Announcing the "4 Fundamentals", Merrell Partnership/Giveaway, and Live Q&A

462 Comments


I’ve worn Merrell shoes for ages, even back in 2007 for Japanese horseback archery training.

It’s a long story, but I still have those bad boys.

In 2012, Merrell themselves noticed that I wore Merrell. DMs were sent, and the seeds of a partnership were born. Today, I’m thrilled to formally announce that I’m collaborating with Merrell in 2013 to get more people outdoors. Of course, they want to move product, but I’m happy to help. Why? Because I already love their stuff, and the new minimal shoes are precisely what I wanted and wrote about in The 4-Hour Body. The soles of the M Connect line are designed by Vibram but less socially awkward than their Gecko-feet variety, which I’d stopped wearing.

I’ll be doing a lot with Merrell using their Twitter and Facebook accounts (keep reading), so you might want to follow them here:
Merrell Twitter
Merrell Facebook

I’d also like to give away some shoes! Just answer both of these questions in the comments below:
- What does “connection” mean to you?
- What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?

The best 10 responses will get 10 pairs (one pair each) of Merrell shoes: 8 domestic US winners and 2 international winners. All answers are due no later than 5pm PST on Tuesday, March 12.

Live Events and Q&A — Saturday and Monday

I will be doing a few live events today, Saturday:

- Live SXSW keynote in Austin, TX — 11AM-12PM Tomorrow, Saturday, March 12. It’s called “Acquiring the Skill of Meta-Learning” and is about how to become world-class in nearly any skill in 6 months or less.

- Book Signing at SXSW following above presentation, from 12:30pm to however long it takes :)

Then, next Monday (March 11), a free 2-hour Q&A on Twitter:

Here’s how it works:
- Go to @merrelloutside and follow them.
- Starting 9pm EST, ask any questions you like in the following format “@tferriss @merrelloutside [Insert question]?” Anything is fair game, and I’ll do my best to answer as many as possible.

Have a great weekend… and get outside!

Posted on: March 8, 2013.

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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

462 comments on “Announcing the "4 Fundamentals", Merrell Partnership/Giveaway, and Live Q&A

  1. Connection, for me, is always present—most of the time NOT in an inspiring, “I’ll remember this for the rest of my life” kinda way, but in a foundational, “we are all connected even when we can’t we each other” kinda way.

    What good is that sort of perspective?

    For me, connection means remembering that everyone I meet is very, very important. If circumstances had rolled out just a little differently, this new person before me might have been my most cherished friend, and—here’s the really important thing—that new person has the potential to become a great friend, especially if I keep an open mind.

    The more I remember to treat everyone the way I would treat my best friends, the better I like people, and the better they like me.

    The connection is already there; it’s only a matter of remembering it’s there and acting appropriately.

    Like

  2. Hi Tim,
    For me connection is multi-dimensional: with “who I am,” with others in relationship, with the planet, and with something “bigger than that.”

    As a personal trainer for 30 years, I’ve got lots of favorite bodyweight exercises. My new favorite, which I just discovered, is “The Founder.”

    Check it out here:

    Enjoy!
    Kevin Schoeninger, The Mind-Body Training Company

    Like

  3. As a Peace Corps volunteer living in rural Africa (far from my urban life in America), connection is when you find your peace and resonance within a completely different culture or situation, and when you consider people who were once strangers, family. Connection is the feeling of “home.”

    Pullups, chinups for high rep, and 1-arm chinups for intense low rep workout. In my living situation where weights aren’t available, 1-arm chinups are the most intense upper body workout I can do.

    Lunges for higher rep workouts, and lunges into full jump for lower reps, higher intensity

    Like

  4. Bummer! Sorry I didn’t see this before the 12th. Congratulations on your new partnership. I’m glad it something you can speak about passionately, and I look forward to seeing where it takes you!

    Like

  5. Nice post – to me connected has always meant that I have forgotten all else and am in the moment in the outdoors – a place of flow where I am not thinking about my gear, shoes, or bike. My fave bodyweight-only exercised are your standard push-up and pull-up, and also running: combine the 3 with a good diet and flexibility training and I am feeling quite good…

    Like

  6. What does “connection” mean to you?
    - connection means being aware of my surroundings. As a martial artist practicing the basic horse stance I am always trying to ‘root’ into the ground. I do this by not only trying to grip the floor with my toes (barefoot or with thin soles shoes) but also visualizing tree roots sprouting out from under my feet and being connected with the ground. As corny as this sounds visualizing myself as a tree gives me the feeling of being ‘connected’ to the world around me.

    What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?
    - the pistol is definitely one of my favorites. I have also been practicing the cat crawl and even the Spider-Man crawl for the past few months and have seen grew improvements with my mobility.

    Like

  7. “Connection” (I’m guessing in reference to the outside) is what you talked about on your deer hunting adventures with Steve Rinella in the 4HC. When it came time to gut the deer, you’d said that your body’s natural instincts had taken over and, although it was your first time doing it, you’d felt like you’ve always known how to do it.

    I feel the same way when I head out into nature during hunting season, climbing NY’s Adirondack mountains in the winter, or just playing games with my kids out in the yard.

    Connection with nature helps connection with each other. I’m a lot closer to my buddies when we’re outside sitting around a camp fire after a long hike or canoe trip than I am with the same group playing XBox and drinking beers on a Friday night. Nature brings us together.

    And for the favorite body-weight only exercies? I have my “big 3″: Burpees, pull-ups (especially on a level, low-hanging tree branch), and air squats.

    Cheers Tim!

    - Josh

    Like

  8. What does “connection” mean to you?
    Connection to me means LIFE, life cannot exist without connection (physical) and life without connection is empty (spiritual). Connection implies awareness and engagement which are essential in a life well lived.

    What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?
    Slow and controlled pushup, Pullup, Dips, Squats and Lunges. If done correctly there isn’t much need for anything else aside from cardio.

    Like

  9. Connection to me means a bond, sharing something in common, whether it be common beliefs, common skills, common aspirations, etc. The connection doesn’t have to be felt on both ends, and it cannot always be explained, it simply exists.

    My favorite body only exercise is jump squats – though sex isn’t a bad exercise either. :)

    Like

  10. “Connection” is being naked with another. Beyond the physical, although that certainly qualifies, true “connection” is core essence revealed and embraced. Being mutually transparent – at some level – leads to “connection.”

    The best true bodyweight-only exercise is, hands down, a 400m sprint. Doing walking lunges for 400m or some burpee interval routine are excellent as well. The category of pseudo-bodyweight exercises belongs to muscle-ups or rope climbs.

    Like

  11. Connection to me is when you can find some sense of familiarity with something. Having something in common with someone can make me feel connected to them because we share an interest which makes me somewhat familiar with at least a portion of their life.

    The best body weight only exercise is a squat.

    Like

  12. Connection: The magic that happens when mind/body/spirit become one.

    Favs: The old school classics – Pullups, pushups, situps.

    Like

  13. “Connection” is the recognition of mutual benefit, either now or in the future along with an emotional recognition of similarity in the other.

    My favorite bodyweight exercise? Running, slow, steady and easy until the asphalt underneath my feet brings its own meditation and I lose myself in the realization that I am alive and capable of far beyond what I’ve settled for.

    Like

  14. Connection for me is meeting with someone on a human level , or identifying a common feeling or thought. The word empathy comes to mind.

    Exercises ! Its still bodyweight so it still counts right ? I like doing press ups and pull ups with my kids on my back, as they grow so does the resistance. Burpees would also have to be an alltime favourite (more for results than the way they feel : )

    Like

  15. Connection is being a part of the environment around me, feeling the peace and turmoil of nature.

    My favorite body weight exercise right now is he negative pull-up given that I’m not yet strong enough for the positive ones.

    Like

  16. Connection means to understand things similarly, typically between two persons. When I have a connection with someone, we share similar thoughts about a subject.

    One-legged squats is my favorite bodyweight exercise. Perfect way to squat heavy without the equipment.

    Like

  17. Connection – Being understood without having to present myself in any way other than who I am.

    Bodyweight exercises – Squats, Turkish Getups without weights, hip bridge leg raise

    Like

  18. Connection is like the Millennium Falcom sucked to the Death Star tractor beam. It’s where the body says, “Oh, that feels right” and you are one with the movement in total body control.

    After a few years of a triathlon stint and a Team USA invitation, I now find Jivamukti yoga to be a total mind/body strengthener that only uses body weight.

    Thanks,

    Mark

    Like

  19. Personal meaning of “connection”: an energetic untangling. When I ‘make a connection’ I feel mentally light, like when I used the 80/20 principle on my browser bookmark collection to cut out all the bookmarks I never used. When I ‘feel a connection’ it’s like chills vibrating through my entire body, like when I played my last collegiate football game and afterwards sang the school song with a crowd of alumni spanning over 70 years.

    Favorite bodyweight-only exercise: single-leg squats 5 minutes after waking up

    Like

  20. Hey Tim, my name is cristobal, i live in chile
    I would like to answer the questios for the giveaway.

    (Crap, just read the deadline, sorry im late)

    1- Connection to me means, when u get sucked in like a tractor beam( in the words of lloyd from dumb and dumber) when 2 people suck each other into eachother. They lock in and enjoy that moment or action.Could be physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or just friendly. I think the most important connections are personal in any way. I think life is about making connection with everything you do. So at the same time a connection can be with anything.

    2- my favorite body weight only excersizen are : pull ups, straight bar dips(i love the difficulty) and push ups are what i started with. My ultimate goal i. 9th grade was to develop an awesome chest!!! Jajaj needless to say i achieved that goal.

    Thanks for reading. If u ever come to santiago, u got a place to stay

    Like

  21. Connection is what happens when I feel like I’m sync’d up with something. Like we’re fighting the same battle, tackling the same guy, after the same result.

    My favorite body-weight only exercise is my 50 Shades of Fury interval routine – 10 seconds, 3 speeds, 5 exercises: jacks, pushups, climbers, speed skaters and jab/cross/uppercut combos.

    Like

  22. 1. A connection is a feeling from your gut or you heart, not your head, when your soul recognizes itself in something outside itself.

    2. Yoga

    Like

  23. A connection to me is an indescribable feeling where something just seems like it just right.

    My favorite body weight only exercises are:

    1. Animal Flow Movements by Mike Fitch
    2. Skin the cats
    3. Handstands/Handstand Pushups

    Like

  24. wish i saw this earlier and even though the competittion is over already…

    in the forest, where there’s no cellphone reception, thats where i get the best connection. as for body weight exercises, i despise some more than others but like them all. being able to move my body exceptionally well (this generally includes all the different gymnastic movements) is what keeps me smiling.

    Like

  25. Connection is the ineffable realization that “this is it.”

    My favorite bodyweight only exercises are burpees with a push-up, push-ups, planks of all varieties, and single leg hip thrusts.

    Like

  26. To be connected to something or someone you have to give part of yourself away and take in part of what you are connecting with. You become a part of what you have connected with.

    For example, when I’m playing my best golf I’m not thinking about golf much. I’m feeling the air, the grass under my feet, the slope of the fairway and green, and I listen to the sounds around me. I become a part of the course and the course becomes part of me. There are no swing thoughts and no will to put the ball in a certain spot. I let all my senses and the course and everything that is a part of it, including me, decides where the ball will go.

    My favorite body weight exercises are handstand push ups, pull ups, burpees, and box jumps. Try three rounds of these exersices with no rest in between exercises. I promise there wont be a muscle in your body that doesnt get smoked.

    I haven’t mastered them yet but I’m working to be able to do ring muscle ups. They are so demanding and I think they will become my favorite eventually.

    Like

  27. Connection to me is a knowing. When I was driving my first daughter home from the hospital, I knew the connection was there because of the knowing that my life had changed forever. Irrevocably. It also signaled a connection with adulthood that I hadn’t had until then.

    When my wife and I had been dating for several months and I was on a drive to another part of the country permanently due to a change of stations in the Navy, there was a knowing that I was leaving behind the lady I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Almost thirty years later, the connection is still there.

    In my job years ago, I was tasked with tracking and rescuing an individual in the Arizona desert. I had spoken to the sister before starting. This connection lead to the knowing that I would find her brother. I don’t know why. I had been in similar circumstances before, but this time I knew. The beginning of the connection was with the sister, but overall was larger than the whole situation. I then KNEW that I would find her brother. 9 miles and 7 hours later I did. He lived through it and they were reunited 5 days later as he recovered. One of the proudest times of my life.

    Other situations have lead to my understanding of connection as a knowing. These are a few examples.

    My favorite bodyweight exercises are those that have made everything else better. These include squats, pushups and windsprints. The basics. No equipment or apparatus of any kind required. The more I have been able to do these things, the better everything else in my life has been. And I have often wished I had stuck to the basics more often in my life in so many things.

    Thanks for all the great work Tim, and being such a great example of execution.

    Like

  28. What does “connection” mean to you?
    CONNECTION is that moment in time when you SYNC with the harmony of things — when you’re DOING resonates and fills all of you: mind, body and soul. And your doing is with those who nurture and restore as opposed to suck you dry. In that place, all things are good and you are fully in En-JOY…

    - What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises? Aerial Yoga — a once-in-a-lifetime experience available at Miraval Resort and Spa.

    Come see us, my friend…

    BTW — I agree with you, think Merrel’s are the bomb!!! Gave my old pair away running the Spartan Sprint in PHX a month ago. Bought a new pair to break in hiking into the Grandest of Canyons come April, before then will spend time in Hawaii crawling up the volcano and shooting down the lava tube.

    Peace…

    Like

  29. “The biggest problem with communication is the illusion it’s taken place.” George B Shaw
    Trying to get past the illusion and have a connection where communication is clear.
    Mountain climbers using a Tabata protocol.

    Like

  30. Just an FYI -

    I depend on your emails to tell me when you’ve got a new blog post. This post came into my inbox at 8:23 pm, Wednesday March 13th – a full day AFTER the deadline to enter, and a full 5 days after being posted. Is there anything that you can do to get this synched up a little better?
    Love your words and insights, and really want to keep up!

    Like

    • Hi Sharna,

      So sorry about this. I’ll take another look.

      The main issue is that I appear to be trapped on Feedburner and unable to get the email addresses out of their system. If I can find a simple method, I’ll try and transfer to Aweber or something like that.

      Thanks for reading the blog!

      Tim

      Like

  31. Hey Tim, et al

    Thought you might want to know: I used the search function ( searched for “potassium”) and found the v-bulletin site has been flooded with spam.

    Like

  32. Connection is a continuity & realization to the energy around you. It feels like a breath of fresh air, refreshing & revitalizing. That’s what connection means to me.

    My favorite body weight exercise is Ballet. Especially Barre work, if done properly you are engaging all your muscles head to toe in the simple point of a toe. It’s hard core & gives you a rockin’ hott body ;)

    Like

  33. Connection, the 4Cs Connect, Collaborate, Communicate. Then, Create.

    Bodyweight exercises, I’m not sure like is the best word.
    But, burpees, then pushups with three different hand placements & clappers.

    Like

  34. Connection to me means, expressing an experience or idea in which you convey your passion and interest so effectively and honestly it sparks something in others. Creating a connection where for even a brief moment you are able to share a part of yourself with others and they do the same with you.

    Best body weight exercise is really anything in Parkour as it’s fun and challenging. If I had to choose something particular I’d say Quadrupedal Movement or QM. Anything I get to do moving along the ground utilizing different body movements and muscle groups is fantastic.

    Like

  35. What does “connection” mean to you?

    “There is a difference between knowing the path & walking the path” Morpheous.- Matrix.

    Connection means knowing you are walking the path. Commitment to a higher purpose, discipline to achieve more, to become more.

    - What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?

    4 x 400 runs….they got me to 10k under 50 minutes..
    I love the “exercise” of eating 30 grams of protein first thing in the morning. Yes. It is an exercise where you only use your hands and mouth to achieve it.

    Like

  36. Connection requires energy insight and enthusiasm from both sides. Connection to me is that relationship between me and something else.
    Favorite bodyweight-only exercises? – got to be the lunge

    Like

  37. I believe in the rather cliche statement, all things are connected. Robert Greene talks about “connectedness” a lot in Mastery and I tend to agree as it can be applied in many fields. In science we seek to explain as much as we can in as little as we can. In physics they are searching for a force that unifies gravity and electromagnetism. As people we search to understand one another, to connect our ideas and thoughts, to empathize. Businesses search to connect their products, ideas, and services with the consumer. I feel that our emotions and longings are a product of our connections. We are naturally drawn to forming connections with the world around us and averse to breaking them. Connections make us feel alive.

    Fav body weight exercises? I travel a lot, I feel like I am living out a suitcase and rarely have access to a full gym. The body weight exercise I use the most is a modified one legged squat on a staircase. I basically squat down on one leg with my other knee behind me, and lower myself until my floating knee touches the bottom of the other staircase. I use the railings for support, and hope no one needs to use the stairs at the same time.

    Like

  38. Merrells may be a good shoe, but why don’t they make them for people with wide feet?? I’ve tried on several pairs of different styles and they are too tight and narrow. Thanks,

    Ray

    Salt Lake City, Utah

    Like

  39. “When things don’t go right, go left,” I have repeated countless times to myself when that forceful, bitter debilitation of defeat pinches my stomach. Whether I was stood up by my hot date or my roommate ate the last tiny spoonful of sour cream that was meant to be married to my sweet potato, I get REALLY disappointed. After all, I am a 23 year old girl (emotional wrecking ball of confusion whilst battling my way to the top of the food chain) living in Newport Beach in a beautiful, sunshine-filled apartment. I don’t have a whole lot to be disappointed about besides my diminishing bank account that my parents no longer feel it is their duty to replenish. But when I get disappointed, my insides turn outward and this shooting anxiety pumps through every nerve of my being. What…that doesn’t sound fun to you? Because it sure as hell makes me the passionately big thinker/big doer that I am today. “…stress, conflict, and necessity seem to be nature’s way of saying, ‘Find a new way’” (The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo). Couldn’t agree with him more! And I’ll admit, bashfully, that the world needs more people like me.

    I graduated from Cal. State Long Beach in December and has made it my mission to create something that will truly benefit our economy and the lives of the struggling, within it. Working with my extremely business savvy, brilliant best friend, Jason, we have began to piece together the patchwork of innovation.

    We are ID Savings. We are not interested in B to B, B to C, but B to “ME”. We believe in fostering genuine relationships between businesses and specific target markets, based on who consumers are, where they are, and the groups they belong to.

    My name is Rebecca Eisenberg and I am in charge of public and media relations for an Orange County-based start up working with college students, military personnel, and seniors (those who can easily prove their identity with id cards. In Orange, we provide a direct channel of communication between local businesses and the student population. We list our clients (businesses) on our website with information about student discounts, promotions, events, and job opportunities as well as promote on campus and during local events.

    Our competitors such as Groupon, MOGL, Pirq, etc may offer discounts, but do not provide any incentive for customers to return and thus, the business does not prosper, but in fact, suffers due to the profit cuts. We present specific target markets (students, for example) with discounts relevant to them and consistently update information to incentivize them to return.

    We are the future of personalized advertising, which is the change in comparison to today’s market. I would love to form a professional working relationship with you to maximize exposure for both ID Savings and your site! Looking forward to hearing from you!
    Very best,
    Rebecca

    Like

  40. Connection to me is the longing in which we all come here to the planet to experience. I see life as either feeling connected or feeling separate. Those moments in our lives in which we feel our deepest happiness usually are connected to having a feeling of connection or closeness, either to someone else, nature, God, etc…While most of us have felt our deepest pain while experiencing separation or a lac of connection to those things. Connection to me is how we communicate with others, the way we feel about ourselves is a deep spiritual mirror often for how we communicate. Compassion to me is a part of connection, understanding and learning to use it and avoid judgement. Tools that help us stay connected vs. stay separate. Connection is love. When we feel connected we feel a deep sense of self and we experience love. An unexplainable feeling and for each of us it means something different, but for me Connecting to all that is, the oneness of life, experiencing yourself and the wholeness that you are, which in return fuels you to connect to others, thus making a divine web or grid. Nature, Friends, Family, Self, endless ways to connect!

    Favorite Body Weight Exercises: Jumping, Push Ups, Pelvic Thrusts, Planks, Myotatic crunch

    Like

  41. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the brain—Look it up. This is totally up Ferriss’s alley. I and (I’m sure) a few million others would love to hear about his foray into this.
    tcds is the acronym

    Like

  42. I REALLY hope this will be picked out of the 2,00 mails this week!

    Hi, I’m a student reading for my Masters in Professional Writing at the University College Falmouth, UK. As part of a R&D module, I’m researching on how outsourcing writing – particularly business writing – toIndia and the rest of Asia is affecting the industry. I’m looking for answers to questions like who does it, is it effective, how does it affect content writers in the West.

    And would you recommend it??

    If you have even two lines worth of something to say, PLEASE tell me. I need all the help I can get.

    THANK YOU in advance!

    Like

  43. A connection happens when you recognize and internalize a congruity between yourself and the world around you. To connect is to live enriched.

    My favorite bodyweight-only exercise is the inverted row because it complements and balances many upper body press excercises done with free weights.

    Like

    • - I realize the drawing period is over, just felt like expressing something anyway. Keep up the great work on the blog!

      Like

  44. When is Tim Ferriss going to write an article about tdcs, Trans-Cranial Direct Current Stimulation? Or tdcs and lucid dreaming? Or tcds SOMETHING?

    thank you

    Like