Functional Training and bodybuilding
The regularity with which this discussion comes up in the bodybuilding forums prompted some deep thought from me about the pros and cons of functional training (FUCT) programs.
Training that involves dynamic, often quite complicated movements best characterizes a FUCT program. Many individuals promote FUCT programs in the bodybuilding forum, although there does not seem to be clear physical evidence supporting their claims. So, lets address some of the training modes that best characterize a FUCT program.
Firstly, there is often the description of balls in a FUCT program. Often this involves swinging a ball from between your legs into various positions, or sometimes using weights on a large round bouncy ball. The use of balls seems to be quite frequent in a FUCT program. One particular consideration is the injury risk associated with regular ball use in a FUCT program.
Swinging ones ball from between the leg put various joints under explosive stress, with no clear evidence that this style of training actually elicits what we want in a bodybuilding program - bigger muscles. This type of FUCT movement is rarely really seen in the top bodybuilders programs.
Another consideration for the use of large bouncy balls in a FUCT program is that the slippery plastic type surface is inherently unstable. So, one may conclude that use of slippery balls, while truly part of a FUCT program, is probably not worth the risk for bodybuilding.
A recent trend in FUCT programs is use of large bands wrapped around a pole, with repetitive shoulder/wrist movements to elicit movement around the pole. While repetitive wrist/shoulder movements may be relevant for some, anything that involves the use of repetitive wrist movements and large poles should probably stay in a FUCT program, and not be used by bodybuilders.
So, while there are many devices and complicated moves out there, it is reasonable to conclude that the use of balls, slippery surfaces, and large poles, should probably stay with those who like to do a FUCT program, and not be advocated by those focussed on bodybuilding.
Happy training, and please check to see if your program is a bit FUCT.
2/15/11 just seemed so appropriate to bump this considering some of the nonsense lately