MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018
Should you choose function over form?
Deckline Leitao
Monday, August 17, 2015
Is there a better of the two? We have all often seen big muscular guys in the gym lifting heavy weights. It's often not uncommon, to simultaneously notice some guys perform lifts with kettle bells, battle ropes, etc who generally possess physiques that are more athleticlooking. The type of training you do and the type of physique you aspire to build is only a matter of personal choice. They both have their own benefits.

Bodybuilding training (BT) is misconstrued Those working for pure muscle size and brute strength are often misconstrued by the functional training (FT) fraternity, as they are looked upon as brutes who do not posses 'functional strength.' It's assumed that these muscle-heads are not fit enough to play sports or perform daily activities. But this is a wrong notion. In fact in the past, most sports coaches used to shun any form of weight training because they believed that their players would become slow and 'muscle bond.' It's the other way around today.

FT is the game changer The concept behind FT was to make strength gains in the gym transferable to a required activity or a sport. For instance, a basketball player, who has to jump high and sprint intermittently, would train differently from a rugby player, who would have similar abilities, but would also be strong enough to take and avoid pounding blows.

What's good about BT? Bodybuilding mainly comprises of exercises performed with the aim of building an aesthetically pleasing body. For instance, a person with narrow shoulders can focus his attention on building broader shoulders that not only look good, but are strong as well. Also specific muscles, such as the hamstrings and the tricky midback can be trained in isolation to resist injury and look proportional as well. A misconception about BT is that this sort of strength is invaluable in regular life/sport. On the contrary, it makes our musculoskeletal system, ligaments and tendons, much stronger.

What's good about FT? Movements done with FT have a crossover effect in sport. These movements are faster, across multiple planes, incorporate balance, coordination and agility to name a few effects. They also often mimic the action required in a sport. But you should realise that no true sport moment-such as a serve in tennis, a baseball swing or a wresting grapple-can be completely replicated or performed in a gym, even with FT equipment.

Deckline Leitao, who holds a sports science degree from South Africa and a PG diploma from the UK, is one of India's most qualified trainers.

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