By Vic Verdier, MovNat Master Instructor

In the MovNat Trainer Certification events I teach, I often get questions about how MovNat is perceived by the general public. For some, the old image of Movnatters running barefoot in the woods is the epitome of caveman-style training. For others, MovNat doesn’t seem to involve barbells loaded with 10 plates or box jumps executed in sync with your heartbeats, and therefore is probably too easy. None of these images is true or false. It’s just a matter of perception and what every individual calls a challenge.

One of the definitions of the word “Challenge”, according to the New Oxford dictionary, is “a task or situation that tests someone’s abilities”. One of the goals of Natural Movement is to help prepare us for life and the multiple tasks we must accomplish with our body, while being efficient and staying injury-free.

But the word “Challenging” has a slightly different connotation, as we associate it with something difficult, something that requires abilities, focus and effort out of our normal aptitude.

Is MovNat challenging? Yes, but only if you want it to be. 

Life is made of challenges that can be:

  • Physical, like learning a new skill or lifting a heavier weight,
  • Intellectual, like learning a new language or starting a discussion about something we are uncomfortable with,
  • Temporal, like deciding to earn more money by starting a side job.

And if we want to be prepared for it, then we need our training to be challenging, too.

It seems like the modern world is all about comfort, convenience, junk food, and online activities instead of physical activities. Proper challenges must push people slightly out of their comfort zone, out of their habits, out of their usual ideas and opinions. There is no progress without changes, and changes are painful and difficult for many people.

How do you know you need new challenges in your life? You can start with asking yourself a few simple questions like:

  • What makes you uncomfortable? 
  • What are the situations you usually try to avoid? 
  • What are the movements you don’t want to do, not because of any injury or limitation you have, but because they scare you?

Enter “The Crucible”

2022 is the first year that we offer the MovNat Crucible, a three-day experience for men of all walks of life, all levels of fitness and all ages. Why a men-only event? Because it has never been so clear before, that men need challenges but don’t have to face any very often. Not necessarily big ones, not necessarily daily, and not necessarily as a reaction to hard times that life throws at them. But men only really thrive when they have something to push against.

Men sometimes don’t realize that if they don’t progress, they are regressing. There is no stagnation in life. Their body and their mind ages every day. They can fight it by facing challenges, or they can give up and it’s all downhill from there.

The MovNat Crucible is designed to do just that: providing the participants with challenges that are progressive, uncomfortable and self-imposed. No one is forced to do anything, but everyone can face the tasks and skills that challenge them the most.

How is every single participant able to overcome those challenges? By having other men around, pushing them and helping them.

The 17th century English poet John Donne wrote that “No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main”.

It seems that it gets harder and harder for men to find a Band of Brothers, a group of like-minded men who want be active in Nature, to have meaningful interactions, to learn to move with purpose and strength. One of the key components of the MovNat Crucible is this connection between men, the building of friendship through Natural Movement. Everything is easier when you get help from other men. It’s not about peer pressure, it’s about growing both physically and mentally together and building fortitude and resilience as a group and as an individual.

The three days of the Crucible are filled with instruction, discussions, and challenges. It’s not Hell Week or an obstacle race, because challenges are deconstructed, strategized and custom-tailored to the abilities and skills of each participant. 

They are not easy days, and that’s what make them not only a memorable experience, but also an opportunity to come out of it stronger, more skilled, and more in-tune with what you really are able to do in life.

Attn: Men – Could you use a new challenge?

Please join us for the very first MovNat Men’s Crucible, a special retreat in Arizona.

About the Author

Vic Verdier is a MovNat Master Instructor and the creator of the MovNat Combatives and Aquatics certification courses. You can find him at, where he helps men over age 40 live a better, stronger, more vibrant life.