Questions & Answers: Generalism & Modality Combination

Just received this question:


Great article. How might a workout look if you’re combining modalities and only have a few days a week to train? I have a job and a kid; I can’t wander the world looking for new ways to move just because!

-Tyler Skanner, Austin, TX

Thanks Tyler,

So here’s a workout I did earlier this week that attempts to bridge some modalities into a comprehensive “General Generalist” routine:

  • The main thrust of my workout was ring training akin to the sample program provided by GMB here.
  • In addition, I was performing trap bar deadlift, which I actually started the routine with while I warmed up my shoulders and did handstand work (I always start with handstands).
  • So after the handstands, deadlifts, and light ring work, I moved into the main exercises. Between sets I performed Movnat combos similar to those found at these links:
  • At the end of the workout, I went for a long walk just because.
  • Later that evening, I did a pre-bed movement flow that touches on some play elements and shoulder/back stretching elements like down dog, cat/camel, and super pigeon.

On my “non-training” days, I usually end up playing with my son in the backyard, so lots of long jumps, cartwheels, and body levers. In addition, I’ll break out the slackline and carry him on that.

Note that in the “added” combo work between work sets, the focus is always on quality. There’s a rough number guide, but it’s mostly about keeping it pretty, being efficient, moving with grace…those are the goals.

2 thoughts on “Questions & Answers: Generalism & Modality Combination

  1. I watched those MovNat links: the guy is impressively flexible, like an advanced yoga practioner. (Are yoga masters another example of selection bias?). He is also pretty lean and trim, which facilitates the pull up movements. Which leaves me wondering how well this particular modality can be implemented with older clients who are not so trim, or come in with significant joint issues. (I understand that this is what you do, not necessarily what your clients do.)

    I was particularly in awe of the squat sequences. Maybe 20 years ago I could have done that. But 10+ years ago I had a series of minor MCL sprains of non obvious cause, after which I had great difficulty squating below parallel without experiencing pain, tightness, and swelling in the knees. (I suspect degenerative tears on the posterior portion of the meniscus on both knees). So even though I continue to try to squat as deep as possible to preserve joint mobility, some of those moves are just never going to be possible for my me. So I wonder how well this MovNat system scales down for those with damaged joints?

    P.S. Couldn’t help but notice the oddity of Skyler Tanner responding to Tyler Skanner.

    1. Craig,

      The MovNat exercises are great especially with older clients. However with the squats I usually have my clients perform a single legged exercise where you jump between restricted landing pads (or Real rocks!) with a barbell as a warm-up to pre-potentiate the stabilizer muscles and stretch the ligaments. They always come out feeling loose after this one.

      With regards to the pull ups, the instructors usually have trained long enough to be able to manipulate the force (a.k.a. Chi-energy) to assist them on the lift, these force sensitivity exercises are not on Youtube YET, nyt I highly recommend joining your local MovNat group for more information!

      Skyler, I too have a pre-bed stretch regime I follow to the tee. Mainly the crane, with some play elements of course!

      Keep it long, light and frequent!

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