Most natural way to train?

Discussion in 'Bodyweight' started by dobie, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. dobie

    dobie Double-Digit Post Count

    I was talking with a very knowledgeable friend about training. She said the most natural way to train is with body weight exercises throughout the day. Similar to gtg training. She said this is what people did hundreds of years ago. Setting aside 30 minutes or more is not really the best way to train- unless your talking about going for a walk or run as those forms of training are necessary, critical and quite natural.
    Any other thoughts on this topic would be appreciated.
  2. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @dobie, what is the value of training in "the most natural way?" GTG is fantastic for those who can do it.

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  3. dobie

    dobie Double-Digit Post Count

    Well, as she explained to me the value is training to mimic what the body is supposed to be doing each day, experience less stress, mentally and physically, less burn out, not always feeling “smoked”. Perhaps it’s better for health overall?
  4. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    "Most natural" does not equal "most effective."

    The most natural way to get food is to hunt and gather. In today's world, that is clearly not the most effective way to get our nutrition and calories.

    Being active all day is a good goal, but not realistic for most of us (desk jobs, etc.), and it's no guarantee of any particular results. Therefore, it's far more effective to set aside some time and stimulate your body with a specific physical effort that will bring about the adaptation that you want for purposes of health, capability, body compsition, etc.

    But if you want to hunt and gather all of your food, you may get the best of both... ;)
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  5. the hansenator

    the hansenator More than 500 posts

    I don't see how bodyweight exercises are more natural when you consider that people have always manipulated their environments. Probably carrying things and throwing things are more 'natural' than something like pushups.
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  6. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    I see her point. Perhaps, all other things being equal, she's right. But all other things aren't equal here. People do have schedules to accommodate. Some people do have a specific athletic goal in mind that requires difficult training. And it goes without saying that one can train in a way that benefits the organism - that's what Q&D is about and it's also what minimalist strength training is about.

  7. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    I think that the more you move, the better, provided that you can recover from it, regardless this is bodyweight only or not.

    Indeed, most of the time, you have to carry something, regardless the weight. Nowadays, it would be grocery, some piece of furniture, etc... But back in the days, it could be anything. Even today, by the way, a bricklayer is always carrying something.

    IMHO, I think that the more variety you can get, the better: bodyweight, weights (kb, db, rocks, bags, etc...). We can very fast fall into the "GPP" topic. Basically, you can train for a specific goal, or get something more general.

    Adaptation to both the goal and environment may be a fairly good driver

    Kind regards,

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  8. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    I've mentioned this before... but just being 'active' by itself is not necessarily a guarantee of good overall health and fitness.

    I have seen (and know) many factory workers, and labourers, that are complete physical wrecks, obese, and unhealthy.

    The type, quality, and amount of movement along with appropriate nutrition, rest, and many other factors are in play here.

    Many of us like to wax poetic about our distant hunter-gatherer ancestors... but beyond being able to live long enough to procreate, I don't think anyone knows how 'healthy and fit' they were...
  9. WhatWouldHulkDo

    WhatWouldHulkDo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    "Natural" is a bit of an ill-defined term, but aside from hunting/gathering/fornicating, I'd say the only natural way to train is to play. Animals that aren't focused on survival are either resting, or wrestling/chasing each other for fun.

    Generally frowned upon in most modern settings, unfortunately.
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  10. ClaudeR

    ClaudeR Triple-Digit Post Count

    fully agreed!
    Bodyweight movements as we normally understand them are no more nor less “natural” than barbell squats or KB swings.
    About the only classification that makes sense from an evolutionary perspective is to move around a lot, carry things around, pick up heavy things, sprint once in a while, and either rest or play the remainder of the time. Anything more specific doesn’t matter

    Also agreed on play, that is unfortunately missing from adult lives and it is a pity!
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  11. LukeV

    LukeV More than 300 posts

    Right on! I would add that the average person (and by that I include even most people reading this forum) ends up looking the same and feeling the same regardless of the exercise modality they choose. Bodyweight vs free weight vs machines vs kettle bells, multiple sets vs single sets vs super slow, long rest periods vs short rest periods, fasted vs unfasted, morning vs evening etc. They don't pursue any approach with enough intensity and frequency to tease out actual difference in effect. They get the benefit of exercise which is to look good and feel good and that's all that matters. Of course it's fun to argue and even obsess about most and best but what's important is to do something regularly.
  12. Ricky01

    Ricky01 Triple-Digit Post Count

    I think the idea of regular exercise - or maybe more appropriately 'movement' , throughout the day akin to Maffetones 'slow weights' or 'grease the groove' or 'frequency method' .... is a great idea. The problem for many is available equipment, time etc.

    I have dabbled with this with this myself.

    I have self care movements I do each day. They allow me to move pain free and if all I did was these movements (reps, sets, speed or movement, can change as I like) each day... then I would be ok.

    It is easy to want to do more, but that is not always better.

    Referring back to topic - sometimes I do thes movements and any extras in one session. Usually at the start of the day....but there are times when I have deliberately only performed one set (for time or reps) in the morning and have then repeated this again later in the day.

    I am not 100% sure which method is better. To know for sure I would have to probably pick one method - test certain things/movements at the start and then retest after a period of time....and then repeat the process with the other method.

    In reality the differing methods probably don't matter....what ever gets you moving, that you enjoy and whatever keeps you coming back to consistently.

  13. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I stopped wearing underwear because it was more natural. However, now I need to wash my pants twice.
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  14. dobie

    dobie Double-Digit Post Count

    Many valid points- Anna, no I would not want to hunt for food, I would like to stay active all day though. I sit in a car 4 hours a day Monday- Friday. Clearly not good for hips and health. Haven’t found a good solution for that yet.
    How about take the good from hundreds of years ago and leave out the bad. I don’t think it has to be all or nothing.
  15. More than 500 posts

    Occam's Razor

    I chucked when I read this because as Occam's Razor states, the simplest usually the right answer.

    What makes even more interesting is that this past weekend at the 2019 Albuquerque Strength and Conditioning Clinic the following presentation stated the same thing.

    Designing effective High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) programs
    Fabiano Amorim, Ph.D.

    Fabiano went into the effectiveness of HIIT Training.

    Fabiano stating that some of, if not the first, to perform HIIT were, as Anna stated, hunters who had to chase down their food or run away from predators.

    N.E.A.T. (Non-Exercise Active Thermogenesis)

    This mean constantly moving all day long. Research shows that being active all day long appears to provide more health benefits than a few weekly training session at the gym.

    I remember Steve stating once that his wife is a school teacher that doesn't get a much exercise in the school year.

    My guess is that she's definitely getting a lot of N.E.A.T, as a teacher; standing, walking, and jumping out of her chair like a Jack-In-The Box.

    The Truth About Exercise: What is your NEAT? | PBS LearningMedia

    This study hooked up monitors to various individual with different jobs, measuring their N.E.A.T.; how much they moved during a day's work.

    As you might imagine, the restaurant waitress blew everybody away with her N.E.A.T.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
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  16. ali

    ali Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    A natural way to train? Move about outdoors, preferably where you can see green stuff in daylight.
  17. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    Get movement anytime you can, it will help.

    I don't believe all that "sitting is the new smoking" stuff. Sure, lack of movement is a problem. But sitting is not problem in itself, IMO.

    Yes, take the good -- more movement. But it's not sufficient for effective physical training. We can get better results with intelligently programmed resistance training and conditioning/cardio to acheive our health and fitness objectives.
    Harald Motz likes this.
  18. Adam R Mundorf

    Adam R Mundorf More than 500 posts

    I'd say frequent walks, chores and mobility work throughout the day with some safe concentrated strength training is the way to longevity. Just keep it moving periodically throughout the day.

    It also seems the most natural to me.
  19. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

  20. Hasbro

    Hasbro Triple-Digit Post Count

    I didn’t see that Dobie was trying to make a claim that bodyweight exercises were the best or most effective way to train, only that they were the most natural way to exercise throughout the day as in a gtg style. In that respect I would have to agree. In most cases it doesn’t really matter what your schedule, lifestyle or vocation is anyone can do a few bodyweight reps here and there throughout the day. 10 pushups every few hours...20 squats.....2 or 3 pull-ups. Those kind of things only take a few seconds to do, don’t require access to weights or equipment other than maybe something to pull on and the cumulative effect spread out over the course of your 16ish waking hours a day can add up.

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