BlueRidgeOutdoors_June2009 - Natural Fitness Wild Workouts...

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JUNE 2009 31 BY GRAHAM AVERILL I know this about myself: If I were being chased by a man with a hatchet, and I had to sprint up a hill, balance on a log across a river, and climb up a tree to escape, I couldn’t. I’d run out of steam about halfway up the tree. I also know that I couldn’t carry a friend out of a burning building. Sorry, friend. I just don’t have the practical strength to do it. I know these hard truths about myself because of Erwan Le Corre, a French-born free diver, ultra runner, rock climber, grappler, and all-around athlete. He’s one of those annoyingly fit people who can carry you out of a burning building, or run from a hatchet man, or swim across a river’s current to safety. Le Corre says I can be annoyingly fit too. All I have to do is forget everything I think I know about fitness and start training like a wild man. Le Corre is the creator of MovNat, a training system designed to reintroduce modern man to the natural movements and escape the overweight, overspecialized beings we are today. MovNat takes the athletes out of the gym or specific sports like cycling and puts them into the wilderness where he’ll sprint up hills, climb trees, crawl through brush, carry boulders, balance on logs—all the skills our distant ancestors had to have in order to survive back when survival depended more on physical fitness than on 401(k) returns. “We all have these instinctual movement patterns built into our primal memories,” Le Corre says. The problem is that in today’s world, we’ve moved beyond these instinctual patterns into specialized movements and skills. As a result, we have body builders who can bench press 400 pounds, but can’t run a mile. Marathon runners who couldn’t lift their own body weight. Gym rats who have forgotten how to jump or sprint. Office rats who have forgotten how to climb a tree. “I see a world coming where ‘walking’ will become just a notion,” Le Corre says. “A skill of the past. A world where people will have to learn how to walk again.” Le Corre has a name for the condition he’s lamenting. He calls it the “Zoo Human Syndrome,” a physical, mental, and spiritual funk brought on by overspecialization and a general disconnection from our natural selves. “Specialization in sport and in life is a domestication process. It’s resulted in the human zoo, with specialized workers in a square room who trade their square office for square gyms and treadmills,” Le Corre says. “We all suffer from this zoo human syndrome. It disconnects us from our true nature, from the beautiful human animals we are. We now live in an environment that is unnatural: the office, the gym, the home, the pollution, the car. When you accumulate all of these things, it makes for toxic parameters, and the human animal can not thrive.” In short, man has been fully domesticated, and we’re miserable because of it. There’s a good bit of science to back up Le Corre’s philosophy. One in
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This note was uploaded on 03/08/2011 for the course SLS 2000 taught by Professor Mitchell during the Summer '06 term at FIU.

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BlueRidgeOutdoors_June2009 - Natural Fitness Wild Workouts...

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