What I remember most about my grandfather was his great stories. I could spend hours listening to him talk about his life. My grandfather grew up on a farm in rural Wisconsin and was a wrestler in high school. Out of all the stories he told me, one of them really stuck.
Everyone in my grandfather's high school came from farm families, but one day the "city kids" came in for a wresting meet. City kids had "city weights" and came to town looking built. The farm kids were used to hard physical labor like hay bailing, but many remained sinewy and lean.
My grandpa loved telling about how when the city kids got into the ring, they were treated to an old-fashioned farmer's ass-whooping. The city team wouldn't score one single point training with their "fancy-pants weight set".
That story was my first anecdotal evidence of the power of functional fitness.
What is Functional Fitness?
Functional fitness trains your body to move more effectively the way that it would in real life, outside of the gym. As Pete Kemme of Kemme Fitness explains:
"Functional Fitness means that you can shovel your driveway without being crippled the next day. Functional Fitness means that you can carry a large sheet of half-inch OSB board from the trailer to your barn and hold it up against some studs with one arm as you nail it into place.
Functional Fitness means that you can, at any age, pick up your children and eventually grandchildren without moaning and groaning. It also means that you can run alongside of your six-year-old as she learns to ride her bicycle without training wheels.
Functional Fitness means that you can perform the movements and tasks necessary in life."
The best way to train your body for real life is by doing real-life things.