Functional training - a paradigm or a marketing name
However, this expression has been used indiscriminately, whether for commercial campaigns of gymnasiums and academies, or by the trainers themselves, in the sense of selling concepts and approaches that are not always sensible. In the area of physical exercise it is common to hear that Functional Training serves to practice something that is done at work, in daily life or in sport. It is a simplistic view of a more complex concept than it appears to be. Whoever looks at the concept of Functional Training from this point of view perceives only a small part of the "iceberg". There is a huge "mass" beneath this concept that makes your understanding much more complex.
A pure vision by a "functionalist" makes him think that for an exercise to be considered "functional", it must be an "integrated movement", that is, only polyarticular and multidimensional or multiplanar movements are functional. The "functionalist" believes that the primordial movements of the human being are "artificial", "synthetic", "rare", "useless" and even can be "bad", since they do not prepare the person for their daily life. In my view, this view is a distorted or short view of reality. It is short, insofar as human movement results from a multiplicity of movements, which make up links in a chain of motion. Is it possible to survive if any of these links are faulted? Yes. The primordial norm of the human being (Survive and Reproduce) determines that, regardless of the state of the "machine", it has to fulfill its primary presupposition, even if it enters into "mode" of compensation. That is, if the only way that the individual has to perform day-to-day activities is through compensatory movements, then the command center (Central Nervous System), as well as his chassis (Musculoskeletal System) , will suffer chronic adaptations, the fruit of their adaptability, with a single purpose, survival. Compensation in itself is not a bad thing, but a defense mechanism, either by altering the neurological function, the physiological function, or even the physical structure of the different tissues. This modification is intended to bridge the gap between our response to the "primary instinct" as a living being. I do not mean to say that these compensatory patterns are beneficial, but I do not believe that removing them without giving another valid solution to the organism, or instead increasing them through their training, is a valid solution.
Is the expression Functional Training the most appropriate?
What are the meanings of function and function? Nothing that a dictionary can not make conclude that Function is what concerns the "performance of an activity or position, exercise, occupation ...". Thus, function is a normal characteristic action of something, it is a type of duty required for a particular job or action. It can be seen as acting, working or being used in a certain way. In the background, any structure of the human body was and is genetically predetermined, which in turn determined its function. This means that genetics, then the innate characteristics of the subject determine the function of their structures. However, the environment conditions these functions. With respect to the word Functional, it is an adjective that refers to the functions of an organ or apparatus; which studies functions; practical; utility; easy to apply or use; Well adapted by the configuration and dimensions to the Respective Function; ready to go. I decided to highlight the words "... well adapted ... to the respective function", as this is the key phrase of this whole article. The functional word is relative to a function or implies the performance of a function. It may even seem "gross" to address the meaning of the words "function" and "functional," but if you do not do it, how can we communicate without raising doubts about the words and the difference between them? It is essential that the communication be clear and that we are talking about it. I give this small explanation because it seems to me that people when they speak of the word functional, in the context of training, refer to the transference. For this reason, I am of the opinion that one should talk before transfer training, not functional training.
It is my view that the term "Functional Training" is not properly employed and, as such, presupposes an inadequate after-use. Given that the use of the concept of "Functional Training" is based on the imitation of physical activities of daily life, we can easily understand that in addition to increasing the overuse of various structures of the body (already worked on daily), this type of activity can lead to chronic injuries My opinion is that "Functional exercise" should not be a "challenge" or "violation" of the function of our anatomical and neurological structures, exploiting their maximum tolerance, limitations and abilities genetically predetermined. The transfer is, in my view, the key to the influence of an exercise on the applicability of an objective that is defined at the outset by the person responsible for the exercise prescription, according to the client's needs. That is, after defining the objectives of the training, it is fundamental to select correctly the exercises, as well as the appropriate progressions to enable the client to achieve their goals with safety and quality. This means that analytical movements may have some degree of transference. The key to knowing what type of exercise is most appropriate is in defining the current state of the athlete / client and their needs. In the background, any standard movement that is part of the global integrated action for which we.
The "functionality" of a workout is not determined simply by the exercises used. What matters is the selection of the different exercises used. What matters is the selection of the different exercises, the way they are chained and taught and finally how a progression is made. The key to a successful training program is the strategic variation and progression of training exercises. "Functional training" alone will reinforce compensatory patterns if the weak links in the chain of movement are not identified and eliminated in the first place (Greg Roskopf in Purvis, 2001). At this level, the assessment of the entire articular and neurological structure plays a key role, insofar as it allows identifying possible muscular imbalances, responsible for mechanical imbalances. In recent years, muscle activation techniques have been developed in the United States and with some implantation in Europe, whose objective is to evaluate and treat muscular weaknesses, based on muscular proprioception, and with that, increase joint stability, creating a solid base for a correct progression in resistance training. Some of these techniques (gradual intensity isometry) are excellent tools for coaches to include in their exercise programs, as instruments that allow them to make an adequate assessment of the state of the joint and neuromuscular systems, and to rebalance them. They are excellent tools for evaluating the quality of your work, in that they let you know if the methods they use are having the desired effect.
Returning to the definition of "Functional training", if there were any consensus, the following words would be the ones that would most lead to our agreement: "Functional training is the set of training tools (exercises, equipment and strategies) improve the function of the body as well as its tolerance of forces, with a view to improving the performance of work, day-to-day activities or sporting activities. They shall respect the functions of the various parts of the body and be adapted to their state and help boost their function ".
However, given the misinterpretation that the exercise sector made of this concept, we are led to consider as more appropriate the use of other terms such as Training with Integrated Resistance or Transfer Training.