7 myths about functional movement, busted by Luke
If you’ve tried any of my workouts on Centr, you already know that I love a good functional exercise. But as functional training has exploded in popularity over the past few years, a flood of myths has followed.
And I don’t want those myths to stop you from achieving all the (very real) benefits that this style of training can bring.
So before you say “functional training is not for me”, allow me to do some of my best myth-busting work.
Myth 1: ‘Functional training’ is a meaningless term
The biggest myth about functional training is that the term itself doesn’t really mean anything. Unfortunately there are no rules around how people can use the label – so you may have seen a lot of weird workouts tagged ‘functional’.
But it is a real-deal training style and, if you steer clear of the fads, definitely worth your time. There’s a reason functional movement is a key part of the training I do with Chris, and why it's a big part of what we offer on Centr.
While functional gyms or specific styles will come and go, this kind of training is about as far from being a fad as you can get – it’s all about nailing effective movement patterns that build strength, stamina and mobility for everyday life.
Myth 2: It can improve mobility, but not muscle
The most efficient way to build full-body strength is with compound exercises – moves that engage multiple joints and muscle groups at once, like squats and lunges. And functional movement is largely made up of strength-building compound exercises.
In the Functional Movement Challenge, we use bodyweight compound exercises (and movement combinations known as flows), as well as select pieces of equipment to help you develop dynamic muscle strength.
Of course, if hypertrophy – maximizing muscle mass – is your top goal, traditional strength training might be a better fit for you.
Myth 3: It’s complicated and causes injury
Standing on a medicine ball while squatting a loaded barbell? No wonder functional training has a bad rep in some circles for making people do ridiculous and sometimes outright dangerous exercises.
Again, part of the issue here is that absolutely anyone can slap the label ‘functional’ on any old (crazy) exercise.
While some forms of exercise that people call functional could put you in dangerous positions, the style we teach on Centr is safe – in fact, it’s actually designed to help you build an injury-proof body by mastering natural movement patterns, and increasing stability and mobility.
Myth 4: It’s not a good training style for weight loss
The key to losing weight is being in a calorie deficit – burning off more calories than you eat and drink.
This is pretty much impossible to achieve through exercise alone, so if losing weight is your main goal you need to make nutrition a big focus. But that doesn’t mean functional training can’t play a part in your weight loss plan.
The dynamic workouts in the Functional Movement Challenge are fast-paced and burn a lot of energy. They’ll also help you to increase muscle mass, which will boost your metabolism over time.
There’s a bit of a snowball effect with functional training, too. When you improve movement patterns, your muscles feel better and you’re not taking time off because of injuries. So while diet is key, anything that gets you moving more is a win for weight loss.
Myth 5: It’s too hardcore for the average person
You might have heard that functional training is only for elite or extreme athletes. Speaking as someone who is officially hardcore (I’ll show you the certificate later), it’s time to trash that myth.
Functional training is for anyone who wants to move well for life. That includes athletes, desk workers, parents, grandparents… pretty much anyone with a body.
You don’t have to commit to long hours of training or extreme stunts – with the Functional Movement Challenge, we’ll get you started with just four 30-minute workouts each week.
Myth 6: You need tractor tires, sleds and a special training gym
I know a lot of people think of huge gyms with wild equipment when they picture functional training. But in reality, because it’s all based on natural movement patterns, you can do it anywhere.
You also don’t need a whole lot of equipment. Sure, some pieces of equipment can enhance your training experience and increase the challenge, but not having equipment shouldn’t stop you from giving it a go.
Myth 7: Traditional strength training isn’t functional
Some people will try to tell you that lifting a barbell in the gym isn’t functional because you’d never carry a weight that is evenly balanced on a metal stick in real life.
The truth is that all strength training is functional in a way, because the stronger you get, the easier it is to do a lot of everyday things.
The main difference is that with traditional strength training, the aim is to get as big and as strong as possible. With functional strength training, workouts focus on dynamic strength and moving with ease in everything you do.
But both styles of training have similarities, and plenty of the moves in the Functional Movement Challenge will be familiar if you’ve done traditional strength training. Take a look at our blog on the main differences between functional strength training and traditional strength training.
Now we’ve busted a few myths together, are you ready to get moving? Discover how you can join us to take on the 6-week Functional Movement Challenge.
HIIT HIRT • STRENGTH • MUSCLE-BUILDING
Chris Hemsworth may wield the hammer, but it’s his personal trainer Luke Zocchi who cracks the whip. A certified personal trainer, Luke is renowned for his fast and efficient training methods, using weights and bodyweight to get maximum results in minimum time. He’ll also show you how to fuel your training with quick, easy and healthy recipes.
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