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Functional Training: For Your Best Season Ever!



When I say “… Your Best Season Ever,” I’m talking about you, the athlete looking for that extra edge on their competition.  The reason for this is that if I can get you to focus on consistent functional strength training now, and continue that throughout the season, you’ll have much improved results with less injury down time.

Simply put, functional training is any type of exercise that has a direct relationship to the activities performed in your daily life. Originally a term coined from the rehabilitative world  of physiotherapy, functional training began to circulate around healthy populations, more specifically for sport performance. But one must always recognize that injury prevention was a key component as to why functional training crept into healthy and even athletic populations. I like to call this ‘prehab’, preventing the likelihood of getting injured and going through ’rehab’. What made FT so successful with athletes is that because FT almost always involves the core or midsection of your body. All sport performance (or movement for that matter) originates from the core, whether you’re a baseball pitcher or marathon runner.

Here are a list of reasons why functional training is beneficial:

  • Prevents Injury. If your soft tissues (muscles, joint tendons, fascia) are more resilient to the daily chores of training and racing, your ability to resist fatigue can allow you to hold a set pace for longer or to increase speed over a given distance.
  • Increases Core Stability and Awareness. If you’re able to hold a prime athletic posture over longer periods of time, you will use less energy required to finish that interval (or maybe to simply get through your day pain free). The more stable the core, the more efficient power is transferred from the lower to upper body.
  • Multi Plane. A properly designed program will stimulate most if not all muscle groups from all planes of movement. All too often, I witness ‘old school’ gym exercisers working on their front and back saggital plane, with no exercises in the transverse plane, such as lateral lunges or plank with a rotation.
  • Incorporates ALL 4 Pillars of Movement: 1) Standing or Locomotive 2) Changes in level 3) Pushing or Pulling 4) Rotation
  • Improves Muscular and Stability Imbalances. The body thrives on symmetry. What more needs to be said.
  • Time Efficient. Because you are working many different muscles in different planes, your time spent in the gym is less. Gym sessions can average 40min and during your peak training phase, 1hr at the most.
  • Interesting and Fun. Workouts are only limited by your imagination. Multiple modalities and protocols are a must in order to stay motivated!

Functional training should be progressive (always seeing improvements and positive changes), varied (find more ways to use your body weight, the body ball or the TRX) and individualized (no cookie cutter programs here!). Otherwise you may not see that increased strength, endurance, speed, power, flexibility and stability that you so deserve!

What are the tools needed to train functionally? Pretty much everything in a gym. They include: floor mats, body ball, bosu ball, medicine ball, balance boards, body weight training (including Plyometrics), free weights, kettlebells, tubing or therabands, and even conventional weight machines if they are used creatively and unconventionally.

Functional training modes and methods are best explored with the help of a qualified and experienced trainer. Working one-to-one or in pairs with a trainer who is intimately familiar with the nuances, details, and complexities of each form of movement yields big dividends in the form of results, skills development, confidence building and efficiency.


Athletic Endeavors offers three guided pathways to exploring functional training:

Functional Training: Refresher

Designed for those with gym experience who are currently working out at a fitness centre. It is ideal for those who are familiar with the fundamentals of strength and endurance training who want to go beyond weight machines and conventional training. The focus includes teaching you a repertoire of functional training exercises using a wide range of equipment options, sequencing and programming suggestions. My primary goal here is to get you to think ‘outside the box’ of what you ‘normally’ do. Highlights: Includes 15 minute initial phone consultation, 2 x 1.0 hour hands-on training sessions, learning resources, and follow-up phone call.
Cost: $180

Functional Training: Mastery

Learn to be independent, productive and decisive in any fitness environment anywhere in the world. This program is designed for both newcomers and those with experience. For someone new to working-out, it is an ideal way to avoid common mistakes that seriously reduce the effectiveness of training sessions and develop “best practices” skills right from the start. My goal with this option is to equip you with the tools, knowledge and experience to be your own personal trainer! Yes, that’s right I’m replacing myself by building your competency! Highlights: Includes 2 x 15 minute initial and follow-up phone call consultation, 6 x 1.0 hour hands-on training sessions with a focus on developing a repertoire of functional training exercises; and sequencing, structuring and building a routine for any activity or sport.

Cost: $450

Functional Training: Intensive

Ongoing directed one-on-one or small group personal training with an emphasis on balanced and creative functional training workouts. Let me do the programming and the motivating – leaving you (and maybe a friend) to focus on the doing the serious work. With this option the only thing standing between you and your goals is time and, as time goes on, the results speak for themselves. Highlights: Leave the programming, pacing and sequencing to me so you can focus getting the most from each session. Includes 15 minute initial phone consultation, 10 x 1.0 hour fully directed training sessions.

Cost: $650

Athletic Endeavors additional services:

Body Composition Assessment:

A Body Composition assessment is about going beyond the scale, which says very little about the nature of body composition changes over time. Using a scale to chart body composition changes is like using a cartoon map to find your way around town. It doesn’t tell you much about the place you’re at and the info it provides is simplistic and distorted. A much better way to get an accurate and undistorted snapshot of your body composition is to gather more and better data than what the scale says. Multiple points of data versus just one. Athletic Endeavours obtains scale weight, measures critical skin folds from around the body, takes specific diameter measurements at various sites around the body, with an option to include photos (pictures “remember” better than one’s memory!)

Cost: $80

Fitness Assessment:

A fitness assessment is a great way to find out where you are at this moment in time in muscular strength and endurance, aerobic conditioning, and flexibility. Establishing benchmarks is an important first step in setting realistic and attainable goals. For a typical client, there are few things more motivating than discovering that the “improvements” that one “feels” are indeed real. Assessments include muscular strength, endurance, flexibility; aerobic fitness, aerobic capacity and others.

Cost: $100

Functional Training Program:

A functional strength and endurance program provides a custom-tailored 8-10 week plan of balanced multi-joint exercises using a variety of equipment options to move you decisively towards your goals. You won’t be hammering through multiple sets of bicep curls or wasting your time with triceps kickbacks in any of Athletic Endeavours custom programs. If it ain’t functional, it ain’t worth it – as they say. Be prepared to work, to learn, to be engaged body and mind, and to enjoy the results of thoughtful and deliberate program design.
Cost: $100

Want more information? Contact me either through email: or you can reach me on my cell 604.340.6767604.340.6767

October 25, 2011 | Blog, Personal Training | 0

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