Unzoo Movement

Unzoo Movement

Engage the movement garden; practice, play and push an eclectic movement mix for mind/body zen!

A full fitness energy spectrum blended with natural movement and  seasonal variation.

Unzoo = undoing the zoo. Rather than "nature versus technology," it should be "our technology/tools working with our nature". Unzoo is about reverse engineering the negative impacts of civilisation on our natural evolution. Unzoo Movement is just one aspect of The Unzoo Concept that can be actioned, but it can be a powerful step in the Unzoo process. The process is threefold; beginning with the self, rebelling against conventional wisdom, and engaging with the primal movement experience.

What is Unzoo Movement?

An eclectic blend of concepts that form a philosophy and structure to movement practice within the Unzoo mantra of "working with nature". The key concepts are; natural movement, full spectrum fitness, and seasonal variation. 

Natural movement; MovNat is a physical education and fitness system based entirely on using the full range of our evolutionarily natural, human-specific movements.  It involves the combined training of walking, running, jumping, balancing, moving on all fours, climbing, lifting, carrying, throwing, catching, swimming and defending oneself (striking and grappling skills). Other mentors include Rafe Kelly of Evolve, Move, Play, and Ido Portal.

Full spectrum fitness; The CrossFit system has popularised this;  The CrossFit definition of an athlete is;
"a person who is trained or skilled in strength, power, balance and agility, flexibility, and endurance". Aside from the breadth or totality of fitness the CrossFit Program seeks, our program is distinctive, if not unique, in its focus on maximizing neuroendocrine response, developing power, cross-training with multiple training modalities, constant training and practice with functional movements, and the development of successful diet strategies. Our athletes are trained to bike, run, swim, and row at short, middle, and long distances guaranteeing exposure and competency in each of the three main metabolic pathways".  
Seasonal variation; this concept goes beyond the traditional thinking on seasonal training or periodisation.
Understand the role seasons play on the hormones and how that effects the body. The premise is that our bodies have growth and repair cycles, just like the planet.  During the spring and summer is when the planet grows.  Long days stimulate carbohydrate cravings and growth.  The fall is when nature rests and repair begins for the following spring. (Source: Critical Mass)
For me, I aim for progression within a season, and the seasonal changes are another form of progression, albiet in a cycle...

 All of my thinking here is underpinned by Marks Daily Apple, and also my own experience. You need to have the heavy lifting, the fast sprint level activity, and the slower longer movement. But I have found that a stamina session is important also. I differentiate between heavy conditioning stamina sessions and pure stamina sessions. A heavy conditioning session involves moving something heavy as part of a stamina session, and has a completely different flow and feel, (not to mention effect!) compared to a pure (single mode) stamina session - which for me is typically running or natural parkour. Gotta have both.

 To Unzoo your fitness, you need to have the full fitness spectrum blended with natural movement, seasonal variation that links to our evolutionary context, and a nutritional profile that complements our biological imperatives.

Here's how I currently do it:

Winter (ZOO focus) Theme: Maintain Foundations. 

Goals: maintain base cardio & strength
Method: shorter basic workouts
  • Fast; 100/200 's, 400's short track sessions
  • Body Movement; maintain capacity in the modalities of crawling, jumping, and climbing.
  • Heavy; Kettle Bell session of lifting & carrying.
  • Long; 10k road run 
  • Combo; Kettle Bell circuits
  • Weekends can be rest, a run in the trails, or a session on the boxing bag. 

Spring (50/50 Zoo/Unzoo focus). Themes: Wake up/Stress

Goals: increase stamina
Method: ramp up intensity & volume, alternate Crossfit style week with Primal training week.
  • Fast; Either Crossfit double session of Tosh+ bodyweight Fran OR Primal sprinting.
  • Obstacle session; Either an obstacle style wall climb/jump session OR tree/fence natural obstacling.
  • Primal Heavy; Primal Heavy Hi Vol: 4-6x “boulder to shoulder” lifts coupled with a fast tree climb and depth drop. (one for one). Log shoulder carry, rock carry (to failure), Then finish with high volume reps of rock push press, branch pull ups, shouldered log lunges and log cleans. To start with partition 50 reps into 10 rounds of 5's, building by 1 rep each week (to 100 reps each).
  • Endurance/Restorative; long intervals - 6-8 4min VO2 max runs with 2 min rests OR Primal Restorative; Breathing training, Hanging - arms/legs, swinging, Hip Hinging, Balance Training, Ground mobility,Optional Light flow & Key posture stretches; Samson, cobra, dog, pigeon, child, bridge.
  • Endurance Combos; Murph: 1 mile Run, 100 Pull-ups, 200 Push-ups, 300 Squats, 1 mile Run. For time.Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. Eg. 5 pushup/5pull up/5pushups/15 squats X20 rounds OR Primal Triathlon: 5k Trail/natural obstacling/heavy primal carrying.
  • Weekends; a run in the trails, building to off trail, and a garage gym session.

Summer (UNZOO focus). Themes: Explore & Play/Organic stress.

Goals: Engage the primal movement experience.
Method: More free form -fractal volume, intensity& complexity
  • Fast;  primal sprint activity, complex environments, or raw primal movement speed.
  • Play 1 - jump, crawl, climb, explore. One of the key sessions for summer; a chance to go for free form flow, unstructured movement.
  • Primal Heavy: 4-6x “boulder to shoulder” lifts coupled with a fast tree climb and depth drop. (one for one). Log shoulder carry, rock carry (max), Finish with high volume reps (5 rounds of 5 reps) of rock push press, branch pull ups, shouldered log lunges, deadlifts and log cleans.
  • Restorative. An ahhh! session; Hanging/swinging - arms/legs. Balance. Ground mobility. Light flow.
  • Play 2; Pick a spot and explore it for movement
  • Weekends Explore; go off track, explore new terrain.

Autumn (ZOO focus). Themes: Recharge/Rebuild.

Goals: wind down but also recondition.
Method: hard day - easy day approach
  • Fast; steady intervals such as 6x800
  • Body Movement; easy tree climbing or crawling, jumping climbing based sessions at steady pace
  • Heavy; Kettle Bell session of lifting & carrying.
  • Long; hiking/foraging activity.
  • Combos; Classic Crossfit style WODs