The beauty and the beast of this whole functional fitness thing is that we get exposed to a lot of different training modalities.
We get to do weightlifting, we get to do gymnastics, we get to do cardio.
Note that I said we get to...not that we HAVE to.
But with so many different areas to focus on, how do I increase my deadlift, while getting better at muscle ups? Let alone finally string together those f*$&ng double unders!
Time is money. We only have so much time money in our time wallet, so let's have a look at where we should spend those dollars.
Virtuosity is performing the common, uncommonly well.
If my squat isn't perfect..what am I doing adding more weight to the bar?
It seems like a much slower path to focus on form and perfection rather than simply adding kilos to the barbell, but it is a path that will pay dividends.
Let's say your gym does olympic lifting. You know, the cool stuff.
I am willing to bet there is a guy who has been training there for years, and he has a very interesting looking max snatch at 80kg.
You know..the same one he had when you started there 3 years ago?
With all movements, there reaches a point of diminishing returns where your strength and natural ability can get you no further.
I want to save you the heartache from having to strip those weights back later on and relearn technique.
Focus on the positioning and timing of a movement, and the weight will come. Not only with olympic lifting, but with strength lifts, gymnastics, everything you do.
I'm not concerned if you're technically getting your chin over the bar in a butterfly pullup, but it looks like you are having a seizure.
Slow is smooth, and smooth becomes fast.
We are going to pretend for a minute. Pretend that you actually bought your lifting accessories and supplements in an actual store, from an actual person.
(God bless the internet for saving us from social interaction).
If we walked into that store and told the salesperson we were new to functional fitness, I'm willing to bet you could see the $$ signs in their eyes.
"These are the new 7mm knee sleeves, which go really well with these new titanium skipping ropes, and you definitely need the self chalking ostrich leather hand grips!"
Would you feel a little more suspicious if it was Jim from the accessory store telling you that you need all this stuff?
A little more suspicious than the pop up ads that say "You just added a skipping rope to your cart, do you also want to add these lifting shoes?"
You would, wouldnt you.
This may be an unpopular opinion. Scratch that. I know this will be an unpopular opinion because I know what we are all like.
But you don't need it.
Try and steer clear of the lifting belt until you actually need it, your knees never bother you? Then don't have a set of knee sleeves for squatting, a set for lunging and a set for wall balls.
Sure, some of it is useful. I don't like tearing my hands. So if I am doing a high rep gymnastics workout I will wear hand grips.
I aim to get away with the least possible amount of equipment I need. The key is in the name- "functional fitness."
This style of training was established as general physical preparedness. I want to be able to go for a hike, wrestle a bear (not really, I know how that one ends), be able to carry my luggage without needing a trolley.
Kind of loses the point if I need to put on my knee sleeves, wrist wraps and hand grips before I do any of this, doesn't it?
Spend the time, learn the movements and learn what equipment you need. And THEN go spend it on good quality accessories that will last, not the shiny gold print limited editions that will fall apart 3 months later (item 1/23,000, super rare).
Are you doing it right? Are you following the right program? Is what you are doing right for you?
Easy questions to answer.
Are you moving better? Feeling better? Looking better? Having fun?
If yes, then stick at it.
If no, maybe its time to try something different. Try a new program, a new style of training, a new way of eating.
Keep fitness fun. And if you're not sure how to do that, shoot me a message!