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 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.

    Like

  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)

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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!

    Like

  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

    Like

  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

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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,
    Mark

    Like

  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!

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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!

    Like

  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!

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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.

    Like

  19. What a great partnership!

    1) For me, “connection” is all about listening. Simply, we need to listen more. Whether it’s listening to our families, friends, our bodies, our thoughts, or nature. We often live so “connected” that we are in effect disconnected.

    2) My favorite bodyweight-only exercise is definitely dips. They are fun, challenging, and effective.

    Like

  20. Connection is the flow of energy that makes us feel alive. Some connections drain us of energy so that’s why we need to tune in to our energy in our gut. Good connections are with people, places, ideas.
    I started doing burpees in high school. My PE teacher was former military, mellowed out fortunately. I guess I was in retry good shape back then cuz I don’t remember them being difficult but they sure can be now for this 40-something. But when in doubt, or if I need a quick set of something, they are my go-to’s

    Like

  21. Since moving to Quy Nhon (Vietnam) around six months ago, my favorite bodyweight-only exercise has been to walk on the beach each night with my three-year-old son.

    We walk down one end just as the fishermen are starting to come in from the day’s work. We walk by local university students playing volleyball or soccer. And we walk hand in hand, talking about the waves crashing white on the shore, pointing to the clouds and naming the animals we see in them, asking and answering questions in turn.

    What does “connection” mean to me? It means just that. Forming a relationship with other people, deepening the bonds with those we hold most dear, and doing so in a world that is often most beautiful when we stop, take in a deep breath, and just savor the beauty that is all around us.

    Like

  22. Connection means choice to me. Every choice I make has a connection to my overall goals in life fitness and work. Best body weight exercises are Hindu squats pull ups dips and push up circuits. Explosion push ups are a good finish. GET SOME AIR! Size 16 shoe if you can’t fit it I understand been fighting that battle since I was 16 years old

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  23. Connection=spiritual baby, especially when we connect with someone for the first time, just like I am doing now, with you TF. It opens space for growth.
    Favorite Bodyweight Excercise: anything TRX, check out my about.me page to see the results.

    Like

  24. Connection means to build myself up to greatness in order to connect with kick ass brands who will then pay me BIG money to do campaigns just like this! Inside… or outside… #boom Did I win?

    Like

  25. Connection is the link between the earth, you and space. It is a fine golden line where the magic happens!
    My favourite body weight only exercises could be anything from a power yoga class, I think mastering the yoga “push-up” has been most satisfying.

    Like

  26. - What does “connection” mean to you?

    For me, connection means feeling deeply grateful for that exact moment.

    – What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?

    Upside down shoulder presses (hand stand pushups) and,
    Hindu Pushups

    Like

  27. Connection is a bond between two things that is built on shared origins, interests, or commonalities.

    My favorite bodyweight-only exercises are Power Jumps (a.k.a. jump squats), Mountain Climbers, Oblique Push-ups, walking outdoors, and sprints.

    Like

  28. Connection – connection is a difficult word to describe for me because when you truly feel connected to something (like I am with my wife, the outdoors, Maple our Great Dane) you can’t really express that to anyone else because they will never have the exact same connection as you. They will feel connected in another way or to other things. So “connection” to me is a feeling of an invisible bond to something or someone is my life.

    Body Weight Exercises – of course, the fundamentals are always the best: squats, push-ups, pull-ups. Lunges and tricep dips off of chairs or whatever is handy are close behind. Plus, it’s always nice to mix things up with more intense or different versions of squats, push-ups, etc!

    By the way, thanks Tim and Merrell for those great videos! I’m definitely taking my workout outdoors tomorrow morning (along with my buddy’s newly released pre-workout supplement!).

    Like

  29. Connection is being rooted, physically, mentally and spiritually.
    Favorite BW exercises are pushups, pullups, pistols.

    Now if Merrell would make a M Connect boot for paramedics, THAT would be awesome!

    Like

  30. To me connection means interacting with the world on a primal level. Feeling the earth below you, sky above you, and wind around you. Connection is more than just existing in the world, existing is passive. True connection is living in the world around you and enjoying every aspect of it, absorbing all of the sights, smells, and sounds. To connect with the world is to experience life and everything it has to offer.

    My favorite bodyweight exercises are:

    1. Push up – A classic bodyweight movement that has always and will always be one of the most effective upper body exercises a person can do.

    2. Pull up – Another fantastic exercise that will never go out of style and done properly will have you looking like a beast in no time.

    3. Pistol Squat – In my opinion, the single best exercise for your legs, and the only one you’ll ever need to do. Plus you look like a ninja or some kung fu master when you do them so that’s cool.

    4. Hanging leg raises – Take the time to do these right instead of swinging your legs around like a crazed orangutan and you’ll have the best abs in town.

    5. Handstand pushups – Great for developing balance and some killer shoulders that would even make The Rock jealous. K maybe not that guy’s got some ridiculous shoulders.

    Like

  31. Awesome Tim!
    I’ve been wearing Merrells for years. My first were a pair of slip-on hikers I scored up in Jackson Hole.

    Connection, especially in this context, to me means finding & feeling that special “something” in the moment; that integrated component in an experience with the environment at the time that elevates and exposes the most authentic version of myself. When it comes to the outdoors I’ve experienced this climbing Mt. Whitney, surfing with dolphins at La Conchita, dropping fresh powder at Corbet’s Couloir… sitting under a tree in a sun soaked park, sketching, watching people and life play out in a beautifully dizzying ballet while I listen to A Perfect Circle.

    As for body weight exercise, there are 2 that I fell in love with studying tae-kwon-do…

    1. the first is a simple stretch laying on your back on the floor against a wall, back on the ground, butt pushed up against the wall with your legs fully extended up the wall. Relax and spread your legs, slowly letting the weight of your legs pull your legs further apart to their fullest. This is a great way to accomplish the same result as leg stretching machine.

    2. the second is a 3 part exercise that focuses on balance and stretching. You start standing with legs just shy of shoulder width. Lift your leg in front of you while balancing on one foot, grab your ankle and pull you leg in towards your waist, opposite arm up in guard position and hold. {like sitting “indian style.”} Next, without touching your foot down, release your ankle, shift your weight and move your leg from your waist to a side kick stance with your foot cocked back towards your butt as though you were just about to kick, hands up in guard position and hold. Next, shift your weight, again without touching down your foot to the ground, bring your leg behind you, bending your knee to bring your foot to your butt and reach around with the corresponding hand and grab your ankle, leaning forward slightly with your other arm in a guard position {similar to a back kick position} and hold. Hold time in each motion is a 10 count.

    Thanks for all the bad ass info you bring to the table man.
    Here’s looking forward to winning a new pair of kicks from Merrell…
    Cheers!

    ~Richard

    Like

  32. Hello Tim!

    Connection means body, mind and consciousness connecting with a another thing, not necessarily another person; this could be a hobby or a profession; but a good connection needs to satisfy all three parts of oneself.

    My favourite bodyweight-only exercises would have to be: wide grip pushups, lunges, myotatic crunches and the almighty Cat Vomit Exercise.

    Like

  33. A connection can be defined in so many ways ,it carries different meaning in different scenarios with different people and with different things. One connection that I wish to experience in this lifetime is when my heart (desire) decides and my mind (logic) accepts instantly. I hope someone will understand what I am trying to say.

    Body weight exercises
    Pull Up, Push Up and Squats – good enough for life.

    Like

  34. Connection is intangible, invisible and undeniable. Felt as an energy toward someone or something, our ears perk up, our eyes open wide and our hearts start to flutter.

    It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. It grabs you by the heart and says “listen up!” It is the extra “something” that we often cannot put words to because there are some things in life that are too unique and special to name or label.

    Best body weight exercise is full body squats in sets that make you wonder if you are going to be able to get off the toilet later! :0)

    Like

  35. Basic knowledge that the simple/primal solution still is superior. When I run, I always get this feeling of connecting to the world – seeing a car that’s broken down or people waiting for the bus, and knowing I’ll be where they’d want to go before they’ve even started.

    Favorite bodyweight-only exercise: push-ups. Utterly simple, complements running with core and upper-body strength, can be infinitely altered and modified.

    Like

  36. Sad to hear you aren’t wearing your Vibrams anymore, I just ordered another pair tonight. I haven’t ventured into Merrells yet.

    Without being overly hippy about it, connection is simply feeling the energy and flow around me.

    My favorite body weight only exercises:
    1. Capoeira – Au batido.
    A few of my friends nicknamed it the cool as hell kick. Hold yourself with a single hand, and kick with a leg, and return without falling. It’s easy to do it fast once you get the motion down. It’s difficult to do it slowly and actually aiming to hit targets.

    Combined with a ginga (basic transition step in between sides) it’s a fun cardio bit that looks fun for people watching.

    2. Bakasana (Crane pose)

    I can’t do the fancy variations, but it’s a fun challenge to work on endurance.

    Like

  37. Fantastic videos, Tim. You have the privilege to reside in an absolutely gorgeous part of the world. I am sure this blessing is not at all lost on you.

    Thanks for sharing!
    EVO

    Like

  38. Connection means you have the combination of skill and focus to really perform. You’re not worried about the fundamentals anymore, and you can use all your brainpower for pushing yourself a little bit harder when distance running or working out, coming up with a clear strategy for your business/future even if it is extremely complex, being fully present in a conversation while not running out of interesting things to talk about, etc.

    I was a huge fan of the Burpee, but the Blurpee seems even more effective and harder to do improperly. Do the Burpee/Blurpee in a HIIT Tabata Set (google it) and you’re set for an extremely challenging but rewarding workout in about four minutes.

    Like

  39. Connection = Belonging

    Body weight exercises = Whatever gets me back up from the floor! Squats and push ups. I nearly said burpees, but nobody likes burpees right!?

    Like

  40. Connection is the cozy feeling that you are where you are supposed to be, be it in a space, a relationship, a conversation or a pair of shoes.
    Best body weight only workout – headstand pushups

    Like

  41. Connection is that moment when you look into someone’s eyes and know that they understand your view of the world. To me, connection is a moment in time with no expectation. It may or may not be there as minutes, days and years go by.

    My favourite bodyweight exercise in the good old plank that makes me want to die every time.

    Cheers :)

    Like

  42. Connection is a drawing, a pull towards something that fascinates and engages.

    My favorite body weight exercises are:

    Static Handstands: it takes a great amount of upper body strength, core strength, balance, and concentration to successfully hold this position. The strength/balance benefits are outstanding. Plus, being able to hold a free-form handstand and/or walk on one’s hands is both entertaining and impressive!

    Like

  43. Connection means for me to have a common understanding of our actions with other people. It´s the thing when you don´t have to explain yourself to others. Right now I am in a happy place to spend a lot of time with other location independent entrepreneurs in Chiang Mai and Ho Chi Minh City. But it is also about being sensitive to your environment, about how life is lived by local families, which customs they share and being humble enough to at least try to get a feeling about a place than to compare it to the life you are used to. Travelling slowly helps a lot to achieve that.

    My favourite bodyweight-only exercises are the “five tibetans” (http://www.mkprojects.com/pf_TibetanRites.htm) for starting the day and focusing and allining my thoughts, followed by situps and pushups for core-strength.

    Thank you,
    Chris

    PS: I really would love to win a pair of Merrells. After I received my first pair of Merrell Barefoots last Christmas and wearing them everyday here in January and until Mid February I can say that they are by far the best pair of shoes I have ever had. The more upset I was when they were stolen one night from the shoerack of the house I am staying at in Ho Chi Minh City and there is no way to find them an original pair here in Vietnam.

    Like

  44. Connection = a relationship of value exchange – physical, emotional, and/or intellectual – that leaves all parties feeling better than before they had it because they have gained something from it.

    Best Bodyweight Only Exercise = Chin-ups – based upon difficulty, ‘sexy factor’ contributing muscle groups involved, and facilities to find to do them. The coolest, though? Easily, the Sideways Pole Hang. Anyone who can do this is, and looks like, a champion.

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  45. Connection to me means a uniting of two objects, people, or ideas to form a greater context or meaning. It means words and phrases becoming poetry. It means individuals forming a community. It means atoms and energy becoming a living being.

    My favorite body weight exercises are burpees, box step ups, and box jumps. If I’m pressed for time, 100 burpees in 10 mins will activate pretty much all major muscle groups and get my heart rate way up for strength, explosiveness, and aerobic conditioning. And box jumps are just fun.

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  46. Connection is that conduit, that semi-magic thing that brings you into touch with yourself in the right now, with those things inside that are always there but not always ignited; your strength, your passion, your love, your genius, your empathy… Light up that connection and kindle that fire inside!

    Brazilian jiu jitsu is a great all-around workout, but if that doesn’t count, then my TOP 4 FTW are:

    -Jumping squats up stairs
    -Wrestler sprawls with a burpee at the end
    -Push up variations
    -Chair dips

    Like

  47. I do only bodyweight workouts for my weight lifting.

    What does “connection” mean to you?

    Connection has a lot of different meanings to me. Though for me, connection is something very simple. Truly being in touch with something in one way or another.

    We as humans are not as connected to the earth as animals are or we were many thousands of years ago.

    We don’t walk barefoot on the earth anymore (which has shown to have huge benefits). We are physically not connected with the earth as much as we have been. Even now I sit here on the 2nd level of my apartment, and when I go outside, there is a drive way made of concrete and pavement which disconnects me from the earth. Even when I find earth, it could be fake earth and is even more difficult to touch it.

    Connection in humans is also lacking. It has the same meaning. We are not truly in touch with most other humans anymore. We are increasingly living in a lonely society, satisfying our loneliness with false forms social interactions (facebook etc). We need to have more slow long dinners, turn off all distractions, and really bask in the warmth of other folks.

    When I have dinner with most people, they nearly always put their cell phone on the table, and every ding distracts them.

    Just like my earth example with connection, we are disconnected from the true deep connection and meaning.

    I like these shoes. I want to be more connected to the earth and standing my my heels away from the earth and other people.

    What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?

    Dive Bombers, 1 legged squats, lunges, and push ups (feet elevated high).

    One requirement I add to all body weight workouts, is something I learned from Tim. I implement a 5 second waiting period at both starting and during the exercise movements as well to prevent momentum workouts and get more “weight” on my muscles. Example: When I do a push up, I get into push up position for 5 seconds, then when I do the push up (move down arms bent) I hold that down position for 5 seconds, back up to normal pushup starting position and hold for another 5 seconds.

    Dive bombers are pretty simple though very intense, most people can’t do them without some weight lifting, whether from the Gym or Bodyweight workouts.
    1. From the yoga pose of downward dog or whatever it’s called
    2. Wave forward as if I’m going toward a push up and then have my face elevated with my back bent. The mid position is like a backwards L, my feet being the bottom of the L the other way, and my head being top of the L. I hold for 5 seconds in both the mid and starting positions.
    3. Go backwards back into starting position

    1 legged squats are simple.
    1. Stand on 1 leg balance your weight with your other leg and if you need put your hand on a chair or furniture for balance use it purely for balance not to assist in the squat
    2. Go bend your knee ensuring your knee does not go past your feet
    3. Hold for 5 seconds
    4. Go back to starting position.

    Push-ups (feet elevated high), elevating pushups by putting our feet higher make the body weight workout far more intense. Adding a 5 second pause to it even makes it more difficult. It’s best to start with regular pushups and build up to this.

    1. Find a table or bed you can elevator your feet off of
    2. Get into push up position with your feet (toes) on the table or bed while your arms and hands are on the ground getting ready for a pushup
    3. Do a push up, when your arms are bent around 90 degrees, pause for 5 seconds.
    4. Go back to starting position.

    Lunges
    1. In a standing position lunge forward with one knee at a 90 degree angle while the other knee is parallel to the floor at a 90 degree angle ensuring your front knee does not go past your foot
    2. Hold for 5 seconds
    3. Go back to starting positon and alternate legs

    That’s it! I do these every 4 days, and do 3-5 good reps (something I learned from Tim) and put a 3 minute break in between all of my different exercises.

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  48. Hey Tim!

    Massive fan, constantly suggesting ppl buy 4hour body because I lost so much weight thanks to ur diet tips!!

    Connection: the moment nigella Lawson’s spoons touch her lips. That’s a connection!

    Favourite body weight exercise: lat push-ups. Do one side then wide then the other side. Really good for core & chest.

    I’m a podiatrist so I’d love to try out those new Merrel shoes. Can’t wait to get my hands on my copy of 4-hour chef either :D

    Like

  49. Connection is removing ourselves from the artificial environment that we spend 98% of our time in.
    Handstand pushups baby!

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  50. Connection: The not always obvious link between things imagined and real. Part of my journey is to discover and explore these links, to become more aware of them.

    Favorite Body weight exercises? Push-ups, Pull-ups, Burpees, Sprinting and Pilates Teaser

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  51. Connection is when each party starts to get an insight into the other(s) inside.

    Favourite body-only exercises: front line – mayurasana, the yoga peacock
    back line and legs: squats with arms at least head-high or above.
    sides: chaturanga side variations – one-arm stances.
    …and the royal posture to nail it all to one point: headstand

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  52. CONNECTION: IS that person that understands you and your weird ideas that is prepared to look outside the box that is prepared to take a chance to be creative despite the nay sayers and that person maybe is you

    slow 5 cadence push-ups

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  53. Connection to me is being online, but I connect better when I’m off line.

    Currently I’m going all out with Jump Rope skipping, but kettle bell swings, myotatic crunches, and regular push-ups give me my MED.

    Cheers
    JT
    Aussie

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  54. I am 58 years old and NOTHING beats getting outside for cleaning the cobwebs out of my brain. The sights, the smells, the sounds, the air, and feeling the weather on my face. Connection to me is when my muscle memory for my favorite sports is still there after all these years and I can instantly get that great adrenaline rush. My favorite bodyweight only exercise – ooooooh. Lunges. yikes. Lunges. Such beautiful punishment with such terrific results. With each lunge I find more inner strength to conquer silly day-to-day annoyances.

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  55. To me “connection” is a focus on yourself that is made possible when you get away from distractions (computers, city life etc). The connection can be made by being in nature and appreciating it, or by focusing on our body (like running or meditating).

    Favorite exercice : Leg-Kick Push up

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  56. Well, if I learned anything from the 4hww, it was to broker this task to someone smarter than I.

    So my Son responded with:

    Connection = Meaningful Interaction

    Exercise = Pull Ups

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  57. Connection IS one of the most important things in the world. It’s what makes our lives “work” without effort. It’s the aspect of practice that eliminates the opposition.

    In practice: If you and your partner are struggling, arguing and not connecting, you will experience resistance and opposition. However, if there is only one of you (the other one leaves, for example), the struggle and opposition cease. Connection is the way to change two into one without making someone leave.

    For this you need to know what is required to make the connection. Many times it is just being observant and listening. Sometimes its moving in time with them, putting yourself in their shoes and really feeling what is happening to each of you. Other times it is just being there for someone when they need you.

    But most of all, it is knowing when to push and when to pull…..

    I practice Aikido, do Cage Fitness, and my favorite exercises are Hindu Squats, Hindu Pushups, and Dips. Thank you Tim for all your help over the years…. you have literally changed (my wife and I) our lives.

    Like

  58. Connection is that moment when the separate become whole. Whether it is a thought, a handshake, an email, a look, a wire, a word, an arrow, or a smile. That single instance when the paths of two or more join in the journey together.

    My favorite bodyweight-only exercise is the one that I like the least. The burpee with a push-up. I favor it because the results are phenomenal and the exercise is simple and efficient. I like it not, because, it is a burpee!

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  59. To connect is to become aware of the false perception that things are separate, to get feedback from and pass information to that which we are in contact with.

    Feeling the ground beneath our feet we can have a kinesthetic “conversation” with it. If we’re connected, to it we know where and how to step.

    If we are connected to people, our environment, or even ourselves we can learn how to tread appropriately, meaningfully and ecologically.

    Favorite body weight only exercise:

    Ultimate and official answer:

    I think it’s called a “Navy Seal Push Up”

    Lay prone with your hands above you head, arms outstretched and bottom of your toes down like a push up.

    Press straight down and TRY to lift your whole body off the floor so just your fingertips and toes and touching the floor.

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  60. Connection is sharing a dream that brings meaning to your life and seeing in spark and illuminare something brand new in another person. The most powerful force in the world.
    Body weight exercise. Simple planks. You’re always seconds away from a burn that wakes up often ignored but critical muscles, strengthens core, and makes you love life (when you finish that is….)

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  61. First off congrats on this partnership with Merrell. I love the brand and have been an avid supporter along with my wife. I like how they make lifestyle footwear as well as rugged functional footwear as well.

    Now on to the next one…

    Connection: a two part response which I shall answer while sounding as little as Deepak Chopra…

    1. On a personal level Connection is the way in which I interact with the people and the world around me. Whether it’s gauging physical interactions in jiu jitsu, being in awe of nature while hunting or sharing a nice bowl of chicken wings with my friends, this is my social definition of Connection.

    2. As a science major and big fan of Human Anatomy (it’s one of 3 University textbooks I have kept) the term Connection takes on another meaning. in this sense it is the various links between parts of our body. For example, when asked how to throw a punch properly most would assume that you just cock your fist back and “let ‘er rip”. However, those in the know will tell you that it all starts with the feet. Foot placement and slight steps transfer the energy to the calve, then up the leg to a hip rotation, thereby generating a whipping motion off your upper torso, the tip of which is your fist. To me that is the essence of Connection in the human body.

    Body weight exercises:

    1. Burpees/Blurpees (I hate it, but I love it – spoken in the voice of Tony Horton of P90X fame).
    2. Deep Mountain Climbers.
    3. Animal walks (bear crawls, cat crawls, duck walk and spider walk)

    Cheers and congrats again on the partnership with Merrell.

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  62. 1) Connection for me is the natural bond between oneself & another. Be it a soulmate or getting re-connected with Mother Nature.

    2) My favorite body weight only excercises are Hindu push-ups & burpees.

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  63. To me, connection means being able to feel and interact with my surroundings. It means feeling free and being part of the world rather than a human distanced from it. It means being in touch with, listening to, and livin in harmony with nature whether I am hiking with my dog, running trails, sitting around a camp fire with friends, or looking up at a perfect night sky. It means doing silly and spontaneous things like climbing trees, jumping into ponds, and running down mountainsides as fast as I can.

    My favorite bodyweight-only exercises include squats, planks, bicycle crunches, and tree branch pull-ups. All to keep my body and mind strong, happy, and healthy.

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  64. Connection,meting intrinsically linked with someone or something.

    Body weight exercises – push up+ mods and squat.

    Thanks Tim and Merrell

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  65. That Cat Crawl is deceptively difficult. Clearly my feline muscles aren’t up to scratch. My bear muscles are fine though…

    Connection? It’s what it’s like when my head isn’t up my own ass fretting about the future. It’s a lack of a feeling for me, if I’m connected then I’m not feeling that I need to do something more to be calm, I’m happy doing whatever I’m doing.

    Best bodyweight exercise is just climbing. You could sub in pull ups and all its variations for a gym friendly version.

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  66. Connection to me means creating lasting and meaningful links be they friendships, relationships, abstract concepts, tangibles, intangibles, goals,ideas, thought processes. It is a glue that binds two or more things or people together.

    Best Body weight exercise – What else but the king of upper body exercises, thechin up. They can be done in more ways than imaginable and only require something to hang off. Not too many more demanding physical exercises using just bodyweight. Simplicity at is best.

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  67. Connection to me is all about close proximity. This is usually an internal process and relates to everything from spirituality, to empathy, to communication. Rather than think of connection as multi-directional and web-like, I’ve found the most freedom by using the analogy of “coming face to face” with something. The knowledge that a distance needs to be bridged between me and all aspects of life through action (internal and external) has lead me to beat addiction, conquer fears, reshape my body, improve relationship, restructure my internal monologues etc etc. It’s all about closing distance.
    Best body weight exercises for me is the rotating plank followed by multi-level spider crawls.
    Loving your stuff Tim. Many thanks.

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  68. I don’t feel like waxing philosophical on the ‘connection’ thing, but I can give some input on the bodyweight exercises.

    I’ve been training exclusively bodyweight for a number of years now. I’m also a big fan of minimalism, so I keep my workouts short and sweet. This is what I’ve found gives you the biggest bang for your buck.

    1) Handstand pushups. Start by kicking up against a wall, but practice trying to balance without using the wall for support. Eventually you’ll find the right way to use your muscles to maintain your balance. This works practically every muscle in your upper body, and is honestly just fun to practice. You’re not ‘working out’, you’re just practicing a new skill that requires strength and coordination. I stand up every 30-60 minutes throughout the day to kick up into a handstand and see how many reps I can do before I lose my balance. This turns working out into a fun intermission from staring at the computer.

    2) Sprints. Not only are they one of the best (and most functional) lower-body exercises, the mental benefits of cardio alone make it worthwhile to do this every morning (read the book ‘Spark’ for more info). But running is boring, so I find ways to make it more fun.

    Head to an empty soccer field or basketball court and practice doing breakaways with a ball. For soccer, start at half-field, pretend you’re racing against a defender toward the goal, and finish with a shot. Then walk back to half-field and repeat. For basketball, do the same thing with layups. Or just play around with the ball and work up a sweat. Either way, this is much more fun than just running, and has the side benefit that it will make you better at handling the ball if you play either of these sports.

    This doesn’t have to require a lot of time. I usually only spend between 10-30 minutes depending on much fun I’m having, but I do this every day. I try to find pickup games instead whenever possible. Don’t try to kill yourself with your sprints – just work up a sweat, have some fun, then call it a day.

    3) Pullups. These will target whatever muscles in your upper body you might miss with handstand pushups. Mix up your grips between pullups/chinups, narrow and wide grip, etc. Once these become easy, you can watch some of the street workout videos on youtube for new ideas. Since I do a lot of handstand pushups throughout my day, I usually only do 2-3 sets of pullups in the morning after my sprints, and not until exhaustion. In the past, I did sets of pullups throughout the day instead of handstand pushups. But I’ve found it’s best to focus on one bodyweight skill at a time if you want to make progress, and right now I’m finding handstands easier to squeeze in throughout the day.

    In my opinion the purpose of your workouts should be to energize you, not leave you feeling drained. For that reason I keep it short, focus on movements that are difficult but fun to make progress on, and rarely skip a day.

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  69. Connection. I first think of electricity. All living things are based in a form of electricity all the way done the molecular level. Static electricity and chi are two examples. I believe when a connection is made whether physical or not there is a actual sense of the electric connection. Anyone who has ever had awareness can attest to this form of experience.

    I wasn’t sure but had to look up the name of this exercise. The Burpee Jump-ups is my go to exercise when I am stuck with out workout machines around. For anyone who is unfamiliar, a burpee jump-up involves one push-up, then pull your legs back under you into the squat position, keeping your palms face down on the floor. Stand and then jump in the air, bringing your arms over your head to reach for the ceiling. When you land, you will finish the first burpee-jump-up.
    tips: keep knees bend entire time, add variation in the jump, add variation in the push up.

    Guaranteed full body burn or double your money back!

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  70. For me, connection is a way of living; a recognition that all things are connected – all us humans, the planet, the animals – and living with a respect for that connection and a willingness to be present in it.

    Best Body Weight Exercise – Yoga, particularly as you advance to some of the more challenging balancing poses. For me right now, that’s mastering crane.

    p.s. I’m also a big fan of the Merrell shoes. I feel more connected to the Earth when I exercise in them. I also believe the vibrations from the impact help build greater bone density.

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  71. Connection for me is usually about a spark or a feeling, and usually associated with a person who I hit it off with, either as a friend or (before marriage) as a potential mate.

    In terms of physical experience it’s about doing, seeing, touching. Being there instead of watching on a screen. I too, have a well-worn pair of Merrells that I bought for my trip to Southeast Asia and my semester abroad in Tokyo in 2006 that are still going strong with almost no sign of wear. Unlike Tim I still enjoy my Five Fingers, but usually only while working out and not while walking around. I’m aiming to do a trail run in July so those Trail Gloves might be calling my name.

    And without a doubt my favorite bodyweight exercise is dips. Great workout for the entire upper body and one that you really FEEL the next day, just like a good workout with weights.

    And the sad thing is I’m not even sure if I could do more than one or two right now. Yet another thing to add to the list of things that need to get done once I drop a bit more weight. 30lbs down, about 50 to go.

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  72. 1) Connection, to me, isn’t an external thing or just a feeling – its a state of being; an entire philosophy. When I’m inside at my computer and all I can think about is running barefoot on the beach a few miles from me with friends – I know I’m connected.

    You’re connected when you seize opportunities that come your way, without hesitation, and find the beauty and mystery in even the simplest of daily acts. When you take the time to travel with presence, a richer life unfolds before you. Moments of beauty begin to braid your days.

    2) As a professional ballet and salsa dancer, my favorite body-weight only exercises are without a doubt, related to dancing. Working on new lifts, turns and leaps with a partner is great strength training and super fun (even sensual if you really like your partner :)

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  73. Hi Tim,

    Connection to me is when your senses are tuned to your surroundings and you’re almost in a state of hyper-awareness. I prefer to run in minimalist shoes out on trails for that very reason. Your feet are connected to the terrain in front of you giving feedback for your body to make instantaneous adjustments with each stride.

    My favorite body weight exercise is the pull-up. It works everything and all you need is a good tree limb on the trail or something overhead that you can grab hold of. You can work negatives, static holds, endurance or power.

    Looking forward to tracking this partnership.

    Pete T

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  74. I see connection as a deeper perception of what’s happening in the environment around you. In the outdoors, connection magnifies your vision from “tree, stone, flower, bird” to “white birch, granite, rhododendron, whippoorwill.” Connection is what makes the difference between looking at paper with words on it, and learning to read.

    My favorite body weight only exercises are dive bomber pushups, squats and dips.

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  75. Connection means being in my body in the moment. As a transgender person, this is the key to my survival. This week I am having gender confirmation surgery and I am able to do this because I have been living my life in line according to my values and now, I will take my body hacking one step further to connect the shell of my body with the way my brain sees it.

    Body weight exercise? I gotta go with grasshoppers. They are energetic and rock my core. 

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  76. A connection of any kind resonates with mind, body, and spirit:it feels like every cell has been plugged in to a power source and is fully engaged in the experience. The best body weight exercise is a correctly performed Burpee with variations, which involves Plyometrics, squats, push-ups, and core. And, it can be done pretty much anywhere.

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  77. Connection is when someone lets go of his ego and his “me” to truly be present with whatever it is he is connecting with.

    My favorite bodyweight exercises are the ones done with stability balls because your whole body works no matter what the exercise is. My top two would be a squat standing on a ball and a plank with you hands on one ball and your feet on another ball.

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  78. For me connection means an all-absorbing, complete immersion and overwhelming desire to give-in to the moment and experience.

    My favourite bodyweight exercises:
    Burpees: the best exercise for Tabata or for a simple cardiovascular workout that really gets the heart pumping.
    Push-ups (with core engaged): simple and effective upper body workout.
    Squats: if you try to consciously engage glutes as well, great for strengthening legs!

    Simple and effective.

    As ever Tim, inspiring! I cannot wait to see the fruits of this partnership!

    Pete
    N. Ireland

    Like

  79. Connection to me is about energy flow. When you stand rooted to the ground you are connected to the earth. When my daughter was a baby and we’d nap as a family I would nestle her fuzzy head under my outstretched arm and angle my leg to let her rest her wee feet on my thigh. I would place my hand and shin in contact with my husband’s skin and envision the energy flowing through and around my baby, forging a connection between us to nourish and protect her.

    Fave exercise using my body weight? Are you surprised to hear it’s yoga? ;)

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  80. “connection” equates to me as ‘the state of flow’. When I’m cranking along on all twelve-cylinders and time evaporates.

    my favourite body-weight only exercise would be “push-ups” and the many variations that can make them as challenging as you need them to be.

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  81. What does “connection” mean to you?

    doing what you want without your body giving out before your mind….ski, run, jump, paddle…..all day!

    – What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?

    pushups everywhere…decline, incline, weighted, hand positions, mix it up

    KISS……keep it simple…..

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  82. Connection is focussed contact either to a person, idea or place.

    Tough to beat jumping switch lunges for a great body weight exercise.

    Tim – other than aesthetics, what do these shoes have over the gecko style vibrams?

    Thanks!

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  83. Connection is like..nothing between you and clarity. In exercise, connection is that perfect running moment when you are flowing so well you actually feel weightless, connection in relationships is that perfect moment when you are so attentive that you somehow literally forget yourself and see the other person so lightening clear you not only hear – you feel – what they are saying, connection to life is the unexpected second that you have no bias and see yourself with clarity…and you realize how amazingly content you are right then to be you.

    Favorite bodyweight only exercises would have to be planks of all kinds, pushups, and basketball slides.

    Happy Saturday!!

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  84. Tim!

    Connection: Oneness. When the sensation that all things are created by and from the same energy; physical limitations are transcended and you feel the universal connection: man->matter->earth.

    Burpees! One feels the connection of every muscle in the body. One feels the connection to the earth at the lowest position and then tries to escape that connection by jumping. One quickly becomes reconnected to the earth.

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  85. For me, connection means that you emotionally know something so intensely (about a person, about energy, about potential) that you do not doubt yourself for one second. It all just makes sense to you and feels as though it is richly an extension of you. I love using my own body weight to bounce, roll, and climb my self through a Parkour course.

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  86. To me “connection” signifies balance and awareness and synonymous with intimacy. Wether it’s in the context of nature or relationships one has to first be conscience of the connection. To fully connect there has to be balance. Balance in the sense of how much of each side is invested in the connection. I had a friend that defined intimacy as to be known and to fully know without any fear of rejection. I think a certain level of intimacy with nature means to be lost in the experience. I can see myself doing some of the movements below and looking like an idiot to most people but someone with a deep connection with the movements and nature loses that fear of rejection and builds a level of intimacy.
    Favorite body weight exercises:
    Single leg RDL
    Pushups variations
    Walking Lunge
    Burpee or Blurpees
    Jump squat (box jump if an elevated surface is laying around)
    Any variation on the Plank
    single leg hip thrust
    pistol squat
    L-sits
    Hand stand Pushups
    hand stands
    frog stand to handstand or planche
    hindu pushups
    If something to hang from is available:
    pull-ups / chin-ups
    inverted row
    front lever
    muscle-ups

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  87. To be totally in the now with another human being within a natural setting is what connection means to me.
    Pushups, crunches, planks, pull ups, squats, lunges, handstands.
    How’s that? LOVE Merrell shoes and would love to own a pair.

    Like

  88. The thing about connection is, once it happens it no longer exists. Once connected there’s a synergy (thank you Mr. Fuller) between two things. Me and the ground. Am I connected to it, or it to me? Do I run or does the earth move? Me and my piano. Who is playing who/what? When connection happens, you can’t feel it either because it doesn’t stand out. It just is.
    Best body weight exercise is by far running up stairs by two or three steps every single time there are stairs to run up. Thank you, NYC.

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  89. 1) To me, its very simple. ‘Connection’ or ‘to connect’ with something simply means to be one with that something, where the boundaries between you and that something cease to exist. It is that ‘oneness’ that I take the word connection to mean.
    2) My favorite body weight only exercises are the push-up and squats.

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  90. Connection to me means opening a facet of myself up to share with a corresponding something or someone else.

    Favorite bodyweight exercises:
    – Rope climbs without the feet
    – Pole climbing
    – Handbalancing
    – Planches
    – Glute-ham raises
    – Bench pressing someone standing in my hands

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  91. -Women will come and go. Your bank account will fill and empty with the changing winds. There are good times and less good times. The burpee doesn’t judge. The burpee waits for you quietly. The burpee whispers softly “Do me, or just go home,”

    -Connection brings it all together. Force it and it’s not genuine. Lose focus and you’ll never touch it. Talk about it and watch it become sterile. Feel it, without grasping, and you won’t need any words.

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