Elements of the training

This article gives information about the actual Méthode Naturelle training.


Méthode Naturelle is a hollistic approach to training and covers following fields:

The ten familiesphysical component, containing of ten families: marching, running, leaping, climbing, carrying, throwing, balancing, self defense and movement on all fours (quadrupedie).
moral component: courage, helpfulness.
energetic component: endurance, rapidity, strength, resistance.

Furthermore, there are three important aspects to take care:

1. Entirety of the training

During a training session one should train as many as possible different families. Even in the pool one can train not only swimming but throwing or running in the water as well.

Every family is ‘all inclusive’ and contains many variations. For example the running family can also mean jogging or sprinting, endurance run, stair run or mountain jog. Moreover one can train running with his backpack on or his shoes off (barefooted), in the snow or rain or darkness, etc.

The mental components should be included in every training session: Giving assistance when climbing or doing strength exercises, as well as rescue exercises in the water contribute to being helpful. Balancing in a (yet safe) height against vertigo, or running barefooted for inurement.

2. Freedom of decision

No pressure to perform, no competition. Everyone can decide for himself on which level one wants to train and which exercises one can perform. The main goal of training should be to prevent injuries and to foster one’s health. This attitude allows to train even with health issues.

For example if one has a knee injury he can simply walk while the rest of the group runs. He won’t stay alone because the group will run back and forth.

3. No competition

One does not compare to others but with himself, with his old ego. Though some clubs actually measure time while running a course only the difference between one’s old and new time counts. At Méthode Naturelle no one is better or worse others and everyone will be treated with equal respect


Method of training

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Wichtigste Methode beim Training ist die Abwechslung der Intensität und der Übungen. Es werden keine Pausen gemacht, sondern sich während des Trainings, durch entsprechend leichtere Übungen, erholt.

Die Intensität der Trainingseinheit nimmt am Anfang wellenartig zu: intensive und erholende Übungen wechseln sich in Phasen ab (dabei darf gerne die Übungsfamilie gewechselt werden), jede nächste Phase wird intensiver. Nach der intensivsten Übung nimmt die Intensität der Übungen wieder wellenartig ab.

Genauso wechseln sich die Übungen nach Körperbereichen und Arten ab, nach dem Oberkörpertraining wird gesprungen, nach der Koordinationsübung folgt Krafttraining.

Wo trainieren

Überall. In der Stadt, im Wald, am Fluss, in der Halle oder zu Hause. Am besten aber in einem Wald oder Park entweder spontan oder an einem Trimm-Dich-Pfad oder einer Kraftstation. Wichtiger als der richtige Trainingsort, ist die Berücksichtigung der Trainingsaspekte und Methoden.

Was man für das Training braucht

Bequeme Kleidung die auch dreckig werden und kaputt gehen kann. Laufschuhe mit wenig Dämpfung, damit der gesunde Laufstil gefördert und das Umknickrisiko minimiert wird. Extras aber kein Muss: ein Ball zu Wurfübungen, Gummiseile für den Hochsprung, ein tragfähiges Seil zum Klettern und so weiter. Man findet aber auch genug in der Natur: Schneebälle oder Baumäste, über Gebüsch springen, einen Baum klettern und so weiter.

Das Training mit einem Partner oder in der Gruppe ist vom großen Vorteil.

A different idea of sport

Méthode Naturelle, also known as Hébertisme, is a training method involving many different disciplines of natural movement. It was essentially developed in the beginning of the 20th century by french naval officer Georges Hébert under the motto

“Être fort pour être utile” – Be strong to be useful

It imposes that one should be able to help oneself and others in situations of natural disaster or accident. That is the reason why méthode naturelle trainings also contain assistance and spotting techniques, carrying people, self-defence, games and group exercise.

The three components

The training is very comprehensive and covers the following fields:

The ten familiesphysical component: consisting of ten families: marching, running, leaping, climbing, carrying, throwing, balancing, self-defense, swimming and crawling (quadrupedalism)

moral component: will, courage, coolness, tenacity, helpfulness

energetic component: endurance, rapidness, strength, resistance

Concept outline

Natural development

Méthode naturelle shouldn’t be understood as restricted to training in nature. It rather refers to method or manner of training. It is simple, practical, appropriate to everyone and applicable everywhere.

It doesn’t require special installations or terrain, though it can be practiced in purpose-built course parks similar to keep-fit trails or military obstacle courses.

The main goal is to “make strong beings, with enhanced health, an energetic character, strong resistance and skills sufficient for any natural and practical exercise.”

Sport for everyone

Strong being is understood as a person who improved his own power to a degree near maximum. That implies adjusting the requirements and trainings to one’s constitution, age, gender, natural aptitude.

Freedom of choice and competition

For everyone can train at his own rate and compares his results not with others, but with own old ones, the risk of injury is minimized. Most méthode naturelle practitioners stay fit until very old age.

Recording the results

It is important to keep track of one’s improvement. Georges Hébert designed special score tables that allow to control wide range of achievements, such as high jump, run, weight throw, rope climb, dive underwater etc.

Complete improvement

It is important to work on all the components. “Why be a champion jumper if you cannot climb or swim?”

Running is the primary exercise. “Strength lives more in the heart and lungs than in the muscles.” Still, try to include several disciplines in one session.

Development of moral is a necessary part of training. It start with respect to fellow men and nature and goes over to courage, energy, commitment.

Outdoor training in all weathers is essential to develop resistance to cold and a good way to develop firmness and discipline.