Seems like a lot of people who have explored MovNat are also into Crossfit, but for most people, it doesn't seem like there'd be enough days in the week to fully vest oneself in both disciplines.
For those who have tried both, do you feel it's better to stick with just one, or do they compliment one another well enough?
I have done both programs and they each have advantages and disadvantages.
Firstly with Crossfit, the biggest things going for it are the benefits to newbies. You can find a decent box, and learn more about lifting/ get in shape in 6 months than you could on your own and cheaper than hiring a personal trainer. Also it's easy to comply with, you show up, do the work, leave. Not too much overthinking required.
I found that after about 6 months of training, I wanted to focus on strength gains, and crossfit stood in the way of this. I was working my ass off at the WOD's and making minimal progress after a while. Overall I felt like I was spinning my wheels and not going anywhere. This is what I consider the ultimate downside, unless you want to train to be a CROSSFITER, crossfit as a longterm fitness solution is probably more harm than good. I always felt drained after workouts, and it became much more challenging to perform daily when my life was busy.
Movnat is more focused on movement capability, skill, and adaptability. I had the pleasure of meeting Erwan at his NASA presentation and attending his seminar that weekend and I learned a lot. He covered a lot of movements similar to crossfit(kettlebell swings, kipping pullups, box jumps) but really focused on accuracy, skill and concentration rather than work capacity.
It was a cool challenge instead of doing 25 pullups to do 2 explosive pullups where you quickly reach up to grasp a higher plane, as if you were climbing. With box jumps rather than do 25 fast and loud, land softly on the balls of your feet learn to absorb the impact and aim for a small portion of the box.
The downsides are you will ultimately drive this training. There will be no gyms where you get instruction, so you have to have a general understanding of what movnat is and where to focus your programming.
Personally I have since done a combination of the two. I will train at our gym doing a lot of movnatesque circuits, and some heavy lifting. I incorporate some walking, and interval sprints taining for my conditioning. Overall I find it much less taxing, and sustainable, and I feel like I'm in better physical shape/health.
True I probably would suck at crossfit workouts compared to my old times, but I am not training to be a professional crossfitter.
So in summary if you are in decent shape, and curious about MovNat definitely catch a seminar if you can afford it. If you out of shape/new to fitness check out crossfit for 6 months or so. Just don't become so married to it, you ignore other ideas, training solutions
MovNat seems to be level headed in it's programming where Crossfit is on a mission bent on destroying the human body with ignorance and ego fuel programming.
Crossfit message boards have OVER 100 reported cases of rhabdomyolisis!
At least in the Glassman is emptying all your bank accounts before he kills all of you.
Crossfit seems to push folks to overtrain - just looking at the WODs over a couple-month period, I don't see how there's enough rest/slow activity in there to really give your muscles time to recover. But what do I know? A lot of Crossfitters seem to get really excellent results...I don't know how often they have to deal with injury, though. I don't dislike Crossfit but am not sure it's for me.
MovNat looks amazing, honestly. I'd love to do that sort of thing more. I do my sprints in the park (in VFFs, love it) but unfortunately that's as "MovNat-ish" as I can get for the moment. :D
I've started taking the more Sisson-esque approach to my daily workouts recently...which kind of seems like the middle ground between MovNat and Crossfit. I have just started Stronglifts 5x5 this morning (with dumbbells instead of barbell; after I exceed the weights of my dumbbells I should have the motivation to get into the gym for barbell lifting) - plus tabata sprints 1 day a week, plus walking the dog and trying to be generally active without overdoing it on recovery days. I will report back and let you know how it's working :)
Please forgive me, as this doesn't really answer your question. However, why label? I wish I had the foresight to turn my farm work and playing in the woods barefoot my whole life, into a "fitness revolution". People have been running through natural landscapes and navigating varied terrain our entire history. All the while, pushing, pulling, sprinting, throwing, lifting, twisting, squatting, lunging, climbing, etc. Why do so many people have to make money off of what is inherent in ALL of us? Make up your own workouts! Thanks. I'm done now.
I've thought about this type of thing a lot. The way I'm looking at it now is that they don't have to be independent of each other. I'm not trying to be elite at either one, just be fit and healthy.
I do Crossfit now, but I don't follow blindly and do the main site religiously. I am trying to listen to my body, rest when I need to and pick the types of workouts that I need (i.e.-strength, metcon. I don't mean skipping movements I don't like). I love the way I feel after a good Crossfit workout (and even a few days later)!
I'm also taking a one day Movnat clinic in a few weeks. I'm hoping I will learn enough to program my own workouts more. Right now my thoughts are that I will do Crossfit 2-3 times a week and try to do an outdoor MovNat workout 1-2 times a week whenever possible. I think there are also some MovNat inspired workouts you can do indoors as well.
I like to think of different exercise 'programs' along a line of a continuum. Let me first say that I think that all the things I will mention are very useful and can increase health within a paleo-framework. Of course this implies proper recuperation time and individual planning.
The far left of the continuum is living like a hunter-gatherer: total re-enactment. All the benefits of an outdoor physical active life, but also all the risks. This is what the human organism expects: natural 'cross-training' (strength, metcon, sprints, speed, agility, endurance, stamina, coordination, balance, low & slow, ...), lots of different kinds of movement with power law variation, biomechanically suited for our organism, and with the social and environmental, biophilic benefits on top.
On the far right side I would put HIT, BBS type exercise: very hard, not especially fun*, in a rather sterile environment, but safe and very effective and efficient. This is very much bang for the buck, but without the extra benefits mentioned above. Of course, no one keeps you from hiking and playing outdoors in between the exercise. But, in my opinion, one HIT training a week isn't anough, we need those things too!
MovNat and Crossfit would be in between those, with MovNat more towards the left side, and Crossfit, more towards the right side.
Again, respecting individual needs and recuperation, all of these I consider very useful for optimising health within a paleo framework!
My personal training is a mixture of some weight training and sprints and some outdoors MovNat training. In an ideal world, it would only be outdoors MovNat training, with a social aspect to it, and some play. But weights and sprints, especially in winter are more convenient for a working family man. Still, the spirit of the workout is very MovNat minded.
*I know that this kind of training can be fun in some weird, masochistic kind of way ;), especially afterwords, but not the fun you get playing a sportsgame...
The more reading we're doing on this topic, the more we think MovNat is a better alternative to CrossFit than a compliment to it. The philosophy behind Crossfit seems to be the building of overall fitness for function, but the actual "function" is left out of the training; you may build a great foundation under Crossfit, and get a good-looking body along with it, but you're still training under gym conditions with "artificial" equipment.
MovNat, on the other hand, seems far more functional. It probably won't give you the same body as Crossfit, but will better prepare you for real-world physical requirements. A strength-conditioning regime might compliment MovNat nicely, but not one as draining as Crossfit.
I stumbled across the comments section here on the site when doing some background research into MovNat, which I'm absolutely on board with--as long as it's not too cold out, though. Even though a local Box opened here last year, I've since moved on from Crossfitting as my regular go-to as I wanted to encompass more gymnastic skills into the workouts versus seemingly ALWAYS snatching and cleaning. Don't get me wrong, oly lifts are a vital skill set but started to wear me out. Add to that X-fit's new love/corporate partnership with Reebok, a sign (to me) that the flag-waving anti-big box movement was about to become the very thing it loathed.
Anyway, I still do some of X-fit's Hero or Named workouts but I've since tossed in days of working on levers and the like which, as I said, Crossfit encouraged but never really touched on. Now, I've outfitted my basement gym with a series of staggered climbing bars and thanks to some of the tips made by some commenters, I now have some ideas on workout variations. I like change, and it seemed to me after four years of WODs that a program that touted workout variance keep relying on the same grab bag of tricks. Now, I intentionally have no real "program," no real "WOD;" I simply throw a bunch of different exercises and movements in between "rounds" to keep if fresh, keep it fit and more importantly, keep it fun...
I have a running/climbing/cycling background and I've done both X-fit and Movnat fairly extensively. I don't think you can really say that one is better than the other. If I had my druthers, I'd have X-fit type workouts (WODS), but they'd be done outside and with natural implements and with less weight and more reps. My main gripe about X-fit is that it doesn't seem to involve enough running (although my times are still solid--2:30 800 with no real running regimen.) and natural, USEFUL movements. As of now, no one has been able to explain why an overhead squat is worth a shit.
My dream is an outdoor crossfit gym that had WODS in the 40-60 min range and included swimming and fighting several times a week.
Reading through the comments, there seems to be a lot of hate towards Crossfit, especially since people tend to overtrain when doing it. There's a simple way to avoid this...
Don't freaking train so much.
I Crossfit 2 or 3 times a week and make sure to mix up the strength and met con days. I've never gotten burned out because I know not to train that hard every single day, the body needs enough time to recover after workouts like that.
The one bad thing that I can agree with a lot of people on is that there are a lot of terrible "trainers" out there running a box that have no idea how to properly train people. The closest box to you isn't always going to be the best one and if you do the WOD's at home, don't do them twice a day, or even every day. Crossfit itself shouldn't be blamed for people being idiotic and over training.
I'm totally for MoveNat, I think it's great stuff but all the hate towards Crossfit seems to be misguided because people can't control themselves.
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