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


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

  1. Connection to me is when I remember a time I did something I loved, someone I care about, or a place I want to go back to – and chills run down my spine. I start to smile real wide, excitement starts to build up, and my heart starts to beat faster. This is what connection is.
    My favorite body weight only exercises are pull ups, because they really help my rock climbing skills and rock climbing is what sport I feel connected to.


  2. Connection means instant. Either you connect (immediate) or you have contact (prolonged). Contact can become like a connection, but its strength fades between meetings, whereas the connection remains constant – like two old friends who haven’t seen each other for years, and within minutes are acting as if it’s been no more than an hour.

    Favorite bodyweight-only exercises are squats, pushups and gorilla swings (imagine going hand over hand down the length of a bar, not unlike an ape hand-traversing a tree branch, to strengthen both muscles and grip)


  3. Connection to me is a marriage between two variables, a pull and push, a yin and yang. I’ve been into the barefoot scene for almost two years now and have watched Merrell come out with products that form a better “connection” to the world around me, their barefoot line is a bridge connecting us to the outdoors, the world, the planet.

    Practicing capoeira, my favorite body weight only exercise has got to be handstands/walking with pull ups being a close second — they also happen to be my favorite core exercises.


  4. Connection is when you feel illuminated and uplifted by an idea, place or person. Favorite body weight exercises are plank and one leg squats. Aloha and congratulations on working with Merrell!


  5. Connection is the moment of transcendence , Connection is Expanding horizons , Connection is the essence of Human Nature to see oneness with Nature, People and more importantly with oneself…..

    My favorite body weight exercise is of course the Piston Squat


  6. – What does “connection” mean to you?
    To me, a connection is a digital conduit that is seamless enough to consistently produces high-value real-world payoffs.

    – What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?
    1) Glute Bridges
    2) Mountain Climber
    3) Clock Lunge


  7. 1. What does “connection” mean to you?

    I used to run cross country back in high school. Literally some of the most physically hardest workouts I’ve done in my entire life. I was dead tired after running for over an hour every single day for over 4 years and took naps every day. Running was my way to think about everything that happened in the day…kind of like my time to just think and connect with myself in zen-like state of mind. Looking back, all the sweat and long runs on the trails, sidewalks, and fields was worth it. It hardened me mentally and I continue to workout to this day. Oprah once said that running is the best metaphor for life because “you get out of it what you put into it.” It took me years to fully understand this. Everyone should go out and enter a 5k or a half marathon. I guarantee you that you’ll connect with new friends, ignite old ones, and begin to fully realize who you are as a person and what you are truly capable of. It’s also the most affordable exercise – but a pair of shoes, and just run. It’ll be one of the best decisions of your life.

    2. What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?

    The Mountain Climber. It’s the same thing as doing high knees (running into place) but extending your arms vertically…like you’re climbing a mountain. This works out your entire core, legs, and arms. Switch up the pace and do 3 sets of 60 seconds every day. You’ll be sweating and really shaping up your abs.


  8. 1. For me, “connection” means a lot of things, but when I first read it, the connection I thought of was the feeling I get when I connect with a particularly well designed piece of gear, something that has been designed for exactly what I need it to do, and expresses itself instantly. But then I’m a gear nerd!

    2. I got into fitness through bodyweight conditioning, and I still think they’re the best exercises around. With the exception of the deadlift, pretty much all the best workouts can be done with pure bodyweight.
    -1 legged squats: phenomenal for balance and unilateral strength, and since no one ever does them at the gym, they make me feel like a boss.
    – Gironda dips: By modifying the dip so that your elbows flare outwards at your 3 and 9 o’clock, instead of behind you, the exercise becomes much more chest focused. I can do 20 regular dips (and then collapse!) but only 10 Gironda dips.
    – Inverted rows: this is a great back exercise that acts as a reverse pushup. I like it because you can perform them by getting under your desk, and using the edge of the desk to simulate the bar. Also works the hands.
    -Burpees with pushups: The most brutal cardio workout around. Do as many burpees as you can for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, and repeat for 10 minutes, using your iphone as a timer. For me, burpee interval training is superior to running or KB swings in terms of effort, and can be done in a confined space when traveling.

    Take care,


  9. To connect with any source is the feeling of returning to the place you came from and never should have left.

    Sex of course… I.E. to make sexy love with maximum effort.

    Thanks for just being, my man Tim!


  10. Connection in regards to footwear would mean the joining of foot to trail.
    Favorite bodyweight-only exercises will always be situps counterbalanced by supermans and all their variations.


  11. Tim, to me a connection refers to an integral and binding bridge between two or more components that, while not necessary, brings benefit and enhancement to all parts.

    As for the favorite body weight exercise, it is “dragon walks”. You may have to look that one up on YouTube! LOL! When 4 Hour Body inspired me to loose weight late last year (and I am down a total of 59 pounds now thanks to you my friend!), this was one of the exercises I used. It helps with balance and coordination while working a variety of the larger and smaller muscle groups.

    In hopes that you see this, let me also add that I really, really enjoyed my Quarterly package that I recently got. I can’t wait for more to come rolling in this year!

    Thanks for your consideration!


  12. What does “connection” mean to you?
    Connection, in its rawest form, is the bond formed between individuals as they seek to experience and explore the world together. From the simplest and most basic glances on a packed train to the fire-born bonds of working together in a disaster or life-and-death situation, it is the connections in life that make it truly worth living. As we move through this world, we build connections with one another that all have the potential of lasting a lifetime. As we “trade paint” in the race of life, we all leave indelible marks on one another. I began my life in California, and now as I live in Southeast Asia, I know I am working to build more connections than I had ever previously thought possible. Recently, as I have begun my journey of self-discovery and weight loss, I have found new connections I have learned to depend on through social media. I find myself now, when I think of eating, looking at my twitter feed for encouragement from others I know are going through the same struggle I am. When I feel the urge to give in to the same behavior patterns I have experienced so many times before, I need only to lean on the arms of those people I have never met until the need has passed. In the past month, I have lost almost 30 lbs and I will not stop until I reach my goal…only 110 more to go! I look forward to building connections with more as I live through the rest of my life, from those friends who have helped me to the people I hope to meet on the starting line of my first 10k, half-marathon and eventually an entire marathon. I know I can do anything, and it is the connections I have forged with others that will make it all possible.

    What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?
    For me, currently 300+ lbs, my favorite bodyweight-only exercise is the “push-away” that allows me to push whatever plate is being offered me away. A month ago, this felt impossible, but now I am able to do so without any thought. When it comes to weight bearing though, there has been little I have been able to do. I have started walking, first just a couple k, but now 5-10 kilometers every day (and wearing though my crummy walking shoes pretty quickly…I’m just sayin’). My knees finally no longer hurt when I go up stairs, and I can do a push-up for the first time since I was a child. I am finally discovering my body, and I could not possible by more excited about it. I think my current “favorite” is planking, which I have been doing with the #plankaday hashtag… it hurts, I shake like mad, and I can’t get past 30 seconds, but I know I will eventually! What I do now is only the beginning!


  13. Connection means feeling the Earth below you and being able to move with the terrain and react to varying surfaces. It means being closer to the natural existence of our ancestors.

    My favorite bodyweight only exercise is the pistol squat. Great for balance, coordination, body control, strength, flexibility, and is challenging for anyone starting out even those that can move a lot on bar squats.


  14. Tim Ferriss + Merrell = Awesomeness

    When I think connection I think the mind and body connection. Two very different systems interacting and functioning as one. When there is balance and both systems are connected and firing on all cylinders it is a beautiful thing.

    Favorite and most productive bodyweight exercises:
    1. Push ups – when done right they kickass
    2. Walking lunges – hit all the major muscles in the legs.
    3. Pull ups- strong back and core is a must.
    Superset these three and you got yourself a great workout.


  15. To me, connection is the psycho-affective bond that enables truly productive relationships. I find true connection is typified by significantly greater willingness to extend discretionary effort without it feeling like work. (In a lot of ways, “connection” is similar to “engagement” in other contexts.)

    I like a lot of the standards such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, burpees, and the like. However, my favorite bodyweight exercise is dips because small variations can turn a relatively simple movement into a tremendous, challenging upper body workout for all ability levels.


  16. Connection to me, in one sense, means focus. I think you could be outdoors but have your mind somewhere else – on your to do list, your work stress, etc. – and not be connected. If you can focus on where you are and connect with nature your body AND mind then benefit from the experience.

    My favorite body weight exercises are the most basic – push-ups and pull-ups. Despite the other exercises I do as part of my 4 hour body regimen, these two exercises still give me the most bang for the buck and the results in my physique that I am looking for. Can’t be beat.


  17. Connection is being completely honest with yourself so you can be genuine with those around you. Stop lying to yourself, stop living in the shadow of regret, and start bursting out of your shell. Be you and be loud. You can’t form a true bond with anyone without trust, honesty, and mistakes. Don’t hide anything, no one is perfect. Believe it or not, but at least one person looks up to you and respects you.

    My favorite bodyweight-only exercise is moving pushups…really works out your arms, shoulders, and core.


  18. Connection is all about joining the dots. We are all dots and together make up the full picture. But even remembering that you are one of many, and connecting with yourself, is fine, it’s the first step. And then it helps you to feel the connection to others. Then you can connect to the earth and the sky and everything in it. It’s a stabilising force that can also help you soar.
    My favourite bodyweight only exercise is dance. No ‘shoulds’ or ‘have-tos’ there, and it makes me happy at the same ime.