View Full Version : Functional Strength Question

05-30-2007, 10:05 AM
Can anyone give me a good definition? For example, does a 700lb deadlift translate into having a strong takedown for mma or football? I often times hear people say how worthless the Bench Press is. Letís say we have two identical twins. (Same weight and skill level) Twin A never lifted a weight; Twin b can Bench press 400lb. Would I noticed any difference between the two on the grappling mat? Side note: Twin B does no other lifts beside the Bench Press.

Isaac Wilkins
05-30-2007, 10:17 AM
Weight room strength doesn't have a direct correlation to playing strength, but it is important.

Twin B would probably outmatch Twin A as he would be much stronger. In order to bench 400 he'd have a strong grip, lats, tris, and so on. He'd probably also be 20 lbs heavier. Assuming equal skill it wouldn't be a match.

Now, if Twin A had spent his time doing strongman events and full-body lifts, he'd be much more capable.

Don't look at it as "a 700 deadlift will make a great football player". Look at it as "a football player strong enough to deadlift 700 will be plenty strong".

05-31-2007, 12:32 AM
This is a really tough question; while there are many lifts which should translate directly to whatever sport your playing, or have a reputation of being "fuctional", its a hard task indeed to determine whether or not your training will make you a better athlete, or just better at performing a "feat."

Look for what feat(s) the elite athletes in your sport good at, then train those, along with the sport. A good football player usually has a good bench press but a good bench presser is scarcely a good football player. Catch my drift?

If wrestling is your sport, then keep in mind that you can be the stronger guy on the mat and still get your ass handed to you. I'm sure you're aware of this already, but knowing how to finish a double leg will do you worlds more good then just having a 500 lb deadlift.

To answer your question: There is no set definition for what a functional lift is. It depends on what sport your playing, and I'm fairly certain that after a point, on whatever lift you're training, the sports benefits will plateau and you'll just be training a feet. Find out what your weaknesses are and attack them. Adding 20 lbs to your already massive deadlift probably isn't going to help you that much next season, but if your power clean is awful because your just slow - well, thats what you should be improving.

06-01-2007, 06:11 PM
I think overall strength training plus practice at what ever sport you are invloved with would make you better.