What Is Functional Training

What Is Functional Training
The 10-Week Online Course

What Is Functional Training?

Gonna sound like a broken record to myself once again. I have made this statement literally thousands of times on social media, to have this likely fall on deaf ears again. Or maybe it won’t because I just instituted a challenge in you that triggered dopamine that just might make you listen for a minute.

What people want

Whether you’re a meathead at the gym, or a zen yogi thinking their way to personal enlightenment is by becoming a longitudinal plane contortionist, at some point we all want to be ably to move about with less restriction. No one wants to be paralyzed, even if a six pack or a huge chest is their priority in life. Functional training is a simple approach from a general perspective.

We all at some level want to have adaptability of movement for a multitude of realities. Whether you are picking things up (the one scenario fitness people arduously hold onto for dear life because it’s all they know), avoiding a flying object coming your way, jumping, throwing, running, COMPREHENDING MORE COMPLEX LANGUAGE, or even sleeping, we all want our bodies to adapt well to those scenarios. Everyone wants this, but are they coming close to accomplishing this? Simple answer: NO.

The problem with time

Now if we have about 1 million scenarios in life to choose from, would it make sense to train all those scenarios? Clearly not. Time does not permit us to do so. Pretty basic thinking if you tend to do this thing called thinking on a routine basis. ¬† To those that don’t think much, consider that you if you lived to age 80, started to train from the age of 5 learning 1 new skill per day (really tough to do), you would master a total of 27,375 skills.

Pretty impressive. Even in ideal circumstances however, you would still probably not hit all 1 million scenarios adequately. What is Functional Patterns hoping to do? To find the most common denominators that enable humans to become more adaptable to more scenarios. Sounds easy enough, but it’s not.

Who are we training for what purpose?

For starters, we at some point need to understand what organism we are training before we discuss the learning of new skills. For our scenario, we are going to be concerned about training the species ‘Homo Sapiens’. If we look at anthropological finding, a common denominator seems to be present. Humans were nomadic for most of their existence. From a movement perspective, what kinds of movements would a nomad tend to do most?

I know the weightlifters would say that a deep squat with a barbell on their neck would, but I tend to disagree. For one, the homo sapiens 100 thousand years ago did not have barbells, so we can throw that factor out of the equation immediately. Regarding the squat, ofcourse the homo sapiens squatted. But if that’s all they did, how would they fair against lions, hyenas, elephants? Probably not well.

Back squats don’t initiate the kind of motion that takes you from point A to point B, which is a requirement for either chasing down animals or running away from them. Moving from point A to point B is also required to conquer the world, like homo sapiens have. How did humans originally navigate from point A to point B? Likely, by walking. Atleast, that’s what SCIENCE seems to say.

With that information, one might assume that walking might be a great influence on the kinetics of a human body. From my experience, it appears to be that all movements in their human configuration are built around the gait cycle. If you actually think, it’s not hard to figure out. It does require thought though, so I apologize if I am making you do this. With these insights in place, we might want to consider the implications of Gait on the learning of skills.

Variable Movement Adaptability

If we have concluded that the basic human derivative in movement is walking, at some point we have to think that all functions after that follow in importance. What motions are most similar to walking? To keep things short, running and throwing. Why? They involve contralateral (opposing arm to leg) and ipsilateral (same arm to leg) muscle connections in 1 motion. Not just in their motion, but in the time signatures found in them. It is because of this that we prioritize walking running and throwing at Functional Patterns.

We prioritize it over the other primal movement patterns because humans did them the most. With that said, if I wanted to have adaptability into a million different scenarios, instead of training those scenarios I would optimize those 3 functions. I would make both sides of the body completely symmetrical.

Once they were completely dialed in, learning new skills would be a breeze because we mastered the root of all human movement skill first. This means even at FP we can play touchbutt at the park, minus the ponytail ;). This is all under the assumption that we respect a human for what it is first.

What exercises impede me from learning more skills?

Pretty simple, anything that does not take the human blueprint into the equation first. As much flack as I have gotten over the years for putting forth my opinions, I am yet to have anyone deny that humans walk as a priority. What exercises impede humans from Variable Movement Adaptability?

I could give examples, but here’s a basic way to look at it. If the program of the messiah of an exercise system is not preaching gait as a priority with human function, it’s likely not gonna help you much. ¬†Since this prior to FP this was never murmured and followed through upon with result after result of human bodies changing, it’s safe to say no one is doing this kind of stuff at this moment. Mostly what we see in the industry are people finding ways to stand out, showcasing a kind of dexterity in their limited aspect of strength.

If the back flip, 1 rep max, or artistic yoga bend fits the mold of the consumer, people buy it thinking they are developing themselves within the use of the practice, not realizing they bought into another novel program that doesn’t follow through on what it sells. I would go into this deeper, but I already have written about this for years, and I am not motivated to do it for the 20,000th time. In fact, I am now at the point of closing this post out because I am finding myself repeating the same material that so few will read.

If you don’t get my frustration, go back to my “does weightlifting make you dumb” blogpost. Look at the view count on that video. Then go look at the view count of videos that responded to mine. You will find that when you add all the views from the responses to my video are added together, my original video only represents a fraction of what people actually saw. Unfortunately, this post will fall on deaf ears. I’m done here. Think.

I’m tired of doing it for you. Quit being sheep herded by sociopaths who don’t give a shit about you. I’m going to nature, as that’s the only place that makes sense in this distorted shithole I have managed to adapt myself into. I’m not going to proofread what I wrote because I don’t need to drain my mitochondria anymore. All the best.

Think. Period. Use that brain. Think



Naudi Aguilar:
Hello, once again, this is now to functional patterns. Today I’m going to discuss the term functional training. It is all over the place I before I even start this video, I invite you to go on Instagram, and type in the hashtag functional training. And then after you watch this video, I invite you to go right back to the hashtag functional training. And I want you guys to see what is on the whole list of people, I think it’s got probably about a million posts on that.

I don’t know how to the words that you’re supposed to use to describe how many people have posted on that. But I believe it has a million posts now or near that for the hashtag functional training. That’s what prompted this video. It’s kind of like it was my recent inspiration for it. And I’m going to go into detail about that. The functional training has probably become the most bastardized word in training in the history of training, maybe, I guess bodybuilding is another one, when you’re thinking about thinking about building a body, I’d say bodybuilding should have better connotations to it, you know, where you build a body and you make it better.

I think bodybuilding is maybe another word that’s become really bastardized. So maybe that’s the number one and maybe number two would probably be functional training. And this is how I view functional training. It’s very simple. Okay, we have an organism, let’s say, a dog, a cat, a dolphin, whatever. And we analyze its evolutionary adaptations. We see what do dolphins do? They don’t run on the ground. Dolphins tread water.

That’s what they do. And there’s particular attributes that dolphins have to make them swim really, really well in the water, birds, they fly, right? They fly, they have wings, they do that? Do they run very well? Probably not. Because what do they do primarily? They operate in the air. Right?

So when I think about determining functionality, I only relay functionality relative to the organism. I got two dogs, I got a jack Russell and his name is fresco, named after jack fresco. And then I have another dog His name is Bernie and I named it after Bernie Sanders. And I just I like Bernie Sanders. It was a big cultural thing going on when I got them. But uh, Never mind that. Bernie and fresco are dogs.

The last thing I would ever make my dog, I look at them run around. They are incredible athletes, they move amazing. The way they sling their bodies. I filmed them on my camera all the time. And I look at their biomechanics, and I can’t and I’m compelled at how beautiful they move. And I’m also reminded of how I would never take that beautiful movement and then teach my dogs to walk and run on two feet.

And you actually see that people are teaching these poor poodles to do that. It’s a horrible thing. You can look about it. It’s very popular video online, people who do that should probably be ashamed of themselves, because you’re taking away beautiful movement. And when you look at a dog’s movement on all fours, it’s incredible. The sling arrangements, everything, it’s incredible. So if I was to think about training my dog, I would think, you know, because I’ve noticed that my dog would tend to get cramps, it would tend to it would tend to get get injured.

And there was times where like my Bernie had gotten a hip dislocation, I tend to notice it asymmetries in my own dog, which dogs are asymmetrical no matter what. But when it’s an excessive asymmetrical shift. Eventually, something bad ends up happening. And so when I started doing my myofascial manipulative manipulations and some corrective exercises with my dog, I would notice that he would get less situations like that to arise where he’d end up getting a cramp or he end up getting a hip displacement.

So when I think about relating my training to my dogs, I think about Okay, what does the organism need? What does it evolve to do? Well, dogs come from wolves? So if we see it from that perspective, I’m like, okay, what’s a wolf movement characteristics like? Well, they move on all fours, too. So if that’s part of the species, then guess what I’m going to do, I’m going to directly orient my training to training my dog like a dog, right? Now, that makes probably a ton of sense to you guys. I’m not going to train my dog to try and fly like a bird. That would be ridiculous. Dogs can’t even they can barely add duct and add duck their arms, they can do at barely any adduction and abduction, they’re terrible at that. They’re great at doing flexion and extension.

Okay, so a dog is really good at doing those types of movements, but it’s not going to be very good at flying. So what do I do I train my dog in relation to that. But the problem is, at some point, people are not they haven’t related that to the human body yet. When I think of using the term functional training, I’m saying essentially, that the human being has particular types of needs.

Of course, we can have a whole variation of different types of movements. But what is the human really adapted to do? Well, if we look at it from an evolutionary standpoint, if we just look at the evidence, the actual scientific evidence of you know, from from DNA to anthropological findings, studies, it’s very clear that human beings are designed to walk and run are adapted to walk and run.

If you talk about design, you can say the environment design The the organism to move in a particular fashion. So it’s very clear that humans are adapted to walk and run as a priority. And throw throwing is huge based upon how the adaptation of the human shoulder is. It’s very clear that those are the big three.

Are there other things that we’re supposed to be able to do? Yes, we need to bend down, we need to be able to, you know, hinge we need to be able to squat, right? Probably be deep squat, there’s certain things that we need to be able to do. But what’s the priority? what’s the what’s the defining trait of human movement, walking upright on two feet, contralateral reciprocating, this is how we have function for literally millions of years.

So when I think about training somebody functionally, that’s where I have to start. Now, what I do after that, if I want to do cartwheels backflips, or whatever the hell that may be, that’s a hold, if I decided to dance, that’s a whole nother reality that could carry functionality. But if the premise of how I start, my training does not respect the human for what it is just like you would respect a dog for what it is or like an ego for what it is, you’re going to have severe problems pop up with those humans.

So you then have to ask yourself, if a training program is not oriented around gait, should the term functional training be used? No, not even close. As far as I’m concerned, it’s completely counter to the scientific evidence that exists. We know what we have been doing as human beings, in terms of our movement, at some point, we need to start orienting our training towards that direction. And that’s the purpose of my use of the word functional training. I relate functionality relative to species, the species I am trying to optimize, right?

So if it’s functional, it’s functional relative to a particular species, maybe there needs to be a new word for it. But I think functional training is a great word for describing functional patterns. I think it’s a fantastic word. So I have no problems using it. So with that said, think about when you use that term, are you even caring about what organism you’re trying to condition in the first place? Because that’s really what it is.

It’s about conditioning an organism. When we look, go right back to Instagram, and we look at that functional training, think about how many people that put that hashtag functional training or thinking about whether they’re even relating their training to who they are as a human being. The odds are probably none of them, unfortunately. So I hope that shed some light on my perspective of training, training, anything, I guess, that are using the term functional training and the fact that I would assert that word in specific contexts.

I think we have to start becoming more responsible with our words. Otherwise, we end up with a society where a whole heap of problems seem to exist everywhere. That said, I’ve rambled on too long. I will see you guys in the future with some more videos. This is naudi Aguilar at functional patterns reminding you to train intentionally and not habitually, take care.