I took over the Haka Instagram account last week. I held out for a long time. But it is clear that Instagram can be a great vehicle for sharing our message and giving people real information about health and fitness. Oh, how it pains me to say that…
Clearly, we need to have some discussion about Functional Training, Movement as Medicine, and Food as Nourishment in the pursuit of Enjoyment and Fulfillment.
I’ve been scrolling through the ‘Gram a lot trying to figure the whole thing out and understand the weird “culture” that is growing there. I look through fitness pages and rehab pages and just regular pages and I see a lot of pictures that look like this….
Everyone seems to be missing the fact that the gym is not the event. Rather, your time in the gym doing formal exercise is the time to be training skills that allow you to be human and experience life.
What exactly IS Functional Training?
The very definition of FUNCTIONAL gives us a clue.
Functional Training for the Human Experience — Say what?!?
I’m going to make the argument that aside from whatever purpose you may have hashed out for yourself, most people have the common goal of experiencing life more fully. I also think it would be safe to add “with less pain, in general.” The Human Experience is all about feeling good enough to HAVE FUN and DO THINGS with the people you love. With that purpose in mind, the most important parts of your FUNCTIONAL TRAINING are the parts that restore the movements and mobility that are predicated by our anatomy- running, jumping, crawling, rolling and hanging. When these primary Human Movements are patterned and perfected, the whole landscape of anything you want to try is wide open. In other words, YOU, friend are FUNCTIONAL!
The Functional Middle Finger
The next time you see the words “functional training” take a second to ask yourself “What IS the function?” and “Does it serve MY purpose?” Nothing says you can’t try these bizarre exercises, if you want. Think of them as skills work in your general practice for the game of Life, much like a basketball player will work on foul shots but not at the expense of actually playing basketball. Make sense? You can stop performing circus acts (unless being a performer is your goal) and you can feel ok about doing the workout that serves YOUR individual purpose!