The last and most important thing in deciphering whether or not your training is “functional” is to ask yourself, is it purposeful? Do you have a reason behind your training plan? Does what you do for that one hour each day promote wellness and health in your body? In my opinion, training must restore homeostasis. For that one or two hours, it has to help us become more whole, more connected to our nervous system, our breath, our joints, our muscles, our heart, our mind, all of it. If training is a way to ‘check out’ and tick-off the bucket list, you will only create more friction and inflammation in your body. You cannot shut off or shut up your body. It will feel what you do to it, and it will respond however it decides to manifest it’s outrage or gratitude. “Functional” is best when it’s fun, but sometimes you have to redefine what fun is in the first place. Trust me, if you have crappy big toe extension, the stuff I have you do the first three-months of training may not seem that “fun”, but if I can get you to understand that your big toe extension has a lot to do with your hip rotation, or ability to produce power, and endurance, you may start to have different thoughts about what fun is. Whatever the exercise, whatever the routine, for it to be functional it has to have relevance to your unique body. What is the reason behind doing this? What is the purpose for doing it that way? Otherwise you’re throwing spaghetti at a wall and waiting to see what sticks. Which is fine short-term, but long-term, it only drives imbalances in the body deeper. So before you just sign-up for “functional” anything, ask yourself, “what am I getting into and what is the reason I am seeking out this program?”
Its 2018, and we live in a marketing rich society. Cell phones try to sell you functional every time you open them up, and so do the studios on every corner of your city. Being in health and fitness is not easy, and you’re reading about somebody who has done it for over a decade of his life. The quick fix doesn’t exist, and “functional training” is just another buzz word to get you hooked. In my deepest feelings, if your ‘exercise’ program doesn’t follow my above protocol, I would highly suggest you reevaluate what it is you’re doing and why. Its pretty basic; is your breathing capacity improving? Do your joints work? Is your training plan varied? Is there purpose behind the movements you do? If you’re good in all these areas, power to you, you’re doing great. If you want to take your body and mind to the next level, then reach out to me or another fitness professional and find out what steps can be taken to get you on a track towards longevity and sustainability. Holding long deep yoga-like poses, or repping out squats and pull-ups doesn’t have ‘carry-over’ into the functioning world. People will want to beg to differ, but I’m here to tell you that this sort of mentality is further perpetuating a fallacy what the body needs to function and operate with ease. Functional is both subjective and objective to each individual differently. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to biomechanics. But there is a blueprint, there is a map, and it is open to interpretation. But randomized ‘functional’ training is not necessarily the answer to that.