Functional training is an approach to living and all the activities of life. At a deeper level, it is a process of first questioning the realities of our nature and the meaning of our life.
What is the purpose of my life?
That is a functional training question.
Based on your answer every other activity in your life as well as your ability to follow through with your plans until you reach success changes.
For a woman who believes the purpose of her life is to be a fantastic mother, carrying her baby in her arms seems to be a natural extension of her function as a mother.
The low back and shoulder pain resulting from hat activity is acceptable.
Possible treatment plans for back pain would only be useful to her as long as they do not interfere with your perception of what a good mother is.
What if a person believes that part of their responsibility in life is to work and provide?
For that person, sitting behind a computer desk for hours without a break matches their perception. All the upper back and shoulder pain related to a forward head syndrome is part of the job.
In a physical sense, one of the greatest challenges facing an individual is adherence to known and effective treatments.
I don’t need to tell a person with a high blood pressure to watch their salt intake or a person with high cholesterol to monitor and reduce their animal product intake. They know. But many of them even after a heart attack and open heart surgery do not stay with proven dietary guidelines.
I have listened to their reasons as why they do not stay within their dietary guidelines. They have different reasons such as lacking discipline. When we examine how incredibly disciplined they are when it comes to caring for nutritional requirements of those they love, then the lack of discipline would not make sense.
These individuals view giving care to others as their primary function in life but not giving care to themselves.
I don’t need to tell a soccer player of how their hamstring responsiveness impacts their knee. Most of them know. But again, many of them do not stay with recommended treatment protocol that is done off the field and on their own.
I have heard that they don’t have the time until we examine the redundancies in their workout routines. These redundancies are time-consuming duplicate activities that could be eliminated without any impact on performance.
These athletes consider all the “team activities” as part of their function but not the individual activities done off the field.
For functional training treatment programs to work, they must fit within our perception of what our life purpose is.
Fortunately, with a little bit of time and creative problem solving, there always seem to be a way to design functional training programs that fit without our belief system.
There is only one exception to this I am aware of.
There are habitual and learned activities that have nothing to do with our role in life. Long-term habits simulate beliefs.
If long-term and learned habits cause dysfunction, then part of the functional training is to reshape these habits.
Mental, emotional and physical behavior patterns resist change.
The initial stage of a functional training program examines and identifies harmful habits that could and should be modified.
Beliefs and habits show up in behavior patterns and not just a single acts. The solutions are also behavior patterns and not a single act.