Functional Training

More and more people are talking about functional training. 

So far in gyms it was not the predominant type of routine, but little by little this form of training is gaining followers thanks to the good results obtained with it.

In this post we'll look at exactly what it is, compare it to traditional gym training and see how you can benefit from its advantages.

What is functional training?

By definition functional training means training with a purposeThe training is a useful training. It is a training methodology based on to perform exercises and movements that will help us to perform functional tasks with the ultimate goal of improve our ability to move not only inside the gym, but also outside the gym..

What are functional exercises?

Within this type of training there are many versions, such as CrossFit, Paleo training... or trainings that do not have a name as such, but are based on:

  • exercises with free weights such as squats, deadlifts, dead weights...
  • movements with kettelbell
  • using one's own body weight such as burpees, animal flow, pull-ups...
  • jumping rope, 
  • dragging, carrying and supporting heavy weights...

Advantages of functional training

Muscle chains vs. isolated muscles

Normally, when you go to a gym to train in the machine room you follow a standard routine: Monday chest, Tuesday legs, Wednesday back... with a specific number of sets, repetitions and weight. 

The gym machines serve to working a muscle in isolation. 

On the other hand, the functional training is based on movement patterns that actively involve various muscle groups. in the same session with very complete and varied exercises.

Involving more muscle mass and therefore exerting more effort usually translates into higher caloric expenditure. This is especially important if you are in a fat loss phase.

Functional vs. aesthetic objectives

The objective of this type of fitness training is usually primarily the aesthetic improvementThe goal is to achieve a more shapely body, with more muscle, even if it does not have a direct impact on the movements that are made on a daily basis.

On the other hand, in functional training, the appearance of the individual changes, but even more important is the improvement of the quality of its movement.

And the key lies in the fact that in functional training you train with movements generated with the force of muscle chains and this has a clear transfer to real life, since most of our daily movements are not isolated.


If you do biceps curl In the gym you will be able to work analytically on the strength of this muscle, although it will be difficult to do a similar movement in your day-to-day life in which you can use the strength gained in the same way.

If we think, on the other hand, when we train by making deadlift (functional movement), we will gain strength by performing this gesture that we also do outside the gym, in real life when we want to lift objects off the ground. functional training trains you for life.


In the conventional gym it is common to train strength and cardio separately. If you add up the time you need to do the whole workout, you can do it separately. it is normal for it to exceed one hourA good functional training program need not take more than 2 hours to complete, even if it approaches 2 hours. 1 hour per day partly because the working basis is usually in the form of a circuit.


Traditional training charts in the gym are usually scheduled for weeks. Generalizations are unfair, but they usually don't take into account the principle of progressive overload which is essential to continue to see results beyond the first adaptations to training.

When you do functional training, it is common to do it with a coach.

Workouts, for example, in a CrossFit class are assured of progressive loading, since as your capabilities increase so does the intensity of your workout.

Muscle imbalances

When we train in the traditional way by following a table, it is more likely to end up training only what we like the most.. Many times guys have a tendency to skip leg workouts or not put enough intensity into them, and the female sector tends to err on the side of avoiding upper body strength.

When functional training is guided it is complete, ensures the work in a global manner and by being supervised you are less likely to skip a part of the training.

Benefits of functional training

With what we have been talking about you will have already understood the benefits of training with functional movements, but as a summary:

  • Improves body composition promoting muscle gain and fat loss, as long as the meal is also aligned with this objective.
  • It has a positive impact on day-to-day movements. There is a actual transfer of force.
  • The benefits are not only in strength but also in other areas such as Cardiovascular, coordination, flexibility...
  • Prevents injuries because helps improve movement patterns by improving strength and stability.
  • The results are quite fast thus assisting the motivation a and in turn to the commitment to follow the training plan.

Which is better? Functional or analytical training

Well, knowing how they work, we don't have to choose only one, they are not completely exclusive, we can keep the best of both worlds.

  • Functional exercises as the basis of your training to benefit from their advantages
  • Analytical exercises to work on specific weaknesses you may have detected.
  • Analytical exercises for times when you are recovering from an injury.

Is it possible to do functional training at home?

Yes, you can do functional training at home.

There are many movements that don't need any equipment at all. When you want to add some more variety to your workouts there are materials that you can realistically have at home because they are inexpensive and don't need a lot of storage space.

You can read in more detail this post about home training.

The most important thing is always the predisposition and commitment, with a little music you're half done!

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