on October 4, 2012 at 15:57

        Meditation is nothing more than controlled diaphragmatic breathing which lowers sympathetic nervous system tone and thereby de-excites the mind. It is simply a way to train the body and thereby the mind. Eventually the breathing can becomes a habit. Meditation does not have to be practiced sitting down. It can be done while walking, standing, swimming, lying down (although that might result in too much relaxation and sleeping).

        A calm mind is best for solving problems, critical thinking and when the shit hits the fan, it prevents panic or anxiety.

        You can notice that people who work with animals, large or small, have a calmness. Animals pick up on irregular breathing and when stressed cannot be calmed. When I was working with donkeys that had been abused, I actually put my nose to their noses, breathed in and out slowly and regularly until within less than a minute the animal would harmonize its breathing with mine. When I’d breathe out, the donkey would breathe in, etc. Pretty marvellous stuff.

        Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book ‘Full Catastrophe Living’ is the one I prefered although it’s not an instructional book. I have his meditation CDs but I can’t work with them. He’s too slow.

        I had an excellent teacher and built on what she taught.

        These days I have to make a conscious choice to raise my voice to sound pissed off. Then of course the emotional component is missing since it’s all under my control and based on a decision. Getting emotionally upset spikes blood glucose and that’s definitely not good.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2012 at 16:10

        That’s a cool story. I’ll have to send than to Bea. One of our dogs loves the car, the other hates it. Same breed. She pants non stop in the car. Even if I turn the AC to 65, so I know it’s not heat,

      • unRealLife on October 4, 2012 at 17:23

        emwave tells you when you are reaching the proper state and when you maintain it and extend it and use it at other times to be cool. The problem with all other technics is that you waste a lot of time wondering if you are there and not knowing if you achieved anything as there is about a two week adaption period. The voodoo is that you have to believe in the belief to have it work or maybe not work effectively or at all. Simple TM studies have shown huge reductions in all health problems over long perods but if 30% drop out and wander around in the dark is that progress? I’m not saying if you are dedicated you will not get benefits. Like doing the lifting is better then just imagining you are moving heavy iron. The device puts the weight in your hand and you know when you are lifting….the ancient methods are yes master anything you say master I’m your obedient servant slave and we get those religious wars, no?
        I don’t wanna be a MarksDaily Applet!. me is me whatever it maybe as I’m free..
        The is the FREEtheAnimal philosophy you want all animals to be free eh Richard!

      • Jscott on October 4, 2012 at 17:33

        I think that is called paying attention.

      • dr. gabriella kadar on October 4, 2012 at 18:46

        Behavioural conditioning takes time. There’s probably You Tube vids on this sort of thing.

      • unRealLife on October 4, 2012 at 19:50

        yep deep breathing starts what yogi’s did with their pranayama to activate heart rate variability the principle mechanism of the emwave I have no intere$t..

      • Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2012 at 21:29

        URL, being a longtime writer, and often contemplating what I might write next, I am often flabbergasted at what my mind can conjure in a semi conscious state, too unconscious to remember and use reliably, conscious enough to remember that it’s my best stuff but I don’t have reliable access.

        I have zero illusions about the power of the human mind to be far more than we even imagine on average, no woo required.

      • dr. gabriella kadar on October 5, 2012 at 04:20

        Richard, I think that you are refering to a state of reverie.

        It’s great stuff but different from meditation.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 5, 2012 at 07:23

        Yes, agreed. My point is that state convinces me that deep states of contemplation arent woo, but real and beneficial.

      • Elenor on October 6, 2012 at 06:07

        Back when I was teaching (and yes proselytizing madly for: cause I LOVE it!) tai chi chuan, I had a plumber come to the house. I was, of course, rabbiting on and on about how great it was and how healthy, and he said he was studying wing chun and his teacher had started studying tai chi with my teaching partner. He, the plumber, was VERY worried about it because he was a total-fundie Christian and he didn’t “want to believe in this energy-stuff. It was probably not Christian…” {disgusted eye roll}

        I pointed out that it was a PHYSICAL ability of the body. That learning (by doing tai chi) how to relax muscles and have them (the actual phyisical muscles) in a relaxed-but-ready state was NOT woo-woo stuff, it was just plain-old physiology. (And just to hammer it home in his deluded wee brain; I pointed out that since it WAS a physical ability, it seemed pretty likely that his god had PUT it into the body, no?)

        Ooohhh, that made him feel ever-so-much better. It made sense (to him) that it was physical, then it wasn’t eeeeevil! ({gag}{choke}{spit}Why DO we let such people live!?) And the topper was, he said that since his wing chun teacher had begun studying tai chi, he was now hitting SOOOOOO much harder! Just really hurting him. (Which, I guess, meant it MUST be “from the devil.”)

        Just because people lay some sort of mental-emotional (*or* woo-woo) pattern OVER a physiological ability does NOT make that ability NOT a physiological ability! If explaining something within a belief structure allows people to harness a *natural* ability of the human body and mind, ‘kay-fine! (I’d prefer they take it physiologically, but {shrug} whatever works!)

        This also makes me think of a question I asked my teacher (coupla decades ago): the tai chi player practices centering himself, ‘rooting’ his structure, and beginning movement from the dan t’ien. (The dan t’ien is essentially, the center of gravity, or the place where you draw and concentrate chi/energy — or whatever ‘belief structure’ allows you to sink into your physical structure and envision energy in your body.) Early on, I asked Master George how I could tell whether I was ‘moving from the dan t’ien’ or just moving my stomach muscles. He said: “wait, practice, you’ll know.” (Very unsatisfactory but that’s the kind of answer you often get.)

        So, I did wait and practice: and one day, I realized I COULD feel a difference. Don’t know when it ‘clicked over’ but it was suddenly entirely clear how the two felt/differed. Not woo-woo, merely knowledge and experience.

        Oh, and Dr Kadar?
        “Meditation is nothing more than controlled diaphragmatic breathing…”

        You know this for a 100%, universally true fact, do you? Mebbe a bit TOO dogmaticm eh?

      • johnnyv on October 4, 2012 at 12:49

        25% of the population cannot eat much saturated fat? is that when suffering from a lack of choline?
        Colour me highly dubious.

      • unRealLife on October 4, 2012 at 17:40

        it is a genome variant that affects 25% of the population if your family had a history of early death in 40-60s from heart disease that is an indication other that getting your genotype tested. Science has moved along a lot in the past 10 years but public knowledge always lags.
        gotta keep learning you is you and me is me that’s the lumps or cards we are dealt.

        learn more live more enjoy more

  8. RG on October 3, 2012 at 17:14

    Sisson . . .dude stays positive . .that’s for sure

    He gets kudos for that alone . . .tough row to hoe for most folks.

    • rob on October 4, 2012 at 06:05

      If you look at elite athletes in general they tend to be relentlessly positive and confident because that is what creates success.

  9. EatLessMoveMoore on October 3, 2012 at 17:26

    There are good reasons why people like Mark are almost universally respected – just as there are real reasons why Jimmy and Jack are hater-magnets. The free market of ideas always sorts itself out.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 3, 2012 at 18:27

      I agree with you ELMM. I can’t help but.

    • Andrew on October 3, 2012 at 22:43

      ELMM, your and Evelyn’s hatred for Jimmy is about how he’s in it for the money. You do understand that Sisson lives on a Malibu hilltop and makes at least 10x what Jimmy does, don’t you?

      • Gene on October 4, 2012 at 01:31

        From where I’m sitting, Evelyn’s problem with Jimmy is that he’s fat. Of course, so is she. One wonders if there’s a bit of projection going on. Conversely, her problem with Wolf, Sisson, Guyenet, etc. is that they’re skinny and male. And her problem with Dick is that he’s a dick, and her problem with Kurt is that he’s smarter than her, and her problem with Peter is that he’s wittier than her and her problem with….well, you get the picture.

      • mark on October 4, 2012 at 05:47

        So bloody true. It would suck to be so negative/depressed. Was it the lack of hugs as a child?

      • DTC on October 4, 2012 at 06:11


      • Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2012 at 14:18


        Hey, in spite of the nastiness with GoKaleo–and yes, I find her attractive as a woman. I know endomorphic women. Everything functions. Trust me, and its all women–I’m glad you showed up.

        What do you think about Sisson who has always given a range of VLC to 150g?

      • Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2012 at 22:04

        Meh, I have known a lot of endomorphs, especially in travels to Korea. When they are lean, that’s what they look like but can be all woman.

        Just sayin’

      • Andrew on October 5, 2012 at 11:26

        I haven’t followed Sisson much but he strikes me as a dietary politician… he gives general uncontroversial advices and tried his best to stay out of the mud (or at least, never be CAUGHT rolling in the mud). I remember the few times a couple years ago I read MDA I found it annoying and not very helpful to me, and even ranted a bit on his forum…but it might help the masses who don’t have the time or ability or inclincation to think/obsess about such matters as nutrition and weight.

        Exactly. He is a supplement marketer positioning himself as a health expert — although he is very smart and strategically vague about his advice. Mark can never really be wrong as he is never out on a limb. And no one calls him on it as he is unfailingly polite. He’s the homecoming king who’s as nice to the losers as he is to the cool kids. Guys like that wind up with ALL the toys.

        But if you pay attention, you can see him trim the sails of his advice as fads and research shifts. Mark leads from behind. But he’s way better at it than Romney, that’s for sure.

        And you can tell that Mark is very clear on what his fortune is built on: his 60 year old pecs. People see Mark with his shirt off and infer special expertise. Probably because it’s too painful to infer genetic superiority.

      • rob on October 5, 2012 at 14:15

        What does “healthy” even mean?

        She looks plenty bone-able to me, and like Andy Kaufman I enjoy wrestling with strong women.

      • Gene on October 5, 2012 at 14:37

        “But if you pay attention, you can see him trim the sails of his advice as fads and research shifts.”

        So, underneath the invective and vitriol, the best you can muster is to complain that he changes his mind as the science comes in?

        I sure wish more nutrition types would come in off their – precarious – limbs.

      • Ethel Mertz Brickell on October 5, 2012 at 15:49

        “People see Mark with his shirt off and infer special expertise. Probably because it’s too painful to infer genetic superiority.”

        Or considered bad form to mention steroids.

      • Andrew on October 5, 2012 at 18:01

        underneath the invective and vitriol

        There is no “invective” nor “vitriol” in the comment.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 5, 2012 at 18:28

        I must agree with Andrew. I took it to be a measured +- comment on the net plus. I liked the comment.

      • Elenor on October 6, 2012 at 06:21

        Andrew: “But if you pay attention, you can see him trim the sails of his advice as fads and research shifts. Mark leads from behind. ”

        You mean, he’s a flip-flopper?!? Oh noes!!

        If someone holds to their dogma with a death grip, y’all slap him with “he won’t change, no matter the science!” If someone *does* follow the science, then it’s: ‘he trims his sails as fads and research shift.’ Jiminy crickets! Do you OBJECT to Mark changing/adjusting/modifying his position on the basis of the science?!?!? Would you rather he cling to his less-nuanced positions? (How do you manage to put both “fads” and “research” down as the same wrong cause for moderating one’s position?!)

        Mark isn’t “leading” (from in front or behind!) — he’s providing boatloads of (free!) solid info and clear explanations of the science that folks won’t, can’t, or don’t have the time to go research themselves. If you object to Mark making some money through supplements or classes or seminars or, hell, dog food — then you’re objecting to the basis of capitalism, not his particular way of supporting himself and allowing him to provide those boatloads of FREE information. Wanna bet there are lots of guys with very similar genes who look NOTHING like him?! (What a petty objection you make!)

      • rob on October 6, 2012 at 06:50

        “Or considered bad form to mention steroids”

        Lol, you haven’t the slightest idea what you are talking about, if he were taking anything it would be either testosterone or human growth hormone, he’s not a poor 20-something that has to resort to buying steroids from some guy at the gym.

      • Andrew on October 6, 2012 at 11:02

        Elenor’s hyperbolic rant trimmed here

        Holy crap, Elenor, project much? Wow, you have worked yourself into a lather.

        There is no criticism of Mark in my post. Not that he should be immune from it, but I personally have no problem with him.

        I’m just clear that he’s an entrepreneur first. And an extremely smart, prescient one at that — he figured out how to use personal branding and the web for marketing many years before it was commonly understood. That’s awesome and deserves study (especially for the subtlety with which he does it.) But I don’t kid myself that it makes him a real expert. It makes him an astute businessman who was one of the first to realize that blogging was the game-changer it would turn out to be.

        He was the first to get that blogging could be for more than ego — it could make one rich. Most bloggers, and virtually all who started when Mark did, were utter narcissists. Mark isn’t. Unclouded by self-obsession, he realized he could harness blogging to move huge quantities of a micro-brand of vitamins THAT HE OWNED 100% at astounding markups, giving his family as good a lifestyle as any has ever existed on the planet.

        MORE POWER TO HIM. MAKE HIM A CASE STUDY AT HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL. COULDN’T HAPPEN TO A NICER OR SMARTER GUY. Not that it “happened” to him, either; he built it, brick by brick.

        (But I do find it interesting that people who make practically nothing are endlessly henpecked for making low-carb a business, while no one takes issue with Mark for that — even though he’s vastly better at it.)

        As for adjusting his advice as fads and research shifts, there’s NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT, EITHER. But there’s also nothing special about it. That’s all that 99% of “micro health guru” bloggers are trying to do. And it’s what hundreds of personal trainers are all doing. And it’s what tons of middle-aged moms-turned pico-diet gurus are attempting. There are now THOUSANDS of people trying to do EXACTLY what Mark did. [Though they are fucking up the business end in one of two ways: 1) They are trying to sell personal consulting, which doesn’t scale, or 2) they are just affiliates of minor off-brand products, so they make 2% of the gross where Mark might make 60% of a much bigger business. In other words, they are amateurs.]

        But there is nothing unique about Mark’s advice. He just got there first so he’s rich while everyone else fights over scraps.

        There IS something special about how Mark looks. More to the point, it matters that he looks so good WITHOUT BEING 30. That makes him more authoritative in this culture. That doesn’t mean that Mark knows more about biochemistry than Richard Feinman or Art Ayers. But no one wants to look like Feinman or Ayers; they want to look like Mark.

        And I happen to think that this stupid “community” — (it’s a pathetic collection of small-minded, obsessive dorks, actually) — could not do better than Mark Sisson as its ambassador to prime time TV.

        He’s certainly far better than the hairy, Vibram-shod, Mangalitsa-sharing “Paleo” twenty-somethings who think fat people are just weak. (And who they’re being made stars when a field producer books them for the local news, but are really just being held up for ridicule.)

      • PrimalGear on October 8, 2012 at 10:32

        So as long as your Paleo poster boy sticks with the high-end Santa Monica juice bars, you’re down with it. Finish your bacon and eggs and go back to sleep.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 8, 2012 at 10:50


        What is PrimalGear?

        What do you eat for breakfast?

  10. ryan on October 3, 2012 at 20:32

    I’ve always respected Mark as an entrepreneur. There’s a reason he’s “Mark” and and not “the person from ( who had that sweet paleo cookbook”.

    I think it’s rare to find someone that passionate about their business. I’d love it if he released a business/entrepreneurship book. It would be great to learn about how he started his supplement company and built up his empire. Who knows maybe there are some shady parts about his worker bees and honey addiction?

  11. Gene on October 4, 2012 at 01:50

    Mark is eminently respectable. All accounts are that he’s as gracious and giving in person as he appears on TV and on his website. He’s a good businessman who’s clearly made a good living for he and his family. He’s achieved a lot in this world and I’d venture to say that he’s helped about as many people get their fitness and nutrition situation in gear than just about anyone else in the Paleo/Primal scene. He deserves a lot of praise for what some people call his “bland” approach. He takes a lot of heady, boring shit and tries to boil it down into some simple prescriptions that people can latch on to until they’re in deep enough to start customizing their approach and/or get deeper into the nitty gritty. But, most people don’t give a flying fuck about biochemistry, have no interest in spending hours debating the minutae of barbell row technique and don’t have the time nor the inclination to get involved in endless online windbaggery and sniping. They want a menu card and a simple to follow exercise plan. Mark delivers that. And if you want more, he delivers some of that that, too, if you ask. And while I’m sure genetics and a lifetime of physical work plays a part in his results, I’d venture to say that if anyone hung around with him for a couple of weeks and followed his prescription along with him, they’d feel pretty good about themselves and see improvement. A bit of good food, some sun, a bit of physical exertion (preferably in fresh air), lots of fun and plenty of rest. Sounds simple when you see it spelled out like that. And that’s Mark’s genius.

  12. Marc on October 4, 2012 at 06:38


    Authentic people are hard to come by once “success” has grabbed a hold of them.
    I always considered Mark one of them.

    He’s just all class. A little before the PB book came out , he sent me a copy with a handwritten inscription that was personal and sincere. It’s always the little things and sadly when people get financially comfortable, they tend to forget the little things. It’s refreshing.

    Jewel of “Primal” well deserved.


  13. josef on October 4, 2012 at 09:52

    There is no doubt that Sisson looks great. Only a fool would deny that.

    However, Clarence Bass – at 75 – looks much better!

    • Jason on October 4, 2012 at 10:48

      I looked up Clarence Bass since you mentioned him. Yes he is very ‘built’, but “looks much better” I don’t think so. Also, he has obviously been bodybuilding for some time, that does not really translate to functional movement type of physique that Mark has. I would almost bet that Clarence couldn’t even do a pullup. That’s my take anyway.

      • Simon Carter on October 4, 2012 at 13:27

        Jason, you would lose that bet 20 times over, try googling “Clarence Bass pullup”.

    • rob on October 4, 2012 at 13:12

      Clarence Bass is in unreal shape but if I make it to 75 my game plan is to move to Las Vegas and become a degenerate gambler, an opium addict, and a pursuer of unclean women.

      I’ve made it 50 years without doing any of those things but I figure at the age of 75 all bets are off. It’s going to be like the movie “Leaving Las Vegas” except with a really old guy playing the protagonist.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2012 at 14:29


        I laughed because you reminded me of my rants in real life when I find a relative at 80 or something is watching his cholesterol, yada yada.

        “Fuck man, you won! Now go buy an ticket to the Philippenes, eat pancit every day, washed down with San Miguel, and pick out the finest brown skins in bars that’ll have you.”

      • unRealLife on October 4, 2012 at 17:47

        C Bass can eat oat meal but who knows how long before it will spike his insulin but he controls himself on portions..he figured it out for himself but it is not for everyone..

    • Gene on October 4, 2012 at 13:48

      Are we having a beauty contest?

      • VW on October 4, 2012 at 14:32

        I’ll compete if you’re game. I’ve got several candids of me in a bikini that I’ve been dying to publish. So, yeah….. if you want some, you got it. Me and you in a beauty contest, judged by our peers here at FTA.

      • AlexaProwler on October 4, 2012 at 15:56

        +1! Bring it on!

      • josef on October 4, 2012 at 16:41

        You guys are missing the point, although you crack me up.

        It’s not about a contest between Bass and Sisson.

        The example is an affirmation of Richard’s unprecedented and courageous decision to declare his independence from the paleo movement.

        The example shows that there many routes to achieve health and fitness, not just one.

      • unRealLife on October 4, 2012 at 17:51

        I think Richard will award you the free animal spear or whatever he does for saying that!

      • Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2012 at 21:37

        I say ‘fuck ya’ barely audible. It’s a major award.

  14. Sean on October 5, 2012 at 01:18

    I’ve busted Mark’s balls a bit in these parts for being a slick self-promoter, but he really is doing great work.

    The interesting thing about Mr Sisson, to me at least, is that he’s really not all vanilla Mr Rodgers nice guy, and by that I mean that he’s can write some bitingly sarcastic humor if he felt like it, but it’s not really conducive to his brand. Unfortunately for those of us who love bitingly sarcastic humor. The guy’s got depth. Check out this post where he let himself off the leash a bit.

  15. CCM on October 7, 2012 at 14:31

    I respect Mark and think of his site as a safe place to send friends and family who haven’t heard of the healing powers of real food (no swear words). He also breaks down the science in accessible ways. However, when I want to read something juicy that will challenge what I think, I read FTA. Love your no holds barred approach, Richard, and also love reading what your readers have to say. I’m a little turned off by the testimonials on MDA with the endless pictures of aging baby boomers in bikinis and speedos. It seems too vanity-oriented. And gosh how tiresome. You’d think by the time we hit fifty-something, we could relax a bit and let the gut hang out at long last. However, no doubt there is a robust market for that kind of thing. Good for Mark.

  16. […] latest addition to his growing library of publications in the paleo and primalsphere. As usual, Mark Sisson humbly under promises and over delivers. Since he has no real competition, he competes against […]

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