Functional Fat Loss (FFL) programmes are designed to help you lose body fat and improve your functional strength – your overall fitness and ability to perform day-to-day activities. They run in six-week cycles and individual workouts are made up of high-intensity circuits comprising functional exercises with varying rep, set and rest periods suited to the individual body type and goal.
Being in great shape means targeting the following five areas that make you more athletic and functional: relative strength, flexibility, endurance, core strength and leanness. And that's exactly we what we work on during a functional fat loss programme.
I use this method to train my clients because a lot of more conventional body building programmes can actually reduce your fitness levels, flexibility and mobility – they're about achieving a look rather than making you fitter.
FFL is based on a non-linear format. Beginner and intermediate programmes follow a set routine, which includes numerous different workouts for four to six weeks (the length of a phase in FFL training) before the layout changes. For example, phase one (weeks one to six) could be all about volume so the routines would be filled with more reps and the rest periods would be short. Volume phases ensure gains in fitness and endurance simply due to their action-packed nature.
Phase two (weeks seven to 12) would be about intensity, so heavier weights, fewer reps and more rest. This gives your body a chance to make strength and power adaptations in preparation for the next volume phase. The phases repeat this format of volume then intencity in six week blocks.
Advanced and elite FFL programmes use a tweaked non-linear format. Instead of following a volume based workout for six weeks before changing to intensity, your weekly routine would be filled with a mixture of volume and intensity workouts. So Monday might be body part training, Wednesday could be power training and Friday fat-burning endurance.
By constantly changing things around you’re shocking your system so it can’t get used to the movement patterns. This guarantees maximum fat burning and functional strength gains.
There’s more on Functional Fat Loss to come. Next month, look out for an FFL video workout on the MF site so you can try it in the gym or at home.
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