The method and benefits of a daily morning session

MOTIVATION

What happens if you do natural training every single day for just a few minutes?

After I saw a video of a daily training by Charles Demelenne, who does his morning routine every single day, at the age of 82! – I was inspired and asked myself – If him, why not me?

After all, Georges Hébert emphasized the importance of a regular training.

So I just went out every single morning, wherever I was, – a sports park in front of my door, the garden of my boyfriend, a school stadium at my parent’s place, a beach in Vietnam, – and committed myself to a proper session of natural training.

It felt amazing! I felt so energized and vital, for the entire day!

Moreover, it felt that half an hour of training in the morning gives me more than 1.5 hours in the evening. To start a day with a training session felt natural to my body, it gave me power,  and evening training started to feel just exhausting and counterproductive.

THE METHOD

I designed my sessions to last somewhere within 15 to 30 Minutes.

In my training, I gave my best to follow the method of Georges Hébert, as it is the one method that is still the most comprehensive training method and is best described, among any other methods.

In every single training, I ensured the following (even if I didn’t feel like on some days!) :

  • Include all 10 movement disciplines: running, jumping, climbing, throwing, carrying, defense, balance, swimming, walking, quadrupedal movement (also called animal walk)
  • The rising intensity: it shall be the lowest at the beginning and the highest at the end, rising in waves, with every next peak higher than the previous peak, and every next plateau being higher than the previous plateau.
  • Resistance training – through barefoot training, dew training, rolling on wet grass, wearing minimal clothing, training in the rain, swimming or pouring a bucket of cold water over my head, etc.
  • Always training both sides of the body: alternate between the left and the right hand when throwing, etc.
  • The session must include strength, conditioning, and coordination training
  • Warm-up and stretching
  • Continuous movement, ensured through walking / jogging between exercises
  • Alternation of the effort: e. g. carrying using arms is followed by jumping using legs.

THE CHALLENGE

I faced three challenges:

First, to commit to get out every single morning.

Not to stay in bed with my smartphone on a rainy Sunday. To find a time where there seemed to be none. Well, there were literally thousand reasons why not to. What always helped me: “if Charles does it with 82, why not me?”

After all, you never say: “Oh, I didn’t have time today to brush my teeth.” And that’s 4 Minutes a day. So you can find 15 Minutes a day for a training, too.

Second, to do the full routine.

Not to miss any of disciplines. Sometimes I did not felt like jumping. Sometimes I couldn’t find anything to throw. The interesting thing is, though, that after several complete sessions I would leave out throwing and my body would tell me “We forgot throwing!”. My muscles and nerves actually missed working with moving objects. Same for the other movement families. It just didn’t feel complete, if I missed out defense, or animal walks, or climbing etc.

And the last challenge, was to trust the method.

In the beginning, I was skeptical. Quarter an hour is really nothing, would there be any results? I would never ever progress, I would never ever train all the techniques I would love to improve in – this is what I was thinking.

THE RESULTS

The more I was astonished about the results –after just a few weeks, I

  • became stronger,
  • jumped further and higher,
  • ran faster,
  • and felt better!

But why?

Because of the EVERY DAY! One progresses better with training 20 minutes 7 times a week than two hours two times a week.

And because of the DAILY ALTERNATION!

For example, I only had 2-3 minutes a day for jumping. One day I did a few high jumps and a few vaults. But, another day came – after just 24 hours  –  and I did some other vaults and long jumps, the next day high jumps again and precision jumps, and so forth.

After one week, I noticed that I actually went through everything I wanted. And I improved.

After a half year of my morning training I tested all my skills according to the test we developed here in Munich, similar to the one Georges Hébert suggested in his ‘Code de la Force’. Apart from the morning sessions, I hardly did any other training, except for the hiking and bike tours. I never ran a 100 meter sprint during this half a year.

I didn’t expect much, but, to my surprise, my results were at least the same or better than three years ago, the time I used to do parkour and the natural method several times a week.

For example, in 2017 I made 100 meter sprint in 16.3 seconds vs. 16.5 in 2014, side to side jumps over a 30 cm high bar  – 57 in a minute vs. 44, running high jump, landing on a firm ground – 105 cm vs. 85 cm. Not to forget, I got 3 years older and turned 32 in 2017!

But the most amazing were the ‘side effects’ of the training, skills and properties that profited most from daily work:

  • My body control improved: handstand, rolls, balance, throwing
  • My ankles and foot arches got stronger thank to daily barefoot running and jumping
  • I never caught a cold during this half a year
  • I felt good every day, fresh and vital, but never sour

THE VIDEO

The video gives an example how to implement the method I described above in a morning session. It lasts just 9 minutes and has no cuts. Withing just 9 Minutes is hast everything one needs. Feel free to try it as it is, or extend it with more repetitions, or extend it with other exercise.

I scatter strength, coordination and conditioning exercise over the entire training.

I start my training with a

WARM UP 0:00-1:30

  • Get my circulation going – walking, jogging
  • Warm-up the bigger joints – rotate hips, shoulders, knees
  • Stretch and loosen the body – animal walks, ground movement
  • Coordination – rolling over a shoulder, forth and back, dodging the branches, kicking. As always, I train the both sides: rolling over both the left and right shoulder, kicking with both the left and the right leg.

With kicking and dodging tree branches that flatter in the wind, I integrate defense movement family already in my warm up.

After the warm up I continue with

THE MAIN PART 1:35-08:00

This is where I use all ten movement families.

Within a family I implement different types of movement. In the example session I do:

  • for jumping: high jump, precision jump, vault
  • throwing: juggling, stone put
  • animal walk on the tree branch, combined with balance, animal walk shuttle run, different types of animal walk
  • balance: walking and squatting on the tree branch, handstands, cartwheel

See the video for the where I describe the single exercise in subtitles.

I combine the exercise in such a way that the intensity of them (my heart rate) is rising in waves. Just observe the picture. Click on it for a full size.

I scatter strength, coordination and conditioning exercise over the entire training.

  • Strength training: carrying, animal walks, stone put
  • Coordination: cat balance on a tree branch, juggling a stone, cartwheel, dodging.
  • Conditioning: vaults and high jumps, shuttle run.

COOL DOWN 08:00 – 09:20

At the end, I pour a bucket of a cold water over myself, for resistance training.

Afterwards I stretch.

Did you like these training ideas? You can find the current workout any many others in my upcoming book ‘Natural training’, by Nadja Hahn. Stay tuned!