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Old 02-08-2007, 04:31 PM   #11
Greg Everett
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BTW, why are the Snatch and Hanging Leg Raise not functional?
I would still call them functional, but not in the sense that they directly mimic a natural movement like a squat or deadlift do. In that sense, any variety of KB swing isn't functional. Never in my life have I snatched to get something from the floor to overhead unless I was training, nor have I ever needed to lift two straight legs up to my face while hanging from something.

I'm just making the point that I hesitate to call walking swings non-functional when tons of other valuable movements could also be called non-functional, but we use and love them anyway because they have functional RESULTs.
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:18 AM   #12
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Never in my life have I snatched to get something from the floor to overhead unless I was training
But wouldn't it be badass if you did? If I saw some farmer snatch a bail of hay, I definitely wouldn't mess with him.

Speaking from limited experience, I would think that the snatch is a natural movement, representing the most efficient way to get something from the ground to overhead.
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:19 AM   #13
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Speaking from limited experience, I would think that the snatch is a natural movement, representing the most efficient way to get something from the ground to overhead.
Yes, I used to make that argument myself. But I think it was Bill Fox who stubbornly refused to accept it, and it made me think a little harder. The snatch really only works well with a barbell, which is a nice, low profile, easy to grip implement. A hay bail, on the other hand, is much harder to handle and wouldn't lend itself too well. If I had to get one overhead, I think I would try to get it onto a shoulder first and then push jerk it--regardless, it wouldn't look like a legitimate O-lift.
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:57 PM   #14
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The snatch really only works well with a barbell, which is a nice, low profile, easy to grip implement. A hay bail, on the other hand, is much harder to handle and wouldn't lend itself too well. If I had to get one overhead, I think I would try to get it onto a shoulder first and then push jerk it--regardless, it wouldn't look like a legitimate O-lift.
I agree totally. That has always been my biggest concern with functional training. Yeah, these lifts work great with a barbell and dumbell, but what about real objects? Take the World's Strongest Man competitions for example, you don't see much that resembles good form there. This is the most interesting part of strength and conditioning for me, that is, how can you maximize cross-over from training to sport.
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Old 02-12-2007, 06:57 AM   #15
Jason C. Brown
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Hey Greg,

Thanks for posting this.

The whole functional thing is getting bit crazy. I like Greg's examples. I have never seen a Snatch performed in real life, nor a thruster. Push Press yes but never a full thruster.

If we are using real life to determine what is functional and what is not consider this: 80% of our life is spent on one leg at a time,therefore 80% of our program should reflect this, I doubt it does. Everything changes when on one leg, the whole deep longitudal sub-system functions differently.

We can get anal and over analyze our training. Functional simply means training with a purpose and we can justify that how ever we want. The purpose of the walking swing is metcon and it serves that purpose well.
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Old 02-12-2007, 07:02 AM   #16
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80% of our life is spent on one leg at a time,therefore 80% of our program should reflect this
Great point Jason....I know Mike Boyle would back you up on that. That's why I like the 1 legged stuff for people doing sports training....mimicks real functional strength needed during their movements.

Of course the SQ and DL are the most bang for the buck for mass gains.
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:23 PM   #17
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Functional simply means training with a purpose and we can justify that how ever we want.
Now that is why I like you Jason.. Simple and to the point. People slip hairs all day about functional this and functional that when really they are wasting time they should be spending training. Training with a purpose, and when that purpose is not just beach muscle, well then we are talking about functional.

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Old 02-12-2007, 05:08 PM   #18
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We can get anal and over analyze our training. Functional simply means training with a purpose and we can justify that how ever we want. The purpose of the walking swing is metcon and it serves that purpose well.
I agree that people are too anal over what is vs. isn't functional (myself included sometimes) but I think your definition of functional is a little to general. However, after reviewing the definiton of functional movement via the CrossFit Foundations article:

There are movements that mimic motor recruitment patterns that are found in everyday life. Others are somewhat unique to the gym. Squatting is standing from a seated position; deadlifting is picking any object off the ground.They are both functional movements. Leg extension and leg curl both have no equivalent in nature and are in turn nonfunctional movements. The bulk of isolation movements are non-functional movements. By contrast the compound or multi-joint movements are functional. Natural movement typically involves the movement of multiple joints for every activity.

I can see a wealth of exercises that could rightly be considered functional, because they mimic motor recruitment patterns (core to extremity) that are found in everyday life, walking swings included. I think that's the point I was missing before, that functional is more about order of motor recruitment, not about specific exercises.
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Old 02-12-2007, 05:14 PM   #19
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I think 'functional' by CF's definition is too limiting. There are just too many caveats and minutiae in my opinion. I think the real issue is very simple - whether or not an exercise is beneficial for the athlete in question, and this is going to vary among athletes due to their individual strengths, weaknesses and athletic demands.
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Old 02-12-2007, 07:10 PM   #20
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My definition closely parallels Greg's.
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