MovNat Programming: Unlimited CreativityPosted | 0 comments
I first learned about MovNat several years ago through Robb Wolf’s podcast, The Paleo Solution, and it wasn’t long before I was signed up for a one-day workshop. The only problem was that workshop was 6 months away, I was living in Japan, and I was pretty sure I had no idea what I was doing as far as it came to MovNat.
I loved the idea of training natural human movement aptitudes, but how exactly was I supposed to do that? And how did that fit into my “normal” strength and conditioning training?
I started experimenting with crawling, balancing, and climbing. But the question still lingered, am I doing this right? Is this really MovNat?
This is a question I’ve asked myself over and over for the last few years. Even after attending two workshops and continuing my own practice, I always questioned if I was doing MovNat the “best” way.
I went to the Trainer Certification in Boston armed with a notebook and a hundred questions spinning around in my head. Over the course of the 4 days there, those questions slowly became less and less important.
Instead of learning how I SHOULD be implementing MovNat, we began to share experiences and ideas with one another on the many possibilities of HOW we can implement MovNat. In the end, Instructor Kellen Milad was able to answer all of my questions with one simple statement. (Paraphrasing here): “Many of you are wondering when and how it is appropriate to implement this stuff. The answer is: all of the above.”
This was the biggest thing I took away from the MovNat Certification. Everything I was doing was MovNat. Sure, we can develop better methods of training and become more effective coaches, but the more we try to define something as “MovNat” or “not MovNat”, the further away we get from the spirit of it.
I don’t believe there’s a need to put limits on what MovNat is or HOW it should be implemented. Just ask yourself these questions:
- Are you training with a focus on efficiency and movement proficiency development?
- Do you have an eye towards a practical goal?
- Are you being adaptive and mindful?
If so, then you’re good. Have fun. Explore. Be creative. Some of the best combos/ideas I’ve seen have come from my clients and friends taking what I give them to do and altering it in a fascinating way. Don’t try to put MovNat in a box. Remember, in the end, it’s about exploring your true nature.
For those of you looking for a more practical application of this, here are four ways that I use MovNat in my own training and with my clients.
- Problem Solving Warm Up – using a PVC pipe, my training partner and I will come up with progressively more difficult over/under problem sets. However, there is no given instruction. We simply use the surrounding environment and the PVC to create a situation and allow the other person to adapt. Maybe we crawl under, jump over, or even climb something adjacent to it to step over. Anything goes, but the focus is on adaptation and variety.
- Balance Drills in Between Strength/Skill Sets – just lifted a heavy set of deadlifts? How about doing your active recovery on a 2×4 or balance beam. Walk from end to end forwards and backwards.
- Goal-Oriented Conditioning – instead of doing an interval set, I’ll set up a mini-obstacle course for clients focusing on skills they’ve already developed. A recent example is: 1 rope climb. 2 bear crawls down a balance beam. 3 sandbag clean to shoulder. 4 high hurdle jumps with soft landing.
- Practice of Mindfulness Throughout Your Day– just by becoming more aware of yourself and your environment throughout the day, you can become a better mover. Pay attention to balance, breathing, and posture. You’ll soon notice big changes in your training awareness as well!
Matt Myers is a MovNat Certified Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach at Force Fitness and Performance in Bloomington, IN. Apart from training and coaching, he enjoys hiking with his wife, reading, and Ninja Warrior. Find more from Matt and contact him about training MovNat at his website, freefitguy.com.
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