Break free from the gym
Take charge of your fitness with Parkour
Why drag yourself to some stuffy sterilized box to do exercises day after day when there are better options?
Parkour is a tool for your liberation. Why do dull and repetitive exercise in some gym when you can transform the world into your playground?
Imagine this: you're travelling down the street and a set of hand railings grab your attention (this happens to me all the time, by the way); they're perfect.
You feel an irresistible urge to stop and practice your vaults, flowing over the railings with the new skills you learned. Perhaps it's just a refreshing five minute detour from your daily routine, or it turns into something longer; either way you leave the spot feeling energized and ready to tackle the rest of your day with renewed vigor.
Stuff like that happens to me all the time. There's no need for a gym when the world is filled with obstacles just begging to be played on. I dub this “kid goggles" mode; when you're in it, no external motivation required to get up and get moving.
Okay, so that's what Parkour can do, but what is it exactly?
Parkour seems new, with the fancy French name (side note: you'll also hear it called freerunning or l'art du déplacement) and all, but it's been around for as long as humans have needed to avoid becoming cat food; it just didn't have a name or international community surrounding it. Since its beginnings in complete obscurity Parkour has grown into enough popularity to be parodied on The Office among other things..I suppose that's progress?
Ultimately the practical purpose of Parkour is (short definition) to efficiently cross an environment using only your own body, overcoming any obstacles in your path. You could use the skills to help you catch a bus, beat your friends to the rendezvous by taking shortcuts, or use it to escape in a true emergency situation (I hope you never need Parkour for that).
(In my case I practice with those things in mind, but in the end I do it because it's an amazing fun. )
In other words, you learn to master your body and environment through Parkour. You'll become so damn good at overcoming obstacles that people will think you're a ninja with magical powers.
Quit making it look so easy, you're making people jealous.
It is all about fitness through movement and movement for life.
Unless you are a bodybuilder or professional athlete you don't need to hours grinding away in the gym trying to eek out every last drop of performance (or aesthetics) out of each muscle.
Practice real movement instead.
You will simultaneously improve your strength, mobility, and physical conditioning while learning how to move your body through the world. Plus, if the need ever arises you'll be able to use your skills to escape a dangerous situation. Bicep curls and leg presses never saved anyone's life. I'm not sure anyone actually enjoys those either. Vaulting a railing or clambering up a wall though, now those I'll find excuses just to do because they are fun; they make me feel powerful.
How did I stumble onto all of this?
Years ago, before I discovered Parkour you'd find me using any excuse in the books to not go to the gym or workout. I'd much rather be playing video games, wasting time on the internet, curling up with a good book, or just about anything else but forcing myself to into the gym. My weekly martial arts practice was the only thing between me and total sloth. Finding (consistent) motivation to exercise has always been difficult; on many days I had to kick myself out of the house even to practice martial arts, something I absolutely adore.
Once I discovered Parkour, the motivation to get out and move manufactured itself. I could move everywhere, whenever I wanted. No more needing to travel to a gym or obey other people's schedules, unless I chose to.
Now you would have to physically restrain me to keep me from spontaneously jumping around and playing on things. I can't help it. It's almost bad. Now it requires a huge act of willpower to resist the urge to stop and play around for a bit when I notice a new spot. Sure beats the old days of not having the motivation to yank myself away from the computer screen.
That discovery was four years ago. I've spent the years since then immersing myself in Parkour and quickly developing a love for not just Parkour, but teaching movement. This essential Parkour training course I've created here for you comes from that love of teaching.
I've taken all the things I have learned about Parkour in the past four years and crammed them all into this essential Parkour training. My experiences come from an eclectic mix of my university education in Exercise Science, my own trial and error learning process, what I've learned through coaching others, and most recently applying the knowledge I gained through the MovNat Trainer certification process to my teaching.
Quite simply I built the resource I wish I could have had myself four years ago.
Problem is…I don't have a time machine…c'est la vie.
Here's what I have for you
The average Parkour class in the U.S. costs $15. The same 3.5 weeks (2/week) would cost you ~$105 if you were to learn the same material in person. For monthly access many Parkour gyms charge around $150-$180 per month.
All the above is for a month of training. You have lifetime access to this course, including all updates I will be making to it. So long as the zombie apocalypse doesn't happen and we still have internet you can continue to use the materials included here to keep training for the months and years ahead.
Hell, the videos are all downloadable, so if you need to escape some zombies you can still look up pointers when you've found a temporary safe haven.
Note: If you do have access to good teachers in your area and can afford it, learn from them. Learning on your own, even with the aid of a course like this, will never be as effective as receiving instruction from a good teacher in the flesh. I've experienced that myself first-hand both as the student and teacher.
Safety (is it dangerous?)
Yes and no. Of course as with any physical activity practicing Parkour does always hold some risk of injury. From my own experience teaching and practicing it's rare to see anything worse than some scrapes or bruises. I've personally never seen anyone sustain a serious injury like a broken bone during training after four years of training.
The beauty of Parkour is you always have the choice whether you want to try something or not.
For comparison, Parkour is much safer than most contact sports! You can't ask you buddy to kindly not collide into your knee (on accident, of course) at that perfect angle to blow out your ACL. On top of that, Parkour isn't competitive, so there is no pressure for you to try something when you're too tired or you think it's beyond your skill level right now. The wall isn't going to chase you down and body slam you because you decided to not play with it today.
You don't already have to be fit to begin Parkour.
The progressions I've provided for each skill are setup so that no matter where you are in your own fitness journey you can begin to practice the skills.
As your skill, confidence, and strength improve through the practice of the movements you'll be able to increase the difficulty of the movements gradually.
I've taught anyone from young kids up to adults in their 40s and 50s. There is no age limit to Parkour or natural movement. After all, practicing Parkour is about learning how to move your body through the environment. Because Parkour is not a competitive sport the only comparison you need to make is between yourself yesterday and where you are today.
Keep improving day by day and you'll amaze yourself with the progress you have made.
This is an online course, so it's largely up to you to motivate yourself to go out and try the skills; that's just the truth. if you need a nudge to keep training I'm reachable by email, but beyond that it's still up to you.
Now, as with any new skillset it will be difficult at first and it's easy to get frustrated and feel incompetent. It will pass. I believe that once you've begun to get a little confidence in the skills practicing will become too enjoyable to just up and quit. Moving the way your body was meant to creates its own motivation.
If you feel that you want some extra accountability and guidance to get to that point, you can look into more in-depth online coaching with me, but it ain't necessary.
I am obsessed with movement and moving better. I started my own studies with martial arts (Ninjutsu) in High School and begun training in Parkour and natural movement four years ago. I live to teach and began coaching Parkour two years ago with Fifth Ape, down in Chapel Hill, NC. I graduated from UNC with a degree in Exercise & Sports Science, became a Certified Personal Trainer, and last year became a MovNat Certified Trainer. After that I was galavanting around Europe for a few months, and am now focusing on building Play Everywhere my own teaching and coaching business.