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