What Is The Functional Fitness League?
The Functional Fitness League (FFL) was established in 2014 and is an official sports body that focuses on bringing communities together with functional fitness competitions and events. These functional fitness sporting events are designed to run each week similar to other popular sports, and since 2014 the league has continued to grow in popularity right across Canada.
The FFL is a league set up to specialize in functional fitness and gives athletes the chance to participate in their sport of functional fitness, just like athletes in basketball, football, and baseball. For many athletes, the league gives them a similar experience as CrossFit, but with the opportunity to compete in more local events at different levels than the typical CrossFit calendar.
The reason FFL has been so appealing to many athletes is that they are able to compete without having the expensive price tag of weekend competitions or even performing in front of many spectators. The Functional Fitness League is open to athletes of any level and it’s the first-ever league format competition in functional fitness. The FFL is now working on becoming an Olympic sport thanks to its growing popularity and high demand.
To join the Functional Fitness League season, each athlete will follow the following steps to enter and then participate in the season:
Step 1 - FFL Ranker
Participates complete 3 workouts that help determine their ranking of their team for the up and coming season.
Step 2 - The FFL Season
Seasons consist of 3 to 5 teams per match with an FFL coordinator. Matches will commence bi-weekly for a 6 week period. Matches will be 2 hours in length that are ranked against all locations in the region.
Step 3 - FFL Playoffs
The final FFL playoffs will then commence all on the same day and include multiple regions across Canada.
For more information on the Functional Fitness League and a more in-depth look at how it works, you can click the link here. The Functional Fitness League has now run for over 20 seasons with demand expected to increase again in 2021.
What Is CrossFit?
CrossFit is defined as a lifestyle that follows an effective routine of exercise and sound nutrition. CrossFit has a main focus on health/fitness but is not an actual sport like the Functional Fitness League.
The main use of CrossFit for participants is improved health, weight loss, and increased performance. CrossFit works for everyone whether they are just starting out on their fitness journey or have been training for many years.
The set up with CrossFit is group classes that focus on safe, effective, and efficient movements performed over various times frames and structure with the belief that this moderate to high intensity over a short period of time will be most effective for improved health and fitness.
CrossFit is known for its members following specific diet plans with most members thriving off a competitive atmosphere amongst a great community feel.
Difference Between CrossFit and The Functional Fitness League
Many athletes choose the Functional Fitness League over CrossFit as it provides a clear step up in terms of difficulty and competitiveness. Competitive athletes prefer the FFL as they feel they can be left behind with CrossFit, so opt for the FFL where they can perform to their maximum level with both an individual and team focus.
In the FFL, programs are tailored to the individual’s specific needs with close attention paid to fine-tuning in movement deficiencies and proper form. In group fitness classes such as CrossFit, it is difficult to ensure everyone in the class is using the correct form. This leaves many CrossFit group members open to the high risk of injuries if their form isn’t monitored or correct. With the FFL, this is much easier to achieve thanks to the individual focus of functional fitness training.
For many athletes that felt left behind with CrossFit, the Functional Fitness League provides a place to ensure they can still improve their individual performance in a group setting but at a time that suites them. Athletes of any level can enjoy competition at the FFL without the price and pressure of competing at a main event.
The FFL is the ideal place for the regular athlete who wants to train but not compete but still enjoy an ongoing league rather than a one-time event. The ongoing league environment that the Functional Fitness League offers really allows people to meet more people and create great connections in the functional fitness community in their local region.
Benefits of Functional Fitness Training
Functional fitness training is focused on preparing your body for real-life everyday movements. This type of training aims to train your muscles with movements that include squatting, lifting, pulling, or reaching.
Functional fitness training helps you become a well-rounded athlete which is then helpful in everyday life. Functional fitness covers 3 styles of training which are weight training, group classes, and bodybuilding. In addition to making you a more well-rounded, functional fitness has a long list of benefits.
The key benefits to your health and athletic performance through functional fitness training are greater muscle memory, improved movement, increased mobility, improved balance, better posture, and reduced risk of injury. It is clear to see that functional fitness has a long list of benefits for your overall well-being and everyday life.
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By Mark Ollerton - Freelance Writer