Chapter 1: What is Functional Training and Why Does it Matter?
Chapter Goal: To explain the concept of functional training, and to explain why the big 3 lifts are not sufficient for complete strength.
* Who needs functional training (martial artists, athletes, and in my opinion: everyone else)
* How our modern lifestyles are ruining our bodies
* Skills vs attributes
* Recent trends and developments in fitness (movement culture, old time strongmen, MMA, parkour)
* Why training the body and mind together is logical
Chapter 2: The Science of Hypertrophy and Building Strength
Chapter Goal: This chapter outlines the basic science of building muscle to help lay the foundation for what is to follow. Readers will learn the basics of building muscle and power.
* Metabolic stress, muscle damage, and mechanical tension
* Progressive overload (and alternatives)
* Time under tension and other factors influencing growth
* Bodybuilding vs powerlifting (also "powerbuilding")
* Building explosive power (an explanation of muscle fiber types and rate of force development)
* A list of effective strength-building exercises
Chapter 3: Kettlebells and Alternative Methods for Building Strength
Chapter Goal: This chapter will introduce lesser-known methods for developing truly transferrable strength, from old-time strongmen (and modern strongmen), to kettlebell training. Kettlebells help build strength thanks to their offset nature, and constantly changing angles of resistance. Similarly, old time lifts like the bent-press develop stronger obliques. This has huge carry-over for sports and everyday activities.
* Old-time strongman lifts for training the missing muscles
* Introducing the kettlebell (and clubbell/Indian clubs - with exercises)
* Medicine balls, sandbags, battle ropes, and more
* The missing link: grip strength (and pinky strength!)
* How overcoming isometrics develop super-human strength (with explanation of muscle fiber recruitment)
* Quasi isometrics
* Hybrid exercises
Chapter 4: Just Move: An Introduction to Movement Training
Chapter Goal: This chapter will serve as an overview of the emerging movement culture, providing introductions to animal walks, training outdoors, and more. It will show you how to naturally increase range of motion, to eradicate stiffness, and regain child-like exuberance.
* Get outdoors (why training outside is beneficial, an explanation of movements like MovNat)
* Barefoot running and developing foot strength
* Move like an animal (an introduction to animal walks)
* Proprioception and balance
* Why animals don't warm up (pandiculation and "incidental training")
* Developing mobility
Chapter 5: Handbalancing and Advanced Calisthenics
Chapter Goal: This chapter is a natural progression from the last, explaining hand-balancing and gymnastics, along with movements such as gymnastic strength training. Straight arm strength is one example of a crucial aspect of strength that is overlooked by mainstream health and fitness. This can unlock amazing skills like planche and handstands, which will be explained here.
* How to build muscle with bodyweight
* An introduction to hand-balancing
* Straight arm strength explained
* Hollow body and core strength
* Gymnastics rings, dip bars, parallettes, and other tools
* Advanced calisthenics moves explained
* Training for parkour
* Training for martial arts
Chapter 6: Maximizing Endurance
Chapter Goal: This chapter will introduce concepts like HIIT, work capacity, steady state cardio, and more. Readers will learn how to increase fitness with long runs or short intense circuits. They'll also learn how this translates to better performance in the gym, and how to go even further with advanced techniques like breath training.
* How to increase fitness with steady state cardio
* Introducing HIIT (it's trendier and has many advantages, but doesn't entirely replace LISS as we will see here)
* Metabolic conditioning and resistance cardio
* Work capacity and strength endurance
* Advanced methods for increasing VO2 max (including lung training, threshold runs, breathing techniques etc.)
Chapter 7: The Mind Muscle Connection
Chapter Goal: This chapter will explain the intimate connection between the body and mind and why training them together makes a lot of sense. It will also discuss some specific strategies for improving mental performance, which can likewise enhance your training.
* How we think with our bodies (this works in several ways, but I'm particularly excited to discuss embodied cognition - a fascinating and relatively new psychological theory).
* How movement unlocks the learning potential of the brain (learning new movements is fantastic for brain plasticity)
* Muscle control (how old-time strongmen and golden-era bodybuilders gained greater control over individual muscles and how this is beneficial for max strength)
* Accelerate skill acquisition
* Reflexes, working memory, and attention
* Motivation, discipline, and mental toughness
* Meditation for optimal performance
Chapter 8: Recovery and Refueling
Chapter Goal: Training on its own is not enough. Just as important is the rest and recovery phase, along with proper nutrition. This book won't go into great depth regarding nutrition, but will provide some basics such as the importance of micronutrients, how to gain/lose weight, and advice on protein consumption.
* Nutrition basics: weight loss, weight gain, and supporting your training
* Why you aren't losing/gaining weight
* The importance of sleep and how to optimize it
* Bulletproof: how to prevent injury
* Avoiding overtraining and burnout
* SuperFunctional supplement - what do you really need?
* More lifestyle factors for optimum recovery
Chapter 9: Programming and Overcoming the Interference Principle
Chapter Goal: This book introduces lots of concepts and different training methods. The interference principle suggests that combining multiple training methodologies can result in diminishing returns. This chapter provides information on basic programming for any type of training, as well as explanations for the program that will be introduced in the final chapter. It also provides tips on how to set goals, overcome setbacks etc.
* How to write a training program: cycles, frequency, and goals
* Full body vs PPL vs Bro Splits (and a fourth option)
* How to overcome the interference principle
* Concurrent training
* Dealing with setbacks and fitting training around your schedule.
Chapter 10: Your Program for Complete Functional Fitness: The Protean System
Chapter Goal: The book ends with a detailed training program that combines everything discussed in previous chapters. It also outlines a new strategy for combining isometric, explosive, and high-rep training in each routine that I call the "Protean System."
The program also incorporates exercises for cognitive performance. There will be a recap on diet, deload weeks, and mobility.
* Conclusion and words of encouragement