Signing up for a MovNat Certification can be both exciting and daunting. Not only will you be learning fresh movements and a new way of looking at training, you’ll also have some tangible goals and Performance Benchmarks to achieve along the way. So, how long do you need to get ready for a MovNat Certification? And how far in advance should you sign up for Levels 1, 2, and 3?

While we will provide general recommendations below, how long YOU need to prepare for a particular MovNat event really depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Your goals (e.g. do you want to get certified ASAP or just go deep into your own practice?)
  • Your starting point (e.g. current skill and fitness level)
  • Your age
  • Your injury history

If you’re young, healthy, and fit with no present injuries, then you may be able to get away with the minimum recommendations listed in the ranges below (or even less). On the other hand, if you’re older, deconditioned, and dealing with injuries, you may want to stick with the higher end of the ranges, if not longer.

Of course, there are always exceptions. For example, every once in awhile, we’ll have a student sign up just a few weeks before an event starts and do just fine. They rarely get certified at the event itself, but they’re still able to participate and follow along – earning their certification at a later date. Since our certifications are difficult and include many tests, we provide a “grace period” for resubmitting any tests that were failed during the event itself (i.e. a three month grace period for Level 1, six months for Level 2, and an unlimited grace period for Level 3). This way, you don’t have to re-attend an event if you don’t earn your certification the first time.

Many people are surprised how much material there is to cover, particularly in our Level 1 certification, which sets the foundation for all others. Suffice to say, preparing adequately simply takes time, especially familiarizing yourself with the new movements, the training methodology, and also gaining the requisite conditioning. So, the most important variable is how much time you can commit to learning and practicing on a regular basis. The more time you put in, the faster you’ll build your skills, conditioning, and knowledge of this new paradigm.

All that said, here are our GENERAL recommendations for preparation time, if you want to make the most of the experience and/or get certified.

Level 1 Certification: 3-6 months of Preparation

Our L1 certs are designed so that anyone can participate in them. So, you could literally sign up the day before and be adequately prepared to participate, assuming you don’t have any underlying, contra-indicative health issues. However, our Level 1 Certification experience includes the greatest total workload when it comes to the learning and materials involved. With our extensive MovNat Certified Trainer Manual, Level 1 Progression Manual, L1 Prep Guide, and other resources – not to mention several hours of video instruction to work through prior to attending – it’s best to err on the side of caution and prepare well in advance for this event.

In additional to the general 3-6 month range, we also recommend at least 20 hours of dedicated practice leading up to your Level 1 Certification event. If you practice three times per week for 30 minute sessions, that’s roughly 3 months of prep time. This should be considered a minimum goal.

We cannot stress enough that even though this is an introductory level course designed for all skill levels, you’ll get so much more out of the experience if you give yourself extra time to work through all the preparatory materials (e.g. the 181 page manual and 8 hours of instructional videos). Studying these materials beforehand will familiarize you with the movements, terminology, and methods to maximize your learning at the event itself.

Level 2 Certification: 6-12 months of Preparation

Most people find our L2 certification to be “challenging, but doable” if they put in the time to prepare. L2 certs involve a significant jump in the physical capacities required for successful completion. For some people, this means more time is needed to build the requisite conditioning in a variety of challenging movements, such as the Swing Up and Pop Up movements in our Climbing curriculum.

For the harder physical tests, our L2 Prep Guide is an invaluable resource that has helped many people achieve and exceed the minimum standards. There are sample programs and specific training recommendations for key skills you’ll need to learn.

Note: Many students sign up for the Level 1 & 2 combined certifications, since they usually happen back to back. In this case, 6-12 months is a good general range for preparation, perhaps a little longer if you are out of practice, older, or dealing with injuries. Keep in mind there is a 6 month grace period for retaking L2 tests following the event. So, if you fail a couple of the tests, you should have plenty of time to earn your certification afterwards.

Level 3 Certification: 12-18 months of Preparation

With the Level 3 Certification being our “Master Level” Course, it involves a significant jump in difficulty, well beyond the jump from L1 to L2. The movements themselves are more difficult to perform. The conditioning requirements are higher. And there is more adaptability and complexity, not to mention an increased element of mystery at these unique courses. For example, many of the tests are performed in nature, with higher degrees of risk than in Levels 1 & 2. Plus, you may not know what your tests will be until you take them, or even that you are being tested while performing a particular activity.

MovNat Team Instructor, Stefano Tripney, says, “level 3, being the pinnacle of the MovNat certification, is a rather big leap in terms of complexity, intensity, and ones overall ability to adapt to various contexts. It is demanding mentally as well and certainly takes the candidate well out of their comfort zone…It can present a healthy challenge, but it is certainly attainable with the proper coaching and consistent practice.”

That’s why we recommend at least a solid year of training to prepare for Level 3. Has it be done in less time? Yes, by a rare few. But many well-trained students have attested that even after a solid year of preparation, L3 was still quite challenging. So, plan ahead and work hard using the L3 prep guide, which is available upon registration.

A major component of your preparation for L3 will need to be getting comfortable moving in nature while completely barefoot. If you are not accustomed to barefoot training on natural terrain, the acclimation and conditioning can take quite some time. The sooner you start, the better.

other events and Specialty Certifications


MovNat Elements Workshops – Requires zero preparation.

MovNat Retreats – Requires zero preparation, but familiarity with some of the basic natural movements would be helpful.

MovNat Combatives – No preparation is required, but attending a Level 1 Certification beforehand is recommended (and required to earn the MovNat Combatives certification credential).

MovNat Aquatics – No preparation is required, but attending a Level 1 Certification beforehand is recommended (and required to earn the MovNat Aquatics certification credential).

While it’s certainly best to have plenty of time to prepare, we understand that’s not always possible or practical. So, when you’re deciding if and when to attend a MovNat Certification event, remember the point we made earlier: it’s all about what you put into it. So, even if you have to sign up a little later than our “best case scenarios” outlined above, you can still make the most of the experience by leveraging your preparatory materials and working hard. And you can count on us to work with you every step of the way to help you reach your goals.

Get Started With Natural Movement Fitness – TODAY!

The MovNat Level 1 Certification is your entry point into the world’s official Natural Movement Fitness program. It equips you with the knowledge, skills, and methods you need to transform your movement & fitness and build real world capability from the ground up. You’ll learn not only the movements in the official MovNat curriculum, but also the methods to apply those movements to your unique needs, goals, and circumstances.

Over the last ten years, MovNat has helped thousands of people from all walks of life restore their natural abilities and lay a foundation for a deeper, lifelong movement practice. We are the original, official, and only Natural Movement Fitness certification, with thousands of certified professionals and dozens of MovNat Licensed Facilities all around the world.

Whether you’re completely new to Natural Movement Fitness, or a seasoned veteran looking to expand your skillset, the MovNat Level 1 Certification is your launchpad to a deep understanding of natural human movement, how to integrate it into your training and lifestyle, and help others do the same.

Want to get started at home? Start today with our MovNat Level 1 Fundamentals E-Course.

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