by: Brandon Richey–Get Free Updates And Training Guides Here
So what are your goals in training? How often have you heard that question from a trainer or from another coach? If I had a dime for every instance I’ve heard that question I’d be cashing in on a hell of a retirement right about now. Today I’m going to explain why this question is the wrong one to be asking! That’s right my friend you read it correctly. Keep on reading to learn more.
Form vs. Function…
So a trainee and potential client meets up with a trainer for the first time or hires on a coach to help them with the programming and implementation of their strength and fitness program. Immediately the trainer goes into the normal pitch of asking them the famous question “So what are your goals?” Now this is where I say STOP.
Now before I go any further let me first make something clear. You see I know that people are going to have goals. I mean realistically every athlete is going to have a different goal in mind in terms of what relates to them and the demands that are placed on them either out on the field of play, in the squared circle, or out on the court come game day. No doubt there are goals for these athletes, however even though we all want to have the appearance of being carved out of stone there are also specific “needs” that everyone must have in terms of function before anything else can happen.
That’s right the looking good, or form portion of your training is something that really should just come as a side effect of your strength and conditioning program. Now granted form is a good thing. Trust me, I believe that if you are going to train like an athlete then looking like one should go with the package.
The thing is though that many folks in this “modern era” of fitness have forgotten all about the function of their bodies in an attempt to acquire the perfect form. For whatever reason those so-called bodybuilding workouts involve more auxiliary lifts such as tricep extensions, bicep curls, and chest flies rather than some good heavy iron from standing underneath or over the top of a bar. There is nothing wrong with form, but in order to have it you’ve got train and maintain the edge of your body’s function. Old time strongmen such as Eugene Sandow realized this back in the 1890’s!
As you can see form was not a problem for Sandow back then and keep in mind he performed feats of strength in addition to bodybuilding poses during many of his events. It was a time when the sport of “bodybuilding” was all about the demonstration of what the body would look like, as well as showing off its physical capabilities.
You see despite what most folks may read in the latest bodybuilding magazines the truth is that in order to acquire both form and function you don’t always have to fit your workouts into a nice neat little box such as a gym that houses all the equipment in the world. Additionally you’ve got to be willing to stress your body by learning to both master it in movement, as well as being able to handle another object serving as an external load on the body. This may mean that sometimes you have to both think and train outside the box.
As I was saying you can obviously work on practicing to look pretty in front of the mirror doing auxiliary lifts such as bicep curls and tricep extensions all day, but you’re never going to get any real gains unless you seek out other more impactful ways to build strength and function. This may mean you don’t always use conventional methods either. For instance, stone pressing on a trail can do wonders for helping you to create tremendous shoulder and core stability as I’m taking an attempt at showing here below.
What’s hard to tell in the photo is that pressing and stabilizing this stone overhead required tremendous stability and effort on my part. It wasn’t an easy task which automatically qualifies it as a necessary lift to attempt again. Granted much care must be taken with anyone attempting this so that you don’t end up dropping it on your head in the process. I may be hard headed, but I’m not that hard headed.
Another great way to acquire function is to work on training your grip strength. A solid level of grip strength will only enhance every other aspect of your functional capacity from snatching a heavier kettlebell to pulling a lot more weight off the ground during the deadlift. It’s also great for crushing the hand during the handshake of a competitor either before or after an introduction at a sporting event. A good size stone will give you all the help you need for this physical act as I’m showing here.
The point is that that you can’t neglect function for the sake of form. I heard a quote once from a friend and he said “A good looking body can’t always be a good functioning body, but a good functioning body can always be a good looking body.” I just thought that was interesting.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post my friend and please drop me a comment below in the box to let me know what you think. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart.