Inspired by the rapid sellouts and mile-long waiting lists for PrimalCon Oxnard and Lake Tahoe, and by the initiative taken by PrimalCon veteran and fast-rising name in the movement Tracy Barksdale, we are pleased to announce PrimalCon Austin on June 6-9th, 2013! The venue is Festival Beach Park in beautiful downtown Austin, Texas, which has one of the hottest Primal/paleo scenes of any town on the planet right now (e.g. - over 500 members in the Austin Primal Living group, started in 2010 by Tracy and her husband Bryan Barksdale).
We have an all-star lineup of presenters, including an amazing niche of hometown talent from Austin. We’ve secured a fabulous park venue along the shores of Town Lake in the heart of downtown Austin. We’ll engage in some unique outdoor recreation experiences (details follow). And we have a perfect host hotel, the comfortable Holiday Inn, situated on the shore of Town Lake, only two-thirds of a mile down the walking path from PrimalCon headquarters at the Festival Beach Park pavilion.
Those who currently hold a spot on the PrimalCon Oxnard or PrimalCon Lake Tahoe registration or waiting lists will be given first crack and registration, so if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines thinking about going to PrimalCon someday, act quickly and your “someday” could be June 6th! Registration fee is $849, with $50 discounts for couples ($25 off each ticket when paying together) and PrimalCon alums. Spots are limited to the first 120 registrants.
Seminars and presentations include general sessions with Mark Sisson and other featured presenters with specialized areas of expertise directly related to the Primal movement. We will model the popular Presenter Free Choice format from past PrimalCons, giving you the flexibility to customize your programming to the presenters and topics of most interest to you. We will offer plenty of outdoor activities, and everything is appropriate for enthusiasts of all fitness levels. Whether you're in great shape, relatively unfit, or unfamiliar with the Primal Blueprint, this weekend can kick-start a brand new way of life!
Workouts will take place on the expansive grass areas at Festival Beach Park. Experts in Primal Blueprint Fitness will guide you in small groups with sessions designed to educate and invigorate you without risking overstress or injury. You’ll get a crack at True Nature Training’s incredibly cool and fun obstacle course (pictured below)!
We’ll have all kinds of fun, games, and relaxation, including a scenic trail hike (2.7 miles, and we’ll shuttle you home afterwards) along downtown Austin’s lakeshore to the world famous Barton Springs Pool. This massive (three-acres of water!) fresh water pool is fed from an underground spring. Pumping out 68-degree water year-round, Barton Springs is THE place to cool off in the Texas summer heat. It’s a sight to behold, but wait till you take the plunge after working up a sweat on the hike!
You’ll also have the opportunity to try some stand-up paddling or kayaking on Town Lake. With Austin proudly proclaiming to be one of the music capital’s of America, we will feature some after-dinner musical entertainment from our multi-talented presenter Abel James. Apart from his primal world claim to fame as the Fat Burning Man, Abel is an accomplished multi-instrumental one-man band, regularly rocking the Austin music scene as a vocalist, guitarist, pianist and saxophonist. His fresh sound is described as, "rootsy, old-school influences with a rhythmic funkiness"
We'll have lavish Primal feasts under the spacious Festival Beach picnic pavilion, featuring ridiculously colorful and enticing lunch and dinner buffets from Instinct Catering, operated by Michelle Norris, coordinator of Paleo Fx, and Patricia Cashion. Enjoy an amazing assortment of fresh-cooked, locally grown, pasture-raised, premium quality Primal offerings. Linger after dinner for social time and the ceremonial busting out of the Primal-approved red wine and dark chocolate (the absolute best, from Ethereal Confections and Santa Barbara Chocolate Company). Days will start with Primal Fuel smoothies around 8am, a lunchtime salad bar around midday, and a dinner feast around 6:30pm.
Lodging: Holiday Inn Town Lake. We have negotiated an outstanding PrimalCon discount rate of $129/night (regular rates start at $179). CLICK HERE to book online or call 512-472-8211 to book by phone. View hotel brochure (PDF).
Fees: $849 conference registration
Cancellations: $100 cancellation fee (remainder refunded) if you cancel before Mar 31st, 2013. $150 fee if you cancel after 3/31/2013.
June 6 average high 91 °F (33 °C), average low 71 °F (22 °C). Warm days and temperate nights of early summer in central Texas. Sunrise 6:29am, sunset 8:30pm.
Here’s a quick glance of what the PrimalCon Austin agenda will look like.
Evening dinner and mixer at Festival Beach Pavilion
Morning: Primal Blueprint Fitness rotations at Festival Beach Park
Afternoon: 2.7-mile hike to Barton Springs Pool, shuttle return transportation
Late Afternoon: Keynote address by Mark Sisson at Festival Beach Park
Evening: Primal feast, followed by wine and chocolate and live musical entertainment at Festival Beach pavilion
Morning: Presenter free-choice rotations at Festival Beach Park
Afternoon: Water sports at Town Lake, small groupings depart on the hour for kayaking or standup paddling. Ultimate Frisbee matches. Presenter Free Choice rotations
Evening: Primal feast and wine and chocolate at Festival Beach Park pavilion
Morning: Presenter free-choice rotations at Festival Beach Park
Lunch buffet and closing address
PrimalCon is a three-day health and fitness retreat – a total immersion weekend experience of expert-guided workouts, play, leisure time, lectures and presentations with assorted expert presenters on Primal-related topics, camaraderie with fellow Primal enthusiasts, and extraordinary Primal feasts – an experience that you will never forget for the rest of your life. PrimalCon is more than just great food and a lively and diverse agenda blending lectures. The truly magical element is the gathering of like-minded folks from all over the globe who share a tremendous passion for living Primally.
PrimalCon welcomes participants of all fitness and experience levels. Really, we make it work for everyone! If you’re a hardcore CrossFit Games type, we’ll have stuff to test your mettle, including our legendary PrimalCon Ultimate Frisbee battles (winners hit the dinner buffet line first—high stakes indeed!). If you are new to Primal living, relatively unfit, injured, whatever, don’t worry – you will fit right in. Our staff makes a sincere effort to ensure that you receive appropriate guidance and pace yourself well all weekend. We also offer extensive pick-and-choose flexibility on the daily agendas, so you can custom design your ideal experience. Yep, you can engage with your favorite presenter repeatedly, or escape to the Town Lake beach for a spell – we won’t tell!
In addition to Mark Sisson, we have a stacked presenter list for PrimalCon Austin 2013, featuring numerous leaders in the field and members of the Mark's Daily Apple community:
Tracy Barksdale: Tracy is the local coordinator and the inspiration behind PrimalCon Austin. This former schoolteacher is now deeply committed to changing the world through her passion for Primal-aligned exercise and healthy living. Tracy's True Nature Training specializes in introducing safe, fun physical exercise to people who have been defeated by the conventional fitness system. She believes everyone deserves to discover their true nature as playful human beings.
Tracy is the co-founder and owner of an exciting new facility in Austin called True Nature Training, an unique training academy that integrates various movement techniques including Parkour, MovNat and gymnastics. Tracy trains people to move gracefully, efficiently and safely, focusing on practicality and movement quality. Tracy helps organize the Austin Primal Living Group and the Austin Natural Movement Group to help grow a strong ancestral living community.
Myra Antell: After deciding to lose some excess body fat back in 2010, Myra followed the conventional wisdom approach and succeeded….yep, she dropped 23 pounds following a grain-based, low fat diet, and escalating her exercise program all the way up to chronic cardio levels! Alas, her efforts led to some unusual health problems, and she was twice rushed to the emergency room. Medical treatments were inconclusive, and Myra continued to lose weight, including lean muscle mass. Concerned and feeling unhealthy, she scoured the Internet for weeks and discovered the Primal Blueprint in summer, 2011. Transitioning over to a Primal-aligned diet and exercise program, Myra turned things around with body composition and health. A year into her Primal journey, she dropped from a size four dress to a size zero, but maintained the same body weight! Furthermore, her litany of long-standing aches and pains vanished during her Primal journey. At 53, Myra looks and feels better than ever, and is eager to welcome PrimalCon guests to her hometown and share her story and inspiration.
Bryan Barksdale: Bryan returns to PrimalCon for the third time, having been a participant, then a group leader, and now a presenter. Bryan and his wife Tracy founded the very popular and active Austin Primal Living Group which maintains over 500 members. Bryan is currently pursuing an MD/PhD at UTMB/UT Austin in neuroscience and is studying the application of ketosis in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Bryan will discuss how Primal eating and lifestyle practices can optimize brain function and prevent neurodegenerative disease.
Abel James Bascom: Abel is a #1 best-selling author, entrepreneur, musician, and host of the wildly-popular Fat-Burning Man Show (available as a podcast on iTunes). As author of “The Wild Diet,” Abel brings ancestral, Paleo, and real food principles to the mainstream. Abel has conducted research studies, presentations, and speaking engagements for Fortune 500 companies, Ivy League Institutions, and the Federal Government.
Abel completed high school and college in just six years. Distinguished as Valedictorian at New Hampton School, he earned his A.B. from Dartmouth College and graduated as a Senior Fellow with Honors with a concentration in Psychological and Brain Sciences. He focused his fellowship research on the evolutionary and biological basis of the faculty of music and the effects of technological advances on business, popular music, and culture. Also a professional musician and singer-songwriter and author of “The Musical Brain,” Abel James has toured North America and Europe as the bandleader of several award-winning groups. Learn more about Abel James at FatBurningMan.com.
Dr. Dave Cohodes, D.C.: Dr. Dave is the owner and founder of RedLine Sports Therapy, and the creator of the PRFMx Training Systems. He is an expert in foundational movement exercise training to rehabilitate injury, improve recovery times, and achieve peak human performance. He has based his physical medicine practice around the foundations of human movement and symmetry, and will discuss injury rehabilitation, symmetry, and movement foundation at PrimalCon. Before entering the Physical Medicine scene, Dr. Dave served in the United States Army, and did a combat tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II/III. He now lives in Austin, TX with his wife and dog, and as he puts it, “She’s the best Paleo cook in the world.” Dr. Dave can be reached at email@example.com if you would like him to speak at any Fitness, Paleo, or Primal engagements about human movement.
Angelo dela Cruz: Angelo is simply the all-around all-star of PrimalCon. He gets our days off to a great start with his morning sessions of Vitamove (an energizing/focusing mix of tai chi and stretching), and no doubt will be goaded into ending our days in style by busting out some of his break dancing moves at the beach party house! Angelo will engage with groups large and small to dispense his unique wisdom and instruction in the areas of parkour/freerunning, gymnastics, and martial arts. Angelo is also an expert healer and will be available for 1:1 stretching/massage realignment sessions during presenter free time. To get a sense of Angelo, check out his ninja warrior audition tape!
Dan French: One of the most unique personalities in the primal/paleo field, Dr. Dan French is an Emmy-nominated late night TV comedy writer, a former college professor with a Ph.D. in Rhetoric, and a hardcore believer in using humor and education to bring about powerful changes in our modern health. He travels around the country performing his one-person standup show, "The Comedian's Diet," explaining how he lost 125 lbs. after a lifetime of obesity by actually learning and implementing new information about nutrition, movement, and lifestyle. See video clips, download his "Health&Comedy" podcast, and find more info at his blogsite, healthycomedian.com.
Valerie Hunt: Valerie has been a full-time strength and endurance coach for over 20 years in Austin. In the mid-90s, she started training “outside” the gym, getting involved in Austin’s burgeoning running and triathlon scene. Valerie discovered the PoseMethod of running in 2000, at a time when she was fighting injuries due to overtraining and improper technique. She embraced the PoseMethod wholeheartedly and began to share her insights with her athletes to improve performance and prevent injury. Valerie has been coaching the PoseMethod for over a decade, and attained the elite distinction of Master Level Coach in 2011. She is one of only two Master Level Coaches for PoseMethod in the entire United States.
Valerie opened her own training studio in 2001, and became a CrossFit affiliate in 2011 after discovering CrossFit Endurance. By combining skill (Pose) with strength and conditioning (CrossFit), as well as inspiring her runners to eat Primal/Paleo aligned, they are regularly setting new personal records in their training runs and races. Come learn about the intriguing PoseMethod from Valerie at PrimalCon!
Tara Grant is a featured success story in the Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation. You probably remember her from her Mark’s Daily Apple success story, Tons of Doctors and No Solution. She has transformed from 235 pounds to 159 pounds since going Primal in 2009. Tara suffered a litany of serious health problems related to the Standard American Diet and repeated failures of western medicine to cure her. She’ll share her story in-person of how she took matters into her own hands with a steady, sensible, Primal approach – and what you can do to overcome all the momentum against healthy living that we face today. Watching Tara materialize from the book pages to holding court with the group, detailing her amazing story, was a real treat at 2012 PrimalCon.
Amy Kubal is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian specializing in the Paleo Diet and performance nutrition. She received both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Nutrition from Colorado State University. She currently works with athletes and individuals looking to improve their overall health and performance through diet and lifestyle. Amy is the consulting dietitian for Robb Wolf and the director of Robb’s Paleo Physicians Network. Additionally she is the nutrition guru for the Whole9, and dietitian for Joe Friel’s TrainingBible coaching. Amy has helped many clients optimize body composition and/or manage and recover from autoimmune and diet related diseases: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, IBS, renal failure, lupus, and more. Additionally, she works with a broad range of performance focused clients made up of Olympic athletes, Ironman triathletes, professional bikers, marathoners, CrossFit games competitors, MMA fighters, Kettlebell masters, and every day athletes.
Keith Norris: In 2010, after navigating a successful 9 year military and 15 year corporate career, Keith - a former college football player - was finally able to follow up on his lifelong dedication to training and come on board Efficient Exercise as a partner and regional manager. Anyone who trains with Keith instantly recognizes the depth of his knowledge, experience, and the intuition he brings to the process. He seems to know exactly what it is that you need to continually progress toward your strongest, leanest self. And you can feel that he enjoys it all of it, the teaching, the relationships, and his own training in every fiber of who he is.
Keith, along with his wife Michelle, is one of the leading figures in the exploding Paleo nutrition and health movement, having helped coordinate 2012's super symposium, PaleoFX12. Keith’s blog, Ancestral Momentum - Theory to Practice, is internationally popular, and he is a regular guest on many of the premier media sites for new approaches to nutrition and body development.
Michelle Norris: The multi-talented Michelle is known to many as the coordinator of Paleo Fx. She is also a self taught, life-long gourmand, with a love for coaching others in the finer points of achieving true kitchen mojo. Michelle will present an exciting cooking demo to introduce you to innovative and gastronomic-delight Paleo versions of avant garde gourmet foods. Michelle will show you that you don’t have to sacrifice love of fabulous tasting food en-route to achieving — and maintaining — true Ancestral Wellness. As her food philosophy — “Variety, flavors & herbs are the spices of life” — suggests, she will inspire you to experiment continually with an incredible home collection of exotic spices, herbs, vinegars and oils to create an ever-expanding repertoire of amazing dishes.
Michelle is a co-founder of Paleo FX Austin Partners, the producers of the highly acclaimed and much talked about Paleo f(x): Ancestral Momentum-Theory to Practice Symposium scheduled in Austin for March 28th – 30th, 2013.
Carrie Sisson and Karen Moore: Carrie and Karen will present their popular Women's Chat Group, a casual gathering to discuss any and all issues related to being female, being Primal, and living life to the fullest.
With Carrie's plans rolling for a new Primal Woman book, there will be plenty of opportunity to engage on matters such as how Primal living can help you age gracefully, both in the mind and the body, raising a family, making a contribution beyond family, and female health-related topics.
Brian Tabor: Brian is the owner of Strong Made Simple in San Diego, CA, a MovNat Certification Team Instructor, 2010 North American Strongman 175# National Champion, and is currently qualified to compete internationally at the Arnold Fitness Expo in March, 2013.
Since moving from the midwest to San Diego to pursue a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology he has worked with strength and conditioning programs from the Navy SEALs Tactical Athlete Program, SDSU and UCSD Athletics, as well as training a large variety of weekend warriors and clients. He will be sharing his knowledge and experience of strength & conditioning, natural movement, and strongman to translate that to lifting and carrying stones and other objects outdoors.
William Vives, kettlebell king, is back! William’s photo was published in the new Webster’s dictionary next to the definition of “high-energy”. William will present his unique and super-creative kettlebell workout throughout the weekend. William’s kettlebell training honors two key principles: attention to quality of movement and keeping it fun! “Quality of Movement” means fine-tuning the training to ensure that all trainees are learning and maintaining good posture, which is the foundation of efficient movement. He stresses injury prevention and patience (“First move better, then get stronger”). William teaches kettlebell training from the “ground up”, allowing trainees to work on understanding how it feels for their body to move right. The trainees flow through the complementary aspects of stability, endurance and dynamic power, while learning how even a relatively light weight (18lbs) can be an easy warm-up – or a challenging test of strength and coordination. William’s session caters to all levels – from beginners who have never held a bell to hard-core enthusiasts looking for innovative new ideas.
Matthew Lee Willis: Matthew Lee Willis is the founder and organizer of Texas Parkour, Texas Parkour Academy and Parkour Federation. With over 10 years of parkour and gymnastics experience, he has worked with organizations to train and certify athletes and coaches. Matthew has his BA in Theatre and in his spare time, is both an actor and stunt artist.
With P.arkour Federation, Matthew has developed a national certification for coaching athletes as well as training guidelines for parkour academies. Matthew has been published in every major news service in Texas as well as publications in the New York Times and the front page of Yahoo News. As a 2nd Generation Parkour athlete he learned, trained and taught with the originators of the parkour discipline.
"I've been fortunate enough to attend three PrimalCons, and they just keep getting better each year. The food is mind-blowingly fantastic, an endless cornucopia, proof to those who need it that the world's healthiest foods are also the tastiest. The presenters are fascinating, pioneers in their disciplines and deeply inspiring. And of course the attendees are no less remarkable. New friendships are guaranteed to be made, and there's an ineffable sense of family from the very first night. PrimalCon is far and away the most exciting and delightful event of the year for me."
Los Angeles, CA - 3-time PrimalCon alum and sledgehammer presenter, and 21-Day Total Body Transformation success story
"I have to admit that I was a little leery about attending my first PrimalCon - shades of the first day of school for the new kid in town. But I'm soooo glad I went. It was a great weekend full of unique experiences and wonderful Primal people. And don't forget the fabulous food! I learned so much, both from the knowledgeable and skilled presenters and from fellow attendees. I came away completely energized and even more committed to the Primal life. If anyone has doubts about whether they should attend, I say GO!"
"I have been following MDA for the past year and a half and the conference was an event I was looking forward to to help me expand on the primal lifestyle in a hands on kind of way. With all the uniquely different presenters, I was able to refine what information I wanted to learn the most and hone in on that area. Mark really knows how to embrace his followers by sincerely interacting with everyone throughout the event. It was a joy to meet him in person and hear him speak to the group. He is a true pioneer and a great leader in the health and wellness industry. Thanks for everything you do, Mark!"
"What makes an Aussie travel over 7,000 miles to attend PrimalCon? The chance to learn, get personal advice and just hang out with a dream list of primal/paleo experts and enthusiasts... It's the ultimate Primal Masterclass! I came away with new knowledge, new friends, refreshed inspiration and confidence and a few aching muscles that I never knew I had! I even made a new friend who lives in my city back in Australia, what were the chances of that??
I'd recommend PrimalCon to everyone from committed 'experts' to those that have barely dipped a toe in the water; regardless of your experience you'll come away with immediately applicable practical knowledge and skills to improve your quality of life. Bring on PrimalCon 2013!"