Why Do We Train People on “Functional Fitness”?

“You’re crazy!” I heard that multiple times last weekend as I traversed the Manitou Incline while wearing my 2 and half old son in a hiking backpack. I’m not crazy, I just train using Functional Fitness.

manitou incline
Coach Jason and his son hiking the Manitou Incline this past weekend

Others were impressed as I passed them on the climb. If you’re not familiar with The Incline, it is a mile long trail that also gains a half mile in elevation. In other words, it’s steep. Now some of you might be thinking “it’s only a mile.” Well don’t forget that you’re starting at over 7000’ of elevation and ending well over 8000’. It’s a tough climb and you really should train and prepare before you attempt the climb. What was my training regimen? Functional Fitness. Below I will tell you what it is and why you should do it too.

What is Functional Fitness?

Here is the definition for functional fitness from the Mayo Clinic; “Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating
common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, ​functional fitness exercises​ also
emphasize core stability.” So in other words, it improves how you move and function during your day to day life.

Training for Every Day Life

But what does that really mean to someone who isn’t training for the Incline or a competition? How does functional fitness help you? Why does it work? To put in layman’s terms, in the gym we squat, we pick things up off the ground, we lift things overhead. You know, movements you need to pick up kids, clean, garden, grocery shop and get up off of the toilet on your own when you’re 90.

We also run, bike, row, lift odd objects and we also throw in body weight and gymnastic movements as well. These things help with climbing The Incline or obstacle courses, and also help with chasing after kids / grandkids. When you finally do catch them, you’ll have the ability to pick them up and keep playing.

We have days that are focused on getting stronger in a movement or lift. Days that are focused on cardiovascular output and days that are a combination of the two. This has numerous benefits but a major one for me, and most others, is a lack of boredom.

With all of this variety in movement, you’re not doing the same workout week in and week out. We as coaches lead you through the whole process from start to finish, meaning you can shut off your brain and just do as you’re asked. This form of training improves all energy systems and increases your body’s capacity for work. You’ll be stronger, have more stamina and endurance, move better and most importantly feel better – for every day life.

So whether your goal is to run a 5k, hike the Colorado trail, or have less pain in every day life, functional fitness can help you achieve your goals. We at Northglenn Health and Fitness take pride in not only helping people lose weight or change their body composition, but more importantly to become the best versions of themselves, no matter what stage of life they’re in.

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