Functional Patterns resistance training does not look the way resistance training looks in commercial gyms because traditional training isn’t functional. Pistol squats aren’t functional. Bench press isn’t functional. Deadlifts aren’t functional. How many times a day do you stop and squat on one leg, bench, deadlift, or do an isolated bicep curl when you’re moving in the real world? The muscles that these exercises train certainly function to help you move but not the way they’re being trained. It’s contextual. So you do need strong pecs and biceps as well as glutes and hamstrings but the way these muscles are being conditioned through traditional exercises doesn’t translate to how they need to function to help you move better in the real world. Your pecs and biceps help drive your arms and torso when you’re walking and strong glutes and hamstrings propel your pelvis and legs when you move. But since most of human movement is upright, on two legs, and horizontal in nature, vertical forces like squats, benches, and deads don’t have much transferability to realistic movements. Sure, those exercises will make you stronger but I say again, in what context? Are you squatting down the street or walking down the street?
Your functional capacity is a byproduct of your exercise regimen, or lack thereof. Lifting weights up and down to build big muscles is shortsighted when you don’t consider the function of the muscle.
Muscle mass built on a compromised structure turns into dysfunctional muscle because its main function(s) isn’t its only job anymore. It’s having to hold your body upright in positions that aren’t preferable but it’s stuck there, because you have trained the muscle to associate its function “this way” instead of the way nature intended.
Lift weights to train your muscles in the context that your body uses them most. You walk on a daily basis, so a unilateral stance progressed with stepping patterns translates more to reality than a squat because you’re learning how to transfer and distribute weight every rep with a step, as opposed to keeping your feet fixed in one plane during the simplicity of a squat.
Is the way your train relevant for what you want your body to be capable of, in life outside of the gym?
Working with a trainer for over a year without noteworthy changes in strength, most importantly strength gains without pain, is time and money you can’t get back. Not stronger arm muscles, but an entire body ready to function- function without any wrist aches or back pains. You only have one body and unless you’re on an active pursuit to take care and treat it right- the “old school” fitness industry will get the best of you.
Tricking you into thinking that building muscle and getting stronger means that you have to lift massive amounts of weight, or until you body “adapts” your joints might hurt and your lower back will feel stiff until it gets “stronger” etc., etc. FYI: your body will adapt… to whatever stimulus you’re putting it through. So if the way you train (or the way your trainer trains you) is harming your body then your brain will think that’s supposed to be that way and program it as normal.
Then you’re stuck in the vicious cycle of trying to workout and be healthy but also hurting, poorly conditioned, and living with aches and pains. Spending more time and money “supplementing” your training with massages, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncture, and cryotherapy to recover from the gym.
A trainer who’s evolved with their skills with Functional Patterns is out of league with traditional fitness trainers and work to mitigate all the arbitrary “supplemental practices” and focus on a strength program, a cardio program, a flexibility program, a rehab/prehab/injury prevention/injury recovery program, a posture/alignment program, a recovery program ALL IN ONE. A program this is sustainable and promotes longevity.
Challenge your trainer by insisting on better results- or find a new one. Your future health and wellbeing depends on it.