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Old 02-18-2014, 07:44 PM   #10
Chris Ross
Member Chris Ross is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Brisbane  Queensland
Posts: 64
Re: movnat style training - opinions

thanks for the link - cool video!

To answer your question, no scrambling up trees everyday would not be the answer but it would be part of the answer.

As per my first post, in my opinion a proper GPP program should include all of running, walking, climbing, swimming, fighting, lifting and carrying etc. These are the quintesential human movement patterns we all evolved peforming. Excellence in them is something most of us lost when we left childhood and entered our teenage years and then adulthood. It would not be burpee / wall balls for time or handstand walks for distance.

Yes, a good squat, bench and mile time are nice markers of fitness but overall are pretty low skill.

Whilst alot of CF seems to be Games focused now, to begin with it was all about preparing for the 'unknown and unknowable' that life might throw at you. This was pitched particularly hard at emergency service workers and soldiers. But I would contend that CF for GPP is only a slight improvement on Globo style training and falls short of what a Movnat style GPP program could achieve (there is a reason why so many military training camps are geared around skill based training like obstacle courses, long rucking and emergency evacuation drills... there all essential skills).

To make my point I provide the following examples that have occured to people I know during my lifetime of them landing in 'unknowable' situations where their physical skills were tested as well as general conditioning:

Example 1) When I was a toddler we lived in a rural area. My mum was driving us home during a very hot day. The car broke down. The nearest help was 5km away. The temperature was 38 degrees Celsius / 100 F. This was before cell phones were invented.

She carried me, a squirming toddler weighing 20kg/44lbs, for the full 5 km, as well as her bag and a 2 Litre (2kg) bottle of water she had in the trunk, all in the midday sun.

When she was a kid she used to live on a farm. Her dad had taught her how to carry loads with techniques that produced the least amount of lactate build up in the arms with maximum efficiency. It was this skill in movement / technique that allowed her to perform the task where others might have failed. Carrying a kettlebell with a nice ergonomic handle during a wod might get your grips burning but it is not necessarily the most efficient method of carrying weight for distance and is therefore for me 'funcitonal' but not 'practical'.

Example 2)
A guy I used to live next door to locked himself out of his house one day by accident. He was about 22, lifted weights regularly and appeared fit. He decided he would climb onto his roof via a tree and access the top bedroom window which was always unlocked. He hadn't done any climbing since primary school. On the way up the tree he fell, landed on the concrete driveway below and shattered his ankle.

Had he included climbing as part of a regular GPP program it is likely that he might have not been injured.

Example 3)
A few years ago two of my work collegues went to a small rural town to assist with a dengue fever outbreak. They were tasked with going from door to door in the town to assist people with spotting potential mosquito breeding sites in their yards and to identify areas requiring mosquito treatment. One of the collegues was a 20 something female who was into parkour. The other was a 35 year old male, who played social touch-football, was fast on his feet and healthy.

When they entered one of the yards they knocked on the front door to the house. About this time they heard barking and a large dog came flying around the corner on a leash held by the owner of the house. The owner lost his grip on the leash and the dog started to run towards them.

Both ran in a straight line for the fence away from the on-coming dog. The female used a parkour technique to scale and mount the fence thereby avoiding the dog's reach. The male tried to climb the fence by pulling himself up with his arms, was bitten on the calf and had to go to the hospital for treatment. The skill of getting over the fence, performed by a slower, weaker person, was the difference between getting bitten or not.

Example 4)
This one is very sad, but I'll include it because I think it is important as an example.

When I was a teenager I knew a kid my age who had a small boat. Once day he and another kid about same age took the boat out into canals and then open water in the bay. Somehow they both ended up falling out and neither were wearing life jackets. The outboard was a variable speed model and when they fell out the outboard was still operating resulting in the boat running away from them. There was enough swell for the boat to not circle them like it should have and it ran away.

Both kids knew how to swim and were healthy weights, but one of them had learnt and practiced how to tread water for long periods of time in his Scouts training. For some reason they decided to try and tread water and wait for help rather than swim to shore (a few kilometers away).

It took 30 minutes for them to be spotted by another boat. In that time the kid who had learnt to tread water was still alive. The other kid had ran out of energy and had slipped under the water and drowned. A tragedy.

The skill of treading water taught by the Scouts saved his life.

Sorry for the sad post but my point is, and I contend, that a true GPP program is more likely to prepare you for the 'unknowable' if it is based around the aforementioned key basic human movements:
jumping & landing
crawling and clambering
lifting and carrying
fighting (grappling / striking)

Improvement of skills in all of the above in a wide range of scenarios will also allow for improvements in strength, endurance, stamina etc but they are by-products and not necessarily the goal - which is to have some level of competence, if not mastery, in these basic human movement patterns. That, to me, is my goal and I believe should be the goal of any good GPP program.

Have at it!
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