I have talked about my predictions concerning the future of Functional Fitness as far back as early 2012 and also here. Recently, a coworker forwarded me an article (see here for complete article) concerning the change in the fitness industry in just the path I hoped it would take.
Just read a few quotes (paraphrases, so not really proper, but good enough for my blog):
Adam Campbell, fitness director for the Men’s Health: Machines like the leg press strengthen muscles, but what’s the real logic in sitting or laying down to train your legs? Functional fitness is far more bang for your buck because it works multiple muscles simultaneously, providing better overall strength and mobility, and a higher calorie burn.
David Harris, the national director of personal training for the Equinox chain: I wouldn’t say obsolete, but there is a huge downtick in traditional strength-training equipment. The company, based in New York, has thinned its ranks of chest press, leg press and leg extension machines to clear floor space so members can move freely.
Josh Bowen, until recently the quality control director for the seven-state Urban Active chain: He referred to the sweeping revisions the company made last year as swapping “Arnold machines” (as in Schwarzenegger) “for AstroTurf.” He also said, “Gyms are way out of the times if all they have is machines. People spend all day sitting with machines. When they come into a gym, they don’t want to be sat down at another one doing three sets of 12.”
I am and have been very biased for years and clearly drink the Functional Fitness cool-aid. Remember, there are many styles/ways to exercise and Functional Fitness is not for everybody. However, the general public who want a way to exercise safely and efficiently in order to simply be healthy in a general, overall sense are really going to get that with Functional Fitness over most other formats.
Caution: I’m not talking Crossfit, which technically is a Functional Fitness program. Click here if you want to know why I don’t personally recommend Crossfit.
There is a wide range of other Functional Fitness programs such as Kemme Fitness, which will get you great benefits with little risk. In fact, if done properly, you are more likely to reduce the risk of injury in all of your life’s activities. And now, it seems like finding a gym to help you engage in a Functional Fitness program is becoming easier and easier. Sweet!
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So, here’s my $64 dollar question of the day: How do I know if I am improving?
I have been doing your functional fitness workouts for a while now (I am currently in the early stages of K-Element). They are tough, but I am finishing the workouts, including the bonus workouts when I can. I feel like I am getting stronger, but that is an incredibly subjective and deceptive measure. I am usually fatigued for a while after a workout, but I bounce back pretty fast.
I know that the goal of becoming functionally fit is not to build huge muscles, but I am getting more definition in my arms (not complaining).
Obviously, the most important thing is that I am enjoying the workouts and look forward to doing the next one. That said, it would still be nice to have some sort of objective goal. I am not always goal-oriented, but sometimes having a target helps.
As always, I appreciate any input you might be able to offer.
A-Aron – here’s a 2 bit answer for your $64 question – only *you* can tell if you are ‘improving’ Your idea about setting goals is probably one of the better ways to judge that. Do a bench-test workout & record how you do on it (i.e. I pumped out 23 burpees in one minute, 34 non-stop box jumps ….) then do that same workout again a month from now. See what, if any improvements were made.
I caution you on one thing though: it’s impossible to keep in top physical shape & always be on an upward improving scale. We’re human (except Harvey – he’s a cyborg) & as such – our bodies need some down time, our bodies will on their own have periods of time were we won’t perform to what we think is the norm. Simply put – rest, relaxation, & recovery are, at some point, always needed.
If you are a fan of mma or boxing – you sometimes hear a fighter (normally the loser) say afterwards ‘I peaked too soon.’ For the longest time I always thought that it was such bs to say that, it was just an excuse. I know better now – there is a point where you reach the very top of the mtn, then bang without any input from you, your body goes downhill (very rude to not even get any your say by the way…)
As long as you continue enjoying the workouts & at the end of your workout you’ve worked up a little bit of sweat – it’s all good.
Vampires do scare me. And AMEN, great advice
That is a great question Aaron. I have two quick thoughts for you. I am sure you are in great functional fitness shape, so the problem comes with how fit is fit. There are two things I think of to keep motivated. One is…well no great way to put it other than do you like the way you look? If you feel strong, have energy, good stamina, and your clothes fit great, than why do you need improvement?
With that said, you still have to set a new goal often. Maybe try to master Muscle-ups or a Back Lever. Or try training somebody. Whatever you set, I think you have to have a goal at all times and keep changing ’em up or you will get burned out.