What are you training for?
I would hope the answer to that question is long term health & physical well being.
Well no thats why people should train & its why I train but many people get side tracked. Even I get side tracked too.
Some people train to improve sports skills, to get or stay in a job, to score the opposite sex etc.
So this in turn turns any sports advice upside down. For example I just saw a twitter tweet that got my goat. it was quoting a study showing greater gains from whole body training 3x per week than split training.
Now most people will see that and think wow – thats me I’ll train just 3x per week whole body and get better gains
The study was for 3 months. This is the maximum length that a whole body routine is recommended for beginers.
Its only after that you are meant to begin split training. But people will misinterpret the research because of the way it was presented.
OK lets chuck in a couple more of these paradigms – backed by research papers.
Lets say they also choose to train just with sandbags because another paper or trainer said it is better.
Lets say they choose to follow a high fat diet because some other guy says cholesterol doesnt matter.
Now if you combine enough of these half assed half researched idea’s together & you will end up with a pretty FUBAR athlete.
They may shine like a star briefly or even for a few years. Then kaput.
Enough people have trained with weights & enough research has been done that the standard principles are well defined.
Long term whole body training leads to increased injury & burnout & stagnation of gains. Its common knowlege.
Cholesterol is linked to heart disease – its a fact – accept it.
On and on. Its no good to look at a 3 month study and base your training fully upon than. Or a limited study in a specific population with a genetic disposition.
There are basic training principles that work. If you dont follow them you will get injured & ill more frequently.
If you train for a sport or career your training will be out of skew with whats best long term for your body.
The myth of “functional” training
The word functional has a dual meaning. It can mean functional as opposed to dysfunctional or it can mean functional as in serving a narrow defined function.
The function of the organism may be compromised by a narrowly defined function.
So when these guys say they are into “functional training” do they mean they are into training you as a functional organism?
Or are they training you to perform a specific function?
Two totally different things with different outcomes.
Most of these functional training programs are in fact to train people for a specific job or to repair an injury.
They are not an over all training program for a fully functional human being. They can not and never will be.
So if you want a long term program to make you the best functional organism – thats traditional bodybuilding.
If you want to become a tactical operator, repair a leg injury, be good at football etc – take up some form of “functional” training.
But just be aware that its functional in name only & in the long term is dysfunctional.