What is Functional Fitness?

We have a client who came to us about six months ago who was preparing to tackle a 15,000 foot, 4-day trek through the Andes Mountains in South America.
Last week, her trek happened. She did it. Actually, that's an understatement ... she crushed it!
Every program, every training session, every exercise ... it was all prescribed and implemented with this very moment in mind. And it's an example of functional fitness at its best. (Well done Kaye!)
But it's certainly not the only example. In fact, there are infinite examples. When someone asks me 'what is functional fitness' the best answer I have is training to help live life better. To be able to enjoy it more, and get the most out of it.
At one point in our lives, training to 'enjoy life better' may have been a pretty silly thought. We didn't need such a thing. We were going to stay young forever, right? Heck, 'training' was only necessary if you were a high-performance athlete or if you were building bigger biceps.
But as we get older, quality of life can be impacted immensely by how you train. And if done correctly, it can play just as critical of a role as it does for a high-performance athlete.
Functional fitness is preparing for life. "Life" for each of us is different though, and that's why functional fitness has such a broad range.
Some of our functional fitness clients train to combat stress or avoid disease. Some train to keep playing golf into their 70's or 80's. Some even train because of a big wedding day, or because they simply want to be able to keep up with their kids on the weekends. And some, like Kaye, train for momentous feats.
For each client, their functional fitness goals are fluid ... they change with life. Actually a better way to put it is they evolve. Whatever life has ahead of you, our clients train to face it - and conquer it.
When I hear clients tell my fellow Functional Elements trainer Patrick that a weight is heavy he responds with "Well, life is heavy."
It's hard to argue that. Life is heavy indeed. And that's why we prepare physically and mentally to deal through training. That's why we #TrainForLife.
- Tony Muyco III, CSCS
Director of Training, Functional Elements