Programming Principles: Part one – The Health Continuum, Functional Fitness, and Types of Strength.


Programming Principles: Part one – The Health Continuum, Functional Fitness, and Types of Strength.

So making workouts is easy right? There are some movements we put together. We add in some reps, and then finish up with something that makes you really tired right?

Not even close! We take great pride in the workouts we make here at the gym and over the course of the next few weeks I am gonna lay out the underlying principles inside of building programs/workouts.

You know what we believe right? We believe that Education is the key to getting results and long term progression from our clients! The more you know, the more you understand the importance of what you do inside fitness.

The Best Place to Start – The Health Continuum

The Health Continuum

The health continuum is a visual resource that describes the relationship between sickness, wellness and fitness. At one end of the continuum sits vitality; a place where we experience the vitality necessary to reach our physical and mental potential. At the other end lies death, with sickness and elite fitness very close to it. Health sits in the middle, balancing between the two.

With that concept in mind (That I totally didn’t come up with) It is important to know what you want. Now I have written about this in the past but knowing what we really want whether that is to perform well, be healthy, lose body fat, or gain muscle having our goal and purpose lined up clearly can help better approach our workouts/training each day.

The more we aim to perform the more we will move away from health. Having elite fitness unfortunately doesn’t always mean maximum health. Often times with very very high performing levels of fitness comes high instances of injury, discomfort, and stress.

Wanting high levels of fitness is not a bad thing and I am by no means saying you shouldn’t shoot for that but what I am saying is that you must always consider what that means for you body and mind in the grand scheme of things.

Functional Fitness

Before the 1990s fitness was used solely as preparation for sport or as a tool to achieve greater physical aesthetics. Following that period, a idea was born revolving around what exactly people were doing for fitness and how it was connected to their function in daily life. That idea coined the term functional fitness.

Today, we use Functional Fitness for a number of things but one of the main things to remember is that by definition what we need to do in our workouts to train “Functionally” is very broad and inclusive.

Any training really “could” be “Functional” for somebody. If you are a busy Mom and carry kids are day then Sandbag Carries are Functional.

If you are a construction worker then things like Kettle Bell Swings, Situps, or Squats are Functional for you because of the amount of strenuous work you do in various patterns.

The main idea is that when we do Functional Training really anything is on the table. Especially in the group setting as long as it aids everyone in their Function Daily then we are training in a Functional Matter.

Types of Strength

Types of Strength

Now as we lay out these principles lets remember one thing. Vitality and Health are directly related to strength.

Training to be stronger is something everyone should do whether you are a Female, Male, younger, or older.

It is a priority….PERIOD.

Another way to view the types of strength is to view them in the story of a persons journey through fitness.

The Strength Continuum

To better understand strength and its applications the word strength has
to be broken down into four parts: absolute strength, strength speed, speed strength, and absolute speed.

On a fitness journey, everyone starts with absolute strength and may work up the continuum. Absolute strength is the baseline requirement needed to maximize the potential in the other areas of the continuum and therefore should be the first area a person trains.

It is why we build our workouts the way we do.

Without building strength your body will not be able to express the way it needs to in workouts which could lead to slower results and imbalances in your fitness.

I will stop there for today but expect several follow up parts to this each week.

My aim with these is to give a person a true understanding of what goes in to making workouts and all the principles that are running in the background.

We take these principles into consideration in every workout and weekly plan we build. What concepts do you already see at work?

Written by:

Coach Cody Smith


  • Opex CCP 2017 – Principles of Program Design
  • Absolute Strength-

  • Speed Strength-