Functional Training Q&A

In recent years functional training has become a much more popular form of exercise. But what exactly is it? Our fitness guru Rhys Jenkins, General Manager at the new Simply Gym in Cwmbran is on hand to answer our questions.

Q. What is functional training?

This is a widely debated question and as a result, there is no universal definition for functional training. I would define it as training the body to help you perform everyday activities safely and more easily.

The focus of functional training isn’t to be fit for SOMETHING, it is to be fit for ANYTHING. The ability to run, jump and crawl. Pull, push and lift. It is about improving your quality of life as a whole, rather than focusing on one goal such as losing weight or toning your abs.

Q. How does it work?

Functional exercises mimic the way the body is supposed to move and tend to use multiple, rather than individual, joints or muscles. A functional exercise might involve the elbows, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and the ankles!

Plans should be designed to work on your weaknesses, as well as your strengths. Obviously people’s needs are different, so you need to have a plan in place specific to you. For example, a typist may need to build muscle strength to avoid injury, whereas someone who works with children will need to build their endurance and ability to lift.

Q. What are the benefits?

Functional training can lead to better joint movement, balance, flexibility, strength, posture agility and endurance. It will make everyday activities easier, reduce your risk of injury and improve your quality of life. The fact that you are becoming more self-sufficient can have an extremely positive effect on your mental well-being too. You will look good, feel good and be healthier.

Functional exercise training may be especially beneficial as part of a rehabilitation programme for people who have suffered and injury, or are at risk of suffering further injury.

Q. Who can do it?

Functional fitness can prove beneficial to people across all ages and walks of life, which is the great thing about it. It could benefit you no matter your occupation or age.

Q. What functional training exercises can we do?

I would speak to a qualified specialist about your goals, you can then put a plan together and make use of the many exercises out there.

Generally you are looking for multi-joint and multi-muscle exercises such as lunges, squats, deadlifts, push ups, pull ups and rotations. Equipment needed for functional training will be available in gyms and for purchase outside of gyms. You can even make your own!

At Simply Gym we pride ourselves in the functional training that we offer. Our SYNRGY 360 rig allows for diverse group functional training in a fun environment and is proving extremely popular.

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to email me at

Rhys Jenkins

Rhys Jenkins
General Manager, Simply Manager Cwmbran

Rhys recently moved back from Aberdeen to become the General Manager at the brand new Simply Gym in Cwmbran. He has worked in the fitness industry since he left University and has experience in personal training and many other roles. As much as it may seem a cliché, Rhys loves helping people achieve their goals and turning their lifestyle around. The more people he can help the better! If you have any questions for Rhys you can email him at

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