Functional training or with machines. What is better?


Functional training is based on executing movements that involve the work of several muscle groups at the same time: upper, lower and core train.

Which is better, the functional training or with machines? It depends! There is a big mistake around the world of fitness (which can also be applied to other areas) and is to let ourselves be carried away by fashions and / or in our case by the training trend that takes place at that moment, assuming that what has been done previously it does not help. The reality is that “all training modalities are valid” only depends on the objective that person has when training or health needs that require: weight loss, tone, hypertrophy, improve some injury, improve de-compensation of the body … Depending on this, you should opt for one or another training modality.

Machine training (analytical)

Traditionally the training in the fitness rooms has been carried out and is carried out through two modalities:

  • Only cardiovascular machines: tapes, elliptical, bicycles … through which you will not only lose your weight (percentage of fat mass) but also your percentage of muscle mass, favoring the muscular flaccidity of your body and therefore the loss of strength. That is to say, in the long run you will look flabbier and you will feel weaker.
  • Only guided machines (isotonic) and / or free weight (bars and dumbbells): weight lifting by repetitions, you will get to improve your strength and if you are very consistent and plan your training very well and hypertrophy your musculature, yes, your resistance level will decrease and you will get tired more easily with any activity that requires a minimum of movement. That is, your physical appearance will improve, but playing with your children, grandchildren, running to the bus stop or simply going up and down stairs can be activities that you can easily get tired of.

Functional training

Currently, training methods are influenced by this trend, which is based on executing much more global movements with respect to machine training (analytical) involving the work of several muscle groups at the same time both the lower body (legs) and of the upper body (trunk and arms) and that also act on the stabilizing muscles (mainly core).

Unlike traditional training (machines), which focuses on a single aspect of physical form (strength or strength), functional training combines both areas since due to the involvement of several muscle groups and the use of material with a Certain weight, makes you work from the cardiovascular field and from the force.

In contrast, we must warn that if your musculature and your technique of execution is not properly worked previously at the level of force can more easily cause the possibility of injury because the muscle involvement is much greater and therefore requires greater control of the body by the subject.

What training does the human body need?

  • The human being needs to focus his training from two areas: the resistance and the strength without forgetting the flexibility; and everything that is not to maintain a balance between both will be an ERROR. Equally bad is to train in the gym only based on machines (cardiovascular or isotonic) as only with functional training, forgetting about the force work and specific technique.
  • You have to keep in mind that the most important quality to work for the human being is strength since without it we could not perform any action of our life and a minimum machine routine three times a week , it guarantees a good level of strength and possibility to minimize injuries (falls and / or accidents)
  • Think of your day to day and the muscular needs you need, that will give you a clue of the muscles and movements to work. It is not the same if you are a person who works in the construction that if you are in an office or have to take care of your 2 year old son or some sick family member.

Conclusions about functional training

Neither training is better than another, but they meet different objectives nor does the solution go through the combination of both.

The ideal solution is to combine a previous work of machines of the musculature that interests us to develop or improve and then make a functional training with the involvement of said musculature.

In this way with the machines we will gain strength for the development of our daily life, decrease the possibility of injury and prepare us to support the subsequent functional training, with which we will improve our fitness.


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