If you are training for an outdoor event that involves obstacle courses, you probably won’t have the luxury of having the perfect technique in the movements because of the intensity of the event. For example, when doing a pull-up movement during an obstacle course, you will be so tired, and so pumped that you are not going to give a damn about performing a textbook pull-up, you are going to pull yourself up any old way you can whether it is textbook or not.

Sometimes when I am with a client, I will say to them, “We are going to do this exercise with the usual perfect form, but this time, instead of stopping when you begin to lose your form, just carry on, keep going and your body with naturally find a way of doing more, and eventually you will be using every last muscle in your body in order to complete the movement”.

In boxing, the first round of punches will generally look clean and technical, but as it goes on, they get more and more sloppy. To compensate for this they are now using more of their muscles. They have less control of their body and are now ‘throwing’ their punches. The referee isn’t going to say “Hold up! You are not punching textbook any-more so I’m going to have to stop the fight”. In this situation, they will do all they can to dominate, and perfect form is simply not a priority at this point.

Functional Training

One of the reasons I believe it is good to train like this is because people can often train in a very linear fashion, without much dynamic movement. There was once a guy who could deadlift twice his own bodyweight. One day he bent over to pick up his keys and did his back in, all because his body was confused from doing a dynamic movement it was not used to. The deadlift is the ideal movement pattern for picking something up, so when he casually picked his keys up without any thought of having good form, out went his back! The guy in this story was me! But this is actually quite a common thing.

I do not necessarily recommend training like this with heavyweights, but it is fine if using cable machines, resistance bands or with bodyweight exercises.

Example 1: If you are doing a standing cable chest press at the gym, once you can no longer do perfect reps, just keep going, your body will find a way to do more, then stop when you cannot do any more.

Example 2: If you are doing a woodchop at the gym, again, keep going after you lose that nice form, and now you will be putting more of your arms, legs and core into it. (Try using this method for your last set).

Again, I do not advise this with heavy weights, if you are recently injured or prone to muscle pulls. This is obviously a very intense way of exercising but it is a great way to add dynamic movement and is now another option for you when training.