Functional Training?

Is this is only functional training if you are in the circus or have a job as a skateboard delivery person.

When a local fitness facility down the street from my house started running F.I.T. Classes (that’s right… Functionally Integrated Training classes – same acronym as us). I had to ask the question… What were they integrating to the training to make it functional? Are these classes specifically designed to meet the needs of anyone’s (lifestyle, sport or recreation), or are they just standing on balance disks doing curls with two pound weights because they read about it in Shape Magazine?  It seems like everyone has a “Functional Training” class nowadays, and to be honest, I can’t quite see what makes them functional…???

We started the Athlete F.I.T. (Functionally Integrated Training) Academies a few years ago because we wanted to “Integrate” a sport specific, or technical “Functionality” into our “Training” Programs.

In our Soccer F.I.T. Academy, we integrate the physical strength and power development with the technical ball skill, and blend soccer specific movement patterns into a fitness environment that mimics the demands of the game. Everything from repeated sprints to dynamic change of direction drills that condition our players more specifically. Then we mix in 1v1’s and small group passing drills that promote speed of thought and reaction. How much more functional can you get?

Here’s a my point…
To create a true functional training program, you need to target a specific population (not the masses), then dig in deep, and understand what is needed for that population to perform at a high level. Next you need to set up a developmental process that takes the athlete, client, patient, etc. from learning how to move more efficiently in regards to a specific task, to the execution of that task with stability, strength, power, speed and precision, repetitively over time within the context of their activity. The program design has to be intricately woven together so that each set, exercise and training session systematically lead into the next. Each aspect builds upon the one before and prepares the athlete, client or patient for what is to come.

Anything less than that is just not functional…



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