Should You Be Lifting Weights?

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 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!






Get Out!

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!

Join Mocean365 for a new MovNat Elements Workshop, October 20th, Eugene, OR

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.

New Video featuring Mocean365

We were recently approached to be subjects in a film project by a local UO student, Owen Schatz. He initially was filming for a men in action sports theme but after shooting with us it quickly evolved into something different.  We are really happy with the end result and wanted to share it with you. Have an awesome day!

Trailmates from UO SOJC on Vimeo.

How to shred forever by Mocean365!

We are obsessed with age in our culture and write off athletes with laser like precision when we deem them getting along in years. No one can talk about Tom  Brady without talking about his age and making that a focal point. If you have read or glimpsed at his new book, you will see the work and dedication he puts into staying healthy. This post of course is not about traditional specialized sport though. It’s about the art of the shred. Whether you want ski , bike or surf till your 100, there are some undeniable truths to see this happen, or at least help(most of the time).

Here is Ryan Nyquist shredding this year still keeping up with the young guns.

  1. Treat your body like a tool-Your body(which includes your mind, all one), is all you got. If you want to send it while getting senior citizen discounts, we need to keep our body sharp, in tune and running as well as possible, just like tools. As Yoda once said, “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose”
  2. Luck-We can do all the right things and follow everything to a t with our life but..we walk out to our car one day, get in and BAM never wake up. Or we get sick and die. Or a slew of other things could happen to us. This is reality but brings up the importance of #3.
  3. Have fun, enjoy the process!-We need to love what we are doing if we intend on doing it forever and our outlook on life in general needs to be inspired to complete our mission. As Alan Watts said, “Man only suffers because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun”!
  4. Give back-We are born in tribe and we are dependent upon the tribe throughout our life. One way many extend their careers is to become a mentor, coach or guide to others.Your journey and all of its beautiful and horrible, trials and tribulations can serve as a blueprint for young grommets/whippernsappers, whatever the fuck ya wanna call the next gen, send them a bone ok Mr Miagi/Yoda?!
  5. Be grateful-You realize that to dedicate your life to play, as serious or hardcore as you want to make it seem, is really a big game right? Our grandfathers weren’t galavanting around whining about which carbon fiber wheels they were going to get or fighting online with other dorks bout their strava times, they were logging, fighting wars and working their asses off everyday with little idea if it was all going to work out. They paved the way so be grateful you little %^*(!.   Hard to believe the amount of RBF we see at events, trailheads and at the surf breaks. Get over yourself, be happy and spread stoke and be compassionate of others, you got it?!

20 Years of Outdoor Movement Coaching

2018 marks a milestone for me as it is now 20 years since I first began incorporating fitness/movement in an outdoor setting.  Pretty proud of that achievement and even more so that it began in a pretty conservative area(coastal NH/Maine), not exactly trend setting areas!

It seemed natural..the indoor setting of the gym’s i had been training people out of seemed foreign to me with the Tv’s blaring and hamster wheel cardio machines and goofy outfits and the whole scene. More so, it was through my interactions with people everyday as a trainer who were craving the outdoors. This was pre social media and smart phones etc of course but the longing was still there. My first movement concept was called Perpetual Mocean and the moniker was “Movement in a Sedentary World” which again was pretty much a call out to the times.

I started small initially just carrying some hand weights outside with clients and hiking in a bit on trails and then doing fairly traditional exercise. This slowly evolved into packing the weights into kayaks and kayaking out to islands and doing exercises and really took off from there!

I had never heard of anyone doing this and there was no MovNat or Exuberant Animal and no so called natural movement gurus. The only reference i had was a great book about Outdoor Conditioning which actually did all the exercise inside but the concept seemed obvious. You want to train for the outdoors, why just wear a backpack on a step mill (which i did lots of) when you can just get outside and train!?

Pretty stoked on the evolution and how things come full circle. WE will be celebrating this milestone and stepping up efforts because now more than ever is the time. We are truly living in a sedentary world and it is ruining our world. WE are here to stop this insanity! You onboard? 

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