Thursday, September 19, 2013

Functional Durability - For Life

This is somewhat of a follow up to our recent post Functional Fitness for what?

Intense workout should not leave you unable to function in the real world.

Beginners and intermediate athletes need to know their limits.  Perhaps, even more importantly, serious fitness athletes who use their bodies a lot need to exercise smart.

This article is not about the adaptation to overload.  It's about how you feel and function.  It's about durability.

This was an actual post appearing this morning from the spouse of an avid Crossfitter:

"I am developing a gripe with the term "Functional Fitness". So far, there is no evidence that any crossfit movements (RX or scaled) are adequately preparing my husband for the FUNCTION of important life tasks ie 1) bringing 50 lbs of cat litter upstairs (sorry, honey, I sprained my wrist yesterday doing bear crawls) 2) Taking me to the ------ Art Fair (sorry, honey, I have to ice my knees), 3) Accompanying me to hear Vivaldi Requiem (sorry, honey, oly lifting is at 8 pm). 4) Cleaning the garage (sorry, honey I can't find my other Rehband knee sleeve that the dog took). I think it's time to redefine "function"..."

By the way the best response comment I saw was:

"Well the main word in function is FUN, so I can see how ----- isn't prepared for these non-FUN tasks".

I sympathize with her, and of course have been guilty of the husband's plight too many times. This
is not my idea of functional fitness.

We need to pay attention to the what the body is telling us.  Learn to differentiate between aches, soreness and pain.  Particularly learn to differentiate muscle soreness from joint pain, or nerve pain.

Its a matter of developing mindful body awareness. There needs to be an internal gauge, you can't give 110% every workout.  Some workouts are best spent reinforcing motor a patterns (Particularly say Oly Lifts) and need not be done at full Rx.

Self awareness needs to be developed so that you know when form is deteriorating.  When form deteriorates, deload and continue with good form.  You can't rely on your coach's input alone, he/she can't know how you are feeling under the load.  He can watch for observable deterioration but your internal body signals come first.

From the Crossfit Training Guide:
"We sought to build a program that would best prepare
trainees for any physical contingency—prepare them not only for the
unknown but for the unknowable."
Not just inside the Box but in real life.  If your workouts constantly incapacitate you for physical life outside of the Gym, it may be time to look at what you are training for.
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