Now there are many Internet articles and threads that simply debate the definition of functional fitness training… this is not one of them. I understand that any training can be classed as functional depending on what you’re training for. For example if you’re job description includes a need to have to largest biceps in the world then yes, 2 hours of bicep curls a day could be classed as functional training.
The goal here is not to argue the vagueness of the term, but to highlight the benefits, so for the purpose of this article functional fitness training will refer to an exercise or group of exercises that mimic, adapt and allow the improved performance of life’s daily tasks for the majority of people, with a reserve left for individual goals.
Here a goal could be, and usually is, to improve quality of life outside the gym; that is to have an increased capacity for recreation and play, whether this be a grandmother having fun with her grandchildren, or a teenager playing football.
Life’s daily tasks include movement in the 6 degrees of freedom, namely back/forward, up/down, left/right, roll, pitch, and yaw. Or more specifically to human movement, push/pull, jump/squat, step, twist, and bend. So functional training is training that seeks to improve as many of these movements as possible through one or a series of exercises. So consider functional fitness training defined… for this article at least!
So, if there exists functional fitness training, does this mean some training is un-functional? The answer to this is a definite yes… and unfortunately it’s all around us, and we’ll be writing an article on the topic of un-functional training shortly, so hold tight.