Functional training: new name, old premiseJanuary 11, 2013
Happy New Year friends and followers! We hope 2013 is full of good health and happiness.
For those who overindulged in the silly season and are exploring new fitness programs to banish that recently acquired muffin top, you will have heard the term ‘functional training’ being thrown around left, right and centre.
Functional training is the latest buzz word in the fitness world but don’t be fooled – it’s merely a rebrand. Functional training is simple a new name for an age-old premise. It seems even the fitness industry has jumped on the vintage bandwagon.
While the recently coined term functional training is a loose one, and subject to wide interpretation, the most common definition appears to characterise it as movement or exercise that strengthens the body in order to perform daily tasks with more efficiency. In this case, any and every exercise that ever existed could be considered a form of functional training as they all, in some way, prepare you for day-to-day activities.
I believe the surge in functional training is a backlash to the proliferation of gym giants like Fitness First and Health Works in the late 80s and 90s. These larger than life fitness centres were chock-full of big shiny machines that catered only for isolated movements, e.g. hamstring curls and leg extensions, ignoring the fundamental compound movements, e.g. chin ups, squats, push ups and bench press, which had previously dominated the gym floor.
The premise of using compound movements for functional training has been around since before Big Arnie was a twinkle in his mother’s eye. And just like the Terminator, functional training “will be back”, at least until it’s rebadged with another trendy buzzword.
Hasta la vista, baby!