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Perform Better Summit's Popularity Reflects Functional Training Trends

Jay Hyber

If you’ve visited your local gym in the past six months, you’ve probably witnessed recent trends. Unfortunately maybe, for some of us gym-goers, Jazzercise and a few other programs and trends saw their suns set in the 80’s and 90’s but other trends have arrived to take their place.

Constant changes in the fitness and health trends have fueled the popularity of Perform Better Summits. Perform Better provides community leaders like Mike Boyle, Todd Durkin, Lee Taft and Rachel Cosgrove a platform to educate trainers with lectures and hands on training discussions. Tens of thousands of fitness professionals from across the US attend the 3-Day Functional Training Summits each year.

Personal training, which was introduced around the early 2000’s was a key trend for years. Now less expensive group training sessions have emerged and continue to thrive. “Functional Fitness Training” has become huge. Functional training allows you to become physically capable of doing everyday activities. In other settings, school’s are investing in their athletic programs to take advantage of the functional trend. In addition to adding part time or full time strength and conditioning coaches, they are also adding turf areas for functional movement training.

The popularity of small-group training has required more personal trainers to develop the skills to lead group workouts. In addition to the training, these small groups have also created sub-cultures or “tribes” and created communities across the world. With the power of social media and the development of special hashtags, groups are able to grow together, achieve goals and provide encouragement without having to train in the same gym. At VertiMax, we recently launched our RaptorFit program for the fitness community. You can check it out by using the hashtag #getraptorfit.

What’s the point of having a sculpted figure if you can’t kneel over to pick-up your keys or play with your kids? That's the mindset behind functional fitness. Simply put, functional fitness is about preparing for your life, rather than a 5k. Anything from moving boxes into your new home or grabbing something off the top shelf in your closet. These types of exercise are intended to mimic your everyday actions while triggering several muscle groups. 

For the most part, these moves will focus on balance exercises like lunges and step-ups, cardio training that is often plyometric based, strength training, and exercises that require your body to move through different planes of motion. As you add more functional exercises to your workout, you should see improvements in your ability to perform your everyday activities and your quality of life.

In a more specific setting, school athletic programs across the United States have begun investing for the future. While keeping the theme of functional fitness training, many have started to add turf areas that allow for this type of training. With the seriousness of high school athletics increasing, some schools are also investing in full time strength and conditioning positions. This gives athletic programs the ability to keep things organized, safe and productive while in the weight room.

As the VertiMax relationship with Perform Better continues to grow, we look forward to seeing you at these events. A link to the Perform Better event dates and locations are available here and I hope to see you in Chicago July 27-29 to chat about recent fitness and sports training trends.

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