Basics of The Ido Portal Training Method

Ido Portal

 

Ido Portal

{Photo Credit:  www.idoportal.com}

Ido Portal is everywhere on the internet these days.  There is no shortage of Ido Portal movement videos on YouTube and commentary from bloggers and podcasters regarding his views on the health and wellness industry.

[I do not speak for Ido Portal in any way.  Ido is a man with his own original thoughts and ideas.  Anything I write or discuss on this blog is my interpretation of information he’s published on his social media page, his old blog, Youtube interviews and various other sources.]

My background…

I have a deep background in strength and conditioning.  It’s traditional in every sense of the word.  Probably too traditional in fact.  It’s taken years to drop my guard on these traditional ways and open up to other movement training philosophies.  Old habits truly die hard.  

From the moment I bumped into Ido’s work, I knew something was different about his philosophies.  The Ido Portal Method seemed to be an open platform, subject to change, subject to revision if there was a better way.  The movement standards were much higher than anything else I’d read about before.

Since my initial exposure, I’ve begun the slow process of digesting Ido’s information,  integrating many of his beginner movement drills into my own workouts.  The shift in my movement I.Q. has been profound (in a good way), despite not committing 100% to his programming.  

I’ve also played around with my own variations of his famous Lizard Crawl…IMG_4167 

It’s been humbling, frustrating and exciting to explore new realms of movement.

Here’s my interpretation of the “movement culture”.

Ido Portal Training Methodology…

If you’re looking to get the summarized view (“movement” is a hard topic to summarize) of what drives Ido Portal’s movement methodology, it’s generally accepted to resemble something like the following:

Isolation—>  Integration—> Improvisation

Step 1:  Isolation

Step 2:  Integration

Step 3: Improvisation

However, of what I currently comprehend about Ido’s training philosophies, the transition from isolation to integration to improvisation serves as the fundamental backbone of the movement system.

It’s a higher standard and a logical progression.  Here is how each section can be described further…

Isolation

Isolation based movement for Ido Portal is what’s being taught by most traditional personal trainers and strength and conditioning coaches, although this is slowly shifting.  Squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, pull-ups, glute ham raises, unilateral training (single arm push-ups, pistol squats, etc) rows, planks, crawling, hip hinging etc… are all considered isolation exercises.

Bicep curls, tricep push-downs, “skull crushers” and crunches are seemingly child’s play.  Good luck spotting them anywhere in the Ido Portal Method rolodex of exercises/drills.  Use the right tool for the job of course, but I haven’t seen a single machine based exercise in his programming.

For Ido, the translation of isolation is simple:  Isolation = movement patterns

Grey Cook’s life’s work is centered around establishing better movement patterns.  Better squat patterns, lunge patterns, rotational core stability patterns, etc.  The Functional Movement Screen is a fantastic movement screening system, but it’s incredibly fixated on isolation movements.  Anyways, elaboration on movement patterns will have to wait for another article.  

The lightbulb moment and humbling part for me initially was the lowest rung of Ido’s movement classification system represents what’s commonly viewed as the highest rung of the ladder for most anyone else.  This is a positive shift for the health industry.

The Ido Portal Method makes stopping number based training (adding more weight, doing more reps, finishing the same amount of work faster, etc) look mediocre and complacent.  

Once you know, you cannot unknow.  That’s how I feel at the moment.  To each their own of course, but it’s important to understand that training methods like this exist.  Methods that are highly effective and systematically achievable through proper guided progression.  

Your relationship with your physical practice might be different than mine, which is fine, let’s honor and celebrate this uniqueness.  That being said, I feel a curiosity, maybe more of a duty to explore the outer fringes of my own movement capacity.  

Ido has swept the dust off this sort of thinking and deserves credit for spearheading the movement.

Integration

Integration is the where we begin to form sentences from the words (isolation).  A squat is no longer just a squat.  The squat is a movement pattern that flows into other movement patterns, or maybe a series of movement patterns.  There is a heavy capoeira influence in Ido’s teachings, no doubt about it.  

Here is a great video example of what I’m referring to:

I might sound like a psychotic fan, but this stuff is a revolutionary paradigm shift in fitness.  Something  I believe the world will slowly beginning warm up to.

Nike has…

Ido Portal Nike

Ido often refers to himself as a “mover”, thus the name of his crazy expensive yet popular and consistently sold out training camps, “MovementX”.

It’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words, maybe this video is worth a million.  Another example of integration…

Integration builds on the physical preparation from isolation training.  Inside of the integration portion of Ido’s training philosophy are pre-planned movement sequences.  Think about a dancer that has a choreographed dance routine.  It’s still a very difficult routine, but it’s planned, you know what’s coming next.  

I’ve probably watched the above “Locomotion Research” video 50+ times and it never seems to get old watching someone move like water.  All of the movement sequences shown in the video are difficult, especially if you think you’re just going to throw on your running shoes, drop down and flow it out as a party trick.  Not happening.

You’ll be humbled by the amount of integrated mobility, stability, and strength needed to complete the moves.  It’s 3-Dimensional movement requiring a level of proprioception, range of motion and muscular firing most people have never experienced.  

Improvisation…

Ido has commented on numerous podcasts that improvised movement represents the highest form of human movement.  I couldn’t agree more.

Dominating isolation helps the transition to integration which with hours of practice leads to the final progression of his movement philosophy… improvisation.

World class gymnasts (pound for pound the strongest people on the planet) aren’t expressing improvised movement during their competition routines.  It’s all been practiced and choreographed prior.  I’m not trying to take anything away from gymnasts (because they represent the top 1%), I am just bringing to light the fact that they are executing routines that have been practiced hundreds, if not thousands of times before it’s viewed by the public eye.

Regarding improvisational movement, Ido has mentioned several times he thinks there is a dimension to be explored beyond it.  

Where do we go after improvisation?  Ido wasn’t quite sure, but the feeling is that something else exists…

Bringing it home…

Ido Portal represents an incredible shift in the lens with which we view and define fitness.  Humans are engineered to move (climb, run, jump, roll, carry, etc) and I think there is an emerging sector of people who want to experience the thrill of moving again.

Traditional physical fitness methods aren’t going anywhere soon, nor should they.  If isolation represents the foundation from which higher levels of movement are built, we still need to be encouraging the execution these basics of isolation.  There is still a place for technique driven power, strength, stability and mobility based exercises/drills.

A stronger, more stable, more mobile, more resilient human is an improved human.  

Since this initial evaluation on Ido Portal’s training methodology, the fans are still waiting for published work from Ido.  Unfortunately, nothing yet.  

But, there are other results-oriented movement optimization programs to explore.  

Here are a few of the programs I recommend based on my experience and author credibility…

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Animal Flow is going to bring you the closest to Ido’s locomotion drills.  It’s a brilliantly designed program full of ground-based movements, unlike anything I’ve seen before.  Mike Fitch is a world-class mover himself.  I’ve hammered away on his Animal Flow 2.0 program lately and it’s incredible to not only feel the difference in movement quality but see the difference on video replay.

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Barstarzz YouTube videos are amazing.  Their mastery over body weight cannot be argued.  Barstarzz recently released the BTX 3.0 training program and it looks solid.  

If you’re looking to improve your movement capacity with an emphasis on building a lean physique, C-Mass is best for you.  This is a turn-key training guide with tailored to folks who aim to build muscle.

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Tacfit is another challenging bodyweight training system I accidentally bumped into a few years ago (which I ignored for some time, mistake) that has really impressed a lot of people, and rightfully so.

Tacfit was originally designed for first responders and military special operations.  The program covers important principles physical fitness, with proper progressions for a beginner leading up to advanced movement techniques.  

If you’ve enjoyed the material here, make sure you check out other M(eaux)tion resources (new content daily):

Or posts similar to this, this one in particularwhich provides exercise variations for the Ido Portal Lizard Crawl.  

I will be going deep into the Animal Flow training system in the coming weeks, as I feel that Mike Fitch is a phenomenal teacher and his program is the best for understanding animal-based locomotion exercises.  

 

Cheers to the basics of Ido Portal’s training methods…

KG

 

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6 thoughts on “Basics of The Ido Portal Training Method

      1. I write for both reasons. It is fun for me to get my thoughts out and receive feedback from people that the info resonates.

        I do see this as a building for a career. I am fascinated with the power of the internet and establishing an business that leverages the internet is a direction that I would like to go, for sure.

        Sorry for the delay in my response.

  1. Hey, just a quick shout out. I stumbled over your post while looking for more stuff about Ido Portal. Props to the layout of your blog. It’s zen-tidy and the format makes it easy for the gaze to flow from paragraph, almost like a well structured e-book. And thanks for your insights. I also hope to join one of Ido Portal’s workshops one day. Ideally in Thailand. 😀

    1. Lory,

      Thanks for swinging by. Ido is a great teacher and I believe that the movement industry needs him. The more ideas, the better for all of us. Let me know if you ever attend one of Ido’s camps, I would be interested to hear more about the information and movement submersion that he provides his attendees.

      Thanks again…

      Kyle

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