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February 08, 2023 4 min read

Functional Fitness: From Amateur to Olympic Winners

Among Olympic competitors, functional fitness has grown in popularity as a workout fad. This kind of training focuses on movements that resemble commonplace actions and enhances overall performance and strength. Olympic medallists that include functional fitness in their training program include the following:

  • Simone Biles: A gymnast who has won , credits her extraordinary strength and power to her functional exercise regimen.
  • Katie Ledecky : To increase her overall strength and endurance in the water, 7-time Olympic gold medallist swimmer Katie Ledecky includes functional fitness into her training.
  • Usain Bolt: A sprinter who has won 8 Olympic gold medals, is renowned for his breakneck speed. He credits a large part of his success to his functional fitness regimen, which helps him increase his explosiveness and speed on the track.
  • Michael Phelps : With 23 Olympic gold medals, is the most decorated Olympian of all time. To increase his general strength and stamina in the water, he adds functional fitness into his training.

Olympic Athlete and their Functional Fitness Routines

Usain Bolt, a sprinter who has won 9 Olympic gold medals, uses functional fitness as part of his training to increase his explosiveness and speed. He focuses on important areas such as:

  1. Plyometrics - Plyometric workouts, such jump squats and box jumps, aid in enhancing explosive power, which is crucial for sprinters.
  2. Weightlifting - To increase his strength and boost his overall power, Bolt engages in weightlifting workouts like squats and deadlifts.
  3. Core Workouts - Bolt places a lot of emphasis on his core and engages in exercises like planks and Russian twists to strengthen it. Stability and balance are key components of sprinting.
  4. Agility Drills - In order to increase his foot speed and response time, which are essential for his performance on the track, Bolt engages in agility drills like ladder drills and cone drills.
  5. Stretching and Flexibility - In order to stay flexible and prevent injuries, Bolt focuses a lot of emphasis on stretching and flexibility. He does yoga and dynamic stretching. 


Michael Phelps is the most successful Olympian of all time, with 23 Olympic gold medals. He includes functional fitness in his training to boost his overall strength and stamina in the water, focusing on key areas such as:

  1. Dry-Land Training: To increase his general strength and power, Phelps engages in a variety of dry-land activities like weightlifting and plyometrics.
  2. Core Workouts - To increase his stability and stamina in the water, Phelps focuses a lot of emphasis on his core, engaging in exercises like planks, Russian twists, and medicine ball exercises.
  3. Endurance Training - To increase his cardiovascular fitness and strengthen his capacity to maintain a high level of effort in the pool, Phelps engages in endurance exercises like jogging and cycling.
  4. Stretching and Flexibility - To assist prevent injuries and preserve his general range of motion, Phelps places a major emphasis on stretching and flexibility. He engages in yoga and dynamic stretching activities.
  5. Pool Training - Phelps spends a lot of time working out in the pool, using a variety of swim drills and sets to hone his stroke, increase his speed, and increase his stamina.

It's crucial to remember that Usain Bolt and Michael Phelp's routine was created expressly for their sport and their unique needs; therefore, what works for them might not necessarily work for you. But you can attain comparable outcomes by combining these functional fitness components into your own exercise program.

What Equipment that can help you be the “Next Alpha”?

Functional fitness equipment such as battle ropes, plyoboxes, and sandbags were used by Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps during their training to help them win Olympic gold medals. These two athletes can use these functional fitness tools to their advantage, and you can do the same for your own training. Here's how.

  1. Battle Ropes - A terrific tool for enhancing general strength and power are battle ropes. Battle ropes were utilized by Michael Phelps to increase his upper body strength, and by Usain Bolt to increase his explosiveness. Use battle ropes to practice moves including whipping, slamming, and wave motions.
  2. Plyoboxes - Plyoboxes are a multipurpose piece of equipment that can be used for step-ups and box jumps to increase leg strength as well as plyometric activities to increase power. Plyoboxes were utilized by Michael Phelps to increase his lower body strength and power and by Usain Bolt to increase his explosive power.
  3. Workout Sandbag - Using workout sandbag to increase general strength and power is a good idea. Workout Sandbag helped Michael Phelps develop his total core strength, and Usain Bolt utilized them to increase the strength in his upper body. Perform exercises like squats, lunges, and deadlifts while using sandbags. 

You may easily add functional fitness to your personal exercise regimen by using these tools. Whether you're an Olympic athlete or just trying to get in shape, they can help you increase your overall strength, power, and endurance as well as help you achieve your fitness objectives.

Battle ropes, plyoboxes, and sandbags are examples of functional workout equipment that can assist increase overall strength, power, and endurance. These tools were used by Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps in their training regimens to help them win Olympic gold medals. 

imanuel reza
imanuel reza

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