The next “functional” must is to train yourself in an integrated manner. Meaning, get out of the sagittal plane, and work some frontal or horizontal plane exercises, move in every direction available to you. Mix isometrics in with motor-control movements, make time for flexibility work, but also stability work. Weight training and endurance are equally important (cardio more-so than weights, but thats for another discussion, so don’t skip on your chance to do some intervals or long distance runs of something). I know it sounds like a lot, but if you want to build yourself you’ve got to train your aerobic and anerobic domains. Functional doesn’t have to mean insanely complicated either, keep it simple stupid. If you have questions, ask a trainer, but get help developing a program that makes you a well-diversified human being. More reps does not mean equate to more strength. Heavier load does not mean better performance. “Functional” is being sold to the masses because it sells hip-hinging, squatting, jumping, and gobs of other movements. But what happens if every time you jump your knees valgus inward? What happens if every time you squat your cervical lordosis becomes higher and it causes your sacrum to counter-nutate?
I’m all for sweating and making training fun as well as challenging. But if your breathing or joint system doesn’t function all that well, why the hell would you do repetitive reps of something with a joint or breathing pattern that is inefficient? This leads to so many problems, so many it isn’t worth me typing about. The takeaway is this. Train rotation, train pliability, you need to be less rigid about what you do and start learning how to do all the stuff you don’t know how to do. This is one of the surest ways to build your body in a safe and integrated fashion. Isolation and ‘upper lower body days’ are so outdated. Train from an integrated approach, and use as much of your muscle system as possible.
My last important tip on Functional Training is here.