The Functional Fitness debates – just what am I selling here

Just what is Functional Fitness and what am I doing here? First off, notice that I have nothing for sale on the website, so I’m not into marketing. 

I have received emails recently wondering why I am not into barbells.  Let me be clear, I love Deadlifts and other Olympic Lifts. I am a huge fan of Pavel Tsatsouline and his book Power to the People talks about Deadlifts and a Press such as a 1 arm Press being all you need for total body strength. In addition to that, Deadlifts are a complex movement that is totally functional and is probably one of best ways to work your body naturally, focusing on your core, and helping you to do life’s activities.

The reason I don’t use barbells (although many of my workouts do) is really just logistics. At work, where I train about a dozen folks, there is just not enough room to use barbells. And at home, my friends and I don’t like to spend money and so we use the homemade equipment.  A Slosh Tube does not replace a barbell, but most people can get the results they want without having to lift heavy, heavy weights.

I guess it comes down to your goals. I will have a post coming out soon that lists what I consider the 4 dimensions of Functional Fitness. The word “functional” is a vague term and can be used to apply to darn near anything you want.  It is like the word “healthy.”  My wine is “healthy.” Organic foods are “healthy,” even the ones with a lot of calories. It all depends on how you define it and how you apply the terms.

By the way, I don’t claim to be the best writer in the world, so be nice to me for my poor grammar at times. It is hard to whip out posts every 2 days when you have a nice balanced life.

When I talk about Functional Fitness (capital letters) I am being very specific. Most Functional Fitness certifications do not focus on deadlifts, but focus more on helping people of all ages to achieve a level of fitness that will help them to play with their kids, carry the couch up from the basement, grow old while reducing the likelihood of injuries, etc.  Because the majority of who seem to be using my website are runners and people in other countries who don’t have the expensive gym equipment, I have tailored my site to serve them. 

I am also not attacking weight lifting, however, some people use that term similar to bodybuilding. I am not attacking bodybuilding either, but bicep curls, bench presses, and the like are about shaping the body, which is different than what the certification bodies (and me) call Functional Fitness. Runners use complex movements, but not many. I train runners all the time and it is surprising how “unfunctional” overall that runners are. It doesn’t mean people shouldn’t run. They can even run and do nothing else. However, if they want to be more functional fit, they will have to crosstrain. It may even improve their running! Now watch as I now get flooded with emails from runners. Bring it on!!

So there: weight lifters I am not your enemy. I simply offer free resources to people who either want something more varied and interesting, or for people not in a gym. Runners, well I love ya. I will continue to preach to you about the value of cross training though!

And just remember:  Kemme Fitness is just a dude sharing what he has learned. I am not claiming my way is the best, but I am totally drunk on the Functional Fitness K0ol-aid and I 100% believe that it is the way to go for most people to have a well balanced life.


This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Shauna

    I love all the variety in the info you share, and also really appreciate the DIY equipment. I live in the US, but I am cheap! I have been lifting for years, but you have given me some great new things to do that are keeping it fun. And as I get older, I am realizing that I can’t just keep beating my body through all of the aches and pains. I’m probably going to be living in here a while. I am a pretty new reader, but thank you for making the effort to whip out those posts. I’ll only use my imaginary red pen and keep it to myself. 🙂

    1. Kemme Fitness

      Thank you. I should be happy when I come across disagreement, as it helps me to grow. I do feel that this post was a tad of a defensive move, which I shouldn’t have worried about. As far as my writing, I have been trying to get a literary agent for a fiction book for over a year with no luck. I really am getting a thicker skin in that area. Either way, thanks for keeping the red pen hidden 🙂

  2. Organic movements done in sequence to increase strength, cardio, stamina, power, speed, agility, coordination, flexibility, and balance.

    Or as my Crossfit brain would say: increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains. Whatever that means…

  3. Kemme Fitness

    So you already had hard to understand jargon as a prosecutor. Now I’m really lost!

    1. Don’t you know this game? Use of jargon creates confusion thus giving the illusion that I know what I’m talking about.

      1. Kemme Fitness

        Without giving away to others what I do for a living, let’s just say I’ve spent enough time in the courtroom to know that game very well. 🙂 I just wish I was better at it!!

  4. Melind

    Not knowing anything about functional fitness and becoming a newbie but lover of running and semi-body building moves, I can still appreciate what you offer. I am learning more on the importance of cross-training in my lifestyle but truthfully can only focus on one thing at a time. We all have our “drink” of choice…mine happens to be what I mentioned earlier. Needless to say, I also enjoy your site and what I can learn, and eventually incorporate, into my sitness lifestyle. Thanks!!

    1. Kemme Fitness

      I agree. I try to stay with only 4 workouts (30-45 minutes) each a week because there is only so much time. I do believe that crosstraining can be added in any level to a running program and you still get benefits, both overall and with the running.

  5. Kemme Fitness

    You know what I just realized. I created a whole post, spend a whole day feeling crappy, all because of some comments I received. I finally did some research and the people that were attacking me really are so far removed from what we do here that I really have no affect on them and they should have no affect on me. When you define yourself in your bio as simply a listing of how much you can bench press or squat…well, you probably don’t care what I have to say. So, stop ready my blog! I need a thicker skin. I guess getting more readers means getting more arguments. I promise I will be more positive and less defensive in the future.

  6. Erik

    I have for the time being decided to stick to my old comfortable regimen of running and doing rowing and weights on alternate days. But it’s been great to learn from you, and be exposed to the functional fitness concept, and I would like to practice these ideas sometime in the future. Right now life is a bit too overwhelming to try something new, and my sense is that your style of fitness program would be a lot funner if I did it with someone else.

    1. Kemme Fitness


      If you want I can help you to keep your current schedule and just tweek things slightly to add some more variety. It is fun to do different exercises, even if others aren’t with you. Let me know if you are interested.


      1. Erik

        Thanks Pete. I’m definitely interested. And that video your friend posted a month ago on FB was very inspiring. I will consult with you in the not-too-distant future. Right now I’m focusing my energy on improving speed and distance on my runs, and getting my strength training back to where it was last time I was in pretty good shape (before I headed off to Mozambique in 2004 for six and a half years of fieldwork). Once I reach what I consider a basic level of fitness, I may be ready for something new. You may reply that a functional fitness program could help me reach my goals quicker, but I’ve just recently shaken off a few nagging injuries (left shoulder and left foot), and doing stuff I know and understand will help make sure I continue to strengthen those areas without risk of re-injury. I should be ready by the end of the summer, perhaps sooner.

Leave a Reply