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What if Functional Training was .......

What if Functional Training actually was beneficial.

What is functional training?

The true definition of functional training is a classification of exercise that involves training the body for the activities performed in daily life. Functional training has its origins in rehabilitation where physical and occupational therapists often use this approach to retrain patients with movement disorders.

So they trained people to be able to perform everyday movements such as walking, eating, brushing ones hair, typing etc. etc. In other words improving the co-ordination between the neurological system and the muscular system.

Now functional training is often referred to anything and everything from mimicking the movements of an elite athlete in a particular sport to Olympic weightlifting to flipping a tractor tyre to climbing a three-metre fence.

Now correct me if I am wrong but I do not see too many people in their everyday lives have to flip a tractor tyre 100m then jump over a three metre wall followed by a series of Olympic Snatches and then to finish complete a hand only rope climb to touch the ceiling and to then do it all again but this time in reverse.

Now this may be seen on a farm but surely the farmer is smart enough to roll the tractor tyre to the tractor, walk around the wall or at least open the door to get to the other side then using a forklift to lift the bales of hay so that they are over his/her head and to finally climb a ladder to touch the ceiling. Now if that is what you were teaching during your training session then yes that would be functional training as it is functional and is what would occur in everyday life?

The key is for it to be functional training it must add value to the client in their everyday lives. It must facilitate the co-ordinated movement required for human performance to occur. Too often trainers and coaches and trying to out do one another by adding an extra element into their training sessions without looking into both the short and long term effects that this will have on their clients. For example what benefit would you get from standing on a bosu ball performing oblique twists with a kettle bell in your non-dominant hand?

It is time for those entrusted with the health and well being of others to step back up and provide functional training that is just that functional.

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