Sunday, January 24, 2010

Functional Training: On the Rise

As the Washington Post's MisFits blog notes, isometric gym workouts using machines and weights (think: leg press machines) are increasingly on the outs, while functional, compound exercises (think: squats, lunges) are in:
As they do every January, people are cramming into gyms to lose weight. But this year, some gyms are also working to slim down -- by excising rather than exercising. Instead of love handles and jiggling arm flesh, their problem area is the equipment loaded with stacks of hefty plates meant to work a single muscle.
"The day of isolated movements on machines is over," predicts Doug Jeffries, owner of Results Gym, which has four locations in Washington.
This dovetails nicely into what I've been doing. Although a few P90X workouts (essentially, any session focusing on arms -- "the glamor muscles," according to Tony H.) focus on isometric moves more than I'd like, for the most part, P90X and Insanity workouts are chock-full of compound movements. This approach has been working well for me, though I'm considering trying something new (but still in the functional category) -- just to mix it up a bit. I need to figure out whether I'm going to stick with some P90X/Insanity mash-up, or move to an entirely new routine using kettlebells or CrossFit.