Fresh air and steel maces in Oregon. What a combination! Here is a little edit of a session I did behind the cabin last weekend.
Join us this winter for a maces and mocean event, starting January 12th . 1-3:30. This will be an intensive workshop where you will be moving and exploring and learning for 2.5 hours. Learn ways to develop your own movement practice as well as an in depth intro to the steel mace. Very affordable pricing too. Signup here
I have been a firm believer in being barefoot or close to it for many years and in turn, sharing this with others. This was an instinctive and learned process first and foremost, meaning I didn’t find out about the benefits via science or research in a book. It just worked in my “guinea pigging” and made me feel good. As the years went on, i began researching more and learning about the science and there were many studies done lauding the benefits. Many, many years later I also was introduced to Frank Forencich of Exuberant Animal and studied his method with him(and still do) and met and moved with some of his tribe, including Mick Dodge, the Barefoot Sensei.
Then came along the trend of being barefoot and the landmark book by Chris McDougall, Born to Run. I tried out barefoot style shoes and my message was easier to spread as the book opened peoples minds to the concept of barefoot training. Corporations of course jumped on board the “trend” and began producing shoes to replicate natural patterns. These same corporations that had been selling the opposite for many years.
It wasn’t too long before reports started coming in that people were getting injured and having serious problems due to being barefoot. (In reality a very small amount). Much of this of course was because sedentary people were jumping on the bandwagon and not progressively scaling their training. The sneaker giants also saw this movement as a threat to their empires so the corporate giants responded by returning to producing even greater cushioned, shock absorber shoes so the kooks wouldn’t get hurt. You could just 4×4 through the woods and never stub a toe again and run on air…ha!
Many of us never stopped though and continue to not only use the benefits of bare footing but also bare handing(not using gloves in settings they are traditionally used in) and other forms of Grounding. The science of grounding is here, finally with over 20 studies concluding that grounding has numerous benefits including possibly most importantly, fighting dis-ease. The benefits are absolutely widespread in all levels of life! It is widely known that inflammation is the root cause of most disease. Grounding has a direct impact against inflammation via an electrical process. Simply put, within regular proper doses of grounding, there will be a dramatic reduction in inflammation due to laws of electricity. We are electrical beings, plain and simple and we are electron deficient. THIS IS A PROBLEM!
This documentary, The Science of Grounding is simply a must watch. Science has proven the benefits of Grounding plain and simple and you can ground on your own with no cost. No one selling you anything..maybe that is the reason few are responding? This isn’t hippie shit, this is real and very much worth all of our time especially with all of the negative effects of cell phones, wi fi, blue tooth etc.
Many people think my training as primarily bodyweight based as they see me doing lots of it and incorporating it with my clientele. But what they might not know is I’ve been lifting weight in one form or another for my entire life and continue to lift thousands of pounds weekly (or daily), even as i am now closer to 50 then 40 years young.
As a lifetime occupational athlete, lifting large amounts of weight has been my norm as has been physical training to stay strong for outdoor adventures. Various forms of physical labor from an early age that still continues to this day. One job in the 90’s, I would regularly lift over a 1000 pounds an hour for 10 hours at a bodyweight of 170 pounds, slinging 80-100 pound meat boxes as a fast as humanly possible, getting paid for speed. It was always a dream of “getting paid to move and helping others do the same” and that is exactly what has happened.
This all led me to bodyweight training as I have always been a firm believer in balancing out How we move. Lifting lots of weight can bring with it lots of tightness and if you are not careful, can change how you function. Bodyweight training has become a larger part of my movement practice and I spend large amounts of time on groundwork.
This year marks my first step away from commercial labor in many years in one form or another as I am focusing entirely on movement coaching. Still lifting lot’s while training and doing physical labor on my own projects, week just not on the clock.
Throughout all of the years I have never missed time due to back pain or any pain except when I have had impact injuries(crashes/wipeouts etc) despite 80% of adults experiencing back pain in their lives and back pain being the is the #1 disability in the world. (Rubin Dl. Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Spine Pain. Neurol Clin. 2007; May;25(2):353-71. Worldwide, years lived with disability caused by low back pain have increased by 54% between 1990 and 2015 (Hartvigsen J , 2018)
I believe that movement variability and moving in lots of different ranges of motion has been the key in my own life as well as being in the outdoors and my dedication to training to stay balanced and do lots of different kinds of movements and labor and fun and plenty of danger.
Which brings it all back to my thoughts on others lifting weights. Should you be lifting weights? How much, how often? Well….it …depends. First and foremost, where are you at right now in your life? Are you already injured? Despite us becoming sedentary as a society, over exertion still accounts for the most amount of work related injuries, just above falls…
Are you sedentary? Only 5% of adults get more than 30 minutes of physical activity a day and American adults spend an average of 11 hours per day watching, reading or interacting with media(screens).
How do you move during the day and what positions are you in chronically? This is very important because it helps us come up with a strategy of finding balance in your movement practice.
I think first and foremost, body awareness must be cultivated through foundational movement. This starts with proper, conscious breathing patterns. This helps cultivate proper positioning from an anatomical standpoint. Proper breathing isn’t just about oxygen and the benefits to your nervous system(though they are extensive), but truly sets up our structure so we can do things..like lift weights.
From breathing, we look at being able to safely move your body through it’s intended range of motion, without pain. Being able to get up and down off the ground, smoothly, with control and ease without compromising your spine and while breathing. There are numerous studies linking how well you are able to get off the ground and how long you will live. I know lots of people who lift heavy weights but watching them get up and down off the ground is kind of painful.
Which brings up the importance of your connection with your center, your deep core musculature, your pelvis/fulcrum, center of gravity. Selective activation of muscles to protect you when adding external loads. Knowing when to do what.
We look at foundational movement patterns like hinging, squatting, throwing and doing these all with control , alignment and ease, while breathing properly, of course.
Can you move your body through its intended ranges with ease, control and accuracy? Once many of these boxes have been checked, then we look at adding load. And before doing so, we look at how you are moving now to determine how you will lift. We also examine the ways we are wired to lift objects. Historically we carried and transported weight, often awkward objects and on uneven terrain and rarely was the weight evenly balanced.
This is in direct contrast to how you see lifting in most gyms. The lifting you often see there kind of looks like the way most of the world moves all day, in a linear fashion, up and down, forward and back with very little variability. Kind of like the movie Wall-E.
Being able to pick things off the ground with a good hip hinge. Being able to carry the weight, and place it in non linear demands first and foremost. Being able to pick it up and put it down with control.
From here we spend time honing patterns and incrementally adding loads and challenges and eventually complexity and making sure the body is keeping up with the progressively challenging demands.
So yes, lifting weight is good and we were born to do it but let’s make sure we can do it right. And it doesn’t have to look the way the fitness industry portrays it. After you have set your foundation, pick up odd objects, carry weird stuff and mix it up. Move your body in all directions. Challenge your neurology, adapt, explore and soar!
We feel so strongly about training outside or as naturally as possibly for so many different reasons. Here are a few…
+It reestablishes our feels-One of the main missing ingredients from modern training and physicality is the tactile component. Look at any gym and you will see everything is very sterile, smooth and consistent. But the reason we train in the first place is to prepare for the dynamic endeavors we love to do like surfing, mountain biking and trail building to name a few. All of these require you to perform in a multitude of different situations, climates, terrain and actual contact with tools and toys is of vital importance. It is advantageous to mimic those components to maximize our investment of time.
+It is Science man!-Many scoff at our obsession with the outdoors and think it is just hippy dippy hogwash. Science now though proves otherwise. Here is a recent study amongst the many.
A new report published today reveals that exposure to greenspace reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure.
Populations with higher levels of greenspace exposure are also more likely to report good overall health — according to global data involving more than 290 million people.
Lead author Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Spending time in nature certainly makes us feel healthier, but until now the impact on our long-term wellbeing hasn’t been fully understood.
“We gathered evidence from over 140 studies involving more than 290 million people to see whether nature really does provide a health boost.”
The research team studied data from 20 countries including the UK, the US, Spain, France, Germany, Australia and Japan — where Shinrin yoku or ‘forest bathing’ is already a popular practice.
‘Green space’ was defined as open, undeveloped land with natural vegetation as well as urban greenspaces, which included urban parks and street greenery.
The team analysed how the health of people with little access to green spaces compared to that of people with the highest amounts of exposure.
“We found that spending time in, or living close to, natural green spaces is associated with diverse and significant health benefits. It reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and preterm birth, and increases sleep duration.
“People living closer to nature also had reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and stress. In fact, one of the really interesting things we found is that exposure to greenspace significantly reduces people’s levels of salivary cortisol — a physiological marker of stress.
It is FUN!-This is self explanatory!
We are stoked to be leading another Elements workshop on Saturday, October 20th from 12-6 PM at The Strength Lab in Eugene, Oregon. The skills you learn will allow you continue with your own MovNat training and dramatically improve your ability to perform in every aspect of your daily life. We hope you are able to come out and get into Mocean with us! Email us with any questions.