T Nation

Functional Strength Training


Hi all - this is my first post. Been lurking around for awhile though.
I checked back a few pages and couldn't find a topic along these lines, so I thought I'd post one and get your ideas on the topic.

I've been weight training for about a 8 months but never really had a specific goal or direction in mind until I saw this video and decided I'd like to be at the same level

Some information - I'm looking for functional strength like this guy. I don't need to be cut, or strong but the problem I've been having is I'm tall (6'4), I weight 95 kilos and my physical strength isn't enough to haul my weight around (pull ups are especially hard on my biceps because my arms are so long). I'm able to hit the gym 3 - 4 times a week and on off days I take Muay Thai.
I'm just looking for some program/training ideas that might allow me to get to where this guy is.


Some of the moves that guy is doing are way beyond basic pull-ups. You need to start with chins and pull-ups first.


I should be a little more specific. I can definitely do chins and pulls, it's just my bi's are dead way before my lats start to feel tired. I've been working on muscle ups too. It is also obvious a large amount of grip strength is needed, so I've been training that too.
I was just hoping someone could provide me with a little direction as where to go from here.


First off, eliminate the term "functional strength" from your vocabulary.

All strength is functional in the proper context.

Do you really think you'll gain non-functional strength?


Whoa dude! I train people in martial arts (jujutsu) and have a really good strength training program. These guys are gymnasts who are doing their routine outside. And from the looks of them, they have been doing it with good coaching for quite some time. Nothing wrong with that at all, but to get like them means you will have to seriously skew your training away from Muay Thai and anything else you are doing. You will look like your training protocol. If you want to look like a gymnast, train like one.

Pullups and pushups are just the beginning, to get like this, get rings, (http://www.ringtraining.com) and make sure you get someone who is competent to coach you on them. I mean it. You can pull arms out of their sockets pretty thoroughly with a lot of these moves and many of them have very specific tricks to train you up to them. Plan on taking a few years to grow into this sort of strength. Once you have it though, it will be less useful than you think for "functional" work. To be functional, it must have a function aside from hanging on stuff upside down. :o) FWIW yes I can do quite a bit of what they do so I have no illusion about how hard they worked or the sort of training they have done.

-- jj