Movement: The State of the Nation 2016

You can move but do you “Movement?”  – Andy Myers

As predicted movement training will continue to take centre stage in the world of fitness. The word movement will become the focal point from which its own subculture will evolve, with its own rituals and handshakes unique to it. The identity of what is a mover will crystallize. To develop as a genuine subculture and avoid becoming the Bosu ball of 2016 there is a lot of traps and pitfalls along the way that need to be avoided.

Movement: The Empire strikes back

During the next year or two the following will start to occur:

Crossfit boxes will begin to de-affiliate and re-brand as movement facilities. Now they have the membership, built up through the advertising that crossfit brings, they can step back from the growing sport of crossfit and continue what they were doing but under a branding of movement.

Fitness industry “leaders” and t-nation authors will start being Movement coaches and continue what they were doing under a new moniker. I’ve been around long enough to see them go from body transformation specialists to strength and conditioning coaches and it has become clear to me that  movement coach will be the next one. Smart business sense.

People will continue to prepare to move but not actually move. Joint prep, control over ROM etc etc. All noble pursuits in and of themselves but they are just opening the door. You need to walk through the door and move if that is your goal. You don’t need permission, weekend seminars or certificates to do that!

Movement training will become more a battle of definition more so than practice. Do you LPS, do you FRC, or do you MMM etc? You have to ask yourself are the end goals of these the exact same, are the principles of these the exact same.  Remember a method is just a specific application of principles. There’s very few ways to induce changes in the human body.

And get ready for the “Movement” lifestyle apparel. Protein powder and supplements specially designed with the Mover in mind. Ugh

“There are many maps that show the way to buried treasure, but not all maps lead to buried treasure.”

-Lama Lar

Movement: A New Hope

So, for the budding movement practitioner I have the following advice.

Seek to develop qualities in your body, not tricks. The tricks are cool, and they’re something worth pursuing if you enjoy training them. But what I see is that everyone wants to be able to do a jump spinning roundhouse, which you might do 5 of a week, but no one wants to really investigate how they walk and stand which you’ll do every single day. 

Explore new disciplines. If all you’ve been doing is crossfit for the last few years, drop the crossfit down to once or twice a week. Fill your time with something completely different. Take dance classes, any style is good. You’ll learn more about your body and the qualities it has and it lacks in a 90 minute beginners ballet class then you will in 12 months in the CF box.

For those of you looking to become teachers, recognise that 12 weeks online coaching and one year practice does not make a teacher. You can certainly help and guide people but you are not a teacher or coach yet. It is the same with weekend courses: they do not make you a specialist. This is one of the things I respect Ido Portal for that while it probably would have made him and his business a huge amount of money he’s never launched an “Ido Portal, Level one movement coach weekend course”.

To paraphrase Serge Augier, The Urban Daoist, It takes 7 years to become a practitioner and another 7 to become a teacher.

Realise that movement is not just a one off trick or 15s sequence, but a state of being. Can you really claim to be a mover when you’ve perfected your Lizard crawl until it’s smooth but when you walk normally it sounds like an elephant trampling?! Seek to find the skill in the everyday and this will lead to the higher level.

The most important thing is to get out there and Move! No need to debate it online. No need to worry if you have the right shoes or if you’ve done the right prep. Explore and find what being a mover is to you not what try to fit yourself to someone else ideal of what a mover is.


Just get out there, be the weirdo and find the others.

Have a great year,


Emmet Written by:


  1. January 1, 2016

    Hi Emmet. Thanks for sharing. A fun read and I look forward to following your offerings.

    Take good care

  2. Cisco jmz
    January 2, 2016

    First time reading your writing or hearing of you. I like a lot the ideas in this post and especially those about becoming a practitioner and teaching of something. Im interested to view ur youtube and follow ur online presence. Theres one paragraph tho that i feel rains a bit on my parade. I view learning a cool bag of tricks as an inspiring wholistic pursuit and i will defend the pursuit of impractical movement to the death by my living example. Theres magic in the moves.

    • Emmet
      January 2, 2016

      Its not to knock if you enjoy doing tricks. I just think that a lot of people get blindsided into thinking acquiring tricks is the end goal of movement training when you should be seeking imo to develop a body architecture that has the ability to learn a wide range of tricks and abilities.

  3. January 2, 2016

    Regarding “People will continue to prepare to move but not actually move.”: Where does preparation end and movement start?

    • Emmet
      January 2, 2016

      For any level of movement there’s a certain level of required prep but what I was getting at is people for example who are doing ankle prep but then not going running, jumping, tumbling, playing etc make sense?

  4. Dounies
    January 2, 2016

    An x-ray analysis of the fitness industry, both visionary and brilliant

  5. January 4, 2016

    Love this Emmet. Fantastically articulated and couldn’t agree more. Hope you’re well.

    • Emmet
      January 4, 2016

      Thank you! Hopefully catch up with you at some point later in the year.

  6. Mirwais
    January 8, 2016

    Agree with the concepts in the post but what will make the battle of mindshare difficult is convincing people to pursue ‘movement’ as an objective. The current trend in the fitness industry works on flashy promises of 6 pack abs in 2 weeks time working them only 5 mins a day (or whatever the latest craze is).
    So the challenge will be to open people’s eyes using appropriate marketing (yes, Movement will need to swallow that pill!) to get the Movement movement going. Personally i don’t think that Movement must be an exclusive pursuit to the detriment to CV or strength or bodybuilding goals, but rather a complement. Then I believe that the Movement movement’s goal will have been achieved. Some people may drop their current exercise regime and go 100% movement, others may incorporate it to complement. Both are good outcomes as in the end people will start to better understand and use their bodies.
    My two cents. At the end of the day anything that gets people exercising is good!

  7. April 27, 2016

    Very insightful post, looking forward to learning more about you and your practice!
    When do you think someone is ready to start teaching, and what form might that take in the beginning? I by no means want to sell myself as an expert or guru of anything, but there are things I know that can help others, and by teaching others I also solidify my own knowledge.
    What might you recommend to an aspiring teacher in the beginning? I’m still very much focused on my own development as a practitioner, but I’m also looking to start giving back in those areas where I have some sort of a grasp.

  8. May 25, 2016

    I could not agree more, Emmett. Where did you hear of that comment by the great Lama Lar, if I may ask? That is the naked, unalloyed truth, right there. Love the Rant. It reminds me of Doc Holliday in “Tombstone”: ”

    Yes, but there’s just something about him. Something around the eyes, I don’t know, reminds me of… me. No. I’m sure of it, I hate him.”

    See you soon, [K]

    • Emmet
      May 25, 2016

      I think I originally heard it from you or you pointed me in the direction of it.

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