Friday, August 16, 2013

Mission Statement and Basic Principles


We will discuss in depth resistance training with a strong focus on free weight movements.  Free weights mimic most specifically they way we operate under load in our everyday lives.  We don't typically do work where the load is supported in a trolly, governed by a cam and you shouldn't train that way either.  

Mission Statement


The purpose of this blog is to look at functional fitness for people in their every day lives.  Functional Fitness is a continuum from being able to perform comfortably all of the tasks we all face in our everyday lives on to performing extraordinary well at more grueling tasks.


It is not sport specific.  The idea is to take principals from all sports and activities, look at where these principles overlap and apply these basic principles to many different movements and functions in your life.

As far as specifics we will be looking at both strength training and aerobic conditioning. 


Strength Training/Resistance Exercise

That being said a limited number of machines do have their place, especially, for people so deconditioned that they can't stably support reasonable amounts of resistance themselves.   

Machines are best used as 'finisher' once the full body motions have been done.  The full body motions will be so taxing to the core musculature that, at some point you will not be able to complete closed chain exercises at the intensity necessary for the extremities to adapt, because of core depletion.  At this point moving to machines, which placed much lower demand on the core, makes perfect sense.  Use them as an accessory to your main lifts, not as the basis for your entire program.


Aerobic Exercise 

The focus of our aerobic training discussion will be on moderate distance endurance and High Intensity Interval Training.  We will be discussion many different forms of functional aerobic conditioning including swimming, biking, rowing, running and many more.

The idea is to look at similarities in movement quality and general principles in order to help you move in the way your body was designed to move pain and injury free. 


Form Follows Function

What you do determines how you look.  This is not a type of Fitness geared toward Bodybuilding, however, having a gorgeous well proportioned body is a natural outcome of functional fitness. 

Just as in a building, your body's ability to function will be revealed and expressed naturally in the way you look, move and carry yourself.

In the picture to the right, these abs were not formed from countless hours of crunches or the latest ab gadget.  Of course some core training is involved (planks, GHD sits ups, various leg raises) but also from squatting, and particularly from stabilizing weight overhead.


Training for Real Life 



We're talking about real life situations.  All of the curls or abductor abductor reps in the world won't prepare you for too many real life situations.  We're looking instead for exercises that more faithfully train movements encountered in the real world.  It's critical for all of to be able to get up and down off of the toilet, when that is compromised, our lives are compromised.  So squats and other multi-joint are what we are looking at for functional fitness.  

How is Functional Fitness different from what you'd see at you local Globo-Gym?

First no mirrors or chrome.

Secondly the equipment will be different and will often include  plain old pull up bars, medicine balls, kettlebells, foam rollers, jump ropes, gymnastics rings, gymnastics bands, and standard free weights (not machines - We'll discuss this at length in a following post.)
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