Why Functional Fitness?
In a world full of fitness fads and trends, it can be hard to decipher the truth from the fluff. At AO1, we are committed to programming the most effective, efficient and accessible workouts. It is for this reason that we have based our programming on functional fitness. Functional fitness is exercise movements that mimic everyday life. It typically involves compound movements – movements that utilize more than one joint. When programmed properly, functional fitness will increase all 10 components of fitness. When functional fitness is performed with intensity (higher power output), the results go up while the time needed for training goes down!
Do you know what the determining factor is for deciding if someone needs to be in a nursing home?
It’s whether or not they can do a SQUAT
Seriously! Once someone can no longer get themselves back up to standing after sitting on a toilet (ie. stand up from a squat), they require further assistance and will most likely find a place in a nursing home. This is why squats are a major part of functional fitness training. A deadlift trains a person how to properly lift their grocery bags up off the floor. An overhead press enables a person to put their own heavy suitcase in the overhead compartments. Running, skipping, jumping, pushing, pulling, bending, dipping…
Functional fitness delivers your inner 6-year-old. It’s time to take back your youth and really have an able body. Proper training will restore movement patterns that you may not have used in years.
Compound movements are the secret sauce.
We purposefully choose movements that use multiple joints and work stabilizing and moving muscles. In real life, you don’t get yourself braced in a machine before you catch or throw a ball. So why would you rely on machines to stabilize for you in the gym? Isolating a single muscle group doesn’t make sense. Workouts are waaaay more effective when multiple muscle groups are working together in one movement pattern.
Another advantage to this way of training is that your core is being worked in every movement you do because it is the source of your stability and balance. However, since we rely on the core so much and it is often a weak overlooked part of the body, we have created a FREE, do-anywhere 15min core workout to get you started.
Our goal is not to make you an expert in any one field, but rather to develop the full spectrum of athleticism. This is what keeps you from hitting a plateau. The human body is a remarkable machine. It is constantly finding ways to make everything more efficient. If you run 10km every morning – that is super impressive but not super effective. Your body will adapt so well to running 10km that as time goes on, you will actually burn fewer calories and build less muscle. But if you target all 10 components of fitness – you will keep your body making adaptations indefinitely!
Lastly, I want to touch on the manner in which we approach these functional movements. First a little background on the 3 Energy Systems:
All activity can be broken down into aerobic (utilizing oxygen for anywhere from 2min to all day), anaerobic (without the use of oxygen for 10 seconds to 2 minutes) and ATP-CP (Uses adenosine triphosphate ATP and phosphocreatine CP and lasts up to 10 seconds). We design our programs to increase all three energy systems. We have workouts specifically targeting each of the three energy systems. However, our mainstay is interval training. The reason is, that at the peak, you’ll probably hit the ATP-CP system. As you fatigue a bit you’ll get into the anaerobic system. Then during the recovery period, you’re in the aerobic system.
The beauty of hitting all three systems in such a short time domain is that you don’t need to do very many sets before you’ve hit your goals for the day.
Two weeks ago we released a blog called ‘Scaling Is Not Failing’. Go back and check that out to find out how our fitness program is accessible to everyone. Now we’ve gone over how our program is the most effective and efficient fitness programming.
Share your thoughts! We want to hear what your goals are and how much time each day you can commit towards fulfilling them.