T Nation

Functional Strength?

[quote]semper_fi wrote:
Wow I posted this like 2 weeks ago. Thanks for all the feedback though.[/quote]

ROFL

End consensus: If you’re a bodybuilder, be a man and stay the fuck away from the stability ball. There’s no such thing as functional vs nonfunctional strength.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:

Actually, I wouldn’t call it non-functional strength. I’d call it gaining functional strength but losing flexibility in the process.
[/quote]

Thank you so much for typing that. People, read that one again.

Carrying bags of Concrete or Sand?
Pushing a Wheelbarrow.
Breaking Rocks with a Sledge Hammer
Laying Flag Stone
Stacking Concrete blocks
Knocking down walls
Stacking Bales of Hey
Digging a ditch
The list goes on

I think the term gets negative feed back because most of the people on this web sight do not do physical labor for a living. I am telling you no matter how good of shape you are in there are people out there that could work you into the ground. That is functional strength

Every term that comes into use in any kind of physical activity eventually gets bastardised and drawn away from its original meaning.

“Functional training.” “Functional martial arts.”

Whether something is functional or not is dependent on what your goals and aims are?

Do you want to have a 500lb bench?
Do you want to just look good and build your muscles to their maximal size?
Do you want compete in 100m/25 mile races?
Do you want to be able to perform katas?
Do you want to be successful at MMA?

These outcomes can have overlapping methods of training and it is easy to wrongly compare different methods using the same equipment.

I personally want to be like an MMA fighter. That entails strength, speed, endurance, flexibilty and just about every other attribute you can think of.

To me when people said “functional” they meant being complete, and referred to addressing all of the above attributes and neglecting none.

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
Carrying bags of Concrete or Sand?
Pushing a Wheelbarrow.
Breaking Rocks with a Sledge Hammer
Laying Flag Stone
Stacking Concrete blocks
Knocking down walls
Stacking Bales of Hey
Digging a ditch
The list goes on

I think the term gets negative feed back because most of the people on this web sight do not do physical labor for a living. I am telling you no matter how good of shape you are in there are people out there that could work you into the ground. That is functional strength
[/quote]

great!

functional strength definition number 47,382…

functional strength = mindless manual labor…

awesome contribution!

now please tell me how stacking bales of hay and breaking rocks with a sledgehammer is going to make massive improvements to a pro-level golfer’s putting ability?

how is knocking down a wall going to make a pro-level pitcher throw a better curve ball?

I propose functional strength definition number 47,383…

functional strength = stupid fucking ambiguous term that means something different to practically everyone that uses it…

[quote]DPH wrote:

I propose functional strength definition number 47,383…

functional strength = stupid fucking ambiguous term that means something different to practically everyone that uses it…[/quote]

“Can I get an ‘a men’?!”

Digging ditches is “functional” but knocking a running back 5 feet into the air based on the strength you gained doing squats isn’t?

Ryu,

Personally I could care less about how much someone can bench, my only reason for mentioning that statement was because the Professor seems to use it as a justification of why he is right just about every time this argument comes up. So, by saying that there are people who use the term that can out bench him shows that his original statement is untrue.

Professor,

Well, I’ve done more to disprove your statement than you’ve done to prove it.

The dictionary defines to prove in the following ways:

  1. establish the validity of something, as by an example, explanation or experiment;

  2. provide evidence for

It also defines disprove as such:

  1. To prove to be false, invalid, or in error; refute

Therefore one could define disprove as to “provide an example, or evidence to prove that something is false or invalid”.

I’d say my examples have done just that.

Ok, so you say that you realize that people have different goals and then you go and make a statement like “it has been overtaken on message boards like this one by skinny dudes as justification for their lack of size.”

Perhaps besides just realizing that people have different goals isn’t enough. Perhaps you need to also respect their goals.

Even if you were right about the term being misused by some, that is different from saying that “the only ones” using the term are small and weak. It is the blanket statement that I disagree with.

You wrote:

“I could care less who you quote. He may be the greatest trainer the world has ever known and I can still see that blindly following every word someone says simply because of “who” they are is retarded.”

Blindly following every word he says? When did I ever say to do that? Once again, perhaps you should re-read my previous post and realize that Alosi was simply a reputable example (backed up by several other reputable examples) of a successful strength and conditioning coach who has gotten results, who also happens to use the term “functional”.

You wrote:

“You seem very unable to follow why many are tired of hearing this term.”

From what I’ve seen the reason why many people get offended by the term “functional strength” is because it illustrates areas where many people are underdeveloped. It’s funny how I don’t see many people getting all offended when someone mentions absolute strength.

You wrote:

“Wouldn’t the guy acting as if his “functionality” puts him on a higher level than any gym trainers be putting those trainers down?”

Well, that depends on the situation. It may be that you are correct in some cases. Or, it may simply be the truth.

If you honestly think that someone who simply does bodybuilding would last 5 minutes against a professional football player, or olympic level gymnast, or in whatever sport than you’d be wrong. They are simply less functional in terms of being able to play that sport, or in terms of total athleticism in general. Doesn’t that put them on a “higher level” to some extent?

You then wrote:

“I would bet that most aren’t.”

Well, you may be right and you may be wrong. Without researching every single person using this term, it’s kind of hard to intelligently prove such a statement.

But, even if you are correct, and I’ll even stop arguing with you if you’ll admit to this slight ammendment to your original statement, that still does not mean that the “only ones” (basically inferring that everyone) using this term is underdeveloped in terms of strength and/or size, and doesn’t understand how to train properly.

Many, ok I’ll buy that. Everyone, no that’s untrue.

Good training,

Sentoguy

I do wrist curls to build up forearm strength. It helps me masterbate is that functional?

[quote]Raimisch wrote:
I do wrist curls to build up forearm strength. It helps me masterbate is that functional?[/quote]

As a matter of fact, it is. Textbook definition.

[quote]BIGRAGOO wrote:
Raimisch wrote:
I do wrist curls to build up forearm strength. It helps me masterbate is that functional?

As a matter of fact, it is. Textbook definition.[/quote]

Webster’s

Func.tion.al Strength (n) - Strength gained in order to increase and sustain self pleasure through penile manipulation.

  • “I shall do hundreds of hammer curls in order to jack off with such force that my toes curl inward towards my heels and my eyes roll backwards inside my skull thus increasing my ‘functional strength’.”

Damn it, he’s right.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
BIGRAGOO wrote:
Raimisch wrote:
I do wrist curls to build up forearm strength. It helps me masterbate is that functional?

As a matter of fact, it is. Textbook definition.

Webster’s

Func.tion.al Strength (n) - Strength gained in order to increase and sustain self pleasure through penile manipulation.

  • “I shall do hundreds of hammer curls in order to jack off with such force that my toes curl inward towards my heels and my eyes roll backwards inside my skull thus increasing my ‘functional strength’.”

Damn it, he’s right.[/quote]

Hahaha, I knew it!!!

[quote]keaster wrote:
I wish matt furey was present. He would set you all straight. Functional strength is a term coined by small people that can do 140 pushups but can bench 75 pounds.

[/quote]

And Date Tate would say that his mammoth bench was worth what when he couldn’t pick up his kid and do normal activities? Deadlift a ton yet his glutes aren’t firing…
I would take the stregth out of the title and look at functional integrity maybe?

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
keaster wrote:
I wish matt furey was present. He would set you all straight. Functional strength is a term coined by small people that can do 140 pushups but can bench 75 pounds.

And Date Tate would say that his mammoth bench was worth what when he couldn’t pick up his kid and do normal activities? Deadlift a ton yet his glutes aren’t firing…
I would take the stregth out of the title and look at functional integrity maybe?
[/quote]

But he didn’t train for the ‘kid lifting’ championships! He trained to ‘function’ as a top 20 powerlifter!
Please can we just stop this? It’s nothing but quibbling over semantics.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
DPH wrote:

I propose functional strength definition number 47,383…

functional strength = stupid fucking ambiguous term that means something different to practically everyone that uses it…

“Can I get an ‘a men’?!”

Digging ditches is “functional” but knocking a running back 5 feet into the air based on the strength you gained doing squats isn’t?[/quote]

A MEN

[quote]DPH wrote:
pittbulll wrote:
Carrying bags of Concrete or Sand?
Pushing a Wheelbarrow.
Breaking Rocks with a Sledge Hammer
Laying Flag Stone
Stacking Concrete blocks
Knocking down walls
Stacking Bales of Hey
Digging a ditch
The list goes on

I think the term gets negative feed back because most of the people on this web sight do not do physical labor for a living. I am telling you no matter how good of shape you are in there are people out there that could work you into the ground. That is functional strength

great!

functional strength definition number 47,382…

functional strength = mindless manual labor…

awesome contribution!

now please tell me how stacking bales of hay and breaking rocks with a sledgehammer is going to make massive improvements to a pro-level golfer’s putting ability?

how is knocking down a wall going to make a pro-level pitcher throw a better curve ball?

I propose functional strength definition number 47,383…

functional strength = stupid fucking ambiguous term that means something different to practically everyone that uses it…[/quote]

Personally I think because you do not understand something, you feel it does not exist. In my opinion only an Idiot could deny that repetitively doing a task will make you more capable at doing the given task. Especially something that requires some kind of strength. I personally would not consider putting a physically demanding task. I can see how developing muscles to swing a 2 pound hammer All day long, can compare to driving a golf ball.

I counted a liberal six definitions of Functional Strength at the time you made your post.
And Amen brother professor :slight_smile:

[quote]Jonny James wrote:
Professor X wrote:
DPH wrote:

I propose functional strength definition number 47,383…

functional strength = stupid fucking ambiguous term that means something different to practically everyone that uses it…

“Can I get an ‘a men’?!”

Digging ditches is “functional” but knocking a running back 5 feet into the air based on the strength you gained doing squats isn’t?

A MEN[/quote]

If I were training to hit running backs, I would definitely do squats, but I would not stop there. I would find something I could hit that would act just like a big powerful body.

Pittbull, since you brought it up, you should have seen this kid I was on a concrete crew with. He was skinny as a noodle, but had this whipping technique for breaking concrete that was hillarious. He would leave an eight lb. sledge hang at his side, and twist it around the back, then bend forward while pulling the hammer down, then Crack! bust the shit out of 4 inch concrete.
It was like a noodle whipping a sledge hammer.

I think a lot of the labor you mentioned is slow twitch dominant. Putting out moderate amounts of force for an extended period of time, rather than a large amount of force for a short period.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
Pittbull, since you brought it up, you should have seen this kid I was on a concrete crew with. He was skinny as a noodle, but had this whipping technique for breaking concrete that was hillarious. He would leave an eight lb. sledge hang at his side, and twist it around the back, then bend forward while pulling the hammer down, then Crack! bust the shit out of 4 inch concrete.
It was like a noodle whipping a sledge hammer.

I think a lot of the labor you mentioned is slow twitch dominant. Putting out moderate amounts of force for an extended period of time, rather than a large amount of force for a short period.
[/quote]

I would agree most jobs that you do for hours on end would be type 1

[quote]pittbulll wrote:

I would agree most jobs that you do for hours on end would be type 1

[/quote]

Which makes them irrelevant when discussing short bursts of power as is often needed for sports. Bottom line, that definition that started this thread could be different from every person describing it…making it pointless to consider in terms of bodybuilding, powerlifting or even the average weekend warrior. It means nothing but somehow gives those who really aren’t achieving much something to make them feel better.

Functional strength is being strong in every movement plane, being neuromuscularly coordinated, and having no weaknesses. I don’t think anyone can argue with that definition.

If somone can bench press 600, it doesn’t mean a damn thing if they can’t squat at least 2x their bodyweight. They’re still weak little shits and they would be overpowered by anyone with strong legs in a sport such as football, for instance.