Just finished watching a show on National Geographic (one of my favorite channels). Though I don't generally watch TV - I'm a HUGE fan of Discovery, National Geographic and all the other channels that discuss wildlife. This particular show was about a fishing enthusiast whose on a mission to capture some pretty large fish in the Amazon - catfish, if I recall correctly - and thus goes on an expedition to some of the most isolated parts of the Amazon river basin to do so.
Actually, terming the fish he's out to catch as "pretty large" doesnt really do it justice - he finally managed to catch one at as his expedition was about to end (after staying up for days and nights to do so - gotta commend the guy's discipline), and it weighed in at a monstrous 460 something pounds and 8 feet 8 inches in length. So "gigantic" would probably be a better description.
I must say it was an absolutely beautiful area - nothing but river and greenery all around - true rainforest. And except for a few isolated tribes living inside the jungle, there was absolutely NO signs of human civilization, which is probably the main reason why the area is still forested and beautiful.
Anyway, that brings me to the topic of this message - this guy we're talking about hooked up with some of the tribesmen along the way and went along on a hunting mission with them. Now, remember that these are tribes with scarcely any contact with what we call the "civilized" world, so they have ways of their own - one being that they hunt practically naked. Except for a small smattering of string like cloth around their "private" areas, and a ton of beads and stuff on their wrists, no clothing whatsoever. Not even shoes - they hunt and walk around barefoot.
So, they show our fisherman going along with these tribal guys on a hunt - this particular one being a bird hunt. And the first thing you notice about these tribal guys (apart from their nudity) is their legs. Gigantic, muscular legs - massive thighs rippling with muscle, striated calves that looked like they did a gazillion rope jumps daily, and hips that looked as if they belonged to a prize bull.
These guys could give any "bodybuilder" a run for their money with their leg development - and their legs were every bit as strong as they looked, unlike most modern day "bodybuilders".
And what exactly do they do to get this strong, you might ask?
Well, the answer is - walking, and more importantly, walking all day long on HILLY terrain. That's it. The first thing most people would associate with legs such as these is squats with heavy weights - but that certainly isn't part of the tribal routine. Heck, even bodyweight squats likely aren't. No rope jumping, squats, or ANY exercise of any sort - just walking all day long as they hunt. Trekking through jungles on hilly terrain barefoot, and that too as a matter of survival. Natural fitness - just the way I like it - and look at the results it brings.
I can understand how their legs got so muscular - as I've experienced the many benefits of climbing hills on a daily basis MYSELF. I used to climb a long, steep hill daily in China as part of my overall workout, and I've never gotten a better workout for my legs. See THIS post for more details.
I'll get into more details on the show at a later point, but for now, know that walking hills on a regular basis is one of the VERY BEST things you can do for your overall health and fitness. If your overweight - add hill walking into your routine, and watch the fat disappear within DAYS - and this without making any major change in your diet. If your looking to pack some muscle on to your legs, and keep it there - hill walking will do the trick. Looking for a lower resting pulse rate - the hill's your best friend.
And it doesn't stop there - once you get good at climbing and walking hills on a regular basis, incorporate running, and then SPRINTING hills into your routine - and THEN watch the results you get. Oh boy!
I cover hill climbing and also talk more about how it has personally helped me in Fast and Furious Fitness. I also include some sample routines that you can do on the hills. These have you huffing and puffing within 10 minutes flat - and most people will find that even FIVE minutes is enough to start with.
So, if your lucky enough to have hills near you - make sure your climbing them on a regular basis as well - there are few better things you can do for your overall health and strength!