The Death of Functional Training?

Today I saw a ridiculous image on Facebook of a guy squatting with some kind of bondage device on his face!  I really hope it was a joke or a mock up of some kind because if not, this dude needs some serious education.



When will this madness stop!!

By now we know that everything can be classed functional training. From walking up a hill, to heavy squatting, to gymnastics, even that craziness in the photo…it all depends on the activity in question and the rationale we are presented with.

So if all training is functional training then why not bin that term for good because it essentially means nothing?

Here’s a better alternative… Or a better question to ask I should say… How about…Productive Training?

Here’s 5 questions you can ask of your own training or coaching straight away:

  1. Is this training going to be productive for this person right now?
  2. Are the exercises or movements productive?
  3. Was the last block a productive journey?
  4. Is the current phase or block of training producing results?
  5. Is the programme a productive use of time or can we cut some stuff out?

Once again we are in a position that all training could be considered productive for a certain individual or purpose, however we are looking at the context in a holistic manner and not simply identifying an exercise and calling it good or bad as is currently the case.

We are also able to take a time frame into account rather than a snapshot, as we will not know until we try it. Sometimes you need 4-6 weeks to find out the answer.

You may end up with the below answers; or questions?

  • How about when the answer is no?
  • No it’s not productive?
  • What then?

We must identify the limiting factors. I wrote a blog on this a few years ago which you can read HERE where I identified 3 areas which are: Technical, Psychological and Physical.

Always better to look telescopically rather than microscopically with these things. I would add 1 more into the equation and it’s a big one.

  • The 4th term is Educational.

It’s an extension of psychological. Or perhaps the person just doesn’t understand WHY they need to do it or HOW.

Maybe they don’t see the value in the training block, movement, or even in the coaching process they are going through.  Do we need to educate them on this.

So the next time someone asks you about functional training….your answer is all training is functional I’m more interested in how productive it is!

Let me know what you think on this. Maybe I’m missing something.

Put me straight if that’s the case please.

Thanks for reading,


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