Interval Workout| Lizard Crawl + 500m Row

20 minute Workouts, Ido Portal, Workouts

Mixtaping different disciplines of fitness to create unique workouts is a hobby of mine lately.  

Yesterday, I found myself short on time.  I had roughly 20 minutes to make some workout magic happen.  Assessing the previous day’s workout, I decided on two modes of exercise:

  • The Lizard Crawl
  • Rowing

The goal:  total body training effect (in under 20 minutes)

Short burst workouts are a perfect solution to time-restricted days.  Days where I’m tight on time, but high on motivation.  “Short”… not be confused with “easy”.    

Generally, shortening a workout means the intensity gets cranked up to offset the decreased volume and duration.

Lizard Crawling is a locomotion pattern popularized by Ido Portal’s movement catalog.  

 

It involves crawling forward (or backward) in a low prone position, much lower than a traditional bear crawl.  The Lizard Crawl is a total-body exercise, well worth learning and working through the progressions.  

Most people will feel limited by their upper body strength when Lizard Crawling.  The strength needed in this particular range of motion may need some acclimation. 

That being said, there are plenty of Lizard Crawl variations to accommodate any skill level.

Here’s an example:


The Lizard Crawl, though graceful and rhythmic when performed by great movers, sucks the life out of you across even moderate distances.  It’s a very complex and demanding pattern.

Rowing, on the other hand, is, well, rowing.  

The rowing erg is beautiful in its simplicity,  yet brutal in its ability to break a person’s soul at higher intensities.  Though machine-based, rowing is one of those near total body activities that I cannot recommend enough. Rowing is primarily a posterior chain, upper body pull/lower body push action.

A quality rowing erg will cost you some cash, but across the long-term, it is well worth the investment.  

Turns out, the Lizard Crawl and rowing compliment each other perfectly.  

I’ve created workouts in the past using short distance Lizard Crawls and 250-meter row intervals, but never beyond that distance.  The 250-meter is a fantastic distance for an all out sprint.

Today I increased the challenge a bit, bumping the row up to 500-meters.

Here’s how the workout was structured…

Lizard Crawl for 20 yards

+

500 meter Row

  • Repeat for 6 rounds.  
  • Rest for 60-90 seconds in between each round.  

That’s it.  Two movements and roughly 18 minutes of time to work with.

Warm-up with something, anything.  A jump rope or some simple dynamic movements will work fine.  I do not advocate skipping warm-ups all of the time, this situation is unique, an outlier.

A cheetah doesn’t ask a Gazelle for a chance to warm-up before pursuing it for nearly a mile, it’s worth considering a human may not always have adequate time to warm-up.  

Many times, doing less things, but doing those things better makes for the best workouts.

Aesthetics and performance are built incrementally, piece by piece, workout by workout.   

Thoughts and Suggestions…

Find a pace on the rower a few levels below your personal best.  I aimed for a 1:35 min/sec pace for the 500-meter intervals, knowing that my best 500 meter was roughly 1:27 min/sec.

Why do this?  Because you will not be able to maintain a personal best pace for 500-meters across 6 rounds, with incomplete rest periods and lizard crawling before hopping on the rower.  Setting a challenging pace just below your best will get the training effect you’re after and allow room for progression in the future.

After standing up out of the rower, expect your heart rate to be sky-high.  60 seconds of rest will not feel long enough, and it shouldn’t.  It’s incomplete rest by design.  Use every second to collect yourself before the next round.  Walk around slowly, stay upright and slow your breathing.  

Keep in mind, a 500-meter row is not an easy distance to row on its own.  Adding pre-fatigue in the form of a Lizard Crawl will zap you.

When rest comes to an end, force yourself into the Lizard Crawl.  You’ll want to rest longer in later rounds but don’t.  Stay strict.  When rest is over, settle your breath and start crawling immediately.  

Anticipate the first few rounds of Lizard Crawling to feel great, followed by a steep drop off.  

If the full Lizard Crawl is too aggressive, scale it back.  Head over to my YouTube page and search “Lizard Crawl”.  You’ll find a bunch of different Lizard Crawl options I’ve played around with. 

Or, simply go with a crawling pattern in higher, more manageable body position, such as Beast (Animal Flow).  

If you found this post while surfing the inter-webs, thank you for stopping by.  

Do me a big favor and try this workout today, tomorrow or the next time you’re in a pinch for time.  

 

For more about Ido Portal and some his training methods, check out this post:

 

Cheers to you, 

Kyle 

5 Bodyweight Push-Up Variations

Animal Flow, Bodyweight Workouts, Ido Portal

The push-up is a fundamental human movement pattern effective for building athletic performance and improving aesthetics.

Calisthenic exercise solutions are HOT right now, and for good reason.  

Push-ups are a premiere bodyweight-based upper body exercise capable of building useable strength, endurance and sculpting a lean physique. 

It’s easy to get stuck doing the same variation of push-ups, which can make training dull and potentially lead to skipping workouts.  There’s a whole world of push-up progressions and variations worth exploring.  

The draw to bodyweight based training makes sense.  First and foremost, bodyweight training is FREE.  

Second, bodyweight training is natural movement.  How?  Why?  It’s just you managing your own weight against gravity, which makes this form of exercise pretty damn realistic for everyday life.  

Seems logical to improve one’s ability to handle their bodyweight in various positions and patterns.  The ability to press oneself up from the floor (to do other things like crawl or walk, etc) helps us stay mobile and live life.  

Bodyweight training can be as advanced as a person wants, or going the other direction, scaled for any beginner. 

Push-ups, squats, lunges, crawling and vertical pulling exercises pull-ups/chin-ups are the foundation of before external weight ever enters the equation.

Traditional Push-Ups…

When someone says “push-ups”, a lot of people immediately picture a max set of pumping up and down.  And yeah, you’re right, these are definitely push-ups, but these are just one variation done in isolation, in one body position, to nausea.  

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the traditional push-up, but you’re leaving out a lot of AWESOME variations if you stop exploring there.

It’s a reasonable thought that many people would find a renewed interest (and results) in controlled physical activity if they delved a bit deeper into the hundreds of different push-up variations that exist.  

The traditional push-up doesn’t (and shouldn’t) be the end of the road variation-wise, which is why I’ve had some serious motivation to share exercise variations lately.

That being said, pay your dues with traditional push-ups before departing for the “sexier” variations.  The basics are the fundamental pillars from which all other movement is built.  

The Often Forgotten “Secret”… 

There’s no special “secret” sauce in fitness, only what you know and what you don’t know.  

And you don’t know what you don’t know.  

If there is a “secret” to push-ups, it’s that they are often overlooked and forgotten during workout exercise selection.  Our eyes drift to objects of weight or other fancy gadgets instead of down at the floor where we can assume the position and start doing work in less than 2 seconds.  

It would seem that push-ups are perceived to be rudimentary, lacking effectiveness or “only for beginners”.

If you find yourself thinking about push-ups in this way, I once again encourage you to dig into this article (and future articles) to explore and try every variation I’m about to share.

I guarantee you’ll be humbled by the potency and cognitively stimulated during most of these variations.   

Adding weight to a push-up is a common strategy to improve upper body strength, and indirectly, improve core strength at the same time.

But what about pushing up in odd body positions?

Having fully adopted and integrated ground-based movements from both Ido Portal and Animal Flow, I’ve been exploring different variations of pressing up from the floor at known and unknown (improvised) times throughout a workout.

This post is all about some of the push-up variations I’ve been toying around with across the last 10-12 months.

Watch the video, read the short description then give it a try.

Explore what YOU can do.  

#1 Resistance Band Assisted One Arm Push-Ups

Resistance bands are a brilliant tool to make exercises like chin-ups/pull-ups, single leg squats or single arm push-ups more palatable.  The band reduces the amount of weight the working arm must move during the exercise, which is often enough to make the exercise manageable.  

I value eccentric-only variations, but there is so much value is being able to go through a full range of motion, with a little less weight.

#2 Lateral Push-Ups

Traditional push-ups are a great exercise and should be taken as daily medicine, but pressing up from a variety of positions will expand your body’s movement IQ. The traditional push-up is very linear and can become boring in time.

Lateral push-ups put your body in a squat position, which from the get-go is unique.  The “fall-out” requires rotation of the torso and soft hand placement.  

Lightly touch your nose to the floor, press back up into the start position.  Performed rhythmically and for long durations, lateral push-ups will tire you out.

Aim for 6-8 reps on each side, but don’t be scared to work these for even longer sets.

#3 Stationary Low Lateral Shifts 

The low lateral shift was my first personal experience with a hybrid push-up.  Hybrid, in the sense that there is no upward/downward motion, yet many of the same muscles involved in push-ups are being worked.

Considering most people find themselves weakest at the bottom of a push-up, this exercise will challenge you to the maximum since you’re hovering at that depth.

Cues:  Shift your body side to side without making ground contact, yet avoiding the imaginary “razor wire” above you.  If you’re familiar with “Archer Push-Ups”, you’ll notice the body position is similar.  The difference is you are not pressing in this low lateral shift, the tension is high and constant throughout the work set. 

Aim for 3 sets of 5-8 shifts side to side.

#4 Dynamic Low Lateral Shifts

I could have tagged this exercise as “Traveling Low Lateral Shifts”, but dynamic sounded more professional and the definition of dynamic fits perfectly:

– relating to forces producing motion.  Often contrasted with static.  

This exercise is a stationary low lateral shift but now you’re moving across space.  I would consider this an introductory exercise to Ido’s locomotion training, though still falling into the Isolation category.  

Cues:  Stay off the floor, but don’t rise too high.

Start slow, maybe traveling 5 yards down and back.  Work up from there, as far as you can handle.

#5 Beginner Lizard Crawl Push-Ups

Lizard Crawl push-ups are a great way to practice pressing in a non-traditional body position.  

The full Lizard Crawl is one of the best exercises I’ve added to my personal workouts in years.

Of all the exercises in this post, Lizard Crawl Push-Ups require the least amount of strength, which doesn’t mean they are easy peasy, but you’ll likely be able to work these for higher repetitions.  Anywhere from 10-15 repetitions per arm.

*** If you want a humbling experience, I do suggest you attempt a full Lizard Crawl to gain some perspective on how difficult the movement pattern is.  Normally I wouldn’t recommend this, but being a body weight crawling pattern performed 2-3 inches from the floor, I see no real danger in trying it.  You’re either going to have the strength, mobility, and coordination to do make it or you’re not.  

No equipment required…

With the exception of the resistance band for assistance on the one arm push-up variation, all of these exercises require no equipment.  

This gives you an opportunity to test these exercises in your next workout.  

If you travel frequently for work, congrats, you’ve got some new push-up variations to play around with your hotel room or the hotel gym.  

Don’t procrastinate, get after it.  

To learn more about Ido Portal and my interpretation of the Ido Portal Method, check out this post.

 

For now… cheers, 

Kyle 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginner Lizard Crawl Exercise Variations

Ido Portal

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The goal of this article is to present several of my homemade lizard crawl regressions to get a newbie acclimated.  Most of these drills were designed to help myself better understand the mechanics of the lizard crawl, and I’d like to share them with you…  

The Lizard Crawl exercise, from my point of view, is the king of the ground-based locomotion drills.  It’s a monster of an exercise, best broken down into digestible segments if you’re a beginner to such training.

Lizard crawling is jam-packed with physical benefits that spill over into all other areas of one’s physical practice.  The lizard crawl will test joint range of motion and stability, muscular endurance and strength, core strength/stability/endurance and motor control all in one shot.  

Another positive side effect of lizard crawling is conditioning.  It’s pure work when you’re inefficient and learning.  Expect to be winded with heart rate will be soaring after several yards.  

Although a successful lizard crawl is a total body effort, the upper body is tested to a great degree.  The lizard crawl elicits a similar training effect to more common crawling variations (bear, crab, etc) and progresses it a step further.  

Remaining in the low position for the duration of the crawl is what does most people in.  

A full blown lizard crawl is deceptively difficult.  Watching someone like Ido Portal lizard crawl (a world class movement practitioner), it’s easy to think, “Doesn’t look too bad, it’s just crawling, I could do that”.  And maybe you can.  If so, good on you.

But for most people, the mechanics are complex.  As mentioned earlier, joint position and range of motion, the timing of the hands and feet, core activation in difficult positions may completely foreign.  

Foreign = struggle bus.     

I do suggest you watch several of these videos and test abilities to give yourself a baseline for improvement.  

Even if you’re able to crawl several feet on both sides, the next challenge is to add some distance to the movement.  

Without further ado, here are few more lizard crawl variations to slip into your workouts demonstrated by yours truly…

Lizard Crawl Variation #1 – 2 Hands + 1 Foot

In this variation, keep two hands in contact with the floor while practicing hip range of motion and foot placement.  Softly move the knee up beyond waist height and place the ball of the foot on the floor.  Lower into the bottom of the push-up, chest hovering roughly 2 inches above the floor. Pause, looking forward, return to the start position.

Lizard Crawl Variation #2 – Soft Arm Reach

Introduction to reaching with the lead arm.  We will remain stationary for the time being.  Expect the complexity to ramped up significantly once movement is introduced.  This variation involves a soft slide of the lead arm, straight out and back in.  This also provides some sensation of what it will feel like supporting the body on one arm, another challenging aspect of the lizard crawl.  

Same exercise cues as the previous variation, lower step with the leg, plant with the ball of the foot, lower down with control, but now slide the hand out softly.  Breathe. 

Lizard Crawl Variation #3 – “Alligator” Arms and Legs

To give you a taste of some dynamic movement, here is the short-arm variation of the lizard crawl.  

I refer to it as an “alligator” progression.  The idea is to reach with a limited range of motion, keeping the elbows flexed and close to the rib cage.  This elbow position is far more manageable versus reaching out into full extension.  

Also, notice the limited range of motion on the foot placement.  Plant with the ball of the foot, stabilize and gain control, breathe, now move the hands and support.  Slowly move forward, don’t rush it.  

This variation is a humbling introductory training stimulus to the full lizard crawl.  Many will begin to understand the sheer complexity of the lizard crawl pattern after trying this.  

The path to improvement is practice.  Don’t be discouraged by your initial attempts.  It may be a frustrating experience, even if you consider yourself to well conditioned.  

It’s common to find joint mobility, stability, core strength and endurance to be lacking, all of which can be practiced using the three progressions I’ve shared.  

Practice the progression that allows for technique achievement.  

Each will lead you to the next and continual progress will be made.    

If you’re interested in learning more about the Ido Portal Method training philosophy, check out this popular article I wrote several years ago…

 

Cheers…

Kyle 

Useful Exercises to Help Build the Lizard Crawl Pattern

Ido Portal

FullSizeRender

The Lizard Crawl is one of the most challenging crawling patterns.  

Aggressive joint angles, timing and coordination of the limbs along with a massive muscular demand make the lizard crawl pretty brutal in the beginning.  

The challenge is far beyond standard crawling patterns.  

Not all that long ago, I was a beginner with the lizard crawl.

The pattern was pretty sloppy for a long time.  I was inefficient and felt out of control.  

Inefficiency with movement might be great for burning calories, but it’s a bumpy road when you’re trying to build the pattern.  

On the road to preparing my body for the demands of the lizard crawl, several key exercise regressions played a significant role.  and this blog post directed at the beginner looking to learn more.

The goal of this article is to provide several launch points to work up into the full Lizard Crawl.  

Each Lizard Crawl exercise progression is designed to provide a gentle introduction to the body position and loading.

A full-blown Lizard Crawl has a deceptive number of moving parts moving and requires plenty of mental processing and physical capability.  

Exercises

The full lizard crawl requires:

👉 Mobility

👉 Upper body and core strength

👉 Coordination and timing

Improving control over shoulder range of motion is important for lizard crawling and beyond.  

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint and should be able to move freely, but with control.  

When the shoulder joint lacks mobility or control over range of motion, problems can surface.  

Shoulder CARs

Controlled articular rotations are a mobility exercise that great for daily shoulder “hygiene”. 

I like to perform 8-10 reps per side each workout, which means every day.  Yes, every single day.  

Mobility training is a critical component of fitness, yet, training mobility like you would strength or endurance is a relatively new to a lot of people.  

My friends over at MyDailyMobility created daily mobility workouts to introduce people to effective mobility training that’ll expand your range of motion and help control what you’ve already got.  Check it out

Upper body strength is essential for the lizard crawl.  If you lack upper body strength, the full lizard crawl will be impossible.  

Regular push-ups are a great place to start.  You should be able to perform 15-20 bodyweight push-ups without rest.

From there, progress the bodyweight push-ups by adding weight.  The weight can be in the form of a weight plate, sandbag, chains, weightvest, backpack loaded iwth gear, etc.  Whatever you’ve got. 

Weighted Push-Ups

You’ll have to reduce the reps per set once you add weight, and consider lengthening the rest periods to recover from each effort.  

Start with 10-20lbs of additional weight and work up from there.  Stay rigid from head to heel.  

Sets/Reps:  3-5 sets of 5-6 reps.  (the last rep should suck)

Next, it’s time for a gradual transition into single-arm push-up variations.  

Single-arm push-ups are an incredible exercise for building pressing and core strength.

I really like this carpet slide push-up variation.

Carpet Slide Push-Up w/ Reach

Carpet Slide Push-Ups increase the load on the working arm, provide practice of reaching the non-working hand out to move forward (as you would in the full lizard crawl) while introducing a less stable position for the core to sort out.

Your mid-section will probably be sore after a carpet slide push-ups.

Gradually decrease hand pressure on the carpet slide, eventually removing the slide completely, just lightly sliding the hand across the floor surface.

Sets/Reps: 2-3 sets of 5-8 reps.  

*** The rep range is pretty broad, but keep pressing until you feel posture begin to break down. At that point, end the set and rest. 

Core Training

The lizard crawl will put your core strength, endurance and function to the test.  

Here are 3 different exercises to integrate into your workouts.

Core Rolling Patterns

Rolling patterns are exercises you have to try to truly understand how draining they can be.  When you take most of the momentum out of rolling, you’re rolling over with subtle movements from your mid-section.  

Very humbling drills. 

Sets/Reps:  Roll 360 degrees, than roll back to the start.  Go by feel here, this exericse can be self-limiting, as in you’ll burn out won’t be able to complete a full revolution. 

Hollow Body Rocks

Turn yourself into a banana and keep that position while you rock like a rocking chair.  

Sets/Reps:  3-4 sets of 12-15 reps. 

Dragon Flag Variations

Dragon flags are one of the best core strengtheners I know.   

Sets/Rep:  3 sets of 5-8 reps.

Lizard 🦎  Looking Exercises

For beginners, breaking the lizard crawl up into sections and training each section works well.

I like to start introducing the coordination and timing aspect of the lizard crawl by practicing non-moving variations. 

First, become familiar with what the low position feels like, because it is different. 

Push-Up with Alternating Foot Placement

The goal of this first drill is to practice the feel of the lizard crawl while reducing the amount of strength needed to do so.  

Using two arms into the descent accomplishes this.  

👉 Step the foot up to the outside of the hand and plant.

👉 Lower down into and out of a push-up.  

👉 Return to high plank position.

Don’t forget to relax the jaw and breathe.

Sets/Reps:  3-4 sets of 6-10 per side

Alternating Lower-Body Step and Reach

👉 Starting in a high plank position, step one foot to the outside of the same side hand.  (The side you step to will be opposite of the working arm)

👉 Slowly lower your chest to 1-2 inches above the floor.

👉 With feather light pressure, slide the unloaded hand out into full extension. 

👉 Pause for a moment, breathe, feel the position.

👉 Slide the hand back in, return the foot and press up to the high plank.  

Sets/Reps:  3-4 sets of 8-10 reps on each side. 

Dynamic Crawling Variations

The next step in the process is to start moving around.  

Building up strength is important, but it’s time to dive into crawling.  

Crawling can be a humbling activity, especially for adults.  

We think of it as something exclusive to babies or when your TV remote slides underneath the couch, but crawling is a great coordination and conditioning activity.  

Check out this post to learn more about some great crawling patterns. 

Final thoughts…

Quiet foot and hand contacts with the floor surface is a pretty good indication you own a movement.  

Breathing is another good indicator.  Clenched jaw, holding the breath?  I’d bet you don’t own that position yet.  Ask any Yoga instructor.  

Give each of these exercises a shot and be mindful of what’s taking place as you practice.  

The secret sauce to progress is disciplined effort and consistency.  

Practice hard and in time you’ll get the results you’re after.

Alternatives to Ido Portal Method

Ido Portal
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“Coming soon” since 2013…

I’ve been checking the Ido Portal Method website for 7 years hoping the “store” page would populate with a few online products.  

Take my money Ido Portal, take my money.

7 straight years of, “Coming Soon”.

I’m confident saying Ido Portal is not going to write a book or create a digital product.

Ido has mentioned in interviews he doesn’t want to chain his work to the “foreverness” of a book.  

Plus Ido Portal Method training philosophy is constantly evolving and expanding, so he’d likely have to compose a 10,000-page book on movement training, which would receive weekly edits for all eternity. 

Like others who wanted to know more about The Ido Portal Method, I started to compile notes from his old blogs, YouTube videos, and interviews.  The idea was to collect enough information, sort it out and begin piecing together a program for myself.

But at some point, I’d burned out.  

I started researching alternatives.  Something that could bring me close to the Ido Portal Method style of training, without wrecking my bank account (more on that below).

While the Ido Portal Method has brand name recognition (with movement training), I knew there had to be other training systems comparable to, possibly even better.

Initial search results confirmed that there were some amazing alternatives.  

The Bones of Ido Portal Method

Weeks of sorting through older content on Ido’s first blog, YouTube videos, and other media was time-consuming and painful.  

But, it gave me valuable insight into his movement philosophy.  

Deconstructing his training methods, it becomes clear Ido Portal Method is a carefully organized hybrid system.

A collection of many different disciplines and methods:

  •  Ground-Based Conditioning  
  •  Gymnastics
  •  Traditional Resistance Training
  •  Mobility 

Categorizing the main elements provided clarity on what to look for during my alternative program search.

Again, looking through the magnifying glass, one will find elements of gymnastics, locomotion, Yoga, traditional resistance training, dance, Capoeira along with mobility training from Functional Range Conditioning (FRC).

Most of these methods are bodyweight-based.  However, Ido does utilize barbells, dumbbells and other tools to train strength or loaded stretching.

“Expensive Machines, Cheap Bodies”, is a classic theme inside Ido’s camp.

While I disagree with going cold turkey on all gym gadgets, I do understand Ido’s point of view.  People get lured into thinking they need fancy fitness machines to get into shape, build strength, etc.

You don’t.

Equipment manufacturers do not care if you buy their products only to love it when a customer buys a product, only to use it for drying wet laundry.  They have your money, you have clutter.

The potency and power of a simple gym set up can be humbling.  A pair of gymnastics rings, an overhead pull up bar, a space to crawl/roll and a willingness to train hard more than enough to make huge gains.

The Rise of Locomotion

Ido Portal did not invent locomotion, crawling and floor flow sequences.

I know this will be difficult for some people to read, but humans crawl as babies during early development and flow-oriented training has been around for generations.

He can be credited with being one of the first to post locomotion work on YouTube.

Crawling/locomotion, bridging and various “Floreio” elements is a great way to expand workouts away from linear exercises.  It’s easy to see the Capoeira influence.

Locomotion exercises can be progressed similarly to traditional exercises, giving beginners an opportunity to practice regressions while offering advanced trainees some really difficult patterns.

Along the way, isolated locomotion work is fused with other movements to create sequences.

Movement 20XX (a digital program from Vahva Fitness described below) was one of the first programs I found to be teaching a similar ground-based conditioning/locomotion curriculum at a FRACTION OF THE COST.

Newsflash:  Online coaching with Ido Portal Method is expensive as shit.

How do you quantify “expensive as shit”?

Expensive as shit = $1,000-$2,000 for 3 months (3-4 hrs per day, 6 days per week)

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Price tag 6 years ago, best believe it’s higher now. 

It’s unlikely you’ll be coached by Ido Portal himself, but rather one of his students.  Plus, they reserve the right to fire you with zero refund.

People can justify and afford to spend $150 on a program.  Especially one with zero compromises in content and coaching, and likely a superior delivery with stream quality and support.

Across 12 months, that’s $15 per month.  Very doable.  

Spotlighted below are a few training systems worth exploring:

Movement 20XX

Movement 20XX

Movement 20XX is a bodyweight based training system that uses ground-based conditioning exercises and combinations to create pre-planned flows and movement sequences.  

Natural movement training.

Students start out by training movements in isolation, gaining strength, stability and fluidity prior to transitioning into movement sequences, and eventually improvised flow work. 

Movement 20XX blends many different movement disciplines, cherry-picking the best elements from Parkour, Yoga, bodyweight training, etc.

I started working on beginner locomotion years ago.  Doing so changed everything about my movement quality, capacity and confidence.  

It also started a shift in how I viewed the “working out” and fitness.   

The first few weeks of crawling was no joke.  It was humbling and I sucked.  But in time, my body adapted to the demands, graduating from stiff and immobile… to pliable, dynamic and strong.

My early attempts at the lizard crawl were ugly.

It’s a tough pattern.  The body position and range of motion were foreign, and the timing of the hand/foot movements was a challenge to manage.  Getting into the low position was challenging (trademark of the lizard crawl), much less moving anywhere.

I reluctantly swallowed my pride and started training as a true beginner.  The basics of crawling became my daily practice.

With practice, progression and adaptation, the Lizard Crawl became one of my favorite locomotion patterns, and still is to this day.

I experiment with a lot of hybrid variations of the lizard crawl now, along with integrating it into conditioning circuits.  Nothing like sucking wind while crawling 1 inch off the floor.  Whew.

Locomotion exercises are primarily quadrupedal (4 points of contact with arms and legs) and move the body through a natural (yet uncommon) range of motion, reconnecting the upper and lower extremities, challenge the torso muscles, timing, etc.  

I include a variety of crawling patterns in nearly all of my workouts.  

Currently, I use crawling patterns inside of pre-workout warm-ups (daily tune-up) on strength-focused days, as part of work capacity circuits or with bodyweight based flow sessions.  

The bodyweight based flow sessions are fun and equally challenging for the body and mind.  The premise is simple.  I move around a room without a plan for 10, 15, 20+  minutes.  

Here’s an example flow…

 

A lot of crawling and locomotion patterns I integrated from Ido Portal Method (skimming the blogs and social media) are being taught by Eero Westerberg in Movement20XX, which is why the program made the list as a valid alternative to Ido Portal online coaching.

Movement 20XX was designed to be effective when used remotely, which makes it great for training at home or while traveling.  The program design is progressive and structurally sound.  

 

Global Bodyweight Training

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Strength is a critical component of becoming a better mover.  

Dare I say… strength might be the most important of them all.

Strength comes in many forms.  Strength doesn’t always have to be associated with bench pressing 3x your bodyweight, deadlifting a truck or heaving a 300lb atlas stone onto a platform.

A full range of motion single arm push up is a demonstration of pure strength.

As I get older, I care less and less about quantifying my performance with numbers (weight on the barbell, etc).

What I do care about, is how my body feels the other 23 hours a day (when I’m not training) and also what I’m able to with my body in both known and unknown situations where I need to be able to perform.

There’s some truth to the old saying, “Nice body, what can you do with it?”

Bodyweight Athlete curriculum introduces and educates people on the power of leveraging bodyweight based strength training.  

When I found Global Bodyweight Training, the first thing I noticed was how closely the curriculum matched what I had designed for myself.  It was nearly a carbon copy.

I’d recently decided to trim the fat with regard to exercise selection and variation, choosing to pursue higher-level bodyweight patterns like single-arm push-ups, single-leg squat variations, handstand positioned pressing, L-Sits, etc.

Progressive bodyweight training requires plenty of body tension, attention to detail and refinement of technique.

Bodyweight Athlete is a structurally sound training program for anyone interested in experiencing the potency of bodyweight training.  

The best part about bodyweight training is it can be taken ANYWHERE.  

You’re never without an opportunity to workout.

Bodyweight-based patterns included in the curriculum:

  • Muscle Ups
  • Handstand Push-Ups
  • Single Arm Push-Ups
  • Single Arm Body Rows
  • Pistol Squats
  • Handstands
  • L-Sits
  • Human Flag 
  • Back Levers

The exercise progressions listed can be scaled for any level fitness, from beginner or elite level movers.

 

Carefully selected exercises and well-timed progression of those exercises are extremely powerful.

The human body is an adaptation machine.  In order to continue making progress, you’ve got to increase the challenge somewhere.  Increasing the challenge can mean adding load, complexity, volume, time under tension, etc.

Quality programs are designed to condition the body progressively and safely.  You want to boost performance while limiting the chance of injury during training.

Regarding injuries, always remember there is life outside of the gym.  If you’re destroying your body while working out, life is going suck.  Dealing with daily aches and pains, dysfunction and injury is no way to live.

Keep the needle moving… safely.  Your gym work should enhance your life, not take away from it.

Bodyweight Athlete emphasizes joint mobility work, core conditioning, self-myofascial release, and breathwork.  These are lesser-known elements (yet important) of a comprehensive approach to building a body.  

It’s easy to become fixated on the sexy part of the program… the exercises.

Building a high performing body is a multi-faceted approach.

Mobility, establishing and expanding your useable range of motion, is CRITICAL.

I’ll go ahead and say mobility training IS strength training.

Keeping joints buttery and strong contributes to adding useable strength to your frame and also avoiding doctor’s visits for preventable joint conditions later in life.  

Core training.  Lots of people have gone deaf to the importance of training the core.  It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why, but I think it could be because people are wasting their time with most core-focused exercises.  

In fitness, the pendulum always seems to swing too far in one direction (with concepts, machines, techniques, etc) and people get hyper-focused on things for a little while before the novelty eventually fades.

I think this is sort of what happened with core training.

Just like low load/high volume bodyweight exercises (1000 bodyweight squat workouts) do very little for increasing raw strength, limited range of motion crunches and sloppy toe-to-bar work also do little to contribute to developing a functional core.  

(Oh. My. God.  He said “functional”.  Send me a better word and I’ll edit it out)

Take a single arm push up.  If your mid-section is weak, you’ll know within the first 6 inches of the descent.  Low back with fold, ribs will flare, compensatory movement becomes the default operating system.

Approach your core training like you’d approach building other patterns (squat, deadlift, pulling, pushing, etc) and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Core conditioning still matters.

Check out Global Bodyweight Training

Strength and Movement Training

Everyone will read and digest this article differently (seeing value or maybe not seeing as much value) and I understand that we all have different financial budgets for investing in programs.  

That being said, I do believe that combining the strength work from The Bodyweight Athlete with the ground-based conditioning elements (crawling, locomotion, etc) taught in Movement20XX is an extremely powerful approach to take.  

You’re getting the best of both worlds.  Strength and natural movement training.

Train elements from each in the same workout, or, alternate every workout.

I’ve used both approaches and found each to be equally effective and enjoyable.

Either way, you’re going to make great progress.

Follow a system

Find a training system and follow it.

I’ve provided a few options for you to look into, please do.

Skipping around from program to program, using bits and pieces of various techniques doesn’t deliver the same results when compared to digging in and following every detail from a full training system.  

Building fitness and movement capacity is a multi-faceted endeavor.  

There’s plenty to consider and monitor. 

Strength, mobility, movement training, traditional resistance training all play a significant role in creating a strong, well-conditioned, injury resistant, dynamic body.

It’s a lot to think about, it’s not easy, but in time you’ll begin to gain an understanding of how to building a body.  The path to improvement should be simple, not complex.

Avoid the minutiae of complex training systems.  Both of the programs above are structured with clear communication, free of B.S. and straight to the point.

Keep it simple.  Work hard, stay consistent, bust your ass when you’re training and remember to give your body rest when necessary.

The best advice I can offer is to limit the “paralysis by analysis” and exhaustive research.

Yes, do your own homework and self-educate, observe which programs are worth trying out, but ultimately remember to settle on 1 or 2 get into the gym to do the work.

Nobody ever  “thought” themselves into a better moving body with less body fat.

At some point, you must get your hands dirty and move, even if you’re god awful.  If you’re new to this stuff, lord knows, you might be god awful.

Keep at it and your body will begin to adapt.  You’ll move with improved grace, balance, strength, and confidence.

In the beginning, nobody knows what the hell they are doing.  Not Ido Portal, not me, no one.

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If you’d like to see what I’m up to, check the Meauxtion YouTube channel or Instagram to see what my daily training looks like from a home gym. 

 

Cheers to your success,

Kyle

Here are Several Other Ido Portal Push-Up Variations

Ido Portal

The effectiveness of the Ido Portal Method is no longer a secret.  

Ido’s knowledge is quickly becoming the premier system for building body weight dominance.

Before you watch the videos below, remember that the best gains are made when following a system, which is basically a recipe.  

Keep the movement recipe simple:

Find an effective training system and practice it relentlessly.

Everything works… for a little while.  Literally everything.  Some programs are more effective than others, but people who commit themselves to any one system are going to see results from their effort.  If you’re not getting results, it’s time for a self-audit to identify what’s missing.  Chances are high the audit will reveal it’s something you’re not doing, or in some instances, not doing, that’s holding you back.

Allow me to rant on the value of practice…

Practice until you are sick of practicing.  Then practice some more.  Had a bad training session?  Come back tomorrow and do it again.  Build

There is no substitute for hard work.  You’ve got to tear up your hands, sweat and have a willingness to be sore and humbled by the difficulty of the movements.  

Practice increases understanding, awareness and insight, motor control, strength/stability/endurance/power/mobility.

The “elite” become “elite” because they practice.  A lot of athletes who are household names across the world, practice 10x more than people think.  When you’re watching them on television, you’re seeing the finished product.  Thousands of hours of behind the scenes blood, sweat and tears prepared that athlete to execute on the main stage.

Exercise #1: QDR: Beginner Rotational Push-Ups

Now, while doing something is generally better than doing nothing, it is possible to practice incorrectly, which is why receiving feedback from a mentor or a teacher so valuable.  A teacher is an advanced practitioner.  The teacher, through experience, has acquired understanding, knowledge to share with students.

The best teachers maintain the humble student mentality despite being experts at their craft.

Exercise #2:  NDA Beginner Lateral Push Ups

With movement, more specifically body position, it is very easy and quite common to think that you are practicing technique correctly when you are not.

Improper body alignment or stopping short of a full range of motion are two extremely predictable situations that a teacher has the eye and understanding to verbally cue or re-position.  

Exercise #3: Beginner Hybrid Push-Ups


A person could slip any (or all) of these exercises into their current workouts and get the full benefit.  Remember, each of these exercises is a puzzle piece that makes up an entire program.  Progress will always be faster when working inside of a system, which is a well drawn out plan.

Exercise #4:  Dive Planks

Another problem the distanced onlooker has with Ido Portal’s current portfolio of work is there isn’t a clear and defined starting point for a beginner.  Beginner in my world means someone who’s unfamiliar with all of this stuff.  Not someone who’s banging out unsupported handstands, looking to move on to an iron cross.

 
Exercise #5: Push-Ups with Toe Touch

One option a beginner has is a tedious scavenger hunt through old information on Ido’s previous blog.  Before I started to assemble the puzzle pieces, this is what I did.  It sucked.

If sifting through hundreds of blog posts seems a bit tedious, there are other fantastic training programs similar to the Ido Portal Method approach. These books serve as a logical stepping stone into the Ido Portal Method movement philosophy.

Are they identical?  No.  Are they extremely similar?  Hell yes.  Will you get results?  Hell yes.  

Here are those alternative training systems, should you decide to investigate further…

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Animal Flow (Mike Fitch)

Overcoming Gravity (Steven Low)

Ultimate Athleticism (Max Shank)

Complete Calisthenics (Ashley Kalym)

A quick word about equipment…

Whether you’re a novice or advanced trainee, a simple equipment set up can catapult your progress and increase your enjoyment.  Actually wanting to workout because you enjoy the process is just as important as training intelligently.

For the beginner, gymnastics rings and parallettes are the best starting point and will provide big bang for your buck.  There are endless exercise progressions and variations using rings and parallettes.

L-Sit progressions, tuck and push-up variations, vertical and horizontal pulling exercises, hanging challenges just to name a few.

Nayoya Gymnastics Rings

The Nagoya Gymnastics Rings (Amazon, $30) currently have a 5-star rating and over 1,007 customer reviews.  You’re welcome to shop around, but for the price and quality, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal with similar quality.

Best-selling author and movement enthusiast Tim Ferriss has raved about these gymnastics rings after testing them himself in past newsletters and blog posts.  

Gymnastics rings are an unbeatable buy in my opinion.

For parallettes, I constructed mine from PVC using these exact instructions.  It was inexpensive, simple and fast to assemble.  They work fantastic.

If you aren’t in the mood to DIY, I recommend these parallettes.

Cheers to you.

Kyle

Basics of The Ido Portal Training Method

Ido Portal

 

Ido Portal

{Photo Credit:  www.idoportal.com}

Ido Portal Method training is taking off like rocket and growing in popularity every single day.  There’s 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.  

Very quickly, I realized Ido Portal Method was a different approach to “fitness”.

Ido Portal Method wasn’t pigeon-holed to doing things one way.  It was like an open platform of movement, capable of changing shape and direction, always seeking a higher standard.

The information I was taking in was unlike anything I’d seen before. 

Since my initial exposure, I’ve begun the process of digesting and translating Ido’s information.  This article represents some of that digestion and translation. 

The shift in my movement I.Q. has been profound, despite not committing 100% to his programming.  I’ve integrated many of Ido Portal style “beginner” movement drills into my own workouts with great success.  

I’ve also played around with my own variations of locomotion patterns.IMG_4167 

Above is a snapshot of a “feeler” lizard crawl exercise.  The goal of this exercise was to feel out the demands of the lizard crawl, from a strength, mobility and stability perspective.  

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 are some details on each phase…

Isolation

In the Ido Portal Method, Isolation based movement is essential to forward progress.  

Strength is a prerequisite.  You must continually work to become stronger.

Ido Portal Method Isolation = movement patterns.

Movement patterns include variations of:  squats, deadlifts, vertical pulling and pressing, horizontal pulling and pressing, glute-ham raises, rotational exercises, core training, olympic lifting, stabilization drills, kettlebells work, etc… all fall into the Isolation column.

Most of you will be familiar with these exercises.  

There’s also a heavy emphasis on high tension bodyweight-based strength training exercises in the Ido Portal exercise catalog.  

Body levers, hanging and climbing, dips, muscle ups, parallette work such as L-Sits, and Tuck Planches, single leg squats, single arm pressing, handstand push-ups and various locomotion patterns (crawling, rolling, etc.)

Gymnastics strength training.

Mixing traditional strength training with body-weight based exercise is a potent combination.  Both are time-tested, proven strength building strategies essential to physical development. 

I do not believe traditional strength training (barbells, kettlebells, etc) is superior to bodyweight based training (gymnastics rings, single arm/leg, etc)

Both can serve a valuable purpose in a training program.

Increasing one’s athletic capacities with Isolation style training is the path to being able to piece together movement sequences, and eventually improvised movement flow. 

Fitness is evolving quickly.  Today’s baseline movement standards and practices are much higher than they were 2 or 3 years ago.  

Taboo training methods such as rope climbing, moving odd-objects, locomotion, spinal waves and bodyweight-based training are now in the spotlight.  

Multi-planar strength and movement freedom.

The lightbulb moment and humbling part for me was realizing that the lowest rung of Ido’s movement classification system is what are commonly viewed as the highest rung of the ladder for most anyone else.  HIGHER STANDARDS! 

There’s a realm of physical training that exists beyond fixating on sets, reps, weight lifted, and racing the clock to set new P.R.’s.  

Handstands, leg-less rope climbing, ground-based movement flow training packed with locomotion patterns and bodyweight movement patterns are here.  Our bodies are designed to move freely.   

 Flow

Ido Portal Method combines the best of many movement disciplines.

Integration

Integration is the point where movement sentences are formed from the words (isolation).  

A squat, is no longer just a squat.  A squat fuses itself into a seamless flow with another movement pattern, no gaps between the two.  Through progression, more and more movement patterns are strung together.  A series of movement patterns formulating a “sentence” of movement.  

  • Sidenote:  Many will notice a heavy Capoeira influence in Ido’s teachings.

Here’s a video example:

The ground conditioning (locomotion patterns, Capoiera, etc) combined with gymnastics/bodyweight/traditional strength training, fused with flexibility and mobility work is NOT NEW, but since it’s being repackaged and people are seeing incredible results, it’s definitely creating a paradigm shift in fitness.  

Baseline movement standards have risen.  “Fitness” less about who can build the best looking body or lift the most weight (both respectable pursuits), it’s about moving and how your body can perform when confronted with the known and unknown.

The shift is on and people are taking notice.

Nike has…

Ido Portal Nike

Instagram is loaded with people who’ve discovered the movement culture.  

Another example of Integration…

Integration builds on the physical preparation from isolation training.  

Pre-planned movement sequences make up part of the Integration phase.  This is similar to a dancer demonstrating a choreographed routine.  Just because the routine has been practiced for months doesn’t make it any easier to execute.  

I’ve watched the “Locomotion Research” video 50+ times.  Watching someone move like water is inspiring.  The movement sequences demonstrated in the video are deceptively difficult.  

Ground-based locomotion is a multi-planar movement requiring a level of body awareness, joint range of motion and on again/off again body tension most people rarely practice.  A lot of it is quadrupedal, performed with hand and feet in contact with the floor. 

Again, I’m talking about scenario where it’s bodyweight versus gravity using various dynamic patterns (crawling, twisting, turning, balancing, etc).  Many of these patterns are animal-like.

On first exposure, people are often quickly humbled by the amount of mobilityvand strength needed for locomotion patterns.  You’ll be sore in the days after.

I’ve found variations of the Lizard Crawl to bridge the gap between “lifting weights” and putting those gains toward challenging movement patterns.

While crawling, there’s a feeling of connectedness, awareness, task oriented challenge.  I don’t get the same feeling from squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, etc.

Improvisation…

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

Dominating isolation exercises makes the transition to integration significantly easier.  

With consistent practice of Isolation and Integration, one will arrive at the final progression of Ido’s movement philosophy… improvisation.

World-class gymnasts (pound for pound the strongest people on the planet) are rarely expressing improvised movement.  Competition routines are all pre-planned, practiced and choreographed prior.  

Improvisation is the combination of isolation and integration.  You’re essentially making it up as you go, or “flowing”.  Though it will likely take years of dedicated practice, improvised movement flows are achievable.  

This is where progression becomes important.  

Flowing like Ido Portal doesn’t happen overnight.  This isn’t to say significant progress won’t be made, but like anything worthwhile, practice is king.  Gains may come fast, than slow, than fast, than halted, etc.   

I’ll spend less time describing the Improvisation phase of the Ido Portal Method because most folks need to focus on nailing down the elements of Isolation and Integration for a long, long time.  

In interviews, Ido has mentioned several times he thinks there is a dimension to be explored beyond Improvisation.  Where do we go after improvisation?  Ido wasn’t quite sure, but the feeling is that something else exists.

Levitation? 🙂

Isolation and Integration Progress

The Ido Portal Method represents an incredible shift with how we view and define fitness.  

Humans are made 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 in this way.  

It’s important to clarify that traditional physical fitness modalities aren’t obsolete.  Nor should they be.  

A person must spend a great deal of time gaining ground in the Isolation phase,  grooving technique, building strength, improving joint control throughout a range of motion.  

Hammering away on the basics (Isolation exercises, squats, pulling, etc) is fundamental to progress.  Further down in this article I’ve shared two training programs that will bring a person very close the foundational work needed to progress through the Ido Portal Method.  

At the end of the day, a stronger, more stable, more mobile, more resilient body makes for a more useful human.  A life lived through movement can be an exhilarating life.  

Training Programs Similar to Ido Portal Method

Several years ago, I started looking for alternatives to the Ido Portal Method because nothing was being offered through Ido’s web store link.  It seemed like there were plans to create a product, but ultimately it never came to be.  

Here are a few programs I highly recommend:

  • Movement 20XX
  • Global Bodyweight Training
  • MyDailyMobility

Each program provides a different benefit.  Yet used in combination, they help each accelerate results. 

Movement 20XX  is the program for learning and practicing ground-based movement, locomotion patterns (lizard crawl, etc), building movement sequences and graduating to improvised flow work.  Movement 20XX is the best option in the ground based conditioning department.

Global Bodyweight Training teaches the potency of properly administered bodyweight strength training techniques.  Strength is critical for performance and long-term health.  Pistol squats, one arm push ups, handstands, l-sits, body levers, upper body pulling, etc.  The most effective movements are detailed in GBT.  

MyMobilityDaily is a mobility based training system designed expand joint range of motion and create OWNERSHIP (strength, stability and control) over the range of motion.  Building strength at end range is CRITICAL.  The follow along techniques in MDM create full ownership over your joints. Effective mobility training is the most mis-understood area of fitness.  Gym goers perform leg swings, T-Spine drills and static stretches for years without any results.  

The guys at MDM are teaching techniques from Functional Range Conditioning, which is the single best thing to happen to the fitness industry.  

Starting in on a quality mobility training regimen is life changing. 

I’ll have a full write up on why MDM is a game changer.

Here’s bit more about Movement 20XX and Global Bodyweight Training…

Movement 20XX

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Movement 20XX is a ground-based bodyweight training system that teaches many of the locomotion patterns and flow work found in Ido Portal Method.   

Locomotion consists mainly of quadrupedal ground-based exercises like crawling (Lizard Crawl, etc), switches, transitions, etc… and you’ll find a ton of floor work inside of
Movement 20XX.  

Integrating Movement 20XX into my own workout regimen has been a game changer.  

Flow training broke the monotony of traditional lifting and brought me back to natural movement, free of equipment, just me, my thoughts, my bodyweight and the floor.  

It restored the creative side of moving and put the spotlight on my lack of body awareness in space, mobility and strength.  

Depending on how I structure elements of Movement 20XX for the day, it’s also been great for strength-endurance work.  

Movement 20XX is loaded with smart exercise progressions.  

Novice or advanced, it doesn’t matter. Movement 20XX provides exercise progressions for all movement levels, all of the way up to movement mastery.    

Movement 20XX introduction to ground based movement begins with pre-planned movement sequences, very similar to Ido Portal Method.

Crawling patterns, switches and transitions are all worked in isolation first, integrated into flowing sequences, and later fused into improvised flow workouts.

Similar to Ido Portal Method, Movement 20XX combines ideas from many different movement disciplines to create a hybrid system of movement.  

The tempo of exercises and workouts can be manipulated to elicit a cardio-strength training effect or a dynamic yoga-like experience.

I’ve played around with adjusting the tempo, exercise variations and even brought Movement 20XX based exercises into cardio based work capacity circuits for conditioning.   

My Experience with Movement 20XX

I stumbled onto Movement20XX not long after finding The Ido Portal Method.  

At the time, I wanted to know what was beyond lift weights, adding weight, etc.  

Crawling patterns peaked my interest, but I wasn’t sure where to start or how to implement crawling into my workouts.

Natural, bodyweight-based ground conditioning seemed like a logical approach to filling in the gaps missed from traditional resistance training.  

Founder of Vahva Fitness and creator of Movement 20XX, Eero Westerberg, has great movement capacity and was demonstrating a lot of these ground based techniques on his YouTube channel.  

This led me to Movement 20XX.

Since then, I’ve cherry-picked many different exercises and movement sequences from Movement 20XX.  

I started with the basics.  

The first few months of ground work left me frustrated and sore.  

I was a pretty athletic guy, but felt uncoordinated, lost in space and flustered with the sloppiness of my movement.  

My spinal control was terrible.  Years of “bracing”, “neutral spine” and stability training had left me SUPER STIFF.  In time, this improved.  

Comparing older videos to more recent videos, it’s amazing to see the difference.  

It’s liberating (and fatiguing) to move around an open space for 20-30 minutes, varying the movement patterns, sequences and tempo.  

👉 Learn more Movement 20XX, here’s the official website: Movement 20XX

Global Bodyweight Training:  

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 6.12.15 AM

Strength is the foundation of movement and control over one’s bodyweight.

Bodyweight Athlete is a bodyweight based strength program designed to build premiere movement patterns, such as horizontal pushing, horizontal pulling, vertical pushing, single leg squats and progressive core training.

Bodyweight Athlete covers the following:

  • Muscle Ups
  • Handstand Push Ups
  • Single Arm Push Ups
  • Single Arm Body Rows
  • Pistol Squats
  • Handstands
  • L-Sits
  • Human Flags (aka: body levers)
  • Back Levers

Improving performance in any or all of the movements listed above has great transfer into ground flow training and eventually, improvised work.  

Earning higher level movement requires an constant pursuit of strength in basic bodyweight movement patterns.  Pressing, pulling, squatting, core strength and stability, etc.  Single arm and single leg work.  

Once I realized how potent effective bodyweight training can be, it changed my opinions on what it means to be “strong” and have bodyweight control.    

The workout design, exercise progressions and step-by-step tutorials make Bodyweight Athlete a great bodyweight-based program.    

   

The human body is adaptation machine. 

You‘ll struggle with many of these bodyweight movements early on.  

In the beginning, only the eccentric phase of single arm push ups might manageable.  

With consistent practice and adaptation, full range single arm push ups become a reality.  

Same goes for lower body and core drills.  The human body is an adaptation machine if you keep introducing progressive stress.  

Proper progression, consistent practice and willingness to put forth effort will transform your performance.

Strength (like many athletic qualities) is built with…

  • Smart exercise progression.
  • Progressive overload.
  • Progressive exercise complexity and volume.
  • Rest and Recovery.

Smart progressions are extremely powerful.  Combining smart exercise progressions with simple accessory work like mobility, stability and flexibility training… strength gains can be made safely and quickly.  

Improving the basics of Isolation is often a missing link to building movement capacity.

Gaining strength in isolated chunks is essential to improving movement capacity.  

GBT’s flagship training program,  “Bodyweight Athlete” costs $150.  

Considering the time you’ll likely waste trying to piece meal your own program or the cost per hour of hiring an in-person coach, that $150 investment quickly becomes quite inexpensive.

Bottomline…

Find a program and follow the details.  When movements, reps, sets, flows start to feel easy, move on to the next progression.  Celebrate your progress but don’t celebrate for too long.  Set your sights on the next challenge

Don’t be afraid to film yourself.  Take before and after videos to see the progress.  There are few things more motivating than to to see your movement (and your body) change.  It’s a highly personal experience and very rewarding.  You put in the work and you receive the reward.  

Speed bumps and stalls in progress are temporary.  Deliver the training stimulus, recover, adapt, attack the training stimulus once again.   

There will be days and weeks where you feel like you’re not gaining any ground on your goals.  These are the moments are when you strap in and train harder/smarter, with increased focus and intent.  Discipline.  

Above all else, keep moving and moving often. 

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

Cheers to the Basics of The Ido Portal Training Method…

KG

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