Functional movements are universal motor recruitment patterns; they are performed in a wave of contraction from core to extremity; and they are compound movements—i.e., they are multi-joint. They are natural, effective, and efficient locomotors of body and external objects. But no aspect of functional movements is more important than their capacity to move large loads over long distances, and to do so quickly.(http://journal.crossfit.com/2007/04/understanding-crossfit-by-greg.tpl)I've realized this from time to time. One particular instance, as I was CLEANING and JERKING some pretty heavy (at least 80 pounds) logs, this concept occurred to me. The job wasn't easy, but it sure did go much quicker than expected. And also much faster than it would have about three years ago, with a new-found strength and knowledge of functional movements.
We train our athletes in gymnastics from rudimentary to advanced movements garnering great capacity at controlling the body both dynamically and statically while maximizing strength to weight ratio and flexibility. We also place a heavy emphasis on Olympic Weightlifting having seen this sport’s unique ability to develop an athletes’ explosive power, control of external objects, and mastery of critical motor recruitment patterns. And finally we encourage and assist our athletes to explore a variety of sports as a vehicle to express and apply their fitness. (http://journal.crossfit.com/2002/04/foundations.tpl)The power that I have developed over the three-plus years of "doing what I do at the gym" is noticeable. And that's exciting to me. Not because I'm STRONGER than anyone else, because I know this not to be the case, and frankly I don't want it to be. My aim in learning these lifts and movements is to become more functional, more capable in everyday life. And I feel that is the case. In tasks from picking up a heavy bag of cat food or lawn mulch, to removing water from a paddle boat filled with rainwater, I have had the opportunity to employ these movements. They've empowered me to accomplish some things that, three years ago, I would have needed help to do. Does this excite me? Yes. But only because I see that my "working-out" has not been in vain (no pun intended).