What is Functional Fitness and why should you try it?

We throw around the words "functional fitness" quite often at Athletic Performance Lab, but what exactly are we talking about?  And why do we think you should give it a try?


Let me start by giving you a real life scenario.  I found myself in this very situation a couple of weeks ago, and I was so thankful for every functional fitness class I have ever taken.

On Thanksgiving weekend, my husband and I decided we would take our girls to ride the Polar Express, to help get them in the Christmas spirit.  However, we did not check the weather before we left. (Oops... :-/ )  We dressed our girls from head to toe in their pajamas.  (That is the point of the Polar Express, right?  It's just not as much fun if you aren't wearing your pajamas.)  When we arrived at the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad and prepared to board our train, the bottom dropped out of the sky and it started pouring rain.  (No umbrella, either.)  So in the rain we stood, in our pajamas and slippers.  We were finally able to board the train, and although we were soaking wet, we had an amazing time.  After the train ride was over and we arrived back at the station, the rain started coming down again.  With our car parked at least a half mile from the station , and two tired and soaking wet little girls, Patrick and I knew what we would have to do.  As we unloaded the train, I scooped up our four year old and he grabbed our seven year old.  In our pajamas and slippers, we ran the half mile back to the car, carrying our two kids on our backs the whole way.  So how is that functional fitness?  As I was running with my daughter on my back, all I could think about were the numerous 800 meter sand bag runs we have done and at that moment I was thankful for each and every sand bag run that I have ever suffered through.  When real life happened and I needed to put my functional fitness training to use, I was prepared. (And was not nearly as out of breath as I would have been had I not been training at Athletic Performance Lab.)  

Let me give you another real life example.  At 53 years old, my mother amazes me everyday with what she is able to accomplish.  She has had several health issues that would have stopped most people, but she always pushes on and for that I admire her tremendously.  One thing about my mom is, she is head over heels IN LOVE with my children.  And they are head over heels IN LOVE with her!  So as you can imagine, anytime they are with Mimi, they fight for her attention.  And heaven forbid she hold one of them without holding the other.  So what does my mom do to avoid the "That's MY Mimi" arguments?  She picks them both up, puts one on one hip, and one on the other.  (My children are 7 and 4.  One weighs 65 lbs and the other weighs 40 lbs.)  And at 53 years old, she carries them both and doesn't skip a beat.  How is she able to do that?  Because she has been taught proper form on a dead lift, a power clean, and various other movements, and she puts those skills to use everyday she comes to Athletic Performance Lab. (Every time you pick up your child from the ground you are "dead lifting" them, then when you use your momentum to bring them up to a position where you can hold them, you are in essence performing a "power clean.")  My mom has built strength that she never thought was possible for someone her age.  She doesn't come in the gym and dead lift or clean a tremendous amount of weight.  But what she does lift in the gym, allows her to carry that strength over into her everyday life.

You see, you don't have to be able to squat 200 lbs, be able to do double unders, or pull ups, or even an air squat to join one of our functional fitness classes.  All you have to do to join is have a willingness to learn, a willingness to work hard, and a willingness to let our amazing trainers and athletes help you reach the goals that you set for yourself.  You have one body, one life, and one chance.  Let us help you along your way.

(Plus, you never know when you will be dressed in onesie pajamas and slippers and find yourself needing to run a half mile in the rain carrying your four year old. Trust me, it can happen.)

For more information about services and programs offered at Athletic Performance Lab, or how you can get started in our Foundations Course, give us a call.  

Athletic Performance Lab

214 W. Union Street, Morganton, NC 28655