How Functional is the Bench Press

Written by: Steve Mologousis NASM CPT, PES, CES, IHP FTS, IHP MMA SCC

Anyone who has been around a gym for any period of time, has most likely heard this a million times. How much do you Bench? Or What is your Max on Bench? All legitamate questions. But do those age old questions really matter when it comes to being a successful athlete. Other than a Powerlifter who’s main goal in their sport to be successful is to lift the heaviest load they can. So, why does everyone ask these questions, 1- Yes it is great for the ego, 2- not so bad for developing your pecs,3- and last but not least the chicks dig it.

The question we should be asking is “Will the bench press make you a better athlete?
In order to answer the above question we must first examine just how functional is the bench press?

First, I’d like to start by saying that I personally feel the bench press is a great exercise to have in your toolbox of training. I believe it is a great movement for developing maximal strength in certain functional positions. The problem is, a majority of coaches put too much emphasis on how much their athletes can bench.… Read more...

We Don’t Train Like Bodybuilders

Do not expect to train like a bodybuilder, unless that is your specific sport. That also goes for powerlifting and Olympic lifting. At The Functional athlete we will incorporate Hypertrophy, (building muscle ) as a 4-6 week phase or cycle for someone who is trying to build muscle mass. Body building essentially focuses on muscle groups and for aesthetics. Athletes in all sports need to train their entire bodies synergistically ( working together.) At the functional athlete I like to say; we train athletes from the inside, out. That means we don’t just train the superficial muscles, we train all muscles. I have the utmost respect for bodybuilders, they are dedicated and disciplined about their sport just like any other  ompetitive athlete. They need to train the way they do because that is their specific sport. I would like to see the majority enter the functional training realm.… Read more...

Powerlifting & Oly Lifts

Power lifters and Olympic lifters are also sports specific, but we very strongly believe in incorporating powerlifts and Olympic lifts into our protocols. Whether they be bi ,tri, quad-plexes, or meta circuits, we feel that they are a very important part of building strength and power. Alongside our functional training philosophies the Olympic lifts and power lifts form a unbreakable bond that will make indestructible athletes. Incorporating Olympic lifts and power lifts followed by functional movements will  keep your energy systems working  throughout your entire workout but stills allows enough time for your energy systems to replenish before performing another set of the heavier lift.  See more on this in the programming tab.… Read more...

Preparation for Competition

  • Push yourself past your breaking point every time you train.
  • Always give more effort than what is expected of you.
  • Work harder than everyone else.
  • Mental preparation (if you prepare your mind your body will follow) your body will take you where ever your mind tells it.
  • Visualization – visualize every situation you will find yourself in with a positive outcome. Keep visualizing one move until the outcome is positive. For example, if you are visualizing a Hi crotch Take down – visualize it until you finish the take down and taking the guy to his back. If you visualize your match when it comes time to execute your mind has already been there and so will your body.
  • Mental Toughness – Learn to love the competition.
  • Have Fun.
  • Always focus on what you can control and do not let things that you cannot control affect how you perform.
  • Keep your cool.
  • Do not miss valuable training opportunities by not doing the technique the right way. You can never get that time back. It is lost forever!
  • Remember your opponents are a blank face, they have no name. They are all the same “they are an obstacle standing in the way of your dreams and goals and ultimately your success”.
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