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Teething Problems, Functional Training And Recovery Work

Lets start with the teething problems. While I may be able to navigate my way around the Homo Sapiens, figuring out how it works and upgrading it to be ever more efficient, I can’t say the same for computers and the internet.

Which is why the new look is bit cranky. But all going to plan, that will be sorted by the weekend.

So, to functional training then.

Over the last couple of days I’ve had the company of a young up coming trainer who has recently taken the Anatomy in Motion course, and like most of us who take the course is having a bit of an identity crisis as he figures out how the AiM way of thinking integrates with what we already do.

When I took the AiM courses (it was courses back then) almost everyone who took it were therapists, physios, chiros etc I sat there like the monkey in the room. And I loved it! Over the following two years I thought, played and experimented with the information. I helped a lot of people out of pain through our Assessment Service, we started getting more referrals from Physio’s to provide rehab programs and I upgraded our entire training method.

It took two years to start that process, and I’m still figuring it out 5 years on.

This young lad Micheal, is at the start of that journey.

Which lead to some great questions.

One of which was, how are exercises still functional if they don’t fit in with the human movement we are taught by Anatomy in Motion. For those that don’t know, Anatomy in Motion is the breakdown of the what every joint in the body does in during the 6 major phases of the human gait cycle. And if we know the joints, we can figure out the muscles being lengthened, shortened or even bypassed.

But most gym lifts don’t fit into the gait model.

So how are they functional?


Training is simply the act of developing skills or attributes. Which skill or attribute is the “function” of that training.

Heavy barbell lifts or high tension drills overload the Central Nervous System to develop strength Cardiovascular training develops the ability to transport oxygen and the other gasses in and out of the muscles, and gives the heart a nice stretch to increase the volume of blood pumped each stroke. A bicep curl may be performed to increase muscle size (hypertrophy) or to assist in decelerating the elbow joint as it extends (as in a punch) A spinal cog may be used to better integrate the hip and shoulder mechanics or to relieve low back/neck tension

You begin with the function you desire to improve, which attribute you wish to develop and then you figure out the exercise that best achieves that task.

With this way of thinking, you will soon recognise which exercises are a good fit, which are a poor fit and which are simply party tricks.

This holds true for recovery as well.

Recovery is a function that we can improve, if we choose the right exercises. And while flopping out on the sofa watching a movie may seem like a good choice for recovery, it pales in comparison to very easy cardio, good breathing drills, a bit of mobility work, food and sleep.

Recovery should be as deliberate a practice as training is. To use a phrase I heard from Mick Coup recently, don’t think of it as rest, think of it as preparation.

What are you doing to prepare for your next round?


Dave Hedges

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