Different Destinations - functional strength

I read Christian’s article “Different Destinations, Different Journeys,” and I was wondering what types of results have you guys gotten from functional training? I’ve always done bodybuilding-type training and have typically gained (or tried for) a couple of percent increase in weight per week or an extra rep per set (within a given phase of my periodized routine, of course). How much progress is expected during a week or a phase of functional training?

Also, how are these types of routines periodized? Do you do 4 weeks of max effort, followed by a period of speed training, or mix the two Westside style? Or do you do a phase of functional training followed by a phase of hypertrophy training?

It’s not magical

you just get results based on what your do.

Of course, but can you quantify that?


everyone is different anyway, just try it for yourself.

Look at a bodybuilding split and their strength/power levels. Look at an only lifter’s workout, sprinter, and a power lifters workout. Look at their strength/power levels. Now rexamine the two worksouts and look at the strucutal builds. There you can see the difference.

That’s what I’m asking for here… I don’t know any Oly lifters or powerlifters so I have no frame of reference. That’s why I’m asking you guys what your experience has been.

well if you wnat to get stronger then you train that way

if you wnat to get more explosive you train another way

if you want both then you train another way :slight_smile:

And when you do so, you get better results if you design the training to reflect your goals

that’s it in a nutshell.


I usually do one day per week where I work on “functional strength”.

I usually do some Oly lifts first in my workouts. for example, on DL or hip day I’ll do about 10-15 power cleans. On pull day I’ll do some snatches, push day gets push press. (I know not exactly Oly but still a big compound.)

Is this a good idea or am I hurting myself?

I’m going for hypertrophy but also funtional strength. I like the energy burned as well.



I stick to large multi joint lifts and oly lifts. These pack on the most muscle, the rest is diet in order to get bodyfat low enough to expose the muscle. Also I use rep manipulation so that overall TUT and volume allow not for non funtional structural gains, but for functional structural gains. I think his best suggestion is following the funtional program, then after throwing in a structural move for a body part for 10-15 min. Look up Shane Hamman, thats America’s best oly lifter. There are much more cut ones that are in lower weight classes however. Then do a search on google for Jay Cutler. There you have a visual difference.

What is your goal gt?

If its just to get bigger than tailor your training towards that.

My goals changed towards developing explosiveness and speed to enhance what sports I do, and so I began incorporating Oly lifts along with the basics, and my weight and strength have gone up.

So, I have gotten good results - by using something similar to CT’s ideas.

Break down your priorities and build your training around that.

best of luck

get the best of both worlds…train functional, but double the volume (total reps per week)

so if you were training for strength:

flat bench 5X5
incline press 8X3

that’s about 50reps for that workout…just add another exercise or two and keep the reps per exercise around 25 and you’ll effectively add volume (hypertropy end result) and stay functional

Everybody that has replied here sounds like they train bodybuilding style. If I understand the point of functional training it is to condition motor units, not develop hypertrophy. That’s how you get somebody like Chad Ikei who benched 330 at a body weight of 113. He was benching 6 times per week and it obviously wasn’t a hypertrophy-inducing, high volume system. Is there anybody out there who trains that way?

no :slight_smile:

No one on here has the time to train 6 times a week, and he trained that way because basically the more you perform a move the better you get at it. If you look at what I said, I train for functional purposed, I was just saying that overall volume as well as ecc stress will take care of the hypertrophy(functional hypertrophy is a part of functional training as increased cross sectional area will up to an extent increase ones power to bodyweight ratio, which is the goal with functional training correct?) so the point you should understand that training functionally when you do it right will increase your power to bodyweight ratio through both neural adaptations and functional structural adaptation due to overall TUT, volume, and stress from the stimulus.