What is Functional Bodybuilding? A High Level Overview

Functional Bodybuilding: The Fusion of Strength, Aesthetics, and Athleticism

Functional bodybuilding is a revolutionary approach to fitness that intertwines the benefits of traditional bodybuilding and functional training. This type of training, made popular by CrossFit Games athlete Marcus Filly, is designed to not only help you look good, but also move and age well.

The basis of functional bodybuilding lies in its unique blend of strength, core stability, and athletic development. It incorporates controlled movements like planks, pull-ups, and presses, as well as dynamic movements typically found in functional fitness regimes. Essentially, it's a kinder, gentler version of classic High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or what you are used to seeing performed at a CrossFit gym. 

With functional bodybuilding you still focus on building muscle, but you don't lose sight of the greater goal: be more athletic and able to do anything.

The key distinguishing factor of functional bodybuilding is its focus on athletic development (quality movement). Unlike traditional bodybuilding, which often prioritizes aesthetics over functionality, causing a lose in range of motion, etc, functional bodybuilding aims to improve overall athleticism and capability. It's about building a body that's not just visually impressive, but also highly functional and resilient. 

A good functional bodybuilding program will include all elements of strength, flexibility (active and passive stretching), and speed/cardio training. Think how a football player or other athlete would train. 

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Why You Should Switch to the Functional Bodybuilding Approach

Choosing functional bodybuilding over traditional bodybuilding can completely change your physique and help you get faster results. Functional bodybuilding is a more holistic approach that can have carry over into other areas of your life: hiking, snow boarding, surfing, playing with kids, etc. 

With functional bodybuilding, you're not only sculpting a visually impressive physique, but also enhancing your overall athleticism and capability. This means less risk of injury, improved posture, better balance, and increased flexibility. 

Sample Functional Bodybuilding Workout:

Here is a sample functional bodybuilding workout to give you an idea of what this training style looks like:

  1. Single Arm KB Overhead Squat: 3 sets of 10 reps per side
  2. Pull-Ups: 3 sets of 10 reps
  3. Barbell Presses: 3 sets of 10 reps
  4. Plank Holds: 3 sets of 60 seconds
  5. Dumbbell Lunges: 3 sets of 12 reps per side
  6. Box Jumps: 3 sets of 15 reps
  7. Jump Rope: 10 Rounds of 1 minute

Remember, the goal here is not to rush through the exercises, but to perform each movement with control and precision. Quality over quantity is the mantra of functional bodybuilding. 

You could also incorporate sprints, back peddling, plyometrics, and other athletic elements to this type of workout. Again, the goal is to be big, strong, and agile...not just as big as humanly possible. 

Not only is this better for you, members of the opposite sex tend to prefer this physique over the typical monster bodybuilder type of frame.

Again, functional bodybuilding offers an innovative approach to fitness that helps you build a strong, attractive, and highly functional physique. It's about training smarter, not harder, and creating a body that can perform just as well as it looks. Even into your 30s, 40s, and beyond. 

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