On Saturday, I participated in Erwan LeCorre’s MovNat workshop here in Austin, TX.
We interviewed Erwan on our podcast which was posted last week, and had a great time discussing what MovNat is and the type of exercise we did as children translated into the adult world.
So on Saturday, I got to experience the real thing. It was a cool (by Texas standards) morning when we got going at 7 am. We started with some basic concepts like how to effectively use your body with gravity as opposed to against gravity. We discovered throughout the 6 hour course how to utilize energy most effectively when running, climbing, carrying, and jumping. All exercises in MovNat have a practical function in nature. It was pretty much a fitness re-education for me!
I had a few revelations this day.
One is, we discussed the traditional ways in which people exercise. Erwan pointed out that there is no practical reason to do multiple “reps” of various exercises, [CORRECTION FROM ERWAN: “Actually, we do repeat moves in MovNat! Only that it is not the sole way to train/move. Series of reps are most of the time combined with other movements, to favor the ability to transition (with ease, speed and accuracy), instead of always separating movements (different series for different movements), or reps (taking a break between series of reps). Also, the types of movements that can be performed as series are much more varied that in a conventional approach of fitness. That is because is MovNat, natural movement IS the conditioning. 100% of movements that are performed are either the real, complete movement, or a segment of them, so that repeating them will condition us to ultimately perform natural movement (practical and adaptive physical action) with max efficiency.”]
such as the classic 10 pushups. When in nature will you suddenly need to do multiple pushups? Or squats? With the exercise in MovNat, you don’t do things in order to build muscle, but building muscle is a result of the things you do.
After the first part of this course, my view of fitness and exercise was already changing!
The other thing I noticed is, whatever the exercise is in MovNat, it involves using your core muscles. Even though we did a lot of pulling ourselves up and jumping, my arms and legs were not sore the next day- but my abs and glutes were definitely sore!
The course was not brutally hard in terms of the amount of exercise we did throughout the day. However, the last couple of hours with the hot Texas sun beating down on me, I started to fade. While everyone else in the clinic was from Texas and at least somewhat used to exercise in 98 degree temps, the wimpy Californian boy was not! The good thing was, there was no humidity that day, so 98 felt like 98 instead of 108!
We finished up the day with a circuit of sorts, that Erwan invented, using our surroundings- which consisted of stairs and picnic tables. We had to sprint up the stairs, crawl down a few steps, jump up onto a table, and jump down. This was repeated 5 times. After we finished that, I think one of the guys in the class wanted to do more, but I was pretty satisfied with my day overall- and ready to jump in the natural springs pool right next to where we were doing the training.
The pool was cold and felt FANTASTIC! I did a couple of laps, thanked Erwan for the day, and headed home- where eating and sleeping were the order for the rest of the day.
Overall, the MovNat clinic was a physical and mental challenge that opened up my mind to creativity, and has me now wanting to do more of this. I’m already thinking of new routines for my workouts this week, and how I can go back to having FUN at each and every workout!