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A friend posted the link on FB, and I read it at home before leaving for work. Obviously, it's some dude's blog for "functional fitness." I wanted to see some thoughts from here on his view. The site is actually blocked for me at work, but there should be some links to see his workouts, so you can get an idea of his "functional" exercises.
This was my repsonse, "Compound lifts build a strong core, and that's functional. Much stronger than one would get from Pilates and Yoga... Doing the latter two simply makes one better at them. A500lb squatter might get sore from a Pilates session, but not because his core is weak. It's because Pilates provides a different training stimulus." ...I think I exaggerated a bit much on the 500lb squatter part though.
No one is claiming that the rule of specificity is wrong, but the rule doesn't say what you say it says. SP means two things. 1. you improve a body part by training it. i.e. benching will improve your pecs and squats will not. 2. doing an activity will help improving your skill at that activity more than doing other activities.
Obviously running will help a runner run fast more than swimming will, but that doesn't make a case for playing with slosh tubes instead of lifting heavy weights. It makes a case for doing the sport you want to get good at, which nobody disagrees with in the first place.
People don't lift weights to mimic their sport. They lift weights to get stronger, improve their mobility and coordination, joint health, stamina, power, bone density. All of this contributes to getting better at your sport and reducing your risk of injury, so you can play your sport longer and get even better by playing your sport,
A runner who runs every day might have a short term advantage over a runner who runs 5 days a week and lifts 2 days a week, but the second runner will most likely get fewer injuries and won't have to sit out because of them. It only takes two weeks of non activity to lose six weeks of training, so it's probably better to do your sport less and lift, so that you can keep doing your sport than it is to only run and then have to sit on the sidelines.
Also all of the benefits to weight training will contribute to performance on top of reducing the risk of injury. This doesn't happen by playing with random objects and pretending its functional.
I agree. I never said not to lift heavy weights or not to deadlift. What i've been saying is: if someone wants to prepare for carrying a heavy, bulky object, the single best preparation is to carry heavy, bulky objects. They still should do other exercises too, and those exercises will provide SOME carry-over benefit that MIGHT eliminate the need to train with bulky objects. But like you said, "doing an activity will help improving your skill at that activity more than doing other activities."
For people who are actually interested in the subject, rather than just wanting to make cherimoose write a tomb on the subject, here is a good book. The book has the whole enchilada: neuromuscular recruitment patterns, movement patterns, strength specificity, what does and doesn't have much carryover, and other topics like how the speed, and force of weightlifting reps can be varied (even while using the same weight on the bar) to make them more useful for the sport or activity that you are training for.
I'll quote a review, that I found interesting:
"I first learned about Vern through surfing the net. He is clearly highly regarded in the field. Given his age and breadth of sports experience, I thought he would be able to give me the straight goods in a field that is populated with too many (I think) new ideas and concepts that appear flaky to me.
I was not disappointed. This is written in a highly technical manner and may not be for the layman. (I am a layman and I found it occasionally dense and beyond my reach). That said, he clearly expresses a comprehensive philosophy of athletic development and provides many concepts that appear valuable.
Perhaps most of all, I finally have a simple definition of "functional training", a term that seems to be so widely used and abused now that it is hard to grasp. Not anymore, and I have wonderful ideas about how to stay fit and athletic for the long haul."