You may have wondered if you are new to the fitness lifestyle and what type of journey you will follow. With gyms now equipped with qualified trainers and the best programmes being offered, you can have a bulky body filled with strength, or you want to develop endurance, stability, and power. They are called strength training and functional training. These are two famous exercises that are effective in today’s fitness world. Basically, traditional strength training focuses on one main muscle group instead of multiple. Strength training is all about getting stronger. You lift weights, and as you get stronger, you can then lift more weights, whereas functional training includes a whole breadth of more dynamic and full-body movements that focuses compound movements over one muscle at a time on a machine. That said, let us further see the difference between the two and which training will be better for you.
What Is the Difference Between Strength Training and Functional Training?
For beginners, a mixture of both these training can be a good initiative. After developing solid strength, you may move to a more compound type of exercise and further reduce the risk of injuries as well as improving the body’s flexibility.
Strength training, both traditional and functional, is beneficial for building full-body strength, increasing muscle growth, and improving overall health. It also has added benefits such as mood improvement, increased metabolism, and support for bone health. Traditional strength training involves using machines or heavy weights to focus on specific muscles, such as hamstring curls or deadlifts. Meanwhile, functional training challenges multiple muscle groups simultaneously with dynamic movements that require minimal equipment, like kettlebell swings or bodyweight jump squats. Combining both types of strength training can lead to healthy strength development. To distinguish between the two, if your workout consists of simple but challenging movements using seated machines, benches, cable pulleys, or heavy weights, it is likely traditional strength training. Anything more complex is likely functional strength training.
What is Functional Training?
All strength training is technically functional training as it improves your body’s health and ability to deal with strain, weight and power. But not all functional training equals strength training. You are training your body as a single unit with functional movements. Think running, walking, swimming, deadlifting, squatting or performing jump squats, lunges, pull-ups, sled pushes, or doing the farmer’s walk. In short, anything that improves functional performance in fitness is functional training. These training exercises are all about nailing everyday movements so that it is easier to get around, carry things and go about your day without injury. Although benefits may differ from a person’s work ethic, here are some benefits of Functional training:
1. Improve daily efficiency: This type of training promotes a different range of movements, so everyday tasks like carrying items, going upstairs, or even physical labour will be much easier. As the body develops stability, it results in more efficiency.
2. Shocking your system: Shock the system with a heavy compound movement to start off any ‘leg day’ or ‘back day’ to recruit as many muscles as possible in that muscle group for better gains.
3. Improve movements and flexibility: Functional training has to do with lots of movements that require you to use your flexibility and mobility. These movements loosen up as well as stretch your hips, chest & back to create versatility in your body, strengthening your core for better support and stability all throughout your spinal cord and back muscles.
4. Reducing injury through a better form: By making your body better able to cope with physical stress, functional training reduces your likelihood of being injured. Because this training mimics common movement patterns, you are better able to cope with daily exertion. As you train, it’s not just your muscles that gain strength but the form as well. Strengthening connective tissue is good news since ligaments and tendons are often an area that can easily be injured.
5. Improves Stability: This training improves your balance by building a faster reaction time with all the movement and compound training. In short, it gives an overall consistency in physical movements.
6. Improved Breathing Capacity: As HIIT(High-Intensity Interval Training) is a form of functional training, it improves lung capacity and endurance by taking cardio to a higher level.
7. Weight free: Training with free weights, resistance bands, cables, or only body weight is possible, as functional training requires compound training rather than strength.
8. Requires less time: Compared to traditional strength training, functional training requires less time because it requires constant movements between sets, keeping the workout’s efficiency at a faster pace.
What Is Strength Training?
Strength training is focused on training that builds up muscles. While there can be some overlap here with exercises in functional training that also strengthen you, the prime difference here is the focus on training up your body piece by piece. Traditional strength training isolates muscle groups and works them out to exhaustion using heavy weights or weight machines. That’s what you’re doing or what others are doing when you’re doing a ‘leg day’. Some examples of strength training include dumbbell row, goblet squat, hip thrust, bicep curls with hand weights, lateral lunges and push-ups with row. In this type of training you may need some personal trainer. Benefits of this type of workout include:
1. Increase and growth of muscle: Traditional strength training focuses on one main muscle group instead of multiple. This means a more increase in muscle growth.
2. Increase in strength: Strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of fractures because it focuses on a single muscle at a time. Hence your body will be used to stronger activities.
3. Record and Easily measure and track your progress by focusing on one muscle group at a time
4. Push till failure: One good benefit of traditional strength training is that you can push your strength limits till failure. This, in turn, increases strength and pushes for higher limits.
5. Body flexibility: Strength training helps joints stay flexible and can reduce symptoms of arthritis.
Which is More Effective?
Both types of training are effective because, for better overall movement and flexibility, functional training can help you move better and prevent injuries in everyday life, whereas if you want to be physically stronger, strength training can help you build muscle and get stronger. The one you stick to and consistently show up to, physically and mentally, will turn into passion. So, a practice of both will eventually make you better strength-wise and fitness-wise.
Importance Of Both Training And Their Benefits
1. Both traditional strength training and functional training can create small tears in the muscles, which then heal and become stronger. Traditional strength training can specifically increase muscle mass, while functional training can improve flexibility.
2. Both training is a great way to burn calories and fat. It not only burns calories during the workout, but it also increases your metabolic rate. This means you can burn calories and fat more efficiently throughout the day.
3. Engaging in any type of training can have a positive impact on your mental health, including weight training, squats or even pull-ups. This form of exercise has the ability to enhance your overall mood and promote healthy habits such as quality sleep, which are important for maintaining mental well-being.
4. Strength training can reduce stress as strength exercise requires full concentration. Functional training also provides a healthy approach as it relies on varieties.
All things considered, you should be invested in both training as they are beneficial in their own ways. Here are some things to consider from this post:
· Include both training in your fitness journey.
· Be consistent and stable with your routines.
· Never hesitate to ask questions to a professional or a trainer in a gym.
We hope this will help you improve your strength and conditioning but make sure to keep in mind that a combination of both will encourage healthy benefits of all varieties. If you want professional help, there are numerous Online Zoom Classes available where you can receive advice related to your fitness queries.