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Evolution of Functional Fitness

Is it really FUNCTIONAL?!

Functional training…… the latest trend in the fitness industry.  Using tools or pieces of equipment to create functional movements for real world strength……..  BUT is it really functional or just another COOL movement?!

The last 5 years I have really seen our business transform with a greater understanding of what functional training really means. Part of changing and growing has been a very fortunate and growing client base. 


I can recall when I first entered the fitness industry I wanted to be cutting-edge, I wanted to follow the latest trends. Not because I was looking to be “cool”, but I have always thought it vital that we give our clients the BEST training possible. 

Unfortunately, my best of intentions led me to do some pretty crazy stuff. One big reason that I missed what functional training was really about was I fell for the trap thinking functional meant what equipment you used!  

To some degree I was right, but I was definitely missing the bigger picture.

The real meaning of functional training is to create movements that will stimulate the body to move more efficiently and effectively for the activities performed in our daily life! 

Sounds good right?! Well, it has taken me five years of not only educating myself more, but my staff and clients on what functional training not only is, but looks like.

This is one big reason that I am so proud to watch our client perform DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training.  Not just because they are using a great tool, but to see HOW they are using the Ultimate Sandbag to accomplish their fitness goals. I get even more excited when I hear of the success people experience because they are truly training smarter. 

Seeing these concepts come to life is really the exciting part. I’ll give you an example….

81 year old client, drives, gardens, rides her bike, trains five times a week, lives in a house with stairs and loves life.  On top of that she also consults with her Osteopath every 6 weeks.  


She does far more than most HALF her age that will often claim they “too old for that”.  Instead of sentencing her to the rest of her life being “old”, we wanted to empower her to achieve the things that were important to her. It was also important to educate her on how her body was changing and things we really had to consider to not only feel strong, to actually avoid being a statistic of a woman with osteoporosis and at risk for falls. 

Hope this gives you some inspiration. She gives me a TON! In fact, watching her move made want to share with you one of my favorite DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training movements, the Deadlift Matrix. 

Our hips are pretty important as they connect our upper and lower body together.  What we are finding with our falls prevention movements is our clients are gaining strength and mobility to allow them to get out of chairs, off the floor and give them confidence when walking up and down stairs. 


Taking a standard exercise and teaching it to actually move is really the essence of functional fitness. You might be very familiar with this exercise, but DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training helps you move a whole new way. Real functional fitness teaches you to move well inside and outside of the gym. DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training exercises like this one give you the real power to change people’s lives! 


Cam Ward is a DVRT Master in Victoria, Australia. He can be reached at