Tag Archives: resistance

Functional training

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Most people equate working out with going to the gym, and while this notion may be correct for some it has nothing to do with the things I do in my daily training. I don’t go to a gym, I work out at the studio where I work as a trainer. The main difference between a gym and a studio is that while at the gym you can expect to find lots of big and heavy machines, a studio will likely focus more on having the tools necessary for functional training. The latter is the kind of training I do.

Basically, it’s called ‘functional’ because it adheres closer to the movements we use and the way we function in real, everyday life. For the most part, gym machines limit the range of motion one can accomplish with a muscle, but working that same muscle with dumbbells, medicine balls, elastics, plates, and bars allows it to mobilize in many different ways and angles, activating a larger amount of fibers, and thus making it — in my opinion– a more effective work out.

This is what a typical training session can look like for us; this time we were working core and abs, and my friend Angelina played photographer while the boss and I got our workout done.

We started with crunches on the bench. I can’t remember how many we did but I remember the burn. Oh, the burn.

 

After that we moved on to full sit-ups with a medicine ball (no swinging it!)

 

Then holding a plate in front of the chest and rotating the torso from side to side, all while keeping balance kneeling on the Bosu. Lovely.

Also, bear in mind this are just phone pictures, hence the crapiness. (Or maybe I’m just too damn fast to be photographed. YEAH.)

 

Then a gazillion leg lifts with three thousand pounds of ankle weights. My grimace of pain and my screaming back muscle in this picture tell you that I hardly exaggerate.

This is but a snippet of what goes on in our training session. Awesome workouts are accomplished with not one single conventional gym machine. I love functional training because to me it’s a lot more fun than going to the gym; it allows for imagination and initiative. So many inventive ways to suffer, weeee!

Kickbox bootcamp

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Now that I’ve had the chance to organize my thoughts and the lessons learned at the Canfitpro conference, I’ll dive right in and share with you exactly what I learned.

Let’s start with the very first class I took, Kickbox bootcamp.

As the term bootcamp requires, this was a high-energy class with lots of movement going on at all times. Here’s a snippet of what we did:

In pairs

-Moving forward while holding a resistance band with arms extended in front of your body, and your partner is pulling the band behind you (working almost like a leash).

-Moving forward while pushing the band away from you, extending one arm in front at a time.

-Running while your partner holds you back with the band around your waist.

-Running sideways with the right in front leg first, with partner offering the same resistance.

-Running sideways  with the left leg in front, with partner still holding you back by the band.

-Doing a bear crawl– you guessed it– with your partner still trying to pull you back with the band.

In case you’re not familiar with the term, this is what a bear crawl looks like:

Except it’s nowhere near that fast when you have someone holding you back with all their might.

 

After this we put down the bands and exchanged them for gloves and targets.

-Combo: 20 punches, 20 squat kicks (like the name describes, you squat and front kick with one leg. Squat and kick with the other)

-Combo: 20 punches, 20 knee strikes

Super fun because you get to grab your partner by the shoulders and pull them down to strike. Also, great core workout!

 

Then we moved positions so that one person was lying on their back on the floor, while the partner was kneeling in front holding the targets.

-Combo: Situp, elbow strike (come up in a situp, do and elbow strike with right elbow, come back down to the floor. Situp again, strike with left elbow, repeat)

-Resistance: The person on the floor would come up in a situp and hold the position, while the partner would try to push them back, to the left and to the right. Burn!

 

After that came my favorite set:

-Striker on the floor, partner standing over them with feet by striker’s hips. The striker had to bring their shoulders off the ground and punch 20 times. My abs were screaming with this one.

-Switch! Striker now stands up while partner is on the ground, striking down as hard and fast as possible.

 

I found kickboxing to be great fun and it’s something I definitely want to try again!