Monday, January 9, 2012

Functional training...still a myth

I've had lots of stuff on here over the years calling into question the idea of functional training.  There is no skill transfer from one movement to another.  Movement skills are very specific and when you change the movement you need to develop new skills.  For example in tennis using a heavier racquet would not make you able to hit harder when you switch to a ligher one  -  it is a different skill.  You would have to learn all over again how to move with the different implement.  We covered some of this in the interviews with Luke Carlson, Drew Baye and Doug McGuff.

Anyway, James Steele today pointed to a new paper that addresses all this stuff

Influence of dynamic versus static core exercises on performance in field based fitness tests.

It is worth reading the abstract that James copies.  He concludes:

As always, separate physical conditioning from skill conditioning.


Neal W. said...

If you take an elite ring specialist who has never bench pressed, he will have a really good bench that's almost as good as elite powerlifters in his weight class. But if you take the same powerlifter and have him do anything gymnastic, he won't be able to.

Does that contradict what you're saying, or are you talking about something different?

Chris said...

The gymnast has built strength......which he can apply to a simple move like a bench press.

The powerlifter has built strength but he does not have the skill to apply it to a very complex gymnastic move.

Christian said...

It might be a good idea to inform the guys at Westside barbell, who according to Louie Simmons, train using 80%+ special exercises to train for the squat, deadlift and bench, that they are wasting 80%+ of their time.

Vijay said...

@Christian. Guys at Westside also like to inject themselves with stuff as well. What's your point?