T Nation

I'm Not Functional


I can’t play sports. I don’t have much cardio, and if I did, I wouldn’t be any good at sports because my muscles would get in the way. In order to be a good wrestler you should be lean and drop as much weight as possible. Who cares about strength. Guys in the higher weight classes will destroy me because i am too slow.

Bodybuilders are big but weak and it is better to simply tone and shape your muscles rather than build them because too much muscle just gets in the way of every day life. Girls? Out of the question. Girls hate big gross muscly guys, the lean runner swimmer type is the look to go for!

I know you have all heard this a thousand times before, but this is the first time i had to have a conversation with someone in real life about functionality. Personally, I think the fucking word should be erased from existence. What is it about bodybuilding and strength training that makes the population think your just a big dumb fucking ape? Fuck them, seriously. There is no fucking way in hell a 160 lb wrestler is throwing me around at will, its just not happening. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a behemoth by any means, but being able to squat ~450 pounds has to count for SOMETHING; for fuck sakes, what about that makes people think that your legs are good for nothing but squats alone? What is it that has swayed the general public’s perception of being ‘fit’? Since when does having muscle make you ‘not healthy’?

Anyway, enough of this… I’m gonna go do some squats and hope a 160 lb wrestler doesn’t get offended and take me out.

PC

Clearly I’m in no position to relate to oversize muscles getting in the way of real life. I guess mine are more functional.

However, every time this comes up (and it does pretty regularly) my comment has to be, “why does what we do need to be functional?”.

For example, if you watch a volleyball player with a killer spike, do we wonder whether this is transferable to regular life? No we don’t because really, who gives a shit if it is. They are playing a game and doing something they love. It isn’t a means to an end, it is the end itself. When I squat, I’m not doing it for some other end. I’m doing it to squat.

Have a nice day :slight_smile:

Squats have no carry over into real life. The sooner you realize this, the world will be a better place.

[/sarcasm]

being “functional” is a skinny guys excuse for not knowing how to get big and strong

all i can say is that ive gotten so much faster in terms of reflexes. whenever somethings falls my arm just darts out and grabs it, sometimes in mid-air. sometimes im seriously just like “holy shit im FAST” if someone throws something to me i just watch it and when its mad close to me my arm just shoots out and grabs it.

its also improved my situational awareness. if a little thing moves in my pereviferal(sp) i catch it or if someone walks by a door window ill notice it. i just feel like i notice A LOT more than i used to. i feel borderline superhuman

the only sport i really play is basketball and im insane now. i hit 3’s all day because i have enough arm strength where its not difficult at all. i hit half court shots with the same shooting style id use for shooting a freethrow, except of course i use more leg drive. its improved my jump because even though im 6’0 i can jump and grab onto the rim and hang there.

im also waaaaay faster at running.

even if i trained for a specific sport i would train bodybuilding (split) style. i feel its the most effective and i think it makes great muscular and neural improvements which give you an advantage in everything.

There is a certain amount of truth to the functionality argument and I think it depends mostly on how you train. I train powerlifting which means low rep ranges and lots of weight and that seems to make me more function for specific things. Example: my uncle was a BBer about my weight, but with less maximal strength than me. If we were moving big furniture, I probably would have the upper hand. However, I was digging a trench with a pick axe the other day and it didn’t take but a few swings before I couldn’t hardly hold onto the handle. I would think people that train with higher reps would have an easier time with something like that.

This does not mean that training will make you less functional at anything, just better at certain types of work.

I think it’s really just one of those annoying things that is so misunderstood by the general population it has changed me meaning of the word.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
…I think it’s really just one of those annoying things that is so misunderstood by the general population it has changed me meaning of the word.[/quote]

Good post. That is happening way too often these days. Nutrition, training, just life in general. I read a quote on here once that said something about people who replace whats right with what sounds right. That is so true.

PC

[quote]ProfessorCHAOS96 wrote:

Personally, What is it about bodybuilding and strength training that makes the population think your just a big dumb fucking ape?

[/quote]

Stupidity is independent of phenotype.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
There is a certain amount of truth to the functionality argument and I think it depends mostly on how you train. I train powerlifting which means low rep ranges and lots of weight and that seems to make me more function for specific things. Example: my uncle was a BBer about my weight, but with less maximal strength than me. If we were moving big furniture, I probably would have the upper hand. However, I was digging a trench with a pick axe the other day and it didn’t take but a few swings before I couldn’t hardly hold onto the handle. I would think people that train with higher reps would have an easier time with something like that.

This does not mean that training will make you less functional at anything, just better at certain types of work.

I think it’s really just one of those annoying things that is so misunderstood by the general population it has changed me meaning of the word.[/quote]

You are right with your statements, I believe. I use Sheiko programming, which is percentage-based and high volume (different than you train although a powerlifting program nonetheless); I have a very physical job and there is no doubt in my mind that it has helped me in that regard. I am stronger and don’t injure myself at work like the majority of my co-workers.

Personally, I was merely poking fun, and remembering, a thread from a while ago about a member that had a trainer from their gym tell them that they needed to squat and do some other exercise, broken into two parts to help them be functional to do things like put groceries up on a shelf. That is just ridiculous.

When people say stupid shit like functional I tell them I am versatile. Meaning that while I can not do many of the bullshit movements they do with the same efficiency, the ratio of what I can do compared to their ratio of moving my weights is much smaller. Even when accounting for body weight differences.

I agree with matsm21. Regardless of the fact that 99% of these people would not know enough, or work hard enough for that matter, to get big. Funny how the day I stopped worrying about getting big and having callouses I started to drop body fat and really change my body composistion. All with virtually no cardio. A friend asked what I was doing and I simply said - stoped being scared of lifting as much weight as I possibly can.

Sometimes the simplest solution eludes us.

Functional is a word that has been beaten to death. I see guys at the gym, trying to stand on a Bosu Ball while doing a one-legged dumbbell overhead squat. I am kidding, but not by much. I fell for this nonsense years ago, and to my own stupidity, I got weaker, slower, and just became a less athletic person. This was hard because I was playing football, and performance is key.

The moment I dropped that circus act shit and got back to pure lifting for strength, my speed and performance came back even better. More is not better, BETTER is better. When I would look around my old collegiate weight room, those who excelled in their sport were always the ones who were the strongest among their peers. It didnt matter the sport, or the gender. I saw women doing power cleans, deadlifts, and heavy rows to go ahead and win national titles in their sport.

Stop the nonsense and stick with what has been proven to work time and time again.

You guys make me proud

Well,I can appreciate arguments from both sides.
There was a recent article ‘Dumb Things Younger Guys (And Some Older Guys) Do In The Gym’
I’m not sure how you post links?

Anyway,
Number 3 was ‘You’re Too Damn Functional’
Number 4 was ‘You’re Too Damn Dysfunctional’
I don’t think squats and deadlifts,olympic lifts,etc. should be the be-all and end-all.
From a functional point of view,in sports and in real life,you walk,run and climb stairs one foot at a time,why not train that way?

I think lunges (forward,side and reverse)are excellent and should be included now and then,as are step-ups.
My knee strength and stability tripled doing these,something squats and deadlifts never seemed to do (I have dodgy knees)
and certain members/clients have too.

I’m not saying ditch the deadlifts and squats,they are still the best way to build lower body strength.
But I don’t know anyone who finds them challenging to their balance and agility.
Even when doing one leg squats/DL’s.

These are just examples.

If it is a person who plays sports,particularly functionality is important.
Also for actual muscular imbalances,or preventing them,functional training plays a large part.

But there are some trainers who get carried away with it,they spend hours playing with swiss balls,bosu balls,wobble boards,kettlebells,bands,tubing, and their programmes rarely seem to include any classic lifting or bodybuilding moves.

They really worship at the altar of pure functionality and obsessively follow coaches like Paul Chek,who I think does a lot of good common sense stuff,but enough already!
Some of them need to get back to basics and do some old-school shit!

By the way,when I say I recommend step-ups,I don’t mean aerobic class step-ups onto a Reebok Step (Unless you are a novice) I mean onto a bench or step at knee height,with a dumbell in each hand heavy enough to challenge you so you can only do a certain rep range for the desired results.

You go through a full range of motion,and the non-working leg stays off the bench,don’t rest it on the bench at full extension,keep it back there.step down,and repeat.
You can alternate legs or keep the work on one leg.

[quote]g star 24 7 wrote:
Well,I can appreciate arguments from both sides.
There was a recent article ‘Dumb Things Younger Guys (And Some Older Guys) Do In The Gym’
I’m not sure how you post links?
Anyway,
Number 3 was ‘You’re Too Damn Functional’
Number 4 was ‘You’re Too Damn Dysfunctional’
I don’t think squats and deadlifts,olympic lifts,etc. should be the be-all and end-all.
From a functional point of view,in sports and in real life,you walk,run and climb stairs one foot at a time,why not train that way?
I think lunges (forward,side and reverse)are excellent and should be included now and then,as are step-ups.
My knee strength and stability tripled doing these,something squats and deadlifts never seemed to do (I have dodgy knees)
and certain members/clients have too.
I’m not saying ditch the deadlifts and squats,they are still the best way to build lower body strength.
But I don’t know anyone who finds them challenging to their balance and agility.
Even when doing one leg squats/DL’s.

These are just examples.

If it is a person who plays sports,particularly functionality is important.
Also for actual muscular imbalances,or preventing them,functional training plays a large part.
But there are some trainers who get carried away with it,they spend hours playing with swiss balls,bosu balls,wobble boards,kettlebells,bands,tubing, and their programmes rarely seem to include any classic lifting or bodybuilding moves.

They really worship at the altar of pure functionality and obsessively follow coaches like Paul Chek,who I think does a lot of good common sense stuff,but enough already!
Some of them need to get back to basics and do some old-school shit!

[/quote]

Please do not get me wrong. I am big on unilateral and varying planes of movement. (Unstable surface work is bullshit IMO) It only makes me stronger and I can also target significant weaknesses. Not to mention scaring people who watch you lunge with what they leg press is fun.

The quest for more weight is never ending and a great way to constantly challenge your body. When I stagnate I vary rest periods, antagonist pairings, split progressions, TBT . . . the list goes on. Versitile is one hell of a whole lot more fun than functional but the goal remains the same. Strong as I can be that day +1.

If you play sports, train for your damn sport. Quit acting like the guy who focuses on lifts in the gym is somehow “less functional”. Yes, squats can actually help you lift groceries off the ground while standing on one leg during an Earthquake.

Also, if you don’t even play any organized sports but still insist on harping on “functionality”, you are a douche. A very wet douche.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
If you play sports, train for your damn sport. Quit acting like the guy who focuses on lifts in the gym is somehow “less functional”. Yes, squats can actually help you lift groceries off the ground while standing on one leg during an Earthquake.

Also, if you don’t even play any organized sports but still insist on harping on “functionality”, you are a douche. A very wet douche.[/quote]

Some bags have handles and some do not. How could you change your training to accommodate this? Do you have any article links?

[quote]MsM wrote:
Professor X wrote:
If you play sports, train for your damn sport. Quit acting like the guy who focuses on lifts in the gym is somehow “less functional”. Yes, squats can actually help you lift groceries off the ground while standing on one leg during an Earthquake.

Also, if you don’t even play any organized sports but still insist on harping on “functionality”, you are a douche. A very wet douche.

Some bags have handles and some do not. How could you change your training to accommodate this? Do you have any article links?[/quote]

Haha

Should I have ended with [/sarcasm] on my last post?

Its a byproduct of dismissing the thing you don’t like. Some people can’t accept that different people want different things

Its the same principle as some guys on here who slam on anything that isn’t their version of bodybuilding.

Do your thing, be happy with it.