Which functional training is the best? Is it Crossfit? MovNat? RKC? Tacfit? A renegade gym such as Gym Jones? The answer my friend, is not that simple. It varies with your goals? Ask yourself – “What am I trying to accomplish? Longevity or Performance? If it’s longevity then I reccomend following Mark Sisson’s advice as seen in the pyramid below.
You can accomplish the above in many ways. It’s simply a matter of preference. Go to crossfit a few times a week, walk, sprint and some yoga. Or hike and MovNat. It’s really up to you, so enjoy it!
Are your goals more performance oriented? What is it that you want to perform better at? Football? MMA? Endurance Sports? Crossfit? Olypic Lifting? Parkour? As I said before, there are lots of options out there…..even in the same programs. Crossfit is a good example. Crossfit has become a sport. That’s not a bad thing but it is something that you need to be aware of. Are you interested in competing in crossfit? Go to a box where they focus on that type of programing? More interested in being able to perform at a specific task or just being able to perform in general…go to a box where they have programs designed for your sport or have a program that really focuses on functional fitness (lifting awkward things like sand bags and slush pipes is a good indicator). Using crossfit as an example you can apply that to any of the other functional fitness programs such as MovNat or RKC.
Remember that if you want to be a good fighter then fight, a good sprinter, sprint!
Be sure to train in the things that you want to do. If your program does not include that then you need to allocate training days to participate in your sport.
My thoughts and personal experiment:
For me functional fitness means being able to perform in life, in martial arts as well as longevity (I’m knocking on 40). I want to be strong but be able to sprint well. I want to be able to climb things. I want to have good mobility. So for the next month I have cut my crossfit work outs down to 3 days per week. I’m getting back to walking 4 days a week and sprinting twice per week. I’m heading to the park to do MovNat, sandbag and skill training. Of course all of this is in addition to my martial arts training. I’m making sure that I throw in some random stuff like heading to the climbing gym and getting in some play time… Tag rocks! When’s the last time you played tag? Dodgeball anyone? I’ll let you know what this does to my performance in 30 days.
In the end it’s really up to you, personal preference and personal goals. All of these programs will get you fit. Some will prepare you better for certain things that others. Just remember, overtraining will ultimately catch up to you, so train wisely. You can’t be functional when you are so sore that you have trouble getting out of bed everyday. Train fun. Train Smart. Train functional!
Posted by Mike Norris on September 8, 2011