So now that you have a very basic understanding of what I believe to be the key components to a functional body, let’s take the time to understand how I work to create my own functional body. This is just a really quick recap of what was mentioned. Power is improved through controlled but explosive movements done over an extremely consistent period. Conditioning is improved through constant, high-intensity work done in large variation. Mobility is a slow-grow process requiring a massive amount of patience and time. Each component takes a different degree of time and work for different people but all three can only be done with a humble and knowledgeable mindset.
However, all three components can be done in the same workout with some slight tweaking. This modified workout regime may not provide the same results as doing all three separately but very few of us even have the time to split it into two pieces let alone three. So my tip is to combine them all into one with this pattern; mobility, power, conditioning, mobility. Yes, mobility happens twice because the first portion is to improve actual mobility (dynamic stretching to warm up the muscles and joints) whereas the second portion is to improve flexibility (static stretching to cool down and relieve soreness). The reasoning to have power before conditioning is of the fact that while conditioning may sap your energy more, training for power essentially destroys your muscles capabilities which would make your cardio much harder. When you train for power, you need as much stamina in your muscles as possible whereas with conditioning, only your heart and will need to be pumping.
If we were to look at it as numbers, warm-up and cool down should last anywhere from 5-10 minutes each, power-building should be around 25-35 minutes, and the cardio portion should be a nice 10-15 minutes. This totals to anywhere from a simple 45 minutes to a little over an hour. This is a much quicker workout for those who are short on time but in my honest opinion, a true functional workout should last at least an hour and a half with all components receiving the necessary attention.
Now the splitting of which body parts to work is a different problem. There are a plethora of splits ranging from lower body and upper body; chest, back, and legs; push and pull; etc. But I believe the best workout involves the entire body done with days in between. An example being training on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the weekend for rest. But for those with time, I would like to see mobility and flexibility every workout with power and conditioning alternating each day and a single rest day allotted. But just like anything in life, there is a lot of different paths to take each with it’s own splits down the road. My training regime for example includes power-building Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with intense jiujitsu training on those same days sometimes twice. My mobility and flexibility work happens every chance I get but let my tell you, my body is horribly stiff and tight and immobile.
There is a lot of work inside and outside of training that needs to be done before anyone could ever achieve a functional body and even then it may never be obtained. But this shouldn’t dissuade you from trying because if you do not try you will never know. So take these extremely short and basic tips to help yourself become the best you. Because even if, like me, you may never get to where you want to be, you will have put in the work to push yourself and that makes you better than you were yesterday.
And remember, if there is a demand, I will expand.