The primary purpose of your core is to support your spine during physical activity. Since your spine is a rickety, flexible rod - your core has a lot of work to do.
Your spine can move in many ways. Core musculature is designed to start, stop and stabilize each of the 7 ways your core is engaged.
What is "functional training"?
Is it using a Bosu ball? Is it TRX exercises? Is it plyometrics? Is it all three?
You wouldn't know it to listen to the trainer at your local gym, but functional training isn't a standardized training method.
Building functional strength is totally subjective. Depending on your injury/health history and training goals; "functional" takes on a different definition.
I've put together some criteria to help you decide what "functional" training looks like for you.
I was a scrawny kid from birth into my early 20s. Growing up I always wanted to be buff, but no matter how much time I spent in the gym I couldn’t get there.
College changed things. The non-stop liquid calories and late night fast food excursions started to catch up with me. I hadn’t been exercising so now I was what we in the fitness industry affectionately refer to as “skinny fat.” I wasn’t a large person, but I had little muscle and too much bodyfat. I felt the urge to lose weight for the first time in my life. I tried being more active, but that didn’t help either.
Looking back now, I want to smack younger me. I had leap-frogged the simplest solution to managing my weight.
As a seasoned fitness professional who has helped countless people take control of their weight, I know the truth. Whether you’re a scrawny person who wants to build muscle, or someone who would like to burn some fat, the answer is the same.
At the end of the day, the concept that will decide whether you reach your weight goal is energy balance.
Walking into the gym as a new member there is SO much going on. People at the desk are checking in and slurping smoothies. Prospective members tour of the facility. Atrocious pop music shrieks from every corner.
The weight floor sprawls before you like an iron jungle. Benches, power racks, machines, functional cages teeming with strangers. You wade into it with absolutely no instruction or guidance.
Every person has the same question at that moment:
“What the hell do I do now?”
I’m not gonna bury the lead on this one.
The big difference is nutrition.
Whether you want to build muscle or lose fat - your training should be the same. The real difference in whether you gain some muscle or burn some fat is how you adjust your food.
Articles filled with actionable information to improve your approach to the 4 pillars of fitness.