Coach Rozy’s FRIDAY FIT TIP HOT TREND #6: FUNCTIONAL FITNESS

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Updated: March 10, 2016

Coach Rozy’s
FRIDAY FIT TIP

HOT TREND #6: FUNCTIONAL FITNESS

As we move through the Top 10 Hot Trends of 2016 one area that is really getting attention because of Cross-fit and High Intensity Training programs is FUNCTIONAL FITNESS. In simple terms, Functional fitness is training based on the idea that the workouts we do mimic and support the activities of daily life, like bending down, picking things up, walking up stairs, and pulling or pushing open doors, this ‘trend’ makes so much sense.

I believe functional fitness comes down to two specific concepts, adaptability and putting your fitness into practice for real application for things you do each day. It’s great to be “gym fit”, to be able to perform pull-ups, endless sit-ups, and deadlift a stack of weights. But what can you actually do with this fitness? Are you able to pick up a couch, run to catch a bus, climb on top of something, explore nature, or compete in a race or do better at your sport of choice?

workout make you nervousIt is easy to become comfortable in the indoor setting where it is predictable and safe. Every time you arrive at the gym your front desk staff will be the same, the bench will be in the same spot, and you know of what you are capable. Even if you train hard it tends to fall into a rut and doesn’t often push the envelope. When is the last time you were nervous before a workout, not sure if you were going to be able to complete it, or experienced the fear of learning a new skill?

Transferability of fitness from the gym to the real world isn’t as easy as we would like to think. Doing pull-ups will strengthen your back, lats, and biceps. However, the strength doesn’t translate directly to climbing on top of a tree branch, doing a muscle up, or climbing rocks. The real world doesn’t occur in a single plane of motion. We live in a chaotic enviromnemnt that is dynamic and ever changing. Picking up children, groceries, or furniture isn’t as easy as a barbell deadlift. Awkward angles can occur, the ground can be uneven, and you can’t always maintain straight arms and the perfect lumbar curve while lifting. Can you pick up an eighty-pound sand bag or fifty-pound bag of dog food that is going to shift weight and keep from injuring your back? Life constantly presents us with situations that can require technically improper form or, at minimum, slight compromises. All that is FUNCTIONAL TRAINING – doing things that get you ready for what life throws at you.

push the limitsIf you never train for the unexpected or the plethora of different situations that arise can you truly be prepared for life? Your challenge this week is to get outside of your comfort zone and transfer your fitness. Your comfort zone is dynamic, and if you never push the limits it slowly shrinks. So if you are a runner, try getting out and lifting. Start with some lifts in the gym, get some core strength and stability, and then apply it to picking up a rock, the couch, or something different. If you normally just lift, get out on the trails and go for a hike or a short run. Is all of your strength helping you?

Find different situations where you can expand your limits and see if your fitness truly crosses over. Try out a local rock climbing gym, rent a kayak and go on a paddling trip, or see how far you can hike in a day. Pushing your mental limitations is just as important as your physical limitations. Something like learning a backflip into the water can challenge your coordination and mental fortitude while also being very rewarding. Success is contagious and once you begin to explore new skills and limitations you may want to set new goals.

Want to try some Functional Fitness in the gym setting, we do that each day in Coach Rozy’s Bootcamps – training movement and not just training muscle. We want you better at your life activities – not just looking good in clothes; even though that is important to. Take your game to the next level and check it out – FUNCTIONAL FITNESS is for you.

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