March 14, 2016, by Ben Spearman

The term “Functional Fitness” is used a lot these days. What does it even mean?? Some people use other catchy phrases to describe it, “Total Body Fitness” or “High-Intensity Interval Training”.
At Ellicott City Health and Fitness we try to keep it simple. Being functionally fit is having the ability to express your fitness in everyday life.
We train you in the gym so you can do things outside of the gym. Who cares if you have the biggest biceps if you can’t touch your hands over your head??
Here is a perfect example of how training with Ellicott City Health and Fitness can help you in activities other than just getting better at working out. Dave is this month’s Athlete of the Month. He is an AVID golfer. Here’s his story about how CrossFit training has helped him.
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I have been playing golf for almost 20 years now and I’ve been an average duffer who would shoot in the mid to low 90s.  My average drive was probably about 180 to 190 yards.  About 3 years ago, I took a lesson with the goal of increasing my average drive to 220 yards, and I thought I would be happy hitting drives that distance.   After the lesson and sometime to practice what I had learned, I met and exceeded the goal I had set for myself.  I started hitting drives about 230 yards.  I thought this was good.  My scores started to come down and I was now shooting in the upper 80s and low 90s.  Before the lesson, I had only been in the 80s a few times.

In January of 2015, I was looking for a new workout program.  I found Ellicott City Health and Fitness, a new gym near my house.  After meeting with the owners, I decided to give it a try.  Over the next few months, I would work out about 2-3 days a week, but my weekends were all about golfing.  By mid-summer, I realized my golf scores were improving yet again.  Now my scores were in the mid-80s and upper 80s.  I also noticed my drives were getting longer.  I was now realizing 250 – 260 yard drives.  Every now and then I was getting some drives in the 270 yard range.  All of my distances are measured by a GPS and not just an inaccurate “guestimate” on how far I thought the drive went.

In addition to the increases in my drives, I am also seeing an improvement in my iron distances.   They have increased by 10 to 15 yards. As an example, I used to hit my wedge 110 yards, and now I am hitting the wedge 125 yards.  My 6 iron distance used to be about 160 yards and I am now hitting it about 180 yards.  All the other irons and woods distances have improved by about the same distances.   I have notice a few of times on par 5 holes that my shots will be driver, wedge, wedge to the green.  On several occasions, I have been in range to reach shorter par 5s in 2 shots, but the direction has been the issue as I was off to the side of the green when I have attempted the shot.  I have since set a new low score this year by shooting a 79 and have had a few scores in the low 80s (81 – 83) as well.

So one day, while I was talking to one of my coaches at Ellicott City Health and Fitness, he asked how my golf game was going.  I explained that I am hitting the ball farther and my scores are getting lower.  While I had not really considered my workouts as the source of my new found success, I now believe my improved overall strength and strength in my core are the key components of the improvements in the distances that I am seeing.  The increase in distance has led to lower scores.  I want to say a big “Thank You” to Ellicott City Health and Fitness.  I’m looking forward to the day I can say I hit one over 300 yards.