If I had no idea what MovNat is and I was reading this article about “exercising like a caveman,” I would probably find the whole thing a little scary, but also intriguing and seriously fun stuff. Despite a slight distortion of reality (did I really say I was “being the healthiest man”? Ah, certainly not!) and an extra helping of caricature, I think A.J. Jacobs put together an entertaining, lively read that leaves you wanting to learn more. And if you think about it, how he portrays this impromptu MovNat session in Central Park (we were filming for French and German TV and A.J. asked if he could join the small group) is probably the perception shared by many people who have never experienced MovNat. Shirtless guys climbing trees in a park talking about grass-fed beef and chest hair? Clearly, caveman stuff.
Of course, “caveman fitness” is a catchy phrase – but it’s not an accurate one. It gets people’s attention, though, so it’s useful in a title or a headline. And if it brings attention to the ancestral health and fitness movement, if it get people to think about exploring a healthier lifestyle – all press is good press, right? Solid writing and a dose of humor can’t hurt, too.
MovNat, of course, has nothing to do with re-enacting a caricature of the past; it’s about rehabbing modern “zoo humans” which all of us, to varying degrees, have become. It is a comprehensive physical education and fitness system that is based on the natural, evolutionary movements of the human species. Today, most fitness methods are accessory, optional activities. But moving naturally is a biological necessity, regardless of how far our modern lives become divorced from nature and our evolutionary roots. We can all move naturally, whether you are a devotee of grass-fed beef, a committed vegan, or somewhere in between. Those movement patterns are in our DNA. We just need to reawaken them, relearn them, and train them for competency and efficiency. That’s what MovNat is about.
Creatively paraphrasing my friend, Gray Cook: we are all made to grow strong, healthy, happy and free, and to age gracefully! That means you, me, A.J., Vlad – everyone. Reclaiming our natural human movement abilities and freedom of movement is the starting point. And if what entices you to learn more about MovNat is an article on shirtless “caveman fitness” guys taking over Central Park, that’s a starting point that will work, too. Thanks for sharing your MovNat encounter, A.J. We’re glad to hear we were one of your favorite fitness adventures. Join us for a workshop anytime!
Erwan Le Corre, Founder of MovNat and Master Instructor
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