Functional Fitness is all the rage, boot camps are popping up everywhere, and even big-box gyms are introducing more functional equipment. But the dirty secret is not everyone should be doing it.
In this week’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) sneak peek OPEX Fitness Founder, James FitzGerald, breaks down which clients should do functional fitness training and how exactly to program it.
In this episode, James refers to functional fitness as mixed modal. By its definition, functional fitness is a mixture of different fitness modalities aptly referred to as mixed modal. It is also the name of James’ latest course that focuses specifically on the sport of competitive functional fitness. If you are an athlete or a coach of an athlete this is the course for you. Learn more here.
Traditional functional fitness isn’t for everyone, yes you read that right. The high-intensity functional circuits popularized by the media is actually not what the average client should be doing. That high level of intensity is reserved only for those that have built an outstanding base of support.
But that doesn’t mean fitness enthusiasts can’t participate in the same style of workout. It just has to be intricately designed by the coach to ensure that it is aerobic and repeatable, here’s how to do it.
When programming mixed work for a fitness enthusiast client leave it to the end of the workout. Secondly make sure the work is repeatable, whatever you are programming your client must be capable of doing without reaching fatigue. Your client must be able to complete this ‘mixed’ piece at a slow aerobic pace. Learn how to ensure that your program is aerobic in this free download.
Now on to the programming example. An example workout could be a 20-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) that contains a monostructural, gymnastics, and weight training movement – MGW. When choosing the exercises remember to only program what your client is capable of – determined in the assessment – and only use contractions relative to their function.
James purposes the example of an AirBike at a certain pace for a set amount of time, a front leaning rest (plank) and a heavy farmers carry. But remember the work has to be aerobic and at the same pace for the entire time. You can make sure that your client’s work is aerobic by tracking interset repeatability, learn how here.
Ever heard of the term Metcon? Well, it is short for metabolic conditioning. It usually contains some form of the MGW structure that James just explained. However, traditional Metcons typically burn clients out and create compensatory patterns.
That’s why we prefer the term Metcons for health, by using tools such as intraset and interset repeatability you can create Metcon-like workouts for clients that actually help them live longer instead of adding unnecessary stress to their bodies and lives. Download our free resource, How to Design Metcons for Health, and learn why intensity isn’t the long term answer.