Functional fitness is commonly mistaken for any ordinary exercise and implemented into most typical workout sessions without anyone even realizing what it is. The fact is there’s a difference between functional fitness and other exercises. Though the line between them may not be fully distinguishable at the moment, that’ll all be cleared with the following comparisons between functional fitness and other types of exercises you may be familiar with.
1 - Bodybuilding
Bodybuilding focuses less on functional strength and overall mobility. Instead, it emphasize more on mind-muscle connection, time under tension for muscle synthesis. No doubt about it, bodybuilding-style programs are great for overall fitness, but it doesn’t compliment all functional fitness has to offer.
There are similarities between the two types of workouts. They both do help make for a better, stronger, healthier physical appearance, though one exaggerates it more than the other. A fit appealing body is what you’ll get, but when it comes to similarities, that’s all there is. Sometimes you may find some functional fitness moves in your bodybuilding workout but you’ll never find primarily bodybuilding moves in a functional fitness routine.
Functional fitness focuses less on grinding your muscles and more on your flexibility and higher standard strength in tasks you’ll encounter. When it comes to the daily routine, functional fitness is the helping hand holding you steady while you work through the day.
When you’re a bodybuilder, being the handy average Joe isn’t what you’re aiming for. Instead, it’s more like you’re aiming to be the extraordinary model people look up to and gaze appreciatively towards. Bodybuilders are built to appear tough, but the truth is that they’re not that tough.
When working on your muscles the bodybuilder way, the only thing you’re doing is heightening the pulse and intensity of your muscles. Some core muscles in your limbs are completely skipped over and therefore not as strong as they could be. So while a bodybuilder has the look, they might not have the strength their muscles falsely portray.
Bodybuilders are actually pretty delicate. They can’t take hardy impacts with swollen muscles and may have a harder time carrying themselves if they don’t properly use their newfound power. When you’re working out on a daily basis with the aim of greater performance in chores, you’ll achieve that goal. When you work to make the perfect vision, then by all means you’ll get what you want but then it’s up to you to carry that proud physique.
2 - Heavy Weight Training
This is no stranger to most people’s vocabulary. We’ve all seen how the strongmen in society lift the heaviest of weights with ease and blow our minds away. This is an extraordinary act indeed, but when will you ever do something that out of the ordinary in your daily life?
Functional fitness is quite similar to weightlifting and bodybuilding in various ways. You’ll get the body and appearance you want and most likely more than those of a normal functional fitness routine. You’ll also be able to lift amazingly heavy weights which is great, right? Not in every case.
In the gym it might be a bragging right, or when you’re starting a conversation about your hard core hobbies. When it comes to working at home though, lifting a box off the floor might strain your back painfully, even if it’s a light box.
As mentioned earlier, functional fitness works on your daily life, making tasks you do each day easier and less of a hassle to perform. Steadily, each chore becomes easier as you get better. Functional fitness figuratively lightens the weights on your shoulders that were placed there.
Weight lifters can easily lift weights off of their shoulders, but only when they are in the proper position, with enough strength and utilizing the right equipment. Those who weightlift obviously know that there are protocols and conditions to be met when becoming weightlifters. How to prop yourself with the equipment, how to hold the bar of the dumbbell, and how to keep posture when holding the weights airborne. These are all things you prepare to do when weightlifting.
An easier way to think of it is so; when becoming a weightlifter, you are preparing for the next meet, achieving the next Personal Best. When you’re focusing on functional fitness, you’re focusing more on preparing yourself for better health, mobility and the ability to handle daily activities with ease. So when it comes to practicality, functional fitness carries more weight.
Functional fitness targets if not all then most of the muscles you use on a daily basis. By gradually strengthening them through a series of exercises, they become more efficient and perform to higher degree. When weightlifting, you only focus on strengthening those muscles that will help you lift the heavy weights. This is fine as long as you are only planning on using those muscles for heavy lifting.
The primary issue when it comes to weightlifting is the way you’re doing it. You’re either propped in a seated position or lying down, a steady pose that isn’t going to harm the rest of your body. After weightlifting for quite some time, weightlifters’ muscles will become accustomed to this same pattern of movement in order to be more efficient with their lifts. However, when it comes to any other unconventional exercises out of their usual lifting patterns (such as Bench Press, Squats and Deadlifts), they often struggle.
3 - Group Training
When you’re training by yourself in your own home, you have the luxury of comfort and solitude. Anything you’re doing suits your needs. All you have to do is make an environment that’s fit for fitness and you’re well on your way towards a healthy lifestyle. The making of your new person is done by your hand, which is pressure on no one else but yourself.
What about when you work in a group? In a group you have an instructor, which is a hefty pro since they know what they’re doing and teaching. When you’re working with a professional instructor, there’s a greater environment of motivation to endure the workouts for a better appearance and healthier body. Those people around you could be friends or at least acquaintances that want to achieve the same goal as you, making a friendly environment.
The environment itself is one carefully designed to cater the needs of a workout. So you have the proper space, the proper colleagues and the proper instructor. It sounds great so far.
Now here’s where the hill drops. When you’re working in a group, the catering isn’t personal and generalized so that it fits a popular demand. Your demand may not be popular and you may find difficulty keeping up with the crowd. If you have a disability or any type of illness that prevents you from performing certain actions, you may as well not be a part of the group.
When you’re working by yourself the workout can be adapted to suit all of your own needs and run to your own pace rather than the pace of others and an instructor who is already fit as a fiddle. So keep in mind all the time what it is you’re looking for from your workouts to decisively decide what it is you need and remember, functional fitness is a category of its own.