The term Functional Training gets bandied about a fair bit within the fitness game. But what is it really? And how can you jump on the gain train by incorporating functional movements into your bodybuilding program? We jump right into that and so much more when we chat to Zap Fitness PT Stefan Romeo.
Based in Flemington and certainly no stranger to all things strength and conditioning, Stefan has spent his entire adult life training and coaching at an elite level. Not only has he represented Australia in the sport of Power Lifting, Stefan has worked with the AFL and VFL as well as with leading swimming and tennis athletes… including Aussie champion Leyton Hewitt!
Attaining his Masters in Exercise Science and Nutrition and kickstarting his own PT business at the ripe old age of 20, Stefan has been expertly handling the needs and goals of his clients for over 8 years and is certainly a wealth of knowledge when it comes to discussing functional movement and the concept of functional bodybuilding.
Ok. I’m just going to kick things off right here by saying that it is not lost on us that the very idea of functional bodybuilding seems like a bit of an oxymoron! I mean in one camp you have functional movement, which is by definition replicating humans at play i.e. pushing, pulling, jumping, bending, twisting etc. While in the other camp you have the alternative discipline of Bodybuilding, where success is traditionally measured in aesthetics.
Can you really look good and move well at the same time?
According to Stefan, there are four essential functional movements that any aspiring bodybuilder can incorporate into their training to gain mass while maintaining a balance between function and aesthetics, across their entire body.
Let’s begin with Stefan’s personal favourite, the Squat. Working primarily the Hips, Glutes, Hamstrings, and Quads, with a little Core action in there too, performing a Squat is a basic human movement that can be done in a variety of different ways. As far as being a functional bodybuilding movement for the lower body, the squat is the bomb!
But undeniably the Big Kahuna in the functional movement department, is the Deadlift. Unparalleled in its gain giving glory, it targets the glutes and hamstrings (well your whole posterior chain really). And what is surprising to most, is that the Deadlift attacks your Lats and Core too! Even your posture gets schooled from Deadlifting. Perfect for ensuring your ‘on stage’ pose is on point!
Number three is the Bench Press…did someone say Pecs? That’s right, the trusty Bench Press takes no prisoners when it comes to charging up your Pecs, Chest, Biceps, Deltoids and Triceps and is the perfect antidote to functionally training your entire upper body.
Last but by no means least, the humble Chin Up rounds out our expertly tipped functional bodybuilding movements. Not only is it hella impressive to see someone smashing out chin ups, the movement wildly incorporates your Upper Back, Biceps, Forearms and Core.
Obviously, to perform these exercises correctly and give you the best possible outcome, you should seek the advice and instruction from a qualified personal trainer.
As an experienced strength and conditioning trainer, Stefan would recommend that aspiring bodybuilders incorporate a combination of these functional bodybuilding movements teamed with machine-based training to ensure a complete aesthetic look that matches their personal goals.
However, he makes no bones about it when he states quite simply that in order to achieve any level of success in this arena, “It is 80 percent nutrition, 20 percent training and 100 percent consistency.”
– Prue Houston
Contact Stefan Romeo at Zap Fitness Flemington
Address: 412 Racecourse Rd, Flemington. VIC. 3031
Phone: 0428 615 139
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Limitless Health & Fitness
Instagram: Stefan Romeo