Originally from Israel, Ido (pronounced like ‘I do’) Portal studied traditional martial arts from an early age. As a teen, he discovered capoeira, and after just a few years, he opened his own school. Portal then had an epiphany that what he loved was all forms of movement. This sent him on a quest around the world to find movement teachers. Portal worked with every type of specialist, from MDs to circus performers but did not find anyone who understood ‘movement’ in its purest form. As a result, he decided to become the person he was searching for. Portal gives workshops around the world and offers a yearly ‘Movement Camp.’ He has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. Portal’s body fat is below 7%.
Ido Portal’s Diet
Portal has followed a Paleo-style diet for more than 20 years. The Paleo diet is based on the concept that humans should eat the way our pre-Agricultural Revolution ancestors did, meaning meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, some fruit such as berries and dairy, but no grains or processed foods. Portal doesn’t avoid all grains and he will eat a variety of fruits, but he does avoid gluten and dairy. He also has a piece of dark chocolate from time to time. Nonetheless, while Portal believes this diet works for him (and allows him to maintain a <7% body fat ratio), he says everyone should decide for him or herself what an optimal diet is.
- Low-Medium Carb 35% 35%
- Medium Fat 40% 40%
- Medium-High Protein 50% 50%
The Paleo Principle
Paleo covers a broad range of diets, but at its basis it means everything you eat should be found in nature, can be eaten raw, and that the meat you eat has also been eaten its natural food.
Mix It Up
Portal basically eats meat and vegetables at every meal. This does not mean chicken breast and broccoli. It means any and every animal under the sun, including wild boar, ostrich, and even kangaroo, and he’s up for all different kinds of veggies too.
Portal eats a carb-y meal 1-2 times a week that is based on tubers and rice. He will also enjoy some 85% dark chocolate.
The FTF Principle
Portal says the most important principle of nutrition is First Things First. He says to start with small steps before making any radical changes to your diet.
Portal took some flack and lost fans when he announced he wouldn’t train vegans because they couldn’t keep up with his ‘meat-eating tribe.’
Go Easy on Yourself
Portal says with such a deluge of information out there, it seems like all foods are bad for us. What matters most is eating what works best for you.
What to Eat
All types of natural Animal Protein
What to Avoid
Portal on Radical Diets
‘While these folks are looking through a straw at those food groups and eliminating them, they are actually falling into bigger problems due to the lack of variety, limitation, boredom and other factors.’
Portal on Taking Things Slow
‘First Things First means I would be cautious, to play around, tinker and philosophize on things that are actually beyond my current reach.’
Portal on Dieting
‘Eating a certain way is hard enough as it is.’
Portal on his Diet
‘I’ve been eating fruits post-work for the last 14 years and I do consume nuts and seeds in limited amounts. Trying to eliminate those things may look like the right choice…but I will soon feel the need to replace those elements with worse things.’
Ido Portal’s Fitness Routine
Train Your Brain
Portal believes movement is integral to health, and research bears this concept out. In one study, people who did a freestyle wrestling-type training had higher performance in cognitive tests than those who did boring things like riding a stationary bike.
Portal says it’s important to soften the body regularly because constant hardening leads to cracks and breaking. Softening leads to speed and effortless power.
Portal says before we start picking up heavy objects, we should have mastery over our body.
Shake It Up
Portal says animals shake to relieve trauma and injury and remove stagnation, and that humans need to use it for the same reasons.
Portal’s daily dose goes beyond most people’s: he trains for 6-10 hours a day.
The Secret to Longevity
Portal says the way to last in your sport is by having a diverse practice. Overuse is a problem specialists suffer from, because they keep doing the same movements over and over again.
Portal says that concentrating on aesthetics, or the way muscles look, is backwards to how we should regard heath and fitness. He also says it usually fails.
Play Outside the Box
Portal says that to excel in your field, you must try different environments, scenarios and rules.
Portal’s favorite piece of equipment to train the upper body is gymnastic rings.
An Ido Portal Routine
Move. A lot. Try different ways of doing everything, from getting up from a seated position to squats.
Think about movement in a more general way. Try different disciplines and play.
Shake to release tension/trauma.
Portal on Movement
‘Movement is big. Bigger than any specific movement discipline and it contains within it huge worlds like the world of fitness, dance, martial arts, strength, flexibility, circus, and more.’
Portal on the Need for Movement
‘We move. A lot. We are designed to do so — hence we are in this amazing body. I don’t mean “training” for 45 minutes 3 times a week. I mean A LOT.’
Portal on Specialties
‘Specializing is great, but beyond our specialties we are all human first, movers second, and on then specialists.’
Portal on Exercise & Intelligence
‘It makes you smarter. I know it. I feel it.’
Portal on Self-improvement
‘There is always a better way, so find it. Then find a better one.’ Martial arts are a vehicle for developing your human potential.
Ido Portal’s Supplements
Portal drinks a whey protein shake after every workout. Whey protein builds muscle and reduces recovery time.
Portal recommends a vitamin D supplement, but only if a blood test says you need it. Many people are vitamin D-deficient, even those who live in sunny locations.
Portal says zinc can make a huge difference for some men. It can help women too. Zinc is essential for a strong immune system, and many people are deficient in zinc.
Portal takes a pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement. The omega-3s in fish oil are a superfood that offer benefits to your mind and entire body.
Portal takes magnesium twice a day in the chelated form. Many people are low in magnesium due to soil depletion.
Ido Portal’s Lifestyle
Crushing on Capoeira
Although Portal was skeptical about the drumming and dancing aspects of capoeira, he let a friend drag him to class and was instantly hooked. He loved it so much, he even started learning Portuguese and founded an academy in his family’s basement.
The Best Movers
Portal says a big reason why humans are at the top of the food chain is because we are capable of moving with more complexity than other animals.
Access Your Child Mind
Portal is all about play and enjoyment. He thinks we should get out and crawl around in the grass and jump around on the monkey bars, and especially have an open mind like a child.
We Are All Teachers & Students
Portal says we are all teachers, all the time. Any time anyone copies you or asks for directions or any other help, you are teaching, and that, simultaneously, we are also always learning from others.
Pro athletes reportedly pay Portal six-figure amounts for 2-week private sessions with the movement teacher (he hates being called a ‘guru’ or ‘master’). Ordinary folk can attend camps for somewhere in the range of $600-$1000 for a few days of sessions.
Portal worked on a multi-million dollar Bollywood film doing ‘movement design,’ which is like choreography.
Portal on Himself
‘I-DO. That’s my name. Talk the talk. Walk the walk.’
Portal on Movement Training
‘It’s not some hippie concept as many people make it out to be.’
Portal on Criticism
‘People are not made of sugar…In a nutshell, stop being so sensitive. Dealing with criticism well is an essential tool for a Mover who is interested in self-development — make that, for any human.’
Portal on the Nature of Nature
‘Nature does not care about the delicate individual but is focused on the gene pool. Let’s not get confused here about romantic notions of the self in the big picture.’
Portal on Trying New Things
‘I think it’s sound advice to widen your horizons.’
Portal on Why Humans are at the Top of the Heap
‘Our ascent to the top of the food chain is related to movement complexity.’
Portal on Leadership
‘I still move, research and explore more than my students, even my most advanced ones.’