First, please do look at the Mental Shifts list first, as some cover how to approach your training from a mental standpoint. The tips below will assist you in getting the most out of your sessions from a tactical standpoint.
What movements to train?
One of the mental shifts I advocate is to Use evolutionarily adapted movements as the foundational layer of your training. In practical terms, what does this mean? It means that an approach like Movnat should constitute the basis of your training if you’re training for general fitness goals or be an important complement to the sport-specific training you already do.
Use Opportunistic training and Simultaneous Training to increase training volume
Finding time in our schedules that can be dedicated training time is an incredibly difficult challenge, but finding time that can become non-dedicated training time is way easier. Opportunistic Training lets you train when you only have 10-15 mins and using any environmental setting. Simultaneous Training does not require additional dedicated training time in your schedule, only creativity and will. Read more
Maximize complexity when training
Complexity is when increase the difficulty of a movement by another means than just increasing its intensity or volume. A simple example would be lifting a kettlebell of 10kg for 5 rounds of 10 reps. You could increase the complexity of such a move by: using a 10kg bag filled with water shifting freely, doing the same move balancing on a narrow surface, etc.
Look for such opportunities in your training and try to maximize complexity while maintaining efficiency: you shouldn’t go past the point where your technique becomes inefficient. On the other hand, not maximizing complexity according to your capabilities is just a missed opportunity.
Maximize variability when training
Variability is an excellent way to get complexity, hence a corollary rule for maximizing variability. Variability means that you vary the demands on your body. For example, doing pull-ups. A good way to get variability is to do pull-ups on many different types of bars: standard pull-up bars of course, but also tree limbs, thick or thin, swing sets, walls, etc. Each new setting is building a different capability and by maximizing variability you also maximize adaptability.
Train in as many places as possible
Varying your training environments lets you maximize variability without much efforts. If you train in many different places, then you have to adapt to many different settings whether you planned it or not.
Yes, that means mostly training outdoors, in both natural and artificial settings.
Avoid standardized fitness environments when possible
Regular gyms are very standardized environments, which goes against almost every point made below. Getting physical activity in a gym is far, far better than not getting any physical activity. If that’s your only option, embrace it as it is also your best option and make the most of it. Many Movnat trainers have regular sessions in gyms and those guys are excellent. But if the weather and environment outside enables you to, just go train outside and you’ll get much better stimulation the vast majority of the time.
Push yourself mentally (aka “you’re more capable than you think”)
One trick to make every minute count more during your training is to use your imagination to push yourself more than you normally would. Imagine you have to complete this move or reach the end of your circuit because your kid is injured. Or climb on top of a branch because a mad dog is about to bite you.
This point was driven home for me when a French special force candidate explained how he managed to succeed in the task of recovering his heavy rifle from deep underwater. He had made several unsuccessful attempts and was becoming tired. Yet, he managed to pull it off in the end. How? He explained he convinced himself mentally it wasn’t a rifle he was trying to get to the surface but his drowning daughter.