SAN DIEGO - Marines are always looking for ways to stay on top, striving for peak physical fitness levels to achieve perfect scores on their physical and combat fitness tests.
Functional fitness is about preparing people to handle day-to-day tasks and real life situations by mimicking movements found in everyday life.
“Functional fitness specializes in not specializing. Every day the workout changes,” said Master Sgt. Andres Castro, depot food technician, food service division. “It combines strength with muscular endurance.”
The CFT is an example of how the Marine Corps implements functional fitness in the regular training schedule. Examples of functional fitness exercises include push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and many others that are very recognizable.
The major difference is putting them all together. In a functional fitness workout, one would do each workout for a minute straight, moving to the next with no rest. This can aid with CFT scores because it is very similar to the maneuver under fire.
“You combine all the movements to do a short, but intense, workout with a lot of benefits,” said Andrea Callahan, Marine Corps Community Service health promotions coordinator. “Everything is scalable and modifiable, so anyone can do it.”
The exercises are compound movements, meaning they utilize multiple muscle groups and joints. They are natural, effective, and efficient ways of moving the body and external objects.
“Functional fitness mimics what Marines do in combat operations,” said Castro. “You transition from one task to the next.”
By practicing these movements within a workout program, Marines can effectively prepare to better handle the tasks of everyday life.
“You’re able to do everyday things better,” said Callahan. “A major benefit is it’s adaptability to everyday life.”
Although, nothing is needed to begin a functional fitness training program, examples of equipment that can add difficulty are barbells, jump ropes, or even a pack with weight in it. MCRD also has a Functional Fitness area at the gym with space and equipment.
If interested in starting a function fitness training program, asking a friend or researching online will help to ensure all exercises are preformed correctly.
The 101 Days of Summer Campaign will come to a close with a team functional fitness event named Fight Gone Bad Aug. 26.