Let’s talk about fitness.

I think by this point everyone has noticed the trend toward functional fitness, cross-training, and tactical elite athleticism that’s been creeping into the fitness industry. With the rise of Crossfit and everybody else rushing to copy-cat, it’s hard not to notice the rush of people jumping on the bandwagon of functional circuits for time, the sudden appearance of people wearing Vibrams or Chuck Taylors — the hallmark of shaved-headed powerlifters c. 2001-2008 — while doing weird combinations of deadlifts and plyometrics and other assorted exercisey things not generally seen in your average gym.

Those of you that know me know I’ve been half-ass critical of that in the past. Only half-ass, though; I couldn’t and still can’t bring myself to full-on hate, because there are a lot of positives that have come out of this trend. It’s hard to deny that getting people more active in general, and exposing them to solid strength & conditioning practices in the process, is a good thing on balance. Even putting aside benefits like the Andro Broads, Crossfit and the wider functional-fitness movement it has spearheaded has done a lot to popularize the effective training methods that I’ve tried to promote for years.

Again, on balance, this is a good thing. But this does not preclude any criticisms.

Read moreLet’s talk about fitness.

‘Functional’ Cross Training vs. Specific Training: General Means General

“Fitness training for a given sport is not simply a matter of selecting a few popular exercises from a bodybuilding magazine or prescribing heavy squats, power cleans, leg curls, bench press, circuit training, isokinetic leg extensions or ‘cross training’. This approach may produce aesthetic results for the average non-competitive client of a health centre, but it is of very limited value to the serious athlete.”

– Dr. Mel Siff, Supertraining

With all this recent hoopla surrounding ‘functional’ or ‘cross training’, ranging from all the hype over ‘300‘ a few years ago (and the resulting attention that Mark Twight of GymJones fame received) right on up to the, shall we say ‘interesting’, antics of CrossFit, it’s something that’s really stayed off my radar.

Read more‘Functional’ Cross Training vs. Specific Training: General Means General