Functional Strength Wedding

This past weekend is proof that you never know where workout inspiration may be found.

Upon arriving at a close childhood friend’s wedding reception I found myself sitting near a bunch of close friends from high school and one couple I had never met (a friend of the groom.) It turns out my friend had intentionally sat us together because she knew he liked zoo zitsu (her inability to say jiu jitsu after all these years is quite funny to me.) What was also funny was that this guy not only “liked” jiu jitsu, but he owned an mma gym, managed numerous successful up-and-coming professional fighters, and was a personal trainer of all of the fighters. As an engineer by trade he had a very interesting perspective to training his athletes. The conversation was phenomenal and I look forward to staying in touch.

Interesting take-aways from the conversation:

– Every (“non-heavy”/Olympic style lift) performed by his athletes were performed in a state of imbalance. For example, single legged squats were performed on a Bosu ball, lifts using cables were done on inflatable disks, or roller boards.

– Resistant bands were used extensively in explosive exercises to mimic judo throws, wrestling shots, strikes, etc.

– Cable workouts were modified to mimic functional fighting maneuvers. (Ex., cables are pulled cross body to mimic arm drags, and various pressing movements were done while twisting to engage the core and imitate realistic escape from bottom movements like “shrimping.”)

– Looking at your workouts from an engineering and kinesthetic lens keeps your movements safe, effective, and functional. It may seem a little nerdy at first, but it only takes the inevitable functional strength results to quiet those thoughts.

– There is no need to limit these realistic workout movements to combat sports. Want to lift your three year old with ease – incorporate kettlebells or sand bags into your routine. Want to mow the lawn without feeling like you’re bench pressing your Toro? — start doing push-ups with added band resistance (bands held underneath your hands with the band draped across your back.)



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