Monday, August 18, 2008


With reference to the comment received from AL regarding functional training and bodybuilding training combinations below are some information I believe will be important for bodybuilders.

As a trainer I am a believer in the concepts of functional training and movement based exercise even when it comes to the sport of bodybuilding. Functional training is a concept which is growing fast in the sports and fitness industry and there is still debate among the leading trainers around the world on this issue. There are ups and downs in this training concept when related to the sport of bodybuilding.

In the sport of bodybuilding when you are out on the stage the only thing that matters to the judges and audience is the way you look and how you good you flex your muscles. Athletic capabilities like strength, endurance, speed, power and flexibility are only required to a limit to help them look better on stage. The only thing that matters is a perfect physique with low body fat value, muscularity and symmetry. So I believe I can put it as COSMETIC, and if I want to be sarcastic when relating functional training and bodybuilding I would say the only athletic function bodybuilding requires is to walk across the stage flexing those muscles to their favorite music!

Functional training came into lime light from sports conditioning and rehabilitation world, by definition functional training is related to movement contributing to better and more efficient performances.

Bodybuilding is a sport, a sport which requires intense training and discipline. As functional training develops a better and more efficient sports performance there is no doubt that some training concepts of functional training should be used at some stage while training a bodybuilder. It’s difficult to draw the line when and where in general …

Here is how you could use the concepts of functional training on a bodybuilding athlete, first you need to understand the requirement of a bodybuilder, take the below examples.

Compare a swissball dumbbell shoulder press and a machine shoulder press, think what serves the purpose of a bodybuilder. When you perform a swissball dumbbell shoulder press (a functional training exercise) the tension on deltoids (shoulder) is not well targeted as the persons involves much more other muscles by sitting on the swissball, the individuals focus will be on maintaining his balance involving his core muscles at maximum, also the individual will not be able to lift ample weight to serve the purpose of bodybuilding. Unlike swissball dumbbell shoulder press, machine shoulder press serves right for the purpose of bodybuilding; the individual can lift a proper weight and the focused muscle group will be stressed up to the requirement, at the same the individual will not have to focus on balancing or anything else except the target muscles.

As I said its difficult to draw the line when and where functional training exercises should be used when training a bodybuilder, but there are some factors which makes some basic functional training exercise is a must for bodybuilders at some point of their training cycle every year.

Every bodybuilder has to work on joint stability and core stability (your core is everything except your arms and legs), you have to use balance exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints which will prevent you from injuries. Core training means doing exercises that activate the “core” muscles of the torso, neck, pelvis, lower back and abdominal area. By core training you work deep inside muscles like Quadratus Lumborum, Tranverse Abdominis, Multifidus and many more which you don’t see. Hence exercise using swissballs, wobble boards and bosu balls are vital for bodybuilders at some stage.

Although functional training is old news for sports conditioning and sports rehabilitation world, it is news for old school bodybuilders.

Try it …


Blue said...

good info, can you specify some exercises.

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Al said...

zinan, thanks for the post i've emailed the link to my friend.

jimmy said...

Great post! yesterday i found anohter great video post about body building. Here is the link
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