The Dogma of the Week – What is Functional Training?

Hello to all and welcome to my first “Dogma of the Week” blogpost.

I will be putting these posts up indefinitely until I have fully expressed the perspective on how I view the fitness/wellness industry and what it is promoting.

I will also diverge into subject matter that may seem distant to a person’s health, but will do my best to tie it into the context of where I’m stating my disposition.

All the people around me know this is something I have been contemplating for quite some time, but internal fears have seemingly been the reason why I have waited this long to finally start putting out the controversial subject matter we repeatedly discuss behind closed doors. Since my childhood, controversy has always played a major factor in the development of the values I adhere to today.

I was raised by two objective parents that always told me to cater to what’s real in life, even if it doesn’t correspond to what people or establishments want to see. I have since divulged in the subject matter that, often times, people stay clear of for fear of breaking rapport with the rest of the tribe. Making it public has been the next step. It’s been a 28 year process in the trenches, and I think the time is right. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my first Dogma of the Week 🙂

What is Functional Training?

The topic for this Dogma of the Week will be regarding one of the most undefined terms used in the fitness industry today: Functional Training. I have seen many blogposts that have gone on for several pages trying to explain what Functional Training is and I can’t say they have done much to give out a clear definition. Many of the arguments presented are yet to put out a clear referential foundation in which a human base point could be established. My goal with this blogpost is to give a concise perspective on what a Functional Training regimen should likely be catered around, and give it a relatively objective foundation.

With that said, I still don’t have answers to many of the mysteries of the human species. These are purely the findings I have made throughout my career of dealing with people of all walks of life who were looking to address their various dysfunctions. I am learning and will continue to learn until I pass, or until a super intelligent cybernated organism figures these problems out before me.

It is not my intention to cover the topics of bodybuilding or the use of machines in corporate gyms in this blogpost. I think it is quite obvious their nature is predicated upon dysfunction and don’t deem them necessary to discuss.

The Definition

Functional Training- to condition a human to become more biologically adaptable to the stimulus of natural law, on planet Earth, relative to the individual’s biological characteristics.

The Referent

Human beings have a biomechanical blueprint that is catered around an ape walking and adapting to moving on 2 feet. If the training regimens being implemented upon a human being are not catered to this evolutionary logic, it can no longer be rendered functional. If the training adheres to human evolution, it is likely that the human in training will physiologically cheat death for a longer period of time, all the while improving their integrated biomechanical physical performance.

If we can base our thought process under this physical referent, then we might be able to get a better understanding of what it means to train a body in a functional manner. Environment is the grand master of our biology, so knowing the progress of nature over the last million years and it’s correlation to the environment we are operating in now will give us an understanding of what our training needs to biomechanically adhere to.

When “Functional” is no longer Functional

We do not live in a culture that is biologically suited for our physical needs. We conduct most of our operations in a stationary manner, while usually under severe amounts of stress. This environment breeds dysfunction and will guide the body towards the development of dysfunctional movement patterns, when the body attempts movement thereafter. It is these systematic imbalances in our reality that have a huge impact on the movement structures that people operate under when they attempt to do something as functional even as walking. The implications of this are immense.

Although this is nothing new to many of the people reading this, the application of this phenomena is yet to be realized by almost everyone I have seen in the fitness industry. Repeatedly, I have seen trainers using “functional exercises” like pushups, pullups, rows, lunges, planks, along with many other exercises implemented at the wrong time, with the wrong mechanics set in place, further compounding the existing issues created by our culture. Sadly, very few “Functional Trainers” take in the context of the reality a human in our current culture goes through everyday. Because an exercise is deemed as being “functional” or “primal”, does not mean that it will be in every situation.

Functional Training Logic (Check out the video below)

Functional Training is really this simple:

If a person has a forward head, don’t do exercises that promote a foward head. Things like pushups, dips, crunches, etc…

If a person cannot mobilize their lumbo-pelvic region, implement the proper procedures to mobilize the lumbo pelvic region before initiating any movements that involve that region of the body.

If a person is bombarded with stress, don’t do things that will compound the stressors anymore than what they need to be.

IF A PERSON COMES FROM AN IMBALANCED ENVIRONMENT, NURTURE THE OPPOSITE PATTERNS OF THAT ENVIRONMENT TO CREATE A BALANCED EFFECT.

I am not one to sit here and complain about what this industry has to offer and not propose an alternative, so that is why I have made the majority of what I teach absolutely free for everyone to study. To anyone watching this wanting to know how to bring their Functional Training into full effect, I would recommend checking out my library of videos of me SHOWING you how to apply functionality in a realistic and effective manner.

Live intentionally, not habitually 🙂

2017-01-18T20:27:14+00:00

One Comment

  1. arlene April 12, 2013 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Hey Naudi,
    Nice video and great blog of the week. quick comment: i agree with your functional human design paradigm but how do you get clients to realize that this is a critical component to their health? as you are aware, there has been, and continues to be, a tremendous amount of information that says “just do push ups and cardio” and you’ll be on your way to fitness. we have created our own monster but now how do we get out of our own way?
    just a thought
    Arlene

Leave A Comment