FP culture – What does the Term “Functional Training” Actually Mean?

“Functional Training” is a term thrown everywhere in the fitness industry. With the majority of fitness professionals promoting Olympic Lifting and Gymnastics as “functional training”, it seems the industry as a whole has been a bit misguided. Analyzing the “science” the majority group in the fitness industry have put forth to validate that these types of training platforms, it has become obvious to anyone with enough education that they have neglected so many variables that apply to all human beings on this planet. Specifically when we bring up the context of human biology influencing a person’s training goals. The fact is, to deem something as Functional Training, there has to be a basepoint in which people can all agree upon. We are humans. We prioritize the improvement of certain functions with the way our musculoskeletal system adapted over the course of millions of years. In short, the answer is very simple. Train for your biology. Not your ego. Then again, this is if the end goal is living longer and stronger for an entire lifetime.

We at Functional Patterns use the term “Functional Training” confidently because we have objectified the term for all humans, regardless of cultural and emotional bias, regardless of whether someone wants to show off pictures of themselves doing handstands on instagram. In a world so oriented by politicians in the fitness industry afraid to rock the boat, it is quite common to see modifications of their values to fit the wants of the general population. This is even though biology operates within the context of NEEDS, not WANTS. The problem is that WHAT IS WANTED TODAY DOES NOT MIX WELL WITH WHAT IS NEEDED. In this video, the FP culture crew take an in depth approach at addressing maybe the biggest problem in the fitness industry today. That problem being to define the term “Functional Training” once and for all.





  1. Wolfgang Schmölzer July 27, 2014 at 1:52 am - Reply

    Thank you guys!
    To me it is maybe the best FP Culture video you’ve published so far. My personal definition has always been that training is functional as long as it provides a transition into your daily life and/or your specific sport. I am still willing to stick to that, but see the point that this needs to be extended by the fact that we really have to work on all those environmental dysfunctions first in order to get the client back into a full functional body. Any further increase of training intensity, developing power and enhancement of sport specific movements will need to be built on that foundation.

  2. Carter July 29, 2014 at 11:05 am - Reply

    How do you guys at Functional Patterns asses dysfunction? What screening tool do you use?

  3. Carter July 29, 2014 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Lol *assess

  4. Luis ponce February 7, 2015 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Just want to say by far this is one of my favorite videos on the breakdown of the term functional training. I’m a Chek level 2, HLC level 1, and have been made aware through this system how crucial this topic is. In a small town with a bunch of cross fit “boxes” as they like to call it, it is inspiring to see you guys taking the time to educate and be raw and honest of how fucked up this so called “health and fitness” industry has been and most importantly HOW to do identify and do something about our defeciencies. I am definitely looking forward to attending your human foundations course in the near future. Much respect!

  5. Roy March 8, 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Can you define your definition of “functional” in 2 or 3 sentences? I listened to your video for over 8 minutes and I heard a lot of what it is not. No offense, I’m trying to understand better what you’re all about. Thank you.

    • Naudi March 8, 2015 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      Train in accordance to your human biological characteristics.

  6. Matt March 9, 2015 at 2:03 am - Reply

    What’s wrong with rock climbing?!?! 😀

  7. Gary July 20, 2015 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Question .. Did we evolve to run and walk ‘correctly!!’ I don’t think correctly comes into it .. Our ancestors probably had much more poise, grace and ease of movement than we show now
    And it really has nothing to do with front or back lines .. We don’t move in those terms .. They are just a theory .. We now know the back line doesn’t go where we thought ..
    I get where you guys are at with people doing any old thing and calling it functional .. I totally get your point there

    • Naudi July 22, 2015 at 1:04 am - Reply

      Have you compared the walking gait of a chimp in comparison to a human’s? Look at that and then tell me if we weren’t in the process of developing new neuromyofascial connections that would form the fascia lines. I follow the ideas of the fascia lines, because I make them work on a daily.

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