Fun and Functional…

Ok…I confess to being rubbish at getting this post out when I promised I would…

annoyingly I started writing it, but then completely forgot to save the draft…I would love to blame wordpress, but really it was my fault!!

future fitLast Sunday I went on a Functional Equipment training course, which feeds in to my personal training diploma πŸ™‚

It was an awesome course which taught us how to use different pieces of equipment, but also how to adapt training towards different individual needs.

Functional training mainly deals with whole body compound movements with a particular bias towards training movements which have a function in the individual’s life. This could be a sports person who needs more agility or fast acceleration/deceleration or an individual who wants the ability to carry chopping, and pick up and play with children.

There is a vast array of equipment that can be used for this sort of training, along with bodyweight training and suchlike. It is more a way of thinking about training, moving away from isolationist single plane movements to multi-planar compound Β movements. This course concentrated on BOSUs, SAQ ladders, Medicine Balls, Swiss Balls and Core bags.

SAQ ladder
SAQ ladder

the first thing we got to play with try out were SAQ (Speed Agility and Quickness) ladders. I have no doubt that you have seen them in passing, even if you have never used one. They are often shown in articles about football training. they are, however useful for far more than football training! They are great for (obviously) speed, agility and quickness, but also coordination, reaction times, acceleration and deceleration. Surprisingly not only useful for lower body work either, you can so walking pushups along the length or walking planks or even burpees with a sideways jump…the list is practically endless πŸ˜€

and we spent a lot of time doing insane “fast feet” things to explore these possibilities!! (or at least some did…and some got confused part way along and made up random feet patterns half of the time…yes that was me…but not only me πŸ˜€

I can do this...apparently this is quite impressive!
I can do this…apparently this is quite impressive! (actually I was better than that…according to the instructor I was in a very straight line πŸ˜€ )

My new favourite thing is the combination of a BOSU and a medicine ball…which I fully recognise makes me sound like a crazy person!

I was made to demonstrate my plank capabilities just like in that picture. Although that is not me…there may be picsof me doing this online at some point as the official future fit photographers were in the class :-S

I also proved reasonable at standing on a BOSU and catching a medicine ball without falling over at all! ANd Squatting while on a BOSU! All of these things surprised me!

I learned too that BOSU is so called because it stands for Both Sides Up…who knew! πŸ™‚

core bags
core bags

Despite my ability to stand on a BOSU, the course was not without its slight mishaps, I managed in the middle of a demonstration to misjudge my balance and faceplant said BOSU (in the middle of a press up) I also managed to drop a 10kg core bag on my face. core bags still hurt despite being soft, 10kg is after all a lot for your nose to take!!

The assesment part of the day was also fun (believe it or not…) we had to spend time in groups thinking up as many wierd and wonderful ways of using these peices of equipment as possible. My personal favourite was the newly named “hop squat”…in which you progress along the SAQ ladder as if you were playing hop scotch, but when ever you landed on two feet you did a squat πŸ˜€

We then had to teach these to each other in the form of a mini circuits class…

Made me remember that I really really need to get a circuit class organised, I really like teaching them! I also have developed a new love of wierd and wonderful pieces of equipment, and have literally had to talk myself out of buying medicine balls and a BOSU and an SAQ ladder…

no new equipment until I have a class to teach!!

The other thing which surprised me was, despite most of the rest of the class already being personal trainers, I wasn’t so far off them in general fitness. everyone was variable, having different strengths and weaknesses. I know you will probably say that I shouldn’t be surprised, but there is a part of me that still expects to be out of my depth on these courses…

It makes me think that I am definitely doing the right thing with this training πŸ˜€

surreptitious photos of my course :-)
surreptitious photos of my course πŸ™‚

The last thing I have to say about this course, was although it was fun, it was about 7 hours of practical work…which didn’t seem so bad at the time, but in the morning, I had DOMs like you would not believe! It felt like I had never exercised before!! So if you want to hit muscle groups in new ways, get some of these pieces of equipment incorporated into your training!! πŸ˜€

4 thoughts on “Fun and Functional…

  1. I keep meaning to buy a Bosu for home, but haven’t yet. Now I’ll have to wait until I know what/where home is. πŸ™‚ Also, I really need to buy a medicine ball for home. Amazing how much good work you can get out of some very basic pieces of equipment.

    Your training sounds like a crazy hard day (reminds me of my week at BLR with the 6.5 hrs of training per day!).


    1. It was an awesome day, and it was hard but because it was lots if different things it didn’t seem hard while I was doing it πŸ™‚
      I would love a BOSU, and a med ball, but I can’t get any more stuff until I have either space or a class to teach πŸ˜€


  2. Holy Moley! You’ve been up to a lot since I’ve been gone. This sounds like it was a great (and fun!) day. I’ve promised myself no more fitness equipment until I finish organizing my house, but you’ve definitely added more to my wish list.


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