One of the most common inquiries we get here at HFF is “What type of training do you offer?” “Oh, okay. You do functional training… what the heck is functional training?”. In short, we want to train people for life. We have tried to stay away from the “Crossfit vs. Athletic Training vs. Functional Training” debate as much as possible but it seems to always come up when trying to explain ourselves to new potential members or just people in our day-to-day lives. Our High Function brand of fitness has similarities to all three but, also many differences.
Our facility may look similar to a CrossFit box and you may even see some movements that are associated with CrossFit in our classes, but that is just about the extent of the similarities.
At High Function Fitness, we have developed a program that is purely results-driven and based on our members’ success. Both Emily and I ran a CrossFit gym and believe there’s a lot to learn from the way CrossFit runs there program. And like any good students of the trade we want to bring the good and proven methods of any product and incorporate it into our own brand.
We strongly believe in fixing human movement and the notion that, if you can move better, you will inherently feel better, and from there the possibilities are endless. After many years in the fitness industry we believe this can be achieved by corrective exercise, functional training, and a strong community to motivate each other. Which brings me to my next point….
What the heck is functional training?
In simple terms, functional training means performing exercises that mimic movements you would do in real life, outside of the gym. Your muscles and joints have to work together to perform daily activities such as walking, running, lifting, pushing and pulling. You would not simply call on one muscle group to complete a real-life task. For example, your biceps are not the only muscles you would recruit if you were to lift a heavy box from the floor. You would need to engage your spinal erectors and stabilizing muscles, shoulders, hip, knee, and ankle joints, and all the muscles in between (including your biceps) to pick the box up. For this reason, a kettlebell front squat to curl is a functional exercise because it mimics the multi-joint, multi-muscle movement your body needs to make while executing daily tasks.
Although the machines used for “traditional” strength training at a “traditional” gym may have their place in a person’s exercise routine, they are considered non-functional exercises because they require you to strengthen an isolated muscle in a stable environment while moving typically in one plain of motion. Functional training strengthens movements and movement patterns, not isolated muscles. Functional exercises also require you to use your core muscles to stabilize yourself, as you would have to do when you lift something heavy from the ground or put your child in a car seat. Weight training machines like the seated crunch machine or the leg extension machine do not have any relationship to movements that people make in their lives outside of the gym – simply because they do not require you to stabilize yourself, and they do not teach your muscle groups to work together like a functional movement would. The human body is like a car it’s hard to get the wheels moving without the ignition on. Everything has to work together to make it a smooth ride.
Hopefully this answers some questions and sheds some light onto functional movement and what we do at High Function Fitness. We are now open and have a full class schedule to check out so please visit highfunctionfit.com or give us a call at 781-933-0222.
Lastly, we know this can be intimidating and overwhelming so at the very least come in for a free consult and Functional Movement Screen… because everyone could use a tire alignment and check of the shocks from time to time.
We look forward to getting you past your 50,000 mile warranty!