So I am sure that we are all completely sick of the term 'functional training' right? I know I am...we are talking about the most overused and abused term in conditioning today. I remember someone saying to me, "hmm, if I'm not actually doing this so-called functional training, does this mean that I am perhaps doing dysfunctional training?!". The bottom line is that if your training isn't leading you toward your goals whether it be fat loss or performance enhancement, your training is far from functional.
I think the thing that turns people off is the image of the guy doing squats on top of a Swiss Ball or doing 10lb. dumbbell shoulder presses while standing on one leg atop a dynadisc. This IS NOT functional training folks (well maybe if you're in the circus). I remember Mike Boyle telling me that he regrets using the cover photo on his book Functional Training for Sports as it forever associated his programs with unstable-style training. If you read the book, however, you'll see that Mike's programs are about as sound as you can get and includes very few unstable exercises. In fact, I will say that Mike's athletes push bigger weights than just about anybody's (especially his females!).The bottom line is that there is a place for many different things in a comprehensive training program. I often use unstable exercises...does that make me a 'functional training guy'? I guess I am....the main function of my job is to build better athletes so my training programs must be somewhat functional right?! Oh and we lift BIG weights folks....just not on top of Bosus like my man at the top of the post.