The Functional Training Craze
- May 30, 2017
- Posted by: marlenedubois
- Category: Home Health Aide Training
within the past few years I’ve seen a huge transition within the fitness industry. More as well as more people are using functional training, as well as some argue that will’s the only way to train. The purpose of This kind of article is actually to give people an understanding of what functional training is actually, as well as what that will does as well as does not do.
First, lets look at what functional actually means.
Func.tion.al 1. capable of operating or functioning, 2. capable of serving the purpose for which that will was intended (Webster’s Encyclopedia 2nd Edition, 1996)
Based on that will definition, you can draw many conclusions as to what is actually functional. Depending upon who you ask, you will most likely get a diverse variety of responses as to what is actually functional. All human movement is actually a combination of various functions. Human movement cannot take place without muscular function. According to the functional training “experts”, functional training uses bands, balls, free-weights, as well as plyometric exercises in an attempt to condition the body in an un-stable environment. Many of the experts feel that will performing exercises that will mimic activities or specific skills is actually the most effective way to train, regardless of ones goal.
What is actually the safest, most efficient as well as effective way to optimize human performance?
Factors Affecting Human Performance
In order to maximize human performance, you must have a not bad understanding of what affects performance. The factors that will play the greatest role in performance are: Power (Strength as well as Speed), Agility (Flexibility/Mobility/Stability), Cardiovascular as well as Respiratory Conditioning, Sport Skill (Neuromuscular Coordination as well as Efficiency), as well as Genetic Potential.
Let’s take a look at each factor as well as determine which training methods are going to deliver optimal results. By optimal results, I mean the greatest amount of improvement, with the least amount of risk, as well as within the shortest amount of time.
Power= Force x Distance
Power can be increased three ways.
1. Increase Force (Strength)
What is actually the most effective method of increasing strength as well as/or muscle tissue? In my opinion, High Intensity Strength Training is actually the most productive, safe, as well as time efficient approach available. I am not stating that will one set of each exercise is actually the best choice. My definition of High Intensity Training is actually: training to momentary muscular failure, with brief as well as infrequent workouts in which all variables are prescribed based on the individuals: goals, age, current fitness level, fiber types, personal preference, as well as past experience.
The purpose of strength training is actually to raise strength as well as lean body mass, NOT for training a specific skill or movement-that will’s called practice! People strength train for many reasons as well as there are many methods that will work. For years, many trainers as well as coaches have had their clients as well as athletes perform Olympic lifts because they feel that will will transfer over into the performance of their skill. Numerous studies have shown that will the neurological transfer of skills is actually not optimal unless the skill is actually practiced EXACTLY as that will is actually performed in competition. Therefore, performing power cleans because you play football is actually NOT optimal. Performing power-cleans will only get you better at performing power-cleans! Focus on increasing strength as well as lean body mass, as well as practice your skill exactly as that will is actually performed during competition.
2. Increase Speed
Increasing the speed at which a skill is actually performed is actually another great way to improve power. Speed is actually primarily predetermined by the individual’s genetic make up. However, that will does not mean that will you cannot improve speed by practicing the skill EXACTLY as that will is actually performed in competition. A great deal of focus should be placed on perfecting the technique. By practicing the skill in This kind of manner, you will improve neuromuscular efficiency, which will result in faster as well as more accurate performance.
3. Increase Distance (flexibility/range of motion)
Increasing flexibility is actually another way to improve power. By increasing flexibility, you increase the distance that will force is actually applied which results in an increase in power.
The safest as well as most effective method to raise flexibility is actually by performing full range of motion exercises as well as incorporating a sound stretching routine.
Improving ones agility is actually another way of optimizing performance. Agility drills should be SPECIFIC to the activity or event. For example, having someone do Plyometric jumps off of boxes is actually NOT specific to someone who plays basketball! Yes, a basketball player jumps, however not off of boxes. Having the athlete practice jumping by the floor would certainly be much more specific to their sport. Always ask yourself, “What is actually the goal?” “is actually what I’m doing going to give me the outcome I desire?” “is actually that will optimal?”
Cardiovascular as well as Respiratory Conditioning
Increasing cardio/respiratory output as well as endurance is actually another factor that will includes a major impact on performance. This kind of topic is actually one of such importance that will that will is actually beyond the scope of This kind of article. In general, if you increase the individual’s cardiovascular as well as respiratory output as well as endurance, there will be a corresponding increase in performance. Cardiovascular training should also be specifically geared towards improving the individuals conditioning within the metabolic pathway in which they compete or perform. For example, someone who plays tennis should primarily train at a slow to moderate pace as well as incorporate bursts of high intensity effort. Interval training would certainly be a not bad choice with This kind of individual. Keep the training specific to the individual.
This kind of is actually an area in which there is actually a lot of confusion among many athletes, coaches, as well as trainers. Skill acquisition as well as strength levels are two completely different things. Therefore, they should be trained separately, as well as with different methods. In order to optimize the performance of a specific skill or movement, that will needs to be practiced EXACTLY as that will is actually performed in competition. that will has been shown that will each activity or movement has that will’s own neuromuscular pathway, as well as that will just because a movement is actually similar does NOT mean there will be a positive transfer or carryover of skill. In order to maximize performance the individual should attempt to perfect their movement or skill with endless hours of practice. The goal of practice should be to improve the technique, accuracy, as well as increase the speed at which the skill can be performed. This kind of topic was addressed earlier within the section titled “Increase Force.”
This kind of is actually the factor that will I have found to possess the greatest impact on human performance. Genetic potential is actually something many people overlook. Regardless of what methods of training I use, I will never be a world-class marathoner. I can train twice a week or I can train 5 hours a day, that will still won’t change the fact that will my body wasn’t designed to excel at endurance activities. I hear of too many coaches as well as trainers having people follow dangerous training programs in an attempt to drastically improve their performance. This kind of is actually not to say that will you cannot improve performance. When training yourself or a competitive athlete, always set realistic goals. As stated earlier, the best thing to do is actually utilize the most effective methods available as well as work hard!
Differences between Functional Training as well as Machine Based Training
Most, if not all of the so-called functional exercises, fail to supply constant as well as variable resistance. Most quality machines supply constant tension as well as variable resistance based on the strength curve of the particular muscle, as well as track proper joint function.
For example, compare dumbbell bicep curls on a Swiss ball to a bicep curl on a quality machine (such as Hammer Strength.) While performing the dumbbell curl, there is actually no tension on the biceps within the bottom or top positions. The resistance is actually greatest when the dumbbell is actually perpendicular to the floor. The amount of stimulus is actually also decreased due to the fact that will the individual must balance his/her self on the ball. While using a machine, there is actually constant tension on the biceps as well as the amount of tension varies during the exercise based on the strength curve of the biceps muscle. Which is actually going to make the individual stronger? Which is actually going to stimulate more muscle fibers within the biceps?
In my opinion, machine based training is actually by far superior if the goal is actually to raise strength, as well as/or muscle tissue. Keep in mind that will more muscle equates to a faster, stronger, as well as better athlete, providing they practice their specific skill or movement.
This kind of is actually not to say that will functional exercises serve no purpose. There are benefits to functional exercise; just not as many as some people are lead to believe. Exercise selection as well as the training methods used should be based on the individual’s goals. Instances where functional training may be effective would certainly be in individuals who need to improve balance, stability, as well as neuromuscular coordination. Below is actually a chart that will shows the differences between Functional Training as well as Machine Based Training.
Provides constant as well as variable resistance
Movement tracks proper joint function
Effectively overloads musculature (if used properly)
Safer to perform
Many machines available to work every muscle within the body
Very effective at improving balance, stability, as well as coordination
Does NOT effectively overload musculature
Does NOT provide optimal transfer of skill performance
Very difficult to measure as well as monitor progress
Higher chance of injury
Functional training obviously has some benefit, as well as can be a great addition to a well-designed strength program. However, I personally feel that will should never take the place of a structured strength training routine. I recommend using a combination approach, which utilizes machines, free-weights, bodyweight, balls, bands, as well as anything that will is actually going to deliver the desired results. Always remember that will training for strength as well as/or increases in muscle tissue as well as training for skill are two completely different things. When designing or assessing a training program the following questions should be asked. What is actually the goal? is actually that will time efficient? is actually that will safe? is actually that will delivering the desired results? is actually that will optimal?
- Schmidt, R. A : Motor Learning as well as Performance -by Principles to Practice. Human Kinetics Books; Champaign , IL 1991
- Bryzcki, Matt : A Practical Approach to Strength Training, Masters Press; Indianapolis , IN 1995
- Magil, R : Motor Learning -Concepts as well as Application, 4th Edition, C. Brown Publishing, Madison , Wisconsin 1993
- Chek, Paul : What is actually Functional Exercise? (Article), C.H.E.K Institute
- Calais-Germaine, Blandine : Anatomy of Movement, Easterland Press, Seattle , WA 1993
- Tortora, Gerard, J : Principles of Human Anatomy, 5th Edition, Harper Collins Publishers, fresh York , NY 1989
- Stein, Alan : Improving Athletic Power (Article), Hard Training Newsletter
- Manny, Ken : Skill Development : An Open as well as Closed Case (Article) www.naturalstrength.com
- Kielbaso, Jim : Plyos – My Story (Article) www.cyberpump.com