Primal Stress


w/ Scott Sonnon, TACFIT Founder



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Primal Stress


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Primal Stress

“Scott Sonnon’s revolutionary new work Primal Stress clearly and comprehensively explains the impact of stress on the body, and how not only to offset but to optimize it in order to build the best possible life that you can. If you suffer any symptoms due to excessive stress from your job or your lifestyle (and who doesn’t?) you need this book. Even if you don’t think that you suffer due to inordinate stress, you need this book. Basically, if you have a body, you need this book. What you learn from it can change everything.

Working in film and TV production comes with a unique set of challenges – punishingly long hours, often unpredictable conditions, and a lot of heavy lifting, both physical and mental – it’s the worst and best job in the world. Nearly 20 years in the business had taken it’s toll on my body – chronic pain from recurring injuries, adrenal exhaustion, and a host of other miseries – and I was sadly considering another way of life, which felt like the end of the world to me.

Then I found Scott Sonnon. Using principles I learned through his programs Intu-Flow, Prasara and TACFIT, now crystallized in his groundbreaking book Primal Stress, I’ve been able to regain the inner and outer strength and resilience I need, in order to keep doing the job that I love. I truly can’t thank Scott enough, and I can’t think of any better way of paying my gratitude forward than to recommend his book to everyone I can, so that they may reap the life-changing benefits that I have.”

~ Tanya Lemke, Tooshea Media

“Primal Stress is hands-down, the single-best bodyweight training program available today, and I’ve tried almost all of them!”

~ John Sifferman, Professional Online Fitness Reviewer

“This is Scott Sonnon’s Magnus Opus! It is his life! Fantastic Coach, fascinating read. Incredible to see all your work weave together like a huge tapestry.”

~ Jobe Linn

“This is now my #1 recommendation. Condensed joint mobility, power core workout, metabolic waving protocols in bodyweight, and compensatory yoga that flows. It is the TOTAL PACKAGE! The massive knowledge base on stress response and psychological performance = Magnum opus!”

~ Daniel Market

“Primal Stress may well be the most complete and intelligent body-weight exercise program ever created. Emphasizing health but taking fitness to an edge FAR beyond the casual needs of any normal citizen, by the time you’ve outgrown and absorbed this you will understand your body and mind at a level absurdly beyond the human norm in a modern society.”

~ Steven Barnes, Best-Selling Author, Screenwriter and Speaker

“I truly appreciate your generosity to divulge such useful information to help anyone caring enough and willing enough to thrive in life, regardless of circumstances. Consistently elevating one’s quality of life, you are helping many to be successful as well. This is a GREAT GIFT!”

~ Darren Veira

“Primal Stress will take care of ALL of my REHAB as well as STRENGTH GAINS! Highly recommended!”

~ Simon Robinson

“When I saw the amount of material you’ve been working on I thought I could never afford it even with a discount because it is thousands of dollars of worth of value! So when I saw the price, I couldn’t believe it! You’re still giving it away!!! OMG! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

~ Vino Chan

“I am in awe of the Work Coach Sonnon has put together. The Revive and the Thrive videos are for EVERYONE, excellent, excellent resource for decreasig tension in the body, even if you never get into the workouts, which are extensive and multi-layered. I STRONGLY recommend you get this program, NOW! It is superb!”

~ Peter Ryan As a practicing Doctor of Chiropractic, a Husband and Father

“I finally got done reading the manual. WOW. The workouts are always changing. This is much more refined and very different from your earlier work Scott. I am glad I bought it.Great job on this Scott!”

~ Steve Rogers


“Inward calm cannot be maintained unless physical strength is constantly and intelligently replenished”, advised Prince Siddhartha.

Our physical movement cannot guarantee that we can attain “inward calm” but throughout our history as a species, ancient movement disciplines and modern bodywork have offered a bodily path to develop the inner state of grace.

• Why do we not live in a continual state of flow? • What interrupts our natural condition of relaxed readiness and energized vigor?

I’ve invested my life asking this question, due to early violent experiences. When my father returned from the Korean War, my family began to disintegrate. My social conflict accelerated as childhood learning disabilities and obesity conflated my already volatile environment.
Like many of us, I couldn’t comprehend the “rusting armor” I had adorned. I only felt weighed down more and more with each advancing year.

The British novelist Anne Brontë wrote:
“All of our talents increase with usage; and every faculty, both good and bad, strengthen by exercise.” Thankfully, persistence is indiscriminate.

Whatever we repeat most often, we become. We can harbor regrets of where blind nature of adaptation has unwittingly carried us, or we can revel in the opportunity to deliberately carve our own path. It’s never too late to plot a new course, for, as Napoleon Hill explained: “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”

Yet, as Brontë alludes, if we will not choose change, change will choose us. If we repeatedly hold trauma, anxiety, desperation, fear, frustration and pain, then, like anything else, we will adapt and strengthen it. It becomes “rusted armor” that only moving differently can heal.
The most dramatic influence in our lives, stress, primarily determines our health and fitness, not anything we do.

Insufficient sleep, poor nutrition, inadequate hydration, and most relevant to this message, lack of mobility, are not individually the problem, but merely contributors. They are each stressors, which accumulate. Like a tsunami, once stress crests over a particular threshold, it floods devastation throughout our lives.

This flood metaphor held great insight for me. Unlike others in the birthing field of stress physiology, I didn’t ask how to build higher levees to protect against the swollen waters. I asked, how we recover when our levees break and are overrun. Where others sought to become tougher (able to resist higher floods), I sought to become more resilient (able to recover when the levees broke no matter how high or strongly we build them). And this became my research filter for one simple reason…

Unless we know how to recover from failure, we cannot resist it. We cannot become tougher, until we become more resilient. Like a tree, the depth of our resilient roots determines the strength of our tough trunk and limbs. To stay with the flood metaphor, if we do not know our emergency plan for recovering from our levees breaking and devastating the town, then we cannot effectively build levees to properly protect us.

“Fall down seven times. Get up eight.” Martial art gave me a unique opportunity to observe high stress within a controlled and timed crucible. Unlike the chaos of emotional and psychological violence where you may inadvertently become stronger from the experience, martial arts intentionally aim to develop the virtues of resilience and toughness.

You learn how to bounce back when you make errors, when you get surprised, or when you do not succeed immediately. Errors, surprise and failure are guarantees, so when they happened, I was given an opportunity to observe a predictable pattern arise.

As a national coach and international competitor, I noticed that whenever a fighter would reach their threshold, the stress they were experiencing throughout their lives caused them to be over-whelmed. This event would elicit very specific behaviors: common denominators which coalesced into a method I observed throughout my career.

Teaching tactical fitness for the federal government, I noticed the phenomenon from the opposite end of the spectrum: even these veteran trainers were not able to “enter” drills due to common aches, pains and injuries.

The pattern emerged: these impediments to their health and performance were adaptations from the stresses of their job. They had become “stress-shaped.”

The #1 killer in their world was neither bullets nor knives, but stress-related heart disease. Excessive stress cannibalizes our bodies, erodes our minds, and literally breaks our hearts.

Providing these agents with solutions to their occupational stress was not merely changing lives. It was potentially saving them.

For the past twenty years, I’ve kept my head down working with government agencies, military outfits, air and marine offices, fire rescue departments, and of course my own discipline of martial arts.

The revelations they provided galvanized me to look at the health statistics outside of the tactical community. You can imagine my shock when I learned that the #1 killer in the world outside of the high-stress world of tactical response was also stress-related heart disease.

So, looking back through my archives, and studying new subjects, I observed the same set of predictable behavioral patterns when beset by excessive stress: the same common aches, pains and injuries (as well as the same set of stress-induced attitudes.)

Implementing my discoveries with the general public, across a broad demographic sample, I found identical relief and empowered physical potential in each of them.
Stress affects us all in the same unless we become aware of:

1. the genetically encoded mechanisms to Revive our relaxed readiness from the reflexes stress induces,

2. the powerful biomechanics that give us our optimal strength and condition to Survive stress, and

3. the unique neurological elegance that causes us to Thrive under positive stress, like no other creature on the planet.

Primal Stress represents the culmination of the above lifetime of experiences, study, research and development.”

Scott Sonnon,
World Champion,
Master of Sport,
USA National Team Coach,
Fitness Consultant for Federal Government Agencies





Primal Stress, across 224 high definition color illustrated pages, details the most compelling rationale for how stress has come to impact our health and fitness, negatively, and what we can do to recover from that stress so that we can positively adapt to it.

In the Revive section of the book, Primal Stress addresses the sum total stressors in our lives – nutrition, hydration, exercise, occupational, vocational, relational, financial. Primal Stress then provides concrete, practical solutions to why you begin seeing results with your fitness, only to meet diminishing returns, plateau, regress, then aches, pains, injuries and even illnesses.

No other work has ever presented exercise science from the perspective of stress physiology like Primal Stress. If you’ve ever felt drained, blocked, pained and locked in your movement, then Primal Stress presents you with powerful tools for reclaiming access to the innate potential, the natural athlete, we were each born to become. Socrates advised, “Let him who would move the world, first move himself.”

If we are to be effective in this world, we must move. But how??

There is a completely predictable set of impediments to movement, which happen when facing excessive stress. Primal Stress provides the reasons you’ve had the aches and pains you’ve experienced, which seem to worsen with each use. This pivotal contribution combining psychophysiology and biomechanics offers a simple, rational explanation for these immobile areas which you can trace and erase.

Revive evolved from several years of actual work with high-stress occupational trainers with federal government agencies. In the book, Primal Stress gives you the map to pinpoint your issue, release it and revive its strength potential to activate. But Revive also gives you a daily approach which requires no search missions on hidden stress. Just do the short program, and it will restore your natural state of “grace.”

Once you have “cleaned the slate” of this predictable, universal pattern of physical changes, you will move on to the Survive section of the book, and one of the most empowering anthropological perspectives on fitness you will find. This section describes our prehistoric “warding patterns” which have been mastered and generationally inherited through the martial arts.

Liane Cordes suggests that, “Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential.” Follow these simple directions, and your success is nearly guaranteed.
In recent years, we have seen the rapid rise of primal movement methodologies, but no one has offered a compelling theory as to why they exist, what is their purpose, and how they each act together as a synergistic platform for human power. Primal Stress teaches you the specific biomechanics behind the astounding abilities of martial artists to survive against larger opponents, a hidden genetic code which had before not been rationally explained from the Western scientific perspective.

Survival patterns (or Wards) do more than unlock your innate power reserves. They also protect you from the pains and injuries associated from stress-induced reflexes. As Ben Jonson notes, “He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity.” These patterns manifest through all sports and every martial art because when faced with adversity, necessity calls upon this prehistoric blueprint for your untapped strengths.
But knowing isn’t enough, so this section of the book teaches you how to activate these encrypted codes in your nervous system through simple drills, and then how to integrate those components into every exercise you do, and all aspects of your daily life.

Maya Angelou declared, “Life’s mission is not merely to survive but to thrive.” In the Thrive section of the book, you will discover the science of our brain architecture and how it evolved specifically for complex movement. Increasing the complexity of our movement causes changes to our neural chemistry, called plasticity, which makes life feel better, easier and more in “flow.”

Why do we experience discord? Why don’t we live in a state of effortless grace? If we have revived our innate potential from the clutches of excessive stress, and forged our biological survival warding patterns to resist, then we can take the next step: we thrive.

Much has been written from the psychological perspective of flow-state, but an insufficient degree of work had been conducted into the physical steps to unlock graceful movement: how power expresses itself. This section of Primal Stress details the simple, practical steps which will take your health and fitness to the next level. Feel inspired by your movement again, like you did as a child.

Taken together, these three sections of the book demonstrate our 3 biological gifts:

• flinch-reflexes (from which we can revive),

• form-reactions (from which we can survive), and

• flow-responses (with which we can thrive).

This final section of this pivotal book brings us full circle, for this isn’t a linear process, but an ever- spinning deepening spiral where we cycle through Revive – Survive – Thrive throughout our lives. We master the basics, and then we become free to refine the nuances of our health and fitness.

Primal Stress ends with program design outlines, exercise descriptions and detailed photographs of each movement in the Flow Physique course. This beautifully presented and professionally designed book details each step you must take, and how to chart your ongoing progress for “Health-First Fitness.”

When you read its content, you will understand why what you’ve done in the past hasn’t worked as effectively as you wished, why you suffer the aches and pains that you’ve had, how you have been successful previously and how you can know when you are, and how to increase those successes systematically.

You can pinpoint your problems with a laser, or you can use a proven, organically-produced prehabilitation program which will not only free you from potential aches and pains of exercise, but also from the stressors of your other recreational activities and occupational responsibilities.

Most of our energy remains locked in cold storage due to compression by excessive stress. These simple-to-perform movement drills decompress your joints, lubricate your inner “fluid body” surrounding your bones and joints, and deliver nutrient-rich circulation to the tissues which are quite literally being starved to death due to overuse, misuse, and disuse.

When you practice this daily for 2-3 weeks, you will notice that your posture begins to improve, your energy start to increase, and your productivity accelerates. You’ll want to do more because you can not because you must.

Your awareness, coordination, and force production remain dormant until we use these simple movements to activate their potential like booting up a computer. If nothing else, the science underlying this program, and the practical application that you can easily follow along, will transform your quality of life.

You can use any one of the 7 instructional videos and 7 demonstration videos to target your high problem areas. Or you can use the total follow along video to comprehensively address your entire body for optimal daily performance.


Flow Physique derives its name from moving like a living sculpture. All the precision chiseled features of ancient statues imply the potential which you can wield and the grace which you can carry when you restore and unleash flow in your movement. Uncover your physique of flow by following the step- by-step directions in the 18 instructional videos, and by participating across the plug and play 18 follow along videos.

The largest exercise course ever created by Scott Sonnon can be used at home, in the field, or within your own gym box: self-contained, completely portable, as you are your own gym. But more importantly, Flow Physique integrates two of the most powerful systems ever devised: TACFIT® and the Circular Strength Training® System.

More than a mere fusion of these two disciplines, Flow Physique represents a proven method of developing the powerful movement potential which you were genetically designed to express, which stress physiology and psycho-physiology are only now explaining, and which has proliferated throughout the world among cutting-edge researchers, scientists and coaches.


Flow Physique is the most complete bodyweight fitness system ever released by RMAX, involving each of the most effective energy systems for primal power and grace. Where other programs in the past have concentrated on one or two of these protocols, in Flow Physique you encounter the entire “Metabolic Wave” which has been proven at a federal level in government agencies to improve strength, endurance, stamina, and lean muscle mass better than prior methods.

You need no special equipment, as you will only be moving your own resistance. Regardless of where you are in your current movement fitness, you can begin and to continue to be challenged due to the signature “Component Learning” approach embedded in the coaching: Three levels for each exercise, with a total of 102 exercises in the 6 programs, with 3 levels – Basic, Intermediate and Advanced.

Each movement builds upon the other, and within several sessions, you will find yourself exploring the next level of an exercise. Jump an entire level, or step up in one exercise and step back in another, all within one session.


To Thrive, concentrate on your total movement, not your individual muscles, and move the body as a system rather than in segments. In this elegantly designed course of 6 micro-flows, you will address the primary (myofascial) “lines” of movement:

1. Lateral Line Flow addressing the muscles you feel when you do a standing side bend.

2. Rear Line Flow addressing the muscles you feel when perform a forward bend.

3. Front Line Flow addressing the muscles you feel when performing a back bend.

4. Arm Line Flow involves the tissues you feel when stretching your arm behind your back and
across your chest.

5. Deep Core Flow involves the tissues you feel when twisting at the waist to the right and left.

6. Spiral Line Flow involves the tissues you feel rotate your arms and legs internally and externally while rotating at the waist.

Thrive owes its birth to the modern science of biotensegrity, created by Dr. Stephen Levin. Our body involves a sea of continuous tension holding us together with sturdy struts pushing outward in balance. With these 6 micro-flows combined into one long flow, you activate your biologically optimal performance potential. Each of these individual components pair up with one of the 6 courses in the Flow Physique bodyweight exercise system. Taken as a whole combined, you will use them to expand your movement potential and recover from the intensity of exercise stress, like a flowing yoga routine.

If you’re familiar with Scott Sonnon’s other work, he has invested his painstakingly meticulous signature in these journals. You will know precisely what to do next, how long, how often, and how many, and where to record your progress.

Then, in the uniquely designed scorecards, you’ll be able to track your exact percentage of improvement across the weeks and months of reclaiming your Flow Physique.

The forethought used in creating these elegant charts, cards and calendars evolved through years actual application across all fitness populations.


The 6 protocols are carefully scheduled across turn-key, plug and play calendars where each day describes precisely your goals for the day.

Two additional manuals accompany the main book, the 99 page 4×7 Calendar Daily Journal, and the 141 page Week Calendar Daily Journal.

You will need absolutely no assembly required, as every day is detailed for you.

What you will learn in this video cannot be described as a singular technique, as it involves a series of techniques strung together to produce a synergistic effect. They address the challenge of reclaiming breath from involuntary reflex shutting down our primitive reflexes, and by restoring conscious breathing.

1. The first technique teaches you how to transfer from being out of breath,”gassed”and hyperventilating, to reclaiming control of the speed of the breath to stop hyperventilation from exacerbating your nervous system eliciting reflexes.

2. The second technique teaches you how to lengthen the inhalation so that you reclaim depth of tidal volume: how much total capacity of the lungs you utilize.

3. The third technique then takes the reclaimed control of the inhalation,and shifts the focus to the exhalation, so that you can begin to calm the nervous system’s alarm.

4. The fourth technique shuts off the alarm by enabling the”tend and mend”response to counteract the fight or fight reflex.

5. The fifth technique reboots the entire nervous system so that all corners of the four aspects of breath receive their due diligence, and you’ve restored awareness and adaptive potential to the stress you can now process.

Resiliency will aid in the prevention of stress related illness, and, as a result, contribute to the prevention of an early demise. But it will also improve our quality of life. There are not magic pills. These methods don’t stop you from experiencing breathless moments, and if we are truly LIVING, then why would we want to? But they will help us quickly bounce back from the negativity of distress while it is happening, rather than waiting until it has already begun to destroy us bodily, mentally and emotionally.


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