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!

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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462 Replies to “Announcing the "4 Fundamentals", Merrell Partnership/Giveaway, and Live Q&A”

  1. Connection is the realization of our bond with another being, with an idea, with life and ultimately with all that is. No separation. And in fact, no self. We become both less and more with the realization of connection. Focus on the other, the surfaces and the terrain of our lives, and connection is there.

    My favorite body weight only exercise is “The Get Up” – Lie flat on the floor (prone or supine) and GET UP! then get back down. Keep repeating. Do this for 30 minutes. Vary the way you get up and go down. Incorporate one leg squats, push-ups, and any other move you can imagine. Works large muscles, core, and aerobic.

  2. Connection begins and ends with interaction. Everything from the smell of the air and feel of the wind on your face, to the sound and feel of the trail crunching under your feet.

    My favorite body weight only exercise is the bicycle crunch. I’m slowly finding my abs! (Lost 50 lbs on the SCD last year and started exercising over the holidays.)

  3. Connection means that two people have found a bond, a common thread in their experiences, personality, or their passions that brings them together in mutual respect..

    Favorite body weight exercise- single leg pistols

  4. – What does “connection” mean to you?

    Connection is the invisible glue that binds two or more people together. It happens in an instant. When we connect we become part of the same tribe.

    – What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?

    The classic pushup is still the best bodyweight-only exercise there is. A favorite of the U.S. Army since before WWI, the pushup and its various modifications (one handed, clap, inverted, reverse, etc) provide the best core workout in the least amount of time. Get down and give me 50!

  5. Connection? We are one with each other and all living things.

    Our every thought, act and deed either enhances or diminishes us all,

    like pebbles and stones thrown in a pond… rippling acoss one another as they project from our past, change our present, and become our future.

    Favourite Body Weight Exercises: One word… Kata.

  6. The world is based on relationship and the complete and total inter-connectedness of all things. The gift of living in modernity is to understand how crucial it is to remember and honor our relationships with every bit of the world, in order to maintain health and vitality in all those systems, including the human system. Everyone knows what happens when this doesn’t happen; just open today’s paper.

    To be connected creates vitality in the body, a quiet mind, and a grateful heart.

    People living their lives from a connected place end up creating cultures that are inherently regenerative. They honor the wisdom of their elders and celebrate and channel the fire of the youth. They live inside the mythic realm of story and feed it with ceremony and ritual. They learn by mentoring, a largely invisible process of questioning and pulling on threads of curiosity, like the Socratic method. The attributes of a healthy culture are founded on a deep connection to the world around it. Thoreau was nature connected; as was John Muir. Now talk about deep nature connection, and we’re talking about the likes of Black Elk or Chief Joseph — next level stuff.

    My favorite bodyweight only exercises in order of increasing pain:

    – 1 armed pushups

    – 1 legged squats

    – burpees

    – hill sprints

    – all of the above in tabata form, yikes

    cheers 🙂

  7. I have been a long time fan of Merrell’s, but I won’t be buying any more. They are lethal in the wet .

  8. True connection is nothing. It’s the clear feeling that I get a few times each day or week, often alone, when I find my mind happily groovin’ in the void. No thoughts, no nagging tasklists, no solid proprioception, no recognition of the “wind in the trees”. Just me, connected to myself. Killer feeling; a caesura of epic proportions.

    Body weight exercises I enjoy are planks and jumping. I don’t know if jumping has a special name, but I just like to jump up and down.

  9. When you are standing in the middle of the mountains in Maine, with not a human, car, radio, phone, road, or any other sign or sound of modern civilization within miles. Where your only company is the wind in the trees, the stones and grass under your feet, the feeling of belonging.

    The sense of being whole, of being one with your surroundings, this is connection. I find it when I simplify life to it’s most basic needs and beauty. It finds me when I’m too caught up in the “race” to take notice.

    My favorite body-weight exercise is to take a long walk for an hour or more.

  10. Connection is participation to me. For too long I sat behind a computer screen or playing video games, not participating in life. Then I met some of the best friends anyone could ever ask for. Connection is being with them, having adventures, doing things outside your comfort zone for the experience of it.

    My favorite exercise used to be the burpee, but now it’s the cat crawl/bear crawl. It’s fun to do and hilarious to watch your friends do.

  11. Connection is all about reducing the static, interference or noise between you and where you are and what you doing. To the extent that one’s mind is clear, focused and present, one is connected. Connection is purity of experience. Connection is free, but has a cost and is priceless.

    My favorite body-weight exercise is the full-squat (but with particular execution: controlled down motion with eyes up and palms fully contacting the floor, with a good/intentional squeeze in the glutes at the bottom, rising powerfully to a conscious contraction of the quads at the top with a slight rear-ward tilt of the shoulder/upper-body to engage the lower-back).

  12. Connection: it is the stuff of life. The juice. The thrill. The drama. The pain. It all comes through connection. To people, animals, nature and the spiritual world I experience the fullness of life.

    Body weight exercise: air squats. In the office. At home. In the bathroom. Anywhere! It gives a burst of energy. Warms the muscles and strengthens the most important areas of my body. My butt, core, back all engage.

    Now gimme dem shoes!

  13. Connection to me means being grounded and present in the moment. Grounded physically means well-balanced with a low center of gravity. To be present in the moment means letting go of the past and not rehearsing the future, but instead seeing the depth of things happening in front of you now.

    Best body-weight exercise: pistol (one-legged) jump squats up onto an elevated platform, stair, rock, tree stump or mound of dirt.

  14. Quick question, does Merrell have a guide for those just starting to get into barefoot or shoes that are meant for beginners?

    As for connection: To me a connection is just being in touch with your environment. It means that you can sense the little changes whether that means you just stepped on an acorn or feeling the grass in-between your toes.

    I did the barefoot thing for a while, bought toe-shoes and Viveobarefoots, and I loved being able to feel the subtle differences of the ground when I walked or ran, but like many other people, I ended up hurting my feet and have since gone back to my padded Mizunos.

    Body-weight exercises (disclaimer: I love Crossfit)

    Any combination of 15/10/5 for 5 rounds of:

    Squats, push-ups, burpees, pull-ups, dips, box jumps, or handstand push-ups. And a 400 meter warm-up/cool down.

  15. Connection – when something meaningful and of value has occurred between two people. It may be as simple as a great conversation on a plane where you learn so much about a total stranger, so the guy named Joe who always checks us out at the grocery store – I know a little more about Joe every time we shop and do my best to give him a sincere smile and hello whenever I see him. The connection can be as great as that of your relationship with your best friend, spouse or mentor. A connection simply gives you a support network of more people that can brighten and enhance your life!

    My favorite body weight only exercises are planks and lunges. One day I hope it’s pullups, but my strength isn’t there yet!

  16. When I connect with something on any meaningful level; all else, my worries, the world, fade away…

    MoMacAttack Sprints!!!

    i.e. Up-Hill Sprints, but you must do them as if you’re running for your life.

  17. Hey Tim,

    Very exciting partnership. Here are my answers.

    1. Connection is the fundamental linkage between a person and an idea that drives them.

    2. The best body weight exercise is a tough call, but if a decision had to be made, here are my top two:

    Muscle up – When done on rings this is a truly unbelievable display of power and strength.

    The Handstand Pushup – Another awesome display of balance, strength and coordination. It’s also really cool to watch!

    All the best,


  18. Connection: the power of the collective whole is greater than any one individual.

    Top body weight exercises: spiderman pushups, one legged squats, pull ups

    Thanks, Tim!

  19. To me, connection means finding a love (or a passion) between yourself and something else. Healthy people have a good connection with his/her mate, with his/her body, with nature.

    Body squats, lunges and planks!

  20. When we feel our hearts beating, blood pulsing in our veins, and our breath moving inside of us we are fully alive…we are in connection with ourselves and we are connected to all other living things. Connection is life.

    Yoga is connection and is by far my favorite body-weight only exercise for mind, body and spirit!

  21. Connection to me means finding something similar in spirit, emotion, physicality or even just the coincidence of time and space.

    Best body weight exercise is the push up

  22. Connection means relationship. You are directly experiencing that which you are in relationship with, in this case, the earth; nature. I offer these quotes to illustrate:

    “I touch the earth and the earth touches me.” – Hugh Prather

    “You’ve been all over and its been all over you.” – lyrics from the U2 song, ‘Beautiful Day’

    My favorite body-weight exercise is a Tai Chi stretch which loosens up one hip while simultaneously strengthening the other. It is performed standing, on one leg, slightly bent at the knee and hip (picture Daniel-san in Karate Kid perched on a pier, although without the flapping arms) while pulling the other leg to the chest and diagonally toward the opposite shoulder. Does wonders for the sciatic area (where I have had issues).

    I also like inverted push-ups and have been a long time admirer of Merrel footwear!

  23. Connection: Opening yourself up to someone/something while fulfilling their void.

    Excercise: Burpees & Push-ups

  24. Connection to me means experiencing a common resonance, or to align frequencies.

    Connection to me means simply to harmonize two or more otherwise separate things. To align differing frequencies for some period of time into one resonance.

    Best bodyweight-only exercise is the pull-up, or chin-up, or whatever name you want to give putting your hands onto something above shoulder level and pulling yourself up over/onto it. It’s infinitely translatable into so many real-life scenarios, requires no real equipment if one is imaginative, and is great for you physically.

  25. Connection? It is that feeling of rightness and belonging, almost of sliding into place, that hits you all of a sudden, maybe six miles into a long run, maybe when you see a long lost friend, or maybe just when you wake up suddenly out of a good dream. You feel the presence of everything and everyone around you without looking at them or thinking about it. And this overwhelming sense of calm lets you know, not just that you fit, but that without you, everything would be different.

    My favorite body weight only exercise? Upward bow (or wheel) pose. When I work into this position about 3/4 of the way through my yoga practice, it becomes the most intense test of leg and arm strength, and the fullest expression of opening all at once.

  26. Connection is basically when two people are on same page or want same thing. Someone really understands me and get my hopes fears and dreams. And I understand someone else because I have been in exact same situation. It feels like we know each other even if logically we don’t know each other for long.

    Best body weight exercise

    Push up and squats

    I know its cleche but it is cleche for a reason.

  27. Connection is when you understand not just the meaning on the surface but also engage with and understand the deeper truth about something; an object’s essence, a person’s soul.

    Body weight exercise I love & hate: “real” burpees that include a pushup

  28. Connection:

    The complete physical, emotional, and mental connection with my dance partner on the floor, synchronized with movement and rhythm.


    Plié w/ Relevé

  29. What does connection mean to me?

    It means getting to really know someone or something, establishing a deep bond. In relationships, it starts out as a conversation – a back and forth of sharing life experiences, stories, thoughts… It’s once I’ve created a connection with someone that I feel more comfortable referring to them, etc.

    My favorite body-weight only exercise: Climbing trees. I love, love, LOVE to climb trees. It is such a great workout and is a great way to CONNECT with nature! :] Haha. There’s this great tree near my home at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. We call it the Monkey Tree. It has great branches for climbing and goes way up into the sky. You can see the most amazing scenery from up there.

  30. Connection is an understanding of an environment or being!

    Calf raises! They are very simple and effective!

  31. Connection to me is two or more things coming together and working harmoniously for the greater good, whether it is body and mind, people coming together (anything from a work project to a marriage), a person and their environment (I think of rock climbing or mountain biking), and so on.

    My favorite body exercise would have to be pull-ups. I can gauge if I am getting stronger by how close I am getting to be able to do one pull-up, palms out, from a dead hang. I’ve never been able to do one, and after changing my diet and exercise habits, I’m sooooo close.

  32. Hey Tim,

    Connection means different things in different contexts: at a personal level, connection means, fundamentally, being on the same page with another person regarding something important to both of you. This can be health, food, values… Any one of the life elements that define each of us. I’ve felt it playing hockey with long-standing teammates, as we strive to win, with other “regulars” at the gym, with whom you talk every time you are at the gym (regardless of gender and age) or even slinging cafeteria-style food at an inner-city mission (shameless plug: the Mustard Seed Mission, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada).

    In the context of a brand, I have felt that connection with products (like Merrell) or with retailers (like Mountain Equipment Coop — MEC — here in Canada) which are solid promoters of the values I hold, but without being “in your face”. They deliver good products or services — solid, value-priced, available without being demanding, value- but not image-conscious — without screaming at you, or anyone in your vicinity, about who “they” are. Kinda like driving a Volvo instead of a Maserati, even if you could afford one (full disclosure: I drive NEITHER, but would love one of EITHER!). Like you, I have an affinity for Merrell, since I believe I wore a pair the first time I backpacked through Europe, in 1986. I didn’t know that brand from Adam, but they were very comfortable, and fit the bill from a “value-pricing” perspective – an important consideration for a newly-graduated university student!

    In terms of body weight only exercises, I’ve got a couple of favourites — running, which moves my ass around without assistance from a machine, but also the pull-up bar, which I like using for front/facing lat pull-downs. Miy gym has a setup which allows anyone to do this, by way of a counterweighted machine to provide user-specific support in pulling up on this machine. It’ll work for ANYONE — just set the appropriate counterweight!

    Tim – keep up the good work – unassuming, humorous, but going the extra mile to glean data the rest of us can use. I’ve got all three of your books, in multiple formats (print, audio book, Kindle) and I’m following SCD while using techniques from 4HWW to align my business interests with my lifestyle goals. Thanks for the help!


  33. 1. I connect physically through running in minimalist shoes – meditation is brought on thru the cadence of my feet. I call this time my #mamameditation and it helps me stay fresh and healthy for my children.

    2. Push ups, planks and squats.

  34. Connection is the essence of our “human-ness” ….. it is the bond between two entities. Be it with ourselves, partner, family, friends, pets, body, mind, the food we put on our plates, etc. Sadly in todays fast-paced world, it is something that is pushed to the outer for various reasons.

    Sex!…. again….connection 😉

  35. Connection: Conductive reasoning. One side knows it, the other sides gets it and the middle ground of understanding. Can be one or both.

    Best body weight only exercise: Sex

  36. Connection means that I’m aware of my body, my breath, and how I feel. I’m connected to what drives me, what motivates me, and my emotions. It also represents how “at peace” I am with myself and in my own skin.

    My favorite bodyweight exercise is the “Cobra Roll”. I am demonstrating it here:

  37. Paraphrased Taoist saying: The spokes of a wheel meet in emptiness, and from that emptiness comes its use.

    A mind full of assumptions, filters, and busythink can’t see the spokes around it. Connection means the awareness of possibilites and opening to them.

    Favourite bodyweight exercise: the muscle-up. The one-stop shop to make your upper body rock.

  38. Connections means being in sync or in touch with the reality that surrounds you this includes but is not limited to family, friends, and yourself.

    Best body-weight exercises;

    1. split squat jumps w/jump and push-ups

    2. planks

    3. hanging leg-raises

  39. A connection to me means when two things link together closely and they create some degree of euphoric reverie. My favorite bodyweight-only exercises are knuckle pushups and neutral position pull-ups with leg extension!

  40. Connection has so many meanings. There’s the literal meanings and the philosophical ones. And then we have the hybrid meanings that join both the physical and philosophical. Without philosophical connections there can be no physical connections. This is true in love, sex, electronics and power grids politics and virtually every other “connection” know to man. Connection begins with and idea (philosophy). That idea evolves into a plan(philosophy). The plan evolves into execution(physical). An eventually it is born into a fully actuated physical reality.

    As far as BodyWeight movements are concerned… I stick with the staples, push-ups, handstands, pull-ups and squats variations.. Bilateral, unilateral, isometric, eccentric loading and explosive loading. This allows for multiple facets of deveolpment and growth.

  41. Connection simply means knowing the surroundings and the people around where you live. It’s easy to get caught up in a busy habit of work or staying inside your social circles. To connect people need to ‘get lost’ sometimes and walk down a new street, alley, or trail near their home. Along the way, you’re bound to meet a few people who are doing the same thing. Smiling and saying hello to these people will bring peace of mind and connection.

    Favorite body weight exercises are the squat and press. I learned these from the 4 Hour body. Squat down, stand up, press up with the arms, repeat.

  42. To me, connection means contact: physically, emotionally and digitally. It’s about the bond between people and the world they participate in.

    Pushups and running are my favorite bodyweight-only exercises. The first thing I do after rolling out of the bed in the morning is a single set of 50 pushups to get my blood flowing. I run 2 – 3 times per week, and I recently completed my first marathon last October.

  43. A connection is a link between two people that keeps them coming back for more, and its what makes life interesting as we realize how small the world really is. My favorite (or maybe it’s actually least favorite?) bodyweight workout is the burpee. It’s killer squats, chest and core all wrapped up in one move.

  44. I am a sales consultant and connecting with people is what I do every day. This requires me to gain the customer’s trust. To do this I have to find common ground with people from a variety of ethnic, economic and social backgrounds. The key is to make the experience all about the customer. I ask open ended questions that gets him/her to offer me information to move the process along without getting mired in aimless chit chat. The key is to take a genuine interest in the customer. I have learned a ton about human nature and other people’s life experiences. I have developed ties with people that go beyond our business relationship. Connecting with people is the most important aspect of my day.

    I do a lot of calisthenic work. Currently my favorite body weight exercises are pistols, handstands (handstand half push ups), hanging leg raises and torture twists.

  45. What does “connection” mean to you?

    “Connection” for me is usually associated with laughter like when a comedian points out anything outrages or ironic. I live in a busy metropolis of Toronto, I chuckle when I recall how small I am in this noisy city and that I’m not the center of the universe; taking my dog to the park and going on trails is a great way to just let go of the amount of stimulation that is pounding on me everyday. Dare I say make a connection with nature.

    What are your favorite body-weight-only exercises?

    My favorite body weight exercise would have to be the pull-up; the stretch not to mention the upper back muscles being tested are one of the best exercises to counter that turtle back from days sitting in front of the computer.

  46. “Connection” for me is usually associated with laughter like when a comedian points out anything outrages or ironic. I live in a busy metropolis of Toronto, I chuckle when I recall how small I am in this noisy city and that I’m not the center of the universe; taking my dog to the park and going on trails is a great way to just let go of the amount of stimulation that is pounding on me everyday. Dare I say make a connection with nature.

    My favorite body weight exercise would have to be the pull-up; the stretch not to mention the upper back muscles being tested are one of the best exercises to counter that turtle back from days sitting in front of the computer.

  47. I’ve never exercised with any of the barefoot or low drag type shoes that you currently use, but they do seem like a great asset for minimalist training. The Vibram sole is hands down the best sole for people that need medium to heavy wear so good job!

    Connection is that of which everything interacts; from our social and inherent relations, what we associate with, to the catalysts that strengthen our bonds.

    My favorite (and recommended) body weight exercises:

    -Crazy Ivans

    -Burpee Pushups

    -Pull up to dips

    -Classic Leg Lunges

    -Star Jumpers


  48. Connection is when my heart and mind align. In those rare moments I feel as if I can do anything.

    Favorite body weight exercise? Wind sprints on a sunny day. It is the best medication I have found.


  49. Connection to me means, especially with hunting or working out, standing back and watching how something works and then making whatever I’m doing successful. Elk hunting two years ago the biggest draw for me was the smell of the animal, tracking them through some of the most extreme territory, and then attempting to outthink there next move…but regardless of the outcome the payoff is the chase and feeling connected to some primal instinct to harvest and provide for my family.

    For me my favorite bodyweight exercise is the handstand pushup! Once your inverted you are committed and it feels so natural to feel the power in your arms holding you up from catastrophe. Regardless if you do it against the wall or holding a unsupported handstand it’s an exhilarating workout!

  50. Connection, to me, is a sensitivity to the forces acting upon you caused by every action you make. In the sense of Newton’s third law of motion, while running, the Earth is striking your feet with as much force as your feet are striking the Earth. I believe connection is feeling that force and knowing how to use it to your advantage. Running barefoot or with minimalist shoes such as Merrell’s is the perfect way to teach your body how it was meant to be used.

    I don’t have a specific favorite bodyweight exercise, but my favorite book on bodyweight-only exercise is Convict Conditioning by Paul Wade. It endorses the way that strongmen originally got strong – bodyweight exercise.

  51. Connection is the bonding of your heart to another or the feeling of ” i right where I need to be”.

    Body weight only exercises: dips, push-ups, crunches, and handstand shoulder presses.

  52. Hey Tim,

    Absolutely love all your work, I find everything you do so incredible interesting and hope you keep producing quality works 🙂

    Connection for me is the people who you don’t need to talk to everyday, not even for several weeks but when you see each other again, it feels like no time has passed at all, it’s what I see as true connection.

    My favourite bodyweight exercises are 1-legged squats, switch press-ups (where you switch hands side-to-side) and wide-grip pull-ups. Those three exercises keep me happy if I don’t have a gym close-by.

    I hope I win the shoes 🙂 I have been wearing my Vibrams for the last two years but I still get the funny looks at the gym or at a cafe when I wear them.



  53. For me, Connection, is the reciprocity of feeling between two people.

    As of my favorite body-weight exercice.. hum… let’s go with the mountain climb 😉

  54. With all these great responses, I don’t think I can define connection without being abstract or redundant. However, I can tell you what it has looked like in my own life.

    Having a connection with running is why I throw on my trainers and go for a jog after coming home at 2am from a night out with friends. Feeling connected to boxing means showing up to conferences where I will be presenting (social scientist here) bruised and beaten. Because I will never miss a sparring day. Ever. For me, when I’m connected to something, I -want- to invest myself fully into it.

    Aside from sparring (technically body weight, right folks?) it would have to be jumping air squats.

    Great job on the video Tim

  55. It is inherently foolish to try to put words to connection. Connection is not possible to describe, just like the tao, “The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name”. Connection is what makes life worth living, what makes relationships deep, and what makes being alone in wild Nature feel so freeing. There are more literal meanings, but those are insufficient.

    Best body weight exercise is Pullups, especially ones on door frames (grip strength)

  56. Connection is a kinship. When you are in the outdoors all senses are engaged, you can feel the kinetic energy of life; in the plants, the air, the dirt, and the water. All share a symbiotic transcendence that is unattainable in a man made environment.

    My favorite body-weight exercise is the Chatarunga Run! Bring it!

  57. Connection means to me alignment of your body, mind and soul. My favorite body weight exercises are planks for establishing great core strength and lunges for toning legs and buttocks.

  58. Connection means to be joined, as one, in sync. The feeling you get when you are shoulder deep in the ocean. You are in control of you but you are being moved as a part of something greater….

    Favorite body weight exercise, running.

  59. Connection means the fulfillment of my culture, as a native American that means respecting the earth and being thankful for its gifts.

    My favorite bodyweight-only exercises are:

    – push-ups

    – hip thrusts

    – pistol squats

    – planks

    – bicycle crunches

    – Hindu push-ups

    – burpees (haven’t tried the blurpee yet)

  60. Nearby there’s a park full of squirrels where I pretend to be a horse, and my daughter, drunk with laughter, rides me into the ground.

  61. I work 60 hours a week inside an airconditioned room with no windows in front of 20 + computer screens. Every 4-6 weeks I need to connect and unplug from my work life. I head off into the Australian bush, start a campfire, fry up some beans and just sit silently. Feeling the wind pass around, hearing the animals forget I’m intruding, and watching the night sky fill with mindblowing display. Sitting zen for hours without realizing it, calming the monkey mind and letting nature remind me of my primordial beginnings.

    The best excersize for me is the pull-up, feeling the back muscles crack and pop back into their desired movemnet, the abs brace, the arms scream.

  62. Favourite body weight exercise … Hand stand push ups with bent knees And feet against the wall… Excellent for core, balance, and shoulders without stress on lower back from machine versions such as military press.

    I haven’t seen anyone do this before so if you can’t visualise I can send you a video clip.

    Not enough of a poet to offer anything useful about connection … Sorry

  63. Connection is what people do. As a race, as a culture, as a civilisation. It’s what distinguishes us from other animals – our ways of communicating, travelling, getting in touch or even simply letting know that we’re still alive are one of the three main steammachines that keep our evolution on tracks.

    Running with a long, proper warming-up before and good, hard stretching afterwards. I warm up using similar methods as you’ve shown in the Marell “Outdoors” movie but I stretch as I’ve learned from my capoeira lessons. And running… heck, it’s just running 🙂 Me and the distance.

  64. Connection is the invisible force that runs from earth through your feet into your conscious, that strives to make every run a joy.

    A full pull up with leg lift, balanced with dips. Awesome and surprisingly effective.

  65. Connection is holding a newborn child for the first time.

    It is the look across a crowded where no words are necessary.

    It is your young daughters running into your arms as you walk in the door.

    It is your grandmother’s chickensoup.

    It is your daughters requesting second helpings of your grandmother’s chickensoup.

    It is that song that evokes a memory and rush of emotion.

    It is the smile of a former highschool teacher that you havent seen for decades – when she recognizes you

    It is the bartender who recognizes you as you walk in, and who is already pouring YOUR drink before you’ve sat down at the bar.

    It is the smile that you hear when calling a satisfied client.

    It is the familiar and the fun, the secure and the safe,

    the unforgettable and unconditional


    that is naturally created when we give to each other.

    Favorite Bodyweight exercises?

    1. Squats

    2. Push Ups [varying hand position – wide,narrow, diamond]

    3. Pull Ups

    4. Dips [or triceps dips with chairs]

    5. Crunches

    6. Planks

  66. What does “connection” mean to you?

    A connection is the perfect mix of focus and calmness, which allows you to be in the moment with all your senses. Whether it is with a person, a task or nature, being in the moment and allowing the connection to happen opens your senses to bring clarity and be able to focus on what is surrounding you.

    What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?

    – squats (such a natural movement that has been so lost in our culture)

    – anything handstand-ish (pushups, holds, one handed, etc)

    – and of course pullups

  67. TCP/IP connection failure. Back-story, 2003: I took CISCO networking in High School with Reverend Mariano. The other CISCO teacher, Mr. T, was responsible for managing the database with all the student’s report cards. When it was time to print them off, Mr. T changed Mr. Mariano’s name to Rev. Mariano. So while I don’t even remember what it means anymore, I always think of TCP/IP settings and screwing around in CISCO class when I hear the word connection.

    Single Leg Squat…Blindfolded… Bi-Winning.

  68. Connection to me is the realisation that another person, another activity, another species or another idea holds the same fundamental values. This is why deconstruction is so powerful, you are actively dressing down the complexities or your preconceived notions about the subject and getting to the fundamental values which allows you to truly connect with anyone or anything.

    My fave bodyweight exercises include: pistols, planche, frog/crow and star plank

  69. Love Merrell shoes and so does my family.

    Connection to me means a “spark”. Without that initial connection or spark, a long term connection is very difficult if not impossible to create or sustain. The spark is the genesis of a connection and to me is the actual connection.

    My favorite body-weight exercise is trail running. I know you probably meant something to substitute a dumbbell or weight machine exercise but trail running is what I love to do. Every trail is different and you need to make a fairly quick connection with the trail and your environment in order to safely engage with your workout and enjoy the place you are at. If you have been running for a long time you should know what I mean. It is me, no noise, my shoes (clothes too) and being connected to where I am at right then…Ahhhh.

    That’s an A-W-E-S-O-M-E feeling.

    PS…I do generally hate pushups and pull-ups but continue to do them because I know they are good for me. Oh and dips…really hate them. Glad there are some out there who love those things. Keep it up!

  70. Connection:

    There are many things in this world we connect to, or used to connect to. Our humanity is now at a point where we have been broken from doing something natural to, now, many things unnatural (i.e. sitting in front of a computer for 40 hours per week). We do not connect with people the way we used to. We don’t go out doors and connect with nature or have adventures the way our ancestors did. Connecting on a survivalist level has dissipated. Dr. Kelly Stuart said that humans needs to spend 1 hour per day walking barefoot to gain back the strength and grip they were intended to have. Connection, in this context and in the Merrell context, is to be ONE with our humanity again. When you find your humanity you find your purpose. (Maybe this concept can help take some shares away from Nike/Reebok/Adidas).

    Favorite Body Weight Exercises:

    Standing Squats…. Especially on my 4-Hour Body cheat day… Before each meal and 90 minutes after, this is my favorite exercise to perform. Today is my cheat day, and not only do I love the food I get to pig out on, but the squats totally get me pumped (in every sense of the word) before I dive in. I’m excited just typing about it.

    -Eric M.

  71. Connection: is the unity between two. This link can be a simple as a friendship or as complex as the human brain processing the command to pick up a fork on a table. Connection flows through our entire life on a daily basis and is often taken for granted. But truthfully, few can appreciate how important or how complex the connection can be.

    Best body weight exercise: burpees muscle ups,

    Oh and the video doesn’t show full extension prior to holding onto the rings which is important in order to maintain full range of motion throughout, no cheating, your only cheating yourself

    Followed closely by 60-180 second sprints and hollow rocks.

  72. Soul to sole to soil (for shoes, a connection with the earth. solid. real. sharing an experience, co-habitating, co-existing with the earth)

    Connection: a bond. A tangible feeling- invisible but solid. A knowledge that you are now communicating without words. A bridge across which feeling and emotion passes. Think of neurons connecting. Think of how people and their souls connect- when their eyes lock.

    Favorite exercise: Pullups. Different angles. different grips. hanging and raising your legs.

  73. – What does “connection” mean to you?

    🙂 Connection to me means to be stronger. Individually within our bodies or collectively in social relationships, we already know from experience that the less isolated and instead the more connected we are, the stronger we become.

    – What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?

    1) One-arm Push-up

    One-arm Push-up is not simply a harder version of Two-arm Push-up. Certainly, it is many times harder but can give you much more result. Not only Triceps,Pecs,Frontal Deltoids, but your Abs,Glutes and QL can be strengthened. It is an exercise that requires you to ‘connect’ all the body parts.

    2) Bridge

    A bodyweight exercise expert Paul ‘coach’ wade said if he is to recommend only one exercise, it would be Bridge. Bridge is one of the most healthiest exercise to strengthen the posterior muscles of the body. Actually, I was able to strengthen my spine and corect my hunched posture with Bridge.

  74. 1. Connection.

    What does connection mean to me? That is only half of the question. But what is it specifically that I am supposed to connect with?

    Stop. Hands off the keyboard. Look around you. Your laptop? A feat of engineering. The ballpoint pen on your desk? Someone was once mocked for even thinking of such an absurd idea. Now look outside the window. Sad that the sky is grey? At least its there. If you are reading this, congratulations, you have a pulse.

    You, me, and everyone else have this in common. We are all connected to each other and our surrounding environment. Everything created in the past was made for us in this moment, and everything we create will be used when we’re gone. THAT is connection, its the same for everyone, not just me; being a part of it all.

    So, what does connection mean to me? Well that is only half of the question.

    2. Bodyweight Exercises: Two Criteria

    My favorite bodyweight exercises are ones that simultaneously work out as many areas as possible. Also, they have to involve little or no equipment so that I can work out anywhere.

    Unfortunately, most hotel rooms don’t come with their own complementary raised bar. So pull ups are ruled out. That leaves me with my top favorites – Pushups and Dips. All you need for these is more or less level ground and a chair.

    And finally, Running. I consider this a bodyweight exercise. What other weight are you using? It works wonders for any goal. And again, all you need is some ground. Doesn’t even need to be level.


    I’m going to be a little bit eccentric: Size 11. Can’t wait to try them on.

  75. I just recently got FMS Level 2 certified in San Francisco. I went hiking on Angel Island. What a great day.

    Being connected, to me, means getting in line with nature. weather it’s diet, movement, or lifestyle in general. The inputs should be what nature intended.

    My top 2 are:

    1. Half kneeling with a narrow base and just turning the neck. Really connect with the earth. Doing both sides creates symmetry which is the most important variable for preventing injury.

    2. Bird dog just holding the pose, gripping the ground through the hands knees and feet

    Spend extra time in the weak side.

    Those 2 are easily to coach, hard to screw up, and great for reprogramming fundamental neuromuscular movement patterns.

    I use crawling lot with clients. A naked TGU. Rolling patterns.

    size 11

  76. What does “connection” mean to you?

    Connection is the essence of my job as a teacher and as my duties as a parent and husband. It is essentially creating a bond of trust to help another person or group enhance their life and the cost is for them to do the same for you. With digital tools are now able to form connections with anyone, anywhere, at anytime. It is much like a light socket. When you plug in a cord a connection forms. the electricity of the outlet can now be shared and utilized for good while the the cord now can receive the benefit and the result is the turning on of a light bulb or other device.

    – What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?

    Wrestling with my three children who are 8,6, and almost 2. Picking up, tossing, grappling with three different body styles and weight and at times all at once gives your body a workout that you never know what to expect or how much needs to be done. No two workouts are ever the same. Like any good workout, I am often worn out and tired before the kids.

  77. Connection means feeling through something beyond your own senses.

    Horizontal pulls. Nothing better than getting pumped and sweaty in the park while the kids and elderly look at my seemingly simple exercise.

  78. What does “connection” mean to you?

    Connection to me is understanding that the things I’ve experienced aren’t “good” or “bad” – they just are. It’s usually when I look past my ego and strongly-held beliefs that I can connect with new, and possibly better, experiences.

    For example, I used to be obese (I weighed more in middle school than I do now) and strongly felt my genetics were the culprit. When my high school health teacher suggested otherwise, I wanted to sock him in the face but I realized some truth to his teachings. A diet consisting of white rice, McDonald’s and potato chips turned out to be less than ideal. This realization eventually lead me to lose 30 pounds in high school.

    What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?

    Squats. As Tim suggested in 4HB and 4HC, I started out with the least amount of change to start the habit (just 1 squat a day), and later expanded it (120 squats a day) over 11 weeks.

    In case I win, my shoe size is 9.5. Thanks!

  79. Connection is the noun for Kevin Bacon, who is always connected, by 4GEE and by six degrees.

    My favourite bodyweight-only exercises are dips because they are isolated and intense, a one-handed pushup (Rocky-style) and I like a Turkish getup with no weight if that counts.

    Great post Tim, looking forward to getting outside myself when the UK summer kicks in.

  80. Connection is a feeling or physical bond between two things.

    Planks are my fav body weight exercise.

    Thanks Tim! Love your “connections”.

  81. Connection to me is when we understand and empathise with something or someone. It doesn’t mean agreement with them, but just an acknowledgment and understanding of their life journey

    Best body-weight only exercise? I would say swimming. Its better than running because of less wear and tear on joints

  82. To me connection is the feeling when I look at my dog and my dog looks at me and we both know we need a good run( everything I write sounds cheesy).

    Burpees with push-ups and a jump(It’s a love hate kind of thing).

  83. Connection is to feel like part of the big picture. To feel small and humble and yet a vital part of the workings of the big picture because I can make a difference.

    My favorite body weight exercise is yoga: arm balances, leg balances, twists, chairs, etc. I like enjoy a good flow so I feel like I am specifically working body muscles as well as my cardio.

  84. Personally, connection means having an attachment built up, which you can refer it as a reference point and reflect upon it.

    As for my favorite body weight exercises are: pull-ups, handstand push-ups, and unity push-ups with friends.

  85. I feel connection everytime, after my first bead of sweat hits the floor

    I feel connection every Sunday morning, knowing I completed yet another six-day, two-a-day, work-out weeks

    I feel connection when my fast twitch muscles begin to fire after completing my second set of handstand push-ups

    I feel connection when I’m the only one in the gym because the cold and rain has kept all others away,

    But I feel the strongest sense of connection, when my neurologist informs me that my most recent MRI shows no new plaques on my brain from having Multiple Sclerosis, and that my neurological/physical improvements are a direct result of my commitment and belief in extreme health & fitness

  86. connection is to join your lower half of your body with the top half

    The best exercise is ‘the plough’

    as if your digging into the soil with your hands clasped straight arms above your head…straight legs stay as low to the floor as you can for as long as you can like an isometric exercise works on core and shoulder strength

  87. What does “connection” mean to you?

    “As one”.

    What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?

    Wall supported hand-stand shoulder presses. 🙂

  88. -Connection means to consciously slow down or stop so all distractions and peripheral noise can be put off long enough for one to purposefully engage with another person or activity.

    -Favorite body weight exercises- climbing trees, air squats, handstand push-ups.

  89. Connection should be our goal in all areas of our lives. Being connected means you can trust the outcome of your interaction to the point that you may take it for granted.

    My favorite bodyweight exercises would be walking and backcountry hiking. Great for your body and connecting the mind.

  90. “Connection” to me is the binding of things, by choice or destiny, when two or more points become one. E pluribus unum comes to mind. All is connection.

    Favorite exercises for me are hand-stands and walking on my hands. Second only to chin-ups which i do literally all day long between conference calls, dev sessions, and researching until my eyes bleed. Technically walking is “bodyweight-only” and that is something I also try to do every single day, and in nature as much as possible. That way I work the body and spend time with the Spinoza’s God, and the ultimate connection is made. They are all important to me but the one thing I could not live without is the walking, on my feet.

  91. – What does “connection” mean to you?

    Connection, to me, is our relationship with ourselves (inner peace, stillpower), within ourselves (the connection between physical, mental, emotional aspects), with others (social connection, outer peace), and with the earth and our environment. Physical connections are important, but non tactile connections are vital.

    – What are your favorite bodyweight-only exercises?

    Push-ups using a closed fist; pull-ups using variety of grips

  92. Connection to me means a combining of two or more parts which result in a synergistic outcome for both of the halves involved.

    Best body weight only exercise? Running

  93. Meaning of Connection – A period of interaction where one or more items are associated with each other.

    Favorite Body Weight Exercises – Sprinting, vertical jump, broad jump

  94. Connection is the physical or virtual symbol of commonality.

    Exercises: Walking with a complement of pull-ups and push-ups for upper body.