I changed the former PaleoSport ‘stage name‘ to SunnyFitness a few years ago, but what does this specific sport and lifestyle trend mean? In short, it’s a complex, free-form sport for long-term health and continuous improvement. We can develop basic human movement patterns, become more skillful, stronger and improve our performance. I’m also a big fan of spending time in natural (light) environments, so why not combine that with movement?
SunnyFitness: become a movement handyman and develop your full human potential!
I warn you in advance that it’s not a dogmatic genre, but rather a free system. I didn’t invent the miracle training method and the ‘sick pack in one-day workout’, but rather I combine the proven principles and methods of the following trends and coaches with my own experience.
For most of the year, it is a foundation training programme and, on request, it can also include sport-specific training sessions from time to time.
- I was an elite canoeist for over 20 years, training regularly with Olympic and world champions and I also have paddled quite well at international level.
- I was and still am very influenced by the MovNat system, where we practice the natural movement forms of the human body.
- I’ve read a lot about the methods of strength and sport performance training guru Charles Poliquin and have trained with a coach who learned from him personally. I now understand why I progressed so quickly back then.
- Calisthenics, the world of bodyweight strengthening, is also the foundation of my training.
- Due to my own sports injuries, I have also attended many private physiotherapy and Pilates classes, and I draw useful exercises from there.
- I have coaching qualifications, I am constantly learning in this field in theory and I have also been gaining practical experience since 2015 from group and personal training sessions.
Sunny, meaning sunny
I do most of my training outdoors in natural light in winter and summer. I’m not a 100% fanatic, I train occasionally in a traditional gym, but there have been a few years where I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to the gym.
In the modern world, I think too much time is spent between four walls, under artificial lights and in front of screens for most people. Why not at least have access to natural sunlight and fresh air during our workouts?
The fundamental aim of SunnyFitness workouts is lifelong physical, mental and spiritual health and a love of regular exercise. To develop and maintain a versatile, skillful, strong, enduring, sufficiently flexible, explosive, muscular, attractive, athletic body. It can also be useful for those who want to compete or improve their performance. In fact, I think that once you’ve got the basics down, almost everyone should set some higher performance goals for continuous improvement and long-term motivation to train.
I would like to have a fully functioning, fit, strong, muscular body at the age of 80-100 to be able to cope with everyday life, possibly in harder physical work or even in competitions. To be able to do any specific sport that I actually like with ease, joy and without injury. This is the approach I want to teach on in my trainings.
Click HERE if you would like to read more details about my trainings!
Play, imagination, creativity
My training is mostly about practicing technical elements and strengthening, sprint runs, but there is also room for playful exercises and improvisational movements. Don’t just think in terms of sets and reps!
Tools for training
- Instead of shoes, I prefer to train barefoot or in minimalist shoes wherever possible and safe.
- Minimal clothing so that I can get some sunbathing at the same time as I train. Of course, in winter it’s no cheat to dress more, and for fanatics there’s the cold adaptation method, which I’ve managed to use to train comfortably in below 0 degrees temperatures in a pair of shorts for up to 1-2 hours.
- Pull-up bars, monkey bars, gymnastics rings or a nice straight and sturdy enough tree branch for hanging exercises.
- Dumbbells, barbell, kettlebells, plates come in all shapes and sizes, but natural stones can be used to quite a high standard and can achieve most of your general fitness goals!
- Wooden beams, fallen tree branches, handrails and other interesting tools for balancing.
- Stone bag and straps. If you don’t have a dumbbell, grab a sturdy used bag and pack rocks in it! This can then be carried, pulled or used for pull-ups and dips.
- Tennis balls, small stones for juggling, skill exercises.
Structure of a workout
Of course, this varies from week to week depending on individual training goals, but in general, a training session of about 1 hour for strengthening and practicing technical elements looks like below. For endurance development I use running, mostly (sprint) intervals, and hiking. Besides the ‘regular workout workouts’, I also consider it important to do light movements on a daily basis, such as walking, short morning or mid-day mini workouts, movement snacks.
- 5-10 minutes Warm up, circulation, joint mobility, increase nervous system activity and progress up to the day’s exercises. Sample exercise videos HERE.
- 5-10 mins Exercises requiring higher levels of coordination, technical elements, not to fatigue, possibly mini OCR track, mini circuit training with natural movements or playful exercises.
- 30-40 min Strengthening with full body or split body programme, e.g. squats, deadlifts, upper body push-pull exercises, carrying, jumping, sprint runs.
- 5-10 min Supplementary exercises: strengthening muscles around the trunk-shoulder-scapula, other weak links.
- 5-10 minutes Cool down or relaxation with additional joint mobilisation exercises, stretching, conscious breathing, walking, balancing.
There are thousands of ways to train, combining exercises and movements. My vote is to move preferably on a daily basis, preferably outdoors and push your limits from time to time for development. Practice natural human movement patterns and get stronger, more fit, more skillful regardless of age, gender, fitness level, with efficient training methods! Lifelong!
Contact me, if you would like a personalised, time efficient training plan or advices on how to train: CLICK HERE!
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