Functional Bodybuilding training prioritizes movement quality and balancing your efforts throughout a given day, week, and training cycle. Many of us love to push ourselves - but if we go to the max on every single part of training, we may end up burning out or not having energy left for the rest of the day (or week).

Let's look at the intent behind some common formats you'll see so you know where to hold back a bit and where to SEND IT.

HOT START

This is a warmup piece intended to get your blood moving and your brain firing before the work ahead. It's not a max effort, but you do want to end up with a sweat and your breathing up a bit so you're really ready for the next piece of training.

Example:

3 Sets:

Row 200/160m (male/female)

20sec Wall Sit

20sec Forearm Plank

rest walk 60 sec between sets

GRINDER PACE

Part conditioning and part sneaky strength work - these conditioning workouts will have you move at a steady pace for typically around 12-15 minutes, with movement quality as the number one focus.

INTERVAL CONDITIONING

Opportunities to push your pace and intensity while still getting sufficient rest between sets so you can keep your quality of movement high. Unless the intervals indicate that you should increase your pace, try to keep the times for each set relatively close. (For example, if you take 30 seconds longer in your last set to do the same amount of work, you may have started out too hot - so make a note for next time.) Be sure to time your rest closely so each set is consistent.

Example:

3 Sets @ Sustained Pace:

60sec bike @ moderate to tough pace

10 DB Deadlifts (heavy for you)

30m Quadruped Crawl

50 Double Unders or 100 Single Unders

Rest 90 sec between sets

SUSTAINED PACE

Move with intention and choose a pace that you can keep steady for the entire duration of the workout without slowing down and without sacrificing form. This is a good opportunity to learn more about yourself as an athlete - do you tend to start too hot? Or underestimate your ability? Based on how you feel at the end of the workout, you can make a note on your approach and how it went to consider the next time this comes up.

INCREASING EFFORT

This format will teach you how to pace and get through an entire conditioning piece without redlining in the middle. Over the given number of intervals, you'll time each one and aim to increase your pace slightly from round to round, with timed rest in between each one. Start more slowly than you think you need to if you want to push and keep quality high on the last round.

FOR QUALITY

Noticing a theme? Quality is the number one focus here. A "For Quality" conditioning workout doesn't mean you need to dawdle, but you should keep the thought in your mind that you won't sacrifice quality for speed. If you notice your form breaking down, take a couple breaths and gather yourself before starting up again.

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