We all know someone who’s enamoured with the CrossFit craze that’s sweeping the nation, but have you heard of Functional Fitness Training? Although both workout regimes share many common similarities, there are a few key differences which you should know.
While many of us work out to lose weight, build muscle or simply want to maintain the desired level of health and fitness, Functional Fitness Training aims to make physical tasks and natural movement that occurs throughout our daily lives easier. This could be as simple as giving you the energy to play with your children longer, or help reduce the strain you tend to feel when you carry bags of groceries to your car.
The main goal of Functional Fitness Training is to provide overall strength and balance. Many of the exercises target your whole body, building on muscles you use almost every day. Squats are a great example of a functional exercise, as the movement replicates an action that commonly occurs, such as sitting and rising from a chair or picking up objects from the ground.
CrossFit training, however, aims to prepare your body for any challenge you might throw at it. It can be very competitive and demanding, with workouts broken down into timed events for people to compete against each other. With multiple types of exercises to perform, each requiring different techniques, your body is constantly adapting to new scenarios that can dramatically boost your fitness levels.
One of the key advantages of Functional Fitness Training is that you don’t need any equipment to perform the exercises or get the best results. Instead, most of the exercises rely entirely on your body weight for resistance. If you want to up the intensity, incorporate weights into your routine.
Meanwhile, CrossFit training generally requires a lot of different equipment such as large barbells and weights to perform the workout. For this reason, it isn’t something that can be easily replicated at home, and many of the exercises need to be taught to be performed safely and with good form.
If you’re prone to injury or inexperienced using certain equipment, you may find Functional Fitness Training more appealing than CrossFit. The workouts are self-limiting due to the fact you’re only able to put your body through exercises you know it can handle – any resistance tends to come entirely from your own body weight. Your body will soon make it clear that you won’t be able to complete your last set of squats, making it unlikely you’ll injure yourself through overexertion or improper technique.
CrossFit training, however, is demanding. It involves a combination of workouts that centre around Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics and high-intensity interval training, making it easier to cause yourself accidental harm. It can also lead to injuries without proper coaching and training, due to the different styles of activity and complex techniques involved.
The key point to note is that both Functional Fitness Training and CrossFit can provide fantastic results. Whether you’re looking to improve your ability to perform everyday activities with greater ease or push yourself in a more competitive environment, you’ll become much fitter in the process no matter which option you choose – and that’s a win in our books.