Why Functional Fitness?

By Mike Short

Though I wasn’t looking to change the way I exercised, my friend’s enthusiasm about a brand new way of working out piqued my interest. He had learned about a program called CrossFit that, he claimed, enabled him to view fitness in a totally new way.

By this time, my friend had done functional workouts for several months and was excited to share it with me. He had a leaner, more athletic, body type and exuded enthusiasm because he found something that had positively changed his life.

Prior to functional fitness, my friend had enjoyed bicycling as his primary mode of exercise, but had never experienced the increased fitness capacity he had in the past few months when he learned how to apply the CrossFit methodology. He had gained strength, power, and coordination and what excited him most was the variety of workouts that were performed which helped keep his interest and motivation.

I was convinced by his powerful testimony so I decided to give it a try. Once I did I was hooked!  After a 20-minute high intensity workout that only included a few body weight movements, I was not only exhausted but also convinced that this was the best workout I had ever done. Although I had spent many years in the gym doing traditional weight lifting, this work out revealed weaknesses I never realized I had.

What is Functional Fitness?

Functional fitness helps to train your muscles to work together by simulating movements you might do at home, at work, or in sports. By using various muscles in the upper and lower body consecutively, functional fitness movements find their foundation in building core stability.

For example, a squat is a functional exercise because it trains the muscles used when you rise up and down from a chair or pick up objects from the ground. By training your muscles to work the way they were designed to, you can prepare your body to perform well in a variety of common situations.

I found CrossFit, a program whose basis is rooted in functional movements, and dove in head first. CrossFit is defined as “constantly varied functional movements performed at relative high intensity.”

No More Leg Days

Unlike traditional workout routines where you have “leg day” and “arm day,” the CrossFit methodology applies the functional movements we use on a daily basis to provide programming that’s constantly varied so your muscles don’t gain strength only in isolated movements.

CrossFit is also performed at relative high intensity. The important word here is relative, meaning it’s up to you how much intensity to apply to the workout. A workout is scaled, or adjusted, in relation to the speed, load (weight), or range of motion of the exercises to safely maximize the effectiveness of the workout, while reducing the possibility of injury.

My Journey

I began my CrossFit journey by learning as much as I could about the different functional movements through YouTube videos, and performing the workouts that were provided at local CrossFit gyms.

I also began slowly acquiring equipment such as barbells, kettle bells, and bumper plates… all of which gradually transformed my garage into a home gym.

After using these functional movements for some time, I noticed a dramatic change in my capacity to perform the ten generally recognized physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, speed, balance, and accuracy. These 10 skills are generally recognized in the fitness community as an individual’s measuring stick of personal fitness.

Sharing it With Others

With my new found love for functional fitness I wanted to share it with others just like it had been shared with me. I soon had several people coming to work out with me at my home gym. After several years of garage gym work outs, I went on to become a certified CrossFit trainer so that I could properly coach others. This led to a unique opportunity of opening up a CrossFit gym in my city for my fellow police officers and firefighters.

Intentional Wellness

I’m sharing my experience of how functional fitness developed in my life so that you’ll have a better understanding of the journey we’ll go on together when you leverage the Intentional Wellness eBook and the follow-up plans we’re currently creating.

The eBook contains 40 days of workouts thoughtfully programmed for the beginner, which can all be done in around 5-10 minutes.

The first week or so of Intentional Wellness may seem like a slow way to start for some, but by gaining a routine through intentional living you’ll develop the core strength and increased mobility needed to perform more difficult work outs down the road.

You can also expect to find articles about building your own home gym by finding out what equipment to start with and things that you can build yourself to save money. Eventually you’ll be calling your friends and asking them to come over and try a new workout with you!

Intentional wellness is a great way to build community and brotherhood by persevering through tough workouts together. We will take one step at a time and help you to begin your Intentional life. Ron and I will be sharing our journey with you and we would love to hear your experiences too!

Get Started Today

To get started download the Intentional Wellness eBook by completing the form below (click through to article if you’re reading this via email). You’ll then have all the info you’ll need to begin your own journey towards living an intentional life.


To ensure you never miss new articles please Subscribe to Intentional Encounter by Email. It’s free and we will never sell, or rent, or share your email address with others.

One thought on “Why Functional Fitness?

  1. Pingback: How to Get Your First Strict Pull-up | Intentional Encounter

Comments are closed.