We have before us the largest commercial fitness project in the last 20 years. And a pretty good physical training system, if you approach it wisely.
The essence of functional training
The priority is not to pump some muscles and aesthetics of the body. It is about ensuring healthy mobility and preventing injuries in sports and everyday life. Therefore, the beginner will perform deadlifts of a light kettlebell off the floor in order to safely put bags of groceries in the trunk. The footballer is a deadweight player with decent weights on the barbell, because his goal is to develop maximum power when he runs after the ball. Sprinter – jumping with a barbell. An eternally losing weight young lady with about 10 years of experience and symptoms of fatigue on her face – some exotic lunges to the side with a turn of the body.
This is a universal methodology, which is as follows:
- Squats, floor deadlifts, pull-ups or imitations, all-plane presses and platform lifts are given to develop healthy joint mobility and overall mobility.
- Endurance is formed with the same exercises, but in the mode “30-50 seconds under load, a minute of rest”.
- Strength – again the same universal set, but in the range of 3-6 reps in 3-7 sets, with rest until recovery and significant weights on the bar.
- Coordination for team sports – complex movements, such as thrusters, that is, a hybrid of the front squat and up press, and various attacks on unstable platforms like the barefoot.
- Tactical qualities for special services, army and police – strength training in low-repetition mode in combination with so-called “metabolic” or interval training for strength endurance. This allows the soldier to run through the desert with a wounded comrade on his shoulders and periodically shoot back from the enemy, and the policeman can catch up with any bandit in 10 seconds.
Why then do women in group classes do lunges on their bare feet and simultaneously bend their arms for biceps? It is unlikely that this is a preparatory functional surfing workout. So the instructor entertains them, distracts them from monotony and loads them with motor activity. This is where the drama begins. Strength fitness professionals deny group functional training as traumatic and useless. YouTube stars are promoting, because in 20 minutes a day you can “revel in” so much that there will be a complete illusion that you are training intensively. Leading weight loss marathons are also promoting, and even as an alternative to strength training for health.
Globally functional fitness has brought people back to physical activity. He convinced the masses that half an hour of regular exercise a day and a circuit workout would be enough to look decent, have strong muscles, low body fat, good mobility, and avoid back pain from sedentary work.
Pros for the layman:
- Saves time. The workouts are organized according to the principle of a circular or interval, do not require a lot of rest between sets and allow you to keep within 30-40 minutes with the study of all muscle groups.
- Increases metabolic response. After such a workout, the body uses oxygen more actively and spends more energy. It is easier to lose weight if you follow a rational diet.
- Works on all muscle groups. No need to worry about biceps, brachialis and gluteus medius.
- Helps to do less cardio. Typical functional training trains the heart, too. Long hours on the track are unnecessary. It is enough to add 30 minutes of the WHO-recommended walk a day to produce vitamin D.
Pros for the athlete:
- Injury prevention.
- Improving performance in the main sport.
- Supports beneficial body composition.
- Psychological relief.
Types of functional training
There are two large types:
- Group fitness classes.
- Individual training to develop certain qualities.
The first ones are implemented in the framework of the Functional, Athletic Body, NTC, Body Rock and other similar programs. The bottom line is in a constantly changing set of movements based on squats, lunges, push-ups, burpees, standing dumbbell presses and various deadlifts. The group performs counting exercises, usually spending a minute under load and moving quickly from one exercise to the next. Rest 1-2 minutes between cycles. Physiologically, this is aerobics. But marketers tell us that it replaces power. Yes, if we are talking about a typical request “somehow lose weight to the beach.” And no, if you need a serious correction of the client’s posture, the elimination of muscle imbalances, the consequences of prolonged physical inactivity or the banal “pumping” of the buttocks, shoulders, biceps and everything that outstanding people usually want to see.
Functional training of bloggers can also be attributed to this large class. Example – Zuzana Light, Sugary Six Pack, Katya Buida, Crazy Drying Project and others. They are united by catchy video titles and typical content:
- lots of burpees and jumpin jacks between exercises;
- even more squats and lunges;
- micro dumbbells for the arms, with which they perform some kind of curl on the biceps during squats;
- required planks and curls;
- push-ups are also required.
Such programs are good for a person with no problems with ODA and a lot of excess weight, but with experience doing the same squats, push-ups and lunges. A large volume will help tone the muscles and increase calorie expenditure, the figure will improve, body fat will disappear (of course, provided a competent diet).
CrossFit is highlighted within group programs. If we’re not talking about performing athletes, then this is a high-intensity program that combines real strength and weightlifting exercises with aerobic work in the high heart rate zone. It allows you to develop “everything” if you approach the technique correctly and put it in place. Or it will be an easy way to burn calories for someone who makes movements in half the range and “as best they can”.
Individual functional programs are written on demand and can include a wide variety of elements.