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Crossfit for Hippies? MovNat Takes Off in Montrose

Sometimes described as Crossfit for hippies, on the surface, MovNat appears to be yet another program that aligns itself with the golden age of functional fitness training, but its roots are different from that of Crossfit or TRX.

Photography by Jeremy Masters

MovNat is a school of physical competence for the real world, entirely based on the practice of natural movement skills, i.e. movements that the human body was designed to perform.

Founder of MovNat, Erwan Le Corre, hit the mainstream in 2008 with his video, “The Workout The World Forgot.” With over a million views, Erwan demonstrated his ability to run, swim, climb, jump, and move in the most picturesque outdoor environments. It was epic, and people caught on to the idea of “exploring your true nature.”

At the time, MovNat may have appeared to be similar to Parkour – a physical discipline made famous in 2004 by David Belle and the jaw dropping stunts filmed in the movie “District 13.” While the two disciplines are similar in origin, Parkour tends to be more focused on overcoming obstacles in the urban environment using locomotive skills, while MovNat also includes lifting, carrying, throwing and catching.

This philosophy of real world-use is where MovNat has commonalities with other mainstream functional fitness programs. Like Crossfit, MovNat teaches lifting movements like the deadlift, push press, and the clean and jerk. However, MovNat teaches these movements utilizing sandbags or other oddly shaped objects, such as rocks and boulders found outdoors.

“The aim is not caloric expenditure, aesthetics, or one-repetition maxes, but rather becoming adaptable at moving well in various environments through the practice of movements that are natural and inherently human,” said John Wagner, MovNat Level 2 Certified Trainer at the Montrose Rec Center.

Over the years, MovNat has evolved into a mindful practice emphasizing awareness, body-mind connection, as well as a connection with nature. It’s a training that you’ll be able to use to not only better your life, but also the lives of those whose paths cross your own.

Intro to MovNat classes are now offered at the Montrose Rec Center. Classes will emphasize natural movement skills and highlight the MovNat domains on walking, running, balancing, jumping, crawling and more. Quite possibly the funnest “fitness” class you’ll ever take.


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