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The “F” Word, Part 1

The “F” Word, Part 1
Functional Training- one of the most used and abused terms in the fitness industry. In this, the first of a two-part series, Dr. J and Gregory take a critical look at functional training.

Fitness for Consumption ep. 4

It’s time to poke the bear!  In this, the first of a two-part series, Dr. J and Gregory take a critical look at functional training.  They’ll evaluate some of the conventional thinking around the “F” word, turn it upside down and inside out, and present some enlightening research that’ll really make you reconsider your assumptions.  Finally, they’ll redefine what it really means to train functionally.

Join Fitness for Consumption in part one of this episode in which they stir up some real controversy.  We explore the emergence of functional training in the fitness world and examine some of the claims and theories of modern day proponents.

Are many of the accepted beliefs regarding functional training supported by credible, empirical science?

Or, do they germinate from the whims and unsubstantiated theories of many current fitness gurus?  To answer this, they dive deep into some research that begins to cast doubt on some of those theories.   Dr. Juris shares some of his real-life experiences encountering functional training, and together, we offer a new definition that may change your approach to training functionally.

Topics discussed:

  • History and emergence of functional training practices
  • Questions that begin to challenge the conventional thinking on functional training
  • Landmark research that raises questions about current approaches to function
  • The difference between a functional process and a functional outcome
  • A new perspective on functional training


Functional outcome - An approach to exercise in which the focus is on the transfer of the training effect to objectively measured goals.

Functional process - An approach to exercise in which the focus is on the organization of movement.


Butler, Robert J, et al (2010).  Biomechanical analysis of the different classifications of the Functional Movement Screen deep squat test.  Sports Biomechanics.  9(4): 270-279

Kremer, P. et al (2009). Amount of Mental Practice and Performance of a Simple Motor Task.  Perceptual and Motor Skills.  109: 347-356.

McNitt-Gray, Jill (1993).  Kinetics of the lower extremities during drop landings from three heights.  Journal of Biomechanics.  26(9): 1037-1046.

Mikkelsen, C, et al (2000).  Closed kinetic chain alone compared to combined open and closed kinetic chain exercises for quadriceps strengthening after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with respect to sports: a prospective matched follow-up study.  Knee Surg, Sports Traumatol, Arthrosc.  8: 337-342.

Newton, R.U. & McEvoy, K.P. (1994).  Baseball throwing velocity: a comparison of medicine ball training and weight training.  Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.  8(3): 198-203.

Okada, T, et al (2011).  Relationship between core stability, functional movement, and performance.  Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.  25(1): 252-261.

Parchmann, C.J. and McBride, J.M. (2011).  Relationship between functional movement screen and athletic performance.  Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 25(12): 3378-3384.

Wisloff, et al (2004).  Strong correlation of maximal squat strength with sprint performance and vertical jump height in elite soccer players. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 38: 285-288.

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