Fueling Our Fieldlab With Functional Movement
March 10, 2020
March 10, 2020
Continually trying new forms of functional exercise or varying your favorite is important for engaging different muscles, activating new pathways, and elevating your overall function.
At Fieldlab, we love to test new things and we are always open to a new form of functional movement - especially if the science supports it. We also love to use movement as a continual test of our functional health. This could mean performance (more reps, better time, heavier weight) or simply represent the ability to take on a new challenge, do it well and feel great while doing it.
Here are a few different ways we express our function and maintain our active lives. We love these because they fuel our full day and help us hack critical aspects of our functional health.
There is no hiding it - we love CrossFit and look forward to that hour in the gym everyday. At the basis of CrossFit is function, which totally aligns with our mission and method. No two days are ever the same and the movements translate to real life.
CrossFit is also an excellent tool for elevating function at the deepest level. So often we hear individuals say that life in general has become easier or they are now able to perform tasks they haven’t done for years. While this may seem anecdotal, there is a scientific basis to support the results of their self-experiment.
As you continually subject yourself to the grueling workouts, your mitochondria are actually becoming better, more efficient performers themselves. In addition, you are increasing skeletal muscle mass, decreasing body fat and strengthening bones and joints. This means an enhanced ability to do all things well inside and outside of the gym, which represents higher function.
CrossFit is a central part of our own self-experiment. While there are so many factors that influence function on any given day, we can look at trends over time to determine if we are on the right track. This could be simple and based entirely on how we feel - I slept three more hours last night and had a great workout or I have greater quality workouts overall when I take two rest days versus one - or more complex like using a personal metric tracker. One great tool for tracking how your habits and exercise impact recovery is the Oura ring - check out our post and learn how we use it here.
The most important reason we love CrossFit, however, is simply the community. When you involve community in your function, you feel a greater sense of support and accountability, which is essential to success. This desire to create and share with a community is how Fieldlab was born.
Thanks to a growing awareness created by the company GORUCK, rucking has become a more popular form of functional exercise. Rucking involves carrying a weighted pack on your back for distance and is foundational to military training. Rucking can be leveraged in our active lives in so many ways and is an incredible tool for elevating function.
Rucking is entirely scalable at any level. From weight to distance, you can choose your challenge and use these factors for continued growth. Incorporating rucking into your active life will build strength, muscle endurance and aerobic capacity, which translates to your ability to do all things well, all the time.
Like CrossFit, we also love the community aspect. Unlike many other higher intensity activities, rucking allows for conversation and more importantly, laughter! It’s great for building relationships, making friends or spending quality time with your community. We love to ruck and have made it a key piece of our functional movement practice - give it a try and be prepared to get hooked!
If you’re looking to hack your functional health and fitness, the X3 Bar is for you! Developed by Jacquish Biomedical, the tool harnesses the power of variable resistance to produce noticeable gains in strength and skeletal muscle. Variable resistance is the idea that applying different amounts of resistance to muscles under constant tension will result in increased strength, particularly to areas that may be weaker.
The set up is simple and easy to use, which is one of the reasons we love it. This makes it easy to travel with and store in your home. The package comes with multiple bands of varying resistance, a plate to stand on and a bar with loops for the bands to hook into. There are a number of exercises you can do including a deadlift, front squat, push press, etc., which are done under constant tension for high reps.
The best part - it works! You will certainly feel it after using it, especially if you have done it correctly. Additionally, we have conducted our own self-experiments and found that there were definite increases in muscle mass and improvements to overall strength in the gym.
These are some of the ways we love to get moving, but there are certainly so many more out there. Remember - mix it up and make sure you are having fun! Don’t be afraid to try something new or revisit something old. Be consistent, but don’t be routine. Your daily movement practice should make you feel your best and enhance the quality of your life, not take away from it.