I'm going to make a horrible confession about my own ignorance. When I conceived this book, I had a brilliant premise: I would take every exercise in the gym and look at it in terms of its possible role in human movement. The only good exercises would be those that mimicked important hominid actions—jumping, running, pushing, pulling.

I wanted my list to come down to just five or six movements, and then build the entire book from there. So, convinced of my genius in being the first to come up with this idea, I worked on it for weeks.

Finally, I e-mailed Alwyn with my list and my idea that the most useful movements also build the most muscle mass.

Alwyn wrote back a short e-mail (I think the man is incapable of being long-winded), saying, "Well, in that case we should go with squat, bend (deadliftt), lunge, push, pull, twist. That's according to Schmidt's theory of human movement." In a later, equally short e-mail, Alwyn mentioned the seventh movement, walking or running, which doesn't necessarily have to be trained with gym exercises, provided you're doing some of that outside the gym. (And if you're not. .. why aren't you?)

So this Schmidt guy (known to his admirers as Richard A. Schmidt, **) had stolen my idea and, worse, stolen it at least three decades before it occurred to me. What's more, Paul Chek, *, an exercise maverick, had already used Schmidt's theory in articles and books, and he'd come up with a list of basic movements that was almost identical to mine. (Check out the notes on page 288 for a more detailed explanation.)

Now let's step out of the confessional and take a look at the six key movements.

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