Basics of The Ido Portal Training Method

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Ido Portal

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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’s his own man with his own ideas.  Anything that I write or discuss on this blog is my interpretation his published information on his social media page, his old blog and other information that continues to surface and circulate around the internet.]

I have a deep strength and conditioning background.  It’s traditional in every sense of the word.  Probably too traditional in fact.  It’s taken years to learn how to open up my mind to other training philosophies.  Old habits die hard.  When I first started reading about Ido’s movement philosophies, it clicked with me immediately.

Since my initial exposure to Ido’s work, I’ve begun integrating many of his beginner movement drills into my own workouts (I cannot promote anything that I haven’t experienced first hand).

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 that it looks something like this:

Isolation—>  Integration—> Improvisation

It’s challenging to find any sort of clarity on Ido’s teachings from afar.  I live in Wisconsin, he’s from Israel.  But he is a man that is constantly on the move, traveling from country to country quite quickly as his services are in high demand right now.

However, of what is currently understood about Ido’s training philosophies, the transition from isolation to integration to improvisation serves as the fundamental backbone from which all of his coaching progresses.

It’s a logical progression in my mind.


Isolation based movement for Ido begins at a progression above what is generally accepted by most personal trainers and strength coaches.

Bicep curls, tricep push downs and crunches won’t be found anywhere in the Ido Portal Method rolodex.

But, I see no reason why these isolated exercises can’t be used as supplements to enhance the execution of Ido’s version of isolated movement.

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

Movement patterns = squats, lunges, planking, vertical pulling (chin ups, pull ups), crawling, hip hinging and power training with barbells, kettlebells, etc.

The lowest rung of Ido’s movement classification system represents what’s commonly viewed as the highest rung of the ladder for anyone else.  This is a positive shift for the health industry.

Mediocre training tactics shouldn’t be applauded when we know that more effective, higher level movement systems exist, and are achievable through proper progression.  It is our duty to challenge ourselves physically.

Ido has uncovered this idea and deserves credit for spearheading the movement.


Integrating the foundation built with isolation based movement.  A squat is no longer just a squat.  The squat becomes an initial movement pattern spread into a series of other movement patterns.

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

It’s a revolutionary perspective on modern day fitness, and something that 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 ever popular training camps, “MovementX”.

I would love to attend one day, I can only imagine the wealth of information and coaching that takes place at these movement camps.

If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, than this video is worth a million.  This is another example of integration…

Again, integration leverages the physical qualities developed from isolation training, and progresses them a step further into something called movement sequencing.  I’ve watched the famous “Locomotion Research” video 50+ times I bet, it never gets old watching someone move like that.  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 enter into a flow.

You’ll be humbled by the amount of integrated mobility, stability and strength needed to complete the moves.


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

Dominating isolation gives way to integration which then gives way to the final progression of his movement philosophy… improvisation.

If you think about it, world class gymnasts don’t even express improvised movement during their competition routines.  It’s all been practiced and choreographed prior to the showcase.  I’m not trying to take anything away from gymnasts (because they represent the top 1% of great movers on the planet), I am just bringing to light the fact that they are executing routines that have been practiced hundreds, if not thousands of times before they are presented before judges and an audience.

The interesting thing about improvisational movement, is that Ido still thinks that there is something to be investigated beyond it.  His recent interview on the London Real podcast provided some insight into this thought.

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

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

More traditional forms of building physical fitness certainly 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 the basics of isolation using technique driven power, strength, stability and mobility based exercises/drills.

A stronger, more stabile, more mobile, more resilient human is an improved human.  One that is able to contribute and operate on a higher level.

Since this initial evaluation on Ido Portal’s training methodology, the masses still await published work from Ido.  Unfortunately, nothing just yet.  But, there are other avenues and world-class programs to challenge yourself.

Here are a few highly effective resources I recommend based on my experience and author credibility…

Ido has very outspoken about not falling into the trap of chasing aesthetic appeal over movement integrity, but I think the reality is most of us enjoy seeing the aesthetic shift in our appearance that comes from adding muscle and ditching fat.  If that sounds like something you are interested in, C-Mass is best for you.  This is a done-for-you training guide with an emphasis on building muscle.

Tacfit is a challenging bodyweight training system I accidentally bumped into a few years (which I ignored for some time, mistake) that has really impressed a lot of people, and rightfully so.  screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-7-14-47-am

Tacit is an extremely well thought out and covers all angles of building physical fitness, including beginner exercises that transition into advanced movement techniques.  If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know that I preach exercise progression, so naturally I love this.


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





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…


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