Let’s set the scene. As a child, you run around, pick things up, climb this, jump
off that, crawl under there, push this, and lift that. That’s functional training, kids do it all the time without even being aware of it. It’s a natural developmental action. So how does it help us adults?
We will get to that.
Being me, I used to climb trees, on to the roof of the house etc. This never bothered my parents until I taught myself to do forward and back somersaults off the roof of the house. Then they realised they had to channel it.
My mum got me into competitive Gymnastics at 11 years old (very late age these days) so I could learn how to control my body; having spatial and aerial awareness accompanied with the ability to land correctly is important when performing movements that are potentially fatal.
So I guess I almost breathe functional movement. I can’t stop. Even now I enjoy moving my body effectively and efficiently. This is the essence of functional training. I explained it like this because Functional training is all this, and more, but it’s important to bring it back to something we can all relate to. I learned early, through gymnastics, and retained the influence of a child that adults in this day and age are losing grip of.
Functional training and movement is the natural way we get around.
I met Frank Garrick owner of F45 Training South Melbourne when I was a Personal Trainer.
I took Frank on as a client after his current trainer left the gym I was working at. Frank had an ok level of fitness and seemed to enjoy pushing himself to limits. Though Frank was used to traditional gym machines and free weight exercises, he found himself most mornings waking up with severe lower back pain and having to sit for up to 30 minutes before being able to begin his day.
I saw the opportunity there to help him combat this. After a few weeks of improving his squat and dead lift technique, we moved on to some more complex movements. Box jumps, kettle bell swings, barbell cleans, front squats, some TRX training , lots of medicine ball movements and plenty of other varied exercises that left him wondering if I was a sane Trainer or not.
At around the 6 week mark Frank came in for his 11am workout with a face so bright with excitement I thought he had won Tatts Lotto. For Frank, it was like he had. He came to me and almost shouted that he got up this morning with absolutely no pain in his back at all! He was able to get straight out of bed and start his day. For someone who spent years with this pain to have it diminish within weeks of starting a crazy training regime Frank was over the moon.
We began talking about opening a gym together but needed to find something we both believed in. Thus F45 Training South Melbourne was born. It took some time to get the logistics etc. locked down, but finally we opened up a training studio that can actually help people, not just provide a place to train.
Frank knows from first-hand experience that moving the right way activating the right muscles will have incredible positive effects on the body and the mind. Functional training will improve muscular and skeletal imbalances; improve our coordination, cognitive function, proprioception, muscular endurance, strength, flexibility, and so much more.
If you are still unsure about functional training, watch a 3 year old discover the world. They have near limitless energy, don’t over-complicate
things, and always have perfect technique in every movement.
Find your inner child!