After reading my last articles, you have realized the benefits of resistance training and want to incorporate it into your current exercise routine so you can obtain your desired physique. The question now, is how should I lift?
Should you focus on a power lifting program? Bodybuilding? What about functional training? What about circuit training? My next two articles will address the most common reasons individuals incorporate strength train and based on your own fitness goals, choose the one the best suits your needs. Don’t be afraid to incorporate a little of each throughout your week of workouts or alternate days. There are a number of ways to manipulate your workouts (which is why I recommend you at least have a consultation with a certified personal trainer, if not a couple of sessions) so he/she can help you determine which form of resistance training is best for you.
The first part of our 2 part series will deal with functional training. What it is and who should incorporate? Part 2 will deal with bodybuilding and power lifting.
The main focus of Functional Training is to help individuals become more efficient and safer while performing “real world” activities and/or sport movements. This is done by integrating exercise that focus on multiple joints along with incorporating the core. Your core is everything except your limbs (arms and legs).
Functional training routines will have a rep range of 10-20. This will vary on whether or not one is trying to lose weight, build endurance, or strength. The core consists of not just the muscles you can see, but the muscles that lie deep underneath your superficial muscles. Functional training also targets your stabilizing muscles. Think of your major muscles (biceps, triceps, abdominals, back, quads, hamstrings, calves) as muscles that move you. Your stabilizers are all the little muscles that keep your joints in align and help prevent you from getting injured (i.e. twisting an ankle, knee, shoulder, etc.)