T Nation

Functional / Specificity

I’ve recently confused myself regarding these terms. I see functional exercises as an exercise that produces real world strength out of the gym.

So whats the difference between that and speficity?

I’ve been using the term specificity to refer more to energy systems of reps schemes.

Any clarity on this?

My understanding is this:

Functional strength is as you said.

Specificity is training which mimics movements specific to your field (usually athletic). So some of the olympic lifts would be more specific for someone requiring a higher jump, as they come close to mimicking a jumping action (as opposed to, say, a machine hack squat).

-Cloth

PS Where in Aus you from? Brisbane here.

[quote]Andrew Dixon wrote:
I’ve recently confused myself regarding these terms. I see functional exercises as an exercise that produces real world strength out of the gym.[/quote]

What the hell? What exercises do you know of that provide no real world strength out of the gym?

Please list these exercises that are of absolutely no use in life at all in any way, shape or form.

This shit has got to stop eventually.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Andrew Dixon wrote:
I’ve recently confused myself regarding these terms. I see functional exercises as an exercise that produces real world strength out of the gym.

What the hell? What exercises do you know of that provide no real world strength out of the gym?

Please list these exercises that are of absolutely no use in life at all in any way, shape or form.

This shit has got to stop eventually.[/quote]

Yes, I think of “functional exercise” as more of an advertising term than anything else.

[quote]Andrew Dixon wrote:
I’ve recently confused myself regarding these terms. I see functional exercises as an exercise that produces real world strength out of the gym.

So whats the difference between that and speficity?

I’ve been using the term specificity to refer more to energy systems of reps schemes.

Any clarity on this?[/quote]

Functional: A warm fuzzy term that skinny/piss weak PT’s throw around to make up for their shortcomings in other areas. Nothing sells PT sessions like DB squats on a swiss ball.

They like to make out that somehow the dura discs, swiss balls, chi balls, thera bands and the like will transfer into stuff we were supposed to do. Ie stuff primal man was forced to do in order to survive. If you need any more info go and have a look at Paul Chek’s site.

Specific: A genuine term that has been around for years. IE a bodybuilder wanting to improve his delts would work on specific exercises such as a Shoulder press and etc. A basketballer working to increase his vert would focus on box squats and some plyos. And so on.

There is a difference.

[quote]Iron Beast wrote:
Functional: A warm fuzzy term that skinny/piss weak PT’s throw around to make up for their shortcomings in other areas.
[/quote]

Perfect.

Andrew did it this time. He got the Professor involved on his favorite topic. Functional.

[quote]Andrew Dixon wrote:
I’ve recently confused myself regarding these terms. I see functional exercises as an exercise that produces real world strength out of the gym.

So whats the difference between that and speficity?

I’ve been using the term specificity to refer more to energy systems of reps schemes.

Any clarity on this?[/quote]

In the rehab world these terms are pretty much the same.
A functional activity is something that will provide improvement in an area specific to functioning in activities of daily living, the workplace or a sport.

Honestly I don’t think there’s any such thing as a non-functional exercise. Some things are more specific to certain functions than others.

My favourite example of this topic is curls - go pick up a box from the floor and put it on a shelf, chances are you incorporated elbow flexion against gravity into this movement.

Perhaps you’re thinking about training techniques rather than exercises?
In different circumstances increasing strength or hypertrophy or endurance - even balance - will suit your requirements.

Whatever functional training is, it is specific to your goals. It is not a set type of exercises or protocol.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Iron Beast wrote:
Functional: A warm fuzzy term that skinny/piss weak PT’s throw around to make up for their shortcomings in other areas.

Perfect. [/quote]

That is dictionary perfect. That is my vote for a Strong Words candidate.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Andrew Dixon wrote:
I’ve recently confused myself regarding these terms. I see functional exercises as an exercise that produces real world strength out of the gym.

What the hell? What exercises do you know of that provide no real world strength out of the gym?

Please list these exercises that are of absolutely no use in life at all in any way, shape or form.

This shit has got to stop eventually.[/quote]

Someone’s probably gonna open up this can of worms. Not me though. Not that gutsy.

-Cloth

The leg curl?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Andrew Dixon wrote:
I’ve recently confused myself regarding these terms. I see functional exercises as an exercise that produces real world strength out of the gym.

What the hell? What exercises do you know of that provide no real world strength out of the gym?

Please list these exercises that are of absolutely no use in life at all in any way, shape or form.

This shit has got to stop eventually.[/quote]

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Andrew Dixon wrote:
I’ve recently confused myself regarding these terms. I see functional exercises as an exercise that produces real world strength out of the gym.

What the hell? What exercises do you know of that provide no real world strength out of the gym?

Please list these exercises that are of absolutely no use in life at all in any way, shape or form.

This shit has got to stop eventually.[/quote]

Deadlifts. Seriously, when will you ever use that motion in real life?

[quote]Mike T. wrote:
The leg curl?

[/quote]

Are you being serious? Because leg curls don’t help develop the hamstrings?

[quote]jedidiah wrote:

Deadlifts. Seriously, when will you ever use that motion in real life?[/quote]

I have to say I am surprised that anyone on the planet thinks like this. Your body does not need specific exercises to do specific tasks. It can be developed through exercises that are NONSPECIFIC and it will have no problem at all getting your body parts to work together to perform the movement.

If I drop a spoon on the floor, do I really need to do specific “spoon lifting” exercises before-hand to accomplish the task of picking it up?

The entire idea that someone needs to specifically train for every possible movement they may ever make is what is ridiculous.

You are carrying groceries to the car when one bag drops. Both hands are full so you slow the fall of the bag with your foot to lessen the impact. Did that take “stick your foot out while hands are holding objects to decrease force of gravity on falling eggs” exercises to perform?

Is it possible that simply having muscles developed enough individually could pull off that amazing feat without specific training for it?

Deadlift:
I drop a book. I bend over and pick it up.

Case solved.

Outside of sport specific training, this entire topic is dumb as shit.

[quote]Andrew Dixon wrote:
So whats the difference between that and speficity?

Any clarity on this?[/quote]

Agree with some of the other posters - “functional” is a misleading name, as someone else said, every exercise is functional for something.

Specificity in my opinion is work geared towards moving you towards an absolute goal.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
jedidiah wrote:

Deadlifts. Seriously, when will you ever use that motion in real life?

I have to say I am surprised that anyone on the planet thinks like this. Your body does not need specific exercises to do specific tasks. It can be developed through exercises that are NONSPECIFIC and it will have no problem at all getting your body parts to work together to perform the movement.

If I drop a spoon on the floor, do I really need to do specific “spoon lifting” exercises before-hand to accomplish the task of picking it up?

The entire idea that someone needs to specifically train for every possible movement they may ever make is what is ridiculous.

You are carrying groceries to the car when one bag drops. Both hands are full so you slow the fall of the bag with your foot to lessen the impact. Did that take “stick your foot out while hands are holding objects to decrease force of gravity on falling eggs” exercises to perform?

Is it possible that simply having muscles developed enough individually could pull off that amazing feat without specific training for it?

Deadlift:
I drop a book. I bend over and pick it up.

Case solved.

Outside of sport specific training, this entire topic is dumb as shit.[/quote]

The guy had to be joking with his response.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
jedidiah wrote:

Deadlifts. Seriously, when will you ever use that motion in real life?

I have to say I am surprised that anyone on the planet thinks like this. Your body does not need specific exercises to do specific tasks. It can be developed through exercises that are NONSPECIFIC and it will have no problem at all getting your body parts to work together to perform the movement.

If I drop a spoon on the floor, do I really need to do specific “spoon lifting” exercises before-hand to accomplish the task of picking it up?

The entire idea that someone needs to specifically train for every possible movement they may ever make is what is ridiculous.

You are carrying groceries to the car when one bag drops. Both hands are full so you slow the fall of the bag with your foot to lessen the impact. Did that take “stick your foot out while hands are holding objects to decrease force of gravity on falling eggs” exercises to perform?

Is it possible that simply having muscles developed enough individually could pull off that amazing feat without specific training for it?

Deadlift:
I drop a book. I bend over and pick it up.

Case solved.

Outside of sport specific training, this entire topic is dumb as shit.[/quote]

It was a joke, prof

[quote]Professor X wrote:
What the hell? What exercises do you know of that provide no real world strength out of the gym?

Please list these exercises that are of absolutely no use in life at all in any way, shape or form.
[/quote]

Here’s a list of those that come closest, though you may recognise them as being touted as being “the most functional of all”

a)Bent over row standing on Swiss-Ball
b)Barbell Bench Press lying on Swiss-ball
c)Standing one legged on a bosu while holding a “bodyblade”

All exercises I’ve seen people do at the gym, all of them as close to a complete waste of time as possible.

[quote]jedidiah wrote:

It was a joke, prof[/quote]

OK.

Some of these people aren’t joking though.

[quote]Andrew Dixon wrote:
I’ve recently confused myself regarding these terms. I see functional exercises as an exercise that produces real world strength out of the gym.

So whats the difference between that and speficity?

I’ve been using the term specificity to refer more to energy systems of reps schemes.

Any clarity on this?[/quote]

Stop thinking so hard. This isn’t rocket science, and all you’re confused about is semantics.