‘Functional bodybuilding’ has got an awful lot of hype at the moment. And with good reason. It takes the best of the full-body movements of CrossFit and blends it with the more isolated techniques of bodybuilding. Removing the metabolic sandstorm of gruesome conditioning also spares your central nervous system from being blasted on the daily, leaving you to focus when you’re lifting and not being broken for the rest of your day as a result.
MH Elite coach extraordinaire and head of training at WIT, Gus Vaz Tostes, is a huge fan:
“In my opinion, this is the future. It’s the best way. If you go too much in one direction – too much CrossFit, or too much bodybuilding – you miss out on the benefits of both types of training.
“The intensity of CrossFit, if you really want to make progress, is too much for me now. I’m just too old to do it all the time. But then with bodybuilding, you can be limited to sitting on a machine and just plugging away.
“In this functional bodybuilding session, you need to think about what you’re doing. You need to use the right muscles and brace yourself. You need to really work your full body, even though you are still isolating a portion of muscles.”
Take one exercise at a time for all the reps and sets before moving onto the next. You want to be failing, or almost failing, the last rep of the last couple of sets. Go too heavy and start failing early, or too light and have more in the bank and you won’t get the full hit. Have 2-3 minutes rest between each set so you can go into each nice and fresh.
Watch Gus crush each movement and then find the full workout below. Then enjoy your outrageously functional pump.
- Squat clean x 2 for 4 sets
- Back squat x 3 for 4 sets
- Deadlift x 5 for 3 sets
- Strict pull-up x 8 + horizontal chest to bar x 10 for 4 sets
- Single arm DB row x 12 + side DB back fly x 12 for 3 sets
- Single arm DB biceps curl to failure x 4 sets
- Hammer DB biceps curl to failure x 4 sets
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