MMB – Functional Fitness Tidbits

Good morning everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend and are feeling energized as you walk into your work week.  Sometimes we begin our Monday hearing about news over the weekend that is hard to fathom and I’m feeling that way right now.  If you’ve tuned into the news, then you know about the mass shooting in Texas yesterday at a Baptist Church.  I won’t go into the details here, but I wanted to begin this blog by recognizing our humanity and compassion in a moment like this when you hear something that steals your breath away.  So, we hear horrific news, we take it in, and then we pray and ask God to extend his mercy and compassion to the families who lost loved ones.  But alas, we must persevere and press on as we begin our week and focus on an attitude of gratefulness, thankfulness, and our abundant blessings.  So, let’s do that 🙂

Announcements and Reminders:

 1) Cardio Core is currently full for tomorrow night, but contact me if you’d like to be put on a waiting list because there are sometimes same day changes.  

2) Cardio Core scheduled on Tuesday, November 21st will be moved to Monday, November 20th.  Sorry about the change guys, but I’ll be away on Tuesday and not home until late.  I hope you can make the Monday night class. 

3)  Thanksgiving Morning Boot Camp!  What better way to prepare for Thanksgiving than getting in a killer work out the morning of Thanksgiving!  I’ll have a 7am and 8:05am Boot Camp classes, so you won’t want to miss out! Do you have family in town?  Cool!  Bring them along!

4) Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, November 12th at 11am! 



Thought for the week:  What is Functional Fitness?

Yesterday I was in my happy place.  So, you might be thinking,”Hmm, where is Jen’s happy place?  Uhh…pedicure?  No, too girly.  Uh….shopping spree?  No, too girly.  Going out to eat?  No, she’s too cynical.”  Well, I’ll tell you.  My happy place is going to fitness conferences!!  Oh, it’s so awesome!  It’s the place I go where I can geek out on everything fitness and not worry about anything else!  It’s true bliss.

I attended the Exercise ETC.  Functional Fitness conference yesterday in Burlingame and it was delightful.  Steve Bannerot was the instructor, whose classes I’ve attended before, and taught four classes yesterday that were all based on functional core training.  Steve is a master trainer, who is very well educated, and has been in the industry for decades, so I felt fortunate to be in one of his workshops.

I thought I would share some take-aways from the weekend for you to ponder.  This information is sourced from Exercises ETC’s research library.  It’s a bit more scientific from my usual blogs, but I think it’s important to understand the science of exercise and why it’s important.

  1.  What is functional training?  Check out these definitions to help you understand the differences between strength, power, and functional training:
    1. Strength training – Goals are to increase strength and/or hypertrophy at a specific muscle group or joint.  Examples would be pectoral flyes or leg extensions.
    2. Power training – Goals are to lift the maximal amount of weight possible by a specific muscle group or joint.  Examples would be max leg press, chest press, or power clean.
    3. Functional training – Goals are to integrate upper body, lower body, and core muscles to improve performance and lower risk injury.  Examples are : squats, lunges, deadlifts, standing overhead presses, and bent over rows.


  1. Why is Functional Training so effective?  Functional training incorporates the whole body by recruiting both large and small muscle groups, engaging the core, and moving in triplanar modes:  sagittal, frontal, and transverse.  The main goals of functional training are to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.  Instead of just training one muscle group at a time – think standing bicep curls with both feet on the floor, functional training would be adding a squat or a lunge sequence to the bicep curls, where there are multiple muscle groups firing at once.  Basically, it’s exercising in a way that makes sense and works efficiently.  We want to incorporate exercises that mimic how we need to act and respond in real life. 


  1. Why is High Intensity Training important?  Here are some of the benefits:
    1. It builds and retains lean muscle and bone.
    2. Increases strength and endurance.
    3. Optimizes function and performance.
    4. Enhances growth hormone production.


  1. What makes an exercise High Intensity?
    1. There are two elements that must exist for an exercise to be considered high intensity:
      1. VO2 max must be at or above 75% (breathless)
      2. This intensity must be sustained for about 30 minutes.
      3. If you can talk during the activity, then it’s not considered high intensity. 

What’s going on in your body during HIIT?

  1. High Intensity Work utilizes ATP/CP in muscles, then uses glycogen in muscles.  Next uses glucose in bloodstream and lactic acid levels increase. 

       Rest Phase – Lactic acid returns to live and converts back to glycogen.  ATP/CP  replenishes and there’s a hormonal boost. 


What else does HIIT training do for us?  By adding intensity to your work outs, your after burn or EPOC – excess post exercise oxygen consumption, is burning calories for the next 12 to 24 hours.  No intensity?  You get what you get from the work out and no direct benefit afterwards in terms of burning fat. 

Is lactic acid bad? 

No!  The fitness industry used to think that lactic acid was a waste byproduct of anaerobic metabolism, responsible for muscle fatigue and exhaustion.  Research now tells us that lactic acid is a form of fuel that is a direct precursor to several performance enhancing hormones. 

Bottom line – keep moving people!  Work hard and play hard because you are worth it!


See you in class soon!