I recently attended a workshop taught by MovNat founder Erwan Le Corre and MovNat Instructor Clifton Harski in Palm Springs California. During my one day spent with Erwan and Clifton I experienced just the beginning of a whole new world of fitness.
My background in fitness comes from distance running in high school and military fitness for the past four years. Just before leaving after the workshop, Erwan and I took some time to discuss the similarities and differences between MovNat and the military fitness programs. Following that discussion, when Erwan asked if I would write up a little something for MovNat.com summing up about it, I agreed in a heartbeat.
I have always been in love with fitness, scoring top scores in all the military fitness tests but Erwan had absolutely no problem wearing me out with just the simplest of movements. For instance one of the first drills we performed was sit-ups the MovNat way. Traditionally a sit-up is performed by lifting your upper body and flexing your abdominal muscles in order to work them out in isolation, whereas with MovNat you would use your whole body to create momentum from scratch and rock yourself forward to a sitting position or even to a stand up position. It’s based on getting the most from your movement with the least amount of effort, with a greater ability to transition to the following movement or posture. All this seems to defeat the conventional purpose of doing a sit up, but that’s a conventional workout with a conventional thought of isolating muscles to better work them out. In MovNat we only focused on the practicality of the movement and performing it the way it is performed in real life, which involves more than abdominal strength. After all, what better conditioning than performing movements and efforts the way they are normally performed in reality?
Though the military still uses basic calisthenics, there has been a slow transition to more natural and fluid movements. It is notably the case with the relatively new form of martial arts that the Marine Corps has developed, which uses techniques designed to be used while under a combat load which have a striking resemblance to some of the exercises found in MovNat. As a Martial Arts Instructor in the Marine Corps I spend a lot of time instructing and critiquing Marines in all levels of fitness. A lot of Marines are big on weight lifting and one major downside I see with just normal lifting is that an individual can lift a large amount of weight in one direction under the proper conditions, with a balanced weight and the right stimuli to boost adrenaline, or run for miles with lightweight clothing and running shoes. But what about when you’re in an awkward position? Or the weight is off balanced? Or you’re tired? Or have to lift something in multiple directions? How much can you lift then? How far and fast can you run while carrying something over diverse terrain? These are questions that are being answered only by the more advanced military fitness programs but that are at the core of the MovNat approach. I have been able to take parts of what I’ve learned at the workshop and use as part of the daily training for my Marines. It definitely showed more than a few of them that they weren’t in as good of shape as they thought. This is why I believe that any amount of MovNat training would be an outstanding addition to any physical fitness regimen geared towards a high level of practicality and adaptability.
I am grateful for having the opportunity to learn from these guys. It was definitely an outstanding experience.
Sgt Martinez, Cameron L.