Our Functional Training method is at the leading edge of fitness science allowing you to train less but more efficiently so you get the same results as someone working out seven days a week. More than that though, our functional training offers SO many health benefits (honestly, too many to list) that the losing weight part of working out this way is almost just a happy side effect. One benefit in particular we would like to highlight is how functional training helps with chronic pain.

How often have you heard your friends or co-workers complain of a sore back? Stiff neck? Migraines? Have you been suffering from these symptoms yourself? While we often brush these sorts of aches off they can be more serious than we realize. Studies show that there is a high prevalence of chronic pain within adult populations in Canada. Of those with chronic pain, over three quarters report feeling depressed because of their symptoms.

Most people think that functional training exercises your muscles in ways similar to how your body would be used in everyday life. But the truth is, we don’t move our bodies in regular life the way our body is designed to move. Case in point would be how much we sit in a day. Most of us move improperly and do not know how our body is supposed to function. Another example would be how infrequently we rotate or move side to side. Our body is primarily meant to rotate, but we actually rotate less than 10% of our total movement throughout the day. This has serious negative effects on our bodies and minds. By moving the body intelligently based on the anatomical structure of the body, we see an improvement in strength and endurance, everyday tasks that may typically be hindered by pain become easier and movement becomes much healthier.

Flexibility is a big focus in functional training. We work to develop joint range of motion during workouts and utilize the warm up and cool down portions of our sessions together to focus on mobility. This, of course, is good for injury prevention but also helps to enhance flexibility and relieve existing pain. The more mobile your body is, the more elooooongated your muscles, the more your fascia and connective tissue can bend and twist, the less pain you feel.

Our concept of functional training takes into account the three planes of motion a person’s body uses in everyday life: the sagittal plane (up and down), the frontal plane (side to side), and the transverse plane (rotation). Our bodies are designed to move in all three directions seamlessly. When we are working the transverse plane in particular, we involve the serape effect. This is a rotational trunk movement that stretches and strengthens the muscles across the back, stomach and sides. Mastering this movement helps to increase mobility and stability in your core. As the core is involved in so many of our daily movements, the serape effect really helps to relieve soreness that people with chronic pain may feel in their regular activities.

With functional training we think a big focus should be on the WHY. WHY does your body move the way it does? WHY does your back arch in a pushup? WHY do your knees turn in when you squat? We’re more concerned with the WHY than the HOW MANY or HOW MUCH (How Many pushups/ squats can you do? How Much can you lift?). We break it down to the basics so we can solve the WHY and you learn to properly perform exercises. This restores your body back to the way it was meant to move so you can go about your day as comfortably as possible. Your body adapts to the new way of moving making tasks typically laboured with pain so much easier.

Functional training finds its foundation in anatomical science. We combine mobility, functional movement and strength in our programming. We have found this combination to be the superior way to deal with the human body and get it ready for all of life’s challenges. People typically can see dramatic changes within just six weeks while taking this approach. Take EPIC client, Andrew, for example. Through functional training, he has been able to manage hip pain he had been dealing with for 20 years! You can read more of Andrew’s story here. (Way to go, Andrew!!)

We preach functional training because we know it works. The proof is in our gluten-free, dairy-free pudding (just kidding, we don’t sell pudding but you can always stop by for a refreshing smoothie!). If you are suffering from chronic pain, functional training will help you. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions and you can actually book a FREE 1-hour session with an EPIC personal trainer to put you through one of our functional movement assessments.