Video: The Two-Factor Model: Why Functional Training is a Waste of Time Video: The Two-Factor Model: Why Functional Training is a Waste of Time

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Thread: Video: The Two-Factor Model: Why Functional Training is a Waste of Time

  1. #1
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    Default Video: The Two-Factor Model: Why Functional Training is a Waste of Time

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  2. #2
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    You know, Rip, you spend a lot of time talking to people about why what their Silly Bullshit is wrong and why strength in the basic barbell lifts is what matters most. In doing so, you wind up spending a lot of time explaining how/why getting strong through the basic barbell lifts will help them with their "goals" For example in this video, you spend a fair amount of time talking about baseball. I know it was intended as illustrative point, but you did it; theres no such thing as "baseball strong," just "strong". In debunking "functional strength" you endorse "strength"

    As a silly, vain Gen- Xer who came of age during the bodybuilding mania of the 80s, during the era of Rambo and Schwarzenegger in the movies, and in the era just after the golden age of bodybuilding, I remain interested in aesthetics and bodybuilding. I am now interested in Powerlifting thanks to your influences and those of this site. I wasted years (decades?) of youth trying to develop my body and enhance my aesthetics through nonsense and shitty training and exercise section. But I saw so much more growth, progression and aesthetic improvement from following the SS program that I can confidently say that Starting Strength is the BEST Bodybuilding program for novice lifters and for person without elite, natural genetics (i.e. persons for whom any silly bullshit causes strength and growth). Starting Strength LP is obviously NOT a program for IFBB pros or other elite stage-ready competitors, but it does provide the foundational strength, and just as importantly the knowledge/understanding of the programming and training processes that are necessary if one wants to develop and build their physique into something larger, rounder and more muscly than it was. As the great Ronnie Coleman - a fellow Texan, I should note - once said "Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder but nobody wants to lift any heavy ass weight." What Mr. Coleman is saying is that you got to get stronger before the improvements to the appearance will come - you got to get strong! (unless you're a morbidly obese pig, in which case just losing a couple hundred pounds of adipose will make you look better. Or a woman)


    Everyone - except you, I understand - you're an outlier - everyone wants to improve their appearance even if its tertiary or lower on the scale than strength, health, endurance, usefulness, longevity and other performance measures. As you seek to grow the SS brand (and Godspeed to you - you're not the prophet we deserve but thankfully you're the one we got) you're missing out on a huge percentage of the market by not educating the masses to understand that great strength and the resultant muscular size (and not being obese) is what causes enhanced aesthetics. I know you don't care about bodybuilding and aesthetics per se; but you don't care about baseball either. Spend a little time posting some videos and discussions about aesthetics and how SS and strength is the essential foundation of improving your physical appearance. Make looking jacked and swole a plank in the SS platform.

    I know that some losers allegedly do the program and they complain about the results. But You (or the minions) need to explain that either A) they didn't do the program as written, OR B) they have shit genetics (narrow shoulders, wide pelvic girdle, etc.), OR C) they failed to control their diet and got fat, OR D) they fucking failed to understand that SS is just step one of improving their aesthetics and what they are supposed to do next is take their new SS-earned strength and move into intermediate and/or advanced training programs using the "heavy ass weights" they can now hoist to build and develop aesthetically weak areas, but remembering that progression and overload/rest and recovery as taught by the SSLP will always be crucial to improvement.

    SSLP will never become a bodybuilding program and its definitely not one of the company's goals. I get it. But educating the consumer - both men and women - how strength must be built before aesthetic improvements can come seems critical.

    Thanks for all you do and please take this as a constructive comment from a devoted nutswinger.

  3. #3
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    A thoughtful post. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    I agree with FBW here

    My girlfriend competes in bodybuilding (bikini) and she’s placed 3rd in the past two NPC national shows this summer, barely missing the IFBB pro card (only 1st and 2nd get pro cards).

    For the past year the bulk of her training has been a mix of SSNLP and bodybuilding shit. No cardio, no functional bullshit. She claims this is the reason she has had such success in her first year of bodybuilding. Most of these girls don’t squat or pull heavy because their coach says it will “make their waist too big” yet she has one of the smallest waists in her division.

    The heavy low bar back squats and pulls have set her apart in terms of glut/hamstring development which weighs heavily in the scoring.

    After she gets her IFBB pro card (maybe in a week) i bet she would love to write up an article for you on Starting Strength for the female physique!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soule View Post
    I agree with FBW here

    My girlfriend competes in bodybuilding (bikini) and she’s placed 3rd in the past two NPC national shows this summer, barely missing the IFBB pro card (only 1st and 2nd get pro cards).

    For the past year the bulk of her training has been a mix of SSNLP and bodybuilding shit. No cardio, no functional bullshit. She claims this is the reason she has had such success in her first year of bodybuilding. Most of these girls don’t squat or pull heavy because their coach says it will “make their waist too big” yet she has one of the smallest waists in her division.

    The heavy low bar back squats and pulls have set her apart in terms of glut/hamstring development which weighs heavily in the scoring.

    After she gets her IFBB pro card (maybe in a week) i bet she would love to write up an article for you on Starting Strength for the female physique!
    This would be great. My wife is training for a powerlifting meet right now, but she's really just (another) frustrated bodybuilder who got nowhere without heavy squats, pulls and pressing. After the meet she is considering dieting for a bodybuilding contest.

  6. #6
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    I agree with Fat Butt's general sentiment here. I'm 46 and spent 20 years also wasting time doing programs to get you "jacked" or "ripped" . Endless fluff and pump isolation work got me literally nowhere. I never looked like I lifted despite the work I put in. When I leaned out for abs at 6'1" 175 lbs everyone thought I was sick. I credit Martin Berkham's article "Fuckarounditis" for saving me. As I read along I horrifyingly realized what a weakling I was The theme of that article is stop wasting time in the gym and focus on getting strong in the basics. Berkham also recommend Starting Strength in the article which led me here. 3 years + into focused strength training and eating to get strong accidently gave me a jacked physique despite that no longer being my drive to train. It's funny , my friends since high school ask me how I did this in my mid 40's and I tell them , but they still peddle along with the same BS magazine training anyway with the same poor results. Narrowcasting ?

  7. #7
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    Functional training does not have a consistent set of core principles, so its very hard to know what it actually is and isn't. Heck, I've seen tricep kickbacks described as functional because part of the 'function' that clients want is that the back of their arms are 'toned'.

    As far as I can tell, the original application of 'functional training' came from stroke rehabilitation. Given that most stroke patients are generally 'older' and probably more sedentary they will have a strong novice effect so any additional exercise will help them for a while. So lets extrapolate the results for stroke victims to fit young athletes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Le Comte View Post
    Functional training does not have a consistent set of core principles, so its very hard to know what it actually is and isn't. Heck, I've seen tricep kickbacks described as functional because part of the 'function' that clients want is that the back of their arms are 'toned'.

    As far as I can tell, the original application of 'functional training' came from stroke rehabilitation. Given that most stroke patients are generally 'older' and probably more sedentary they will have a strong novice effect so any additional exercise will help them for a while. So lets extrapolate the results for stroke victims to fit young athletes.
    I've had a physical therapist tell me that deadlifts aren't functional.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Le Comte View Post
    Functional training does not have a consistent set of core principles, so its very hard to know what it actually is and isn't.
    Precisely why it's extremely useful for justifying whatever silly things are being done in a gym. Isn't it easy to debate someone when they don't know anything about what you're talking about?

    Next time someone mentions Functional Strength/Fitness/Training, ask for their definition of it. Nothing is behind the word itself, it's just there to muddy the waters.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    I think "functional" has a definition. The problem is that exercises have both functional and non-functional aspects. So it's useless to ponder about whether an exercise is "functional" or not.

    Functional training treats people like black-box functions, in the input-output sense. It is about correctly achieving a goal (like picking up an object) and is not concerned with the individual components involved in the process. That is why functional training does not involve isolation machines, but does purportedly resemble sports or "real-world" activities.

    Consider the deadlift. It is functional in the sense that picking up objects is a daily routine. However, it is typically performed for its systemic neuroendocrine response which leads to a general strength adaptation, beyond picking stuff up. That is exactly why athletes can benefit from the deadlift even if it doesn't look like their sport.

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