I’ve been practicing Functional Fitness since 2005. A friend of mine mentioned that there existed a web page that posted crazy workouts every day that would crush you. I started to do the WOD polluting every globo gym in Stockholm. I was part of building the anti-CF sphere leaving a treadmill on at 18km/h when I was on the opposite side of the gym performing Kettlebell swings and half assed kipping pull-ups.
Fast track through the years from the DIY medball era where we all hung on the CF forums to understand how a Push Press differed from a Push Jerk have transformed into a multi billion business where you crown the fittest on earth every year. We have the world qualification system called the Open which from a scaling stand point is brilliant. Regionals is great. We love to be there. However Regionals today is for the best in the world and the Games is the All Stars level. A company rules it all. The sport can never be on an Olympic level due to that fact.
Where do you start today if you want to get there? What competitions and series defines your journey to that goal?
This have been bothering me for many years. Just the fact that I’ve always performed about 200% better placing wise in an on site competition compared to an online qualifier only been making me more certain over the years that online just is not going to cut it.
Six months ago we founded the Swedish Federation for Functional Fitness and got acknowledged by the International Functional Fitness Federation iF3. We gathered some of the best athletes in Sweden and went to San Francisco to participate in the first ever World Championships in Functional Fitness. Even though the iF3 been existing since June officially this was the true founding point for it. I was amazed to see Kazakhstan and Latvia representing. Even Chile had a representative that understood about 5 words in English. He smiled all weekend and cheered on. This was an aha moment for me. We WILL get traction if we help eachother. Heck if the Kazakhstanians can start a federation so can we!
Those that were there knows what I am talking about. A true garage world championships but it has to start somewhere! I am extremely proud to have been part of the take off of something that I think can change the sport forever if we all work for it. Not just me. YOU! That’s right. A federation is a democratic organisation where everyone on the board gets elected by the clubs.
What is the goals of Swe3F right now?
MAKING THE SPORT PROFESSIONAL
- Judging – We want to create an educated judge team where each judge is licensed through Swe3F.
- Sanction competitions – You are not alone! We need to have the discussion about safety, programming, judging etc. We want you to be part of something bigger! Make a lasting impact on the community.
- Ranking – national, regional, world! We need to make the level of play fair. Compete on the same terms. The programmer should know the true level of the competitors
- Movement standards – There is only going to be one way of performing a squatting motion and it is going to be defined on our web site. The head judge will stop briefing standards. All athletes know how to squat.
- Safety – Do you have mats underneath your 7m Ropes? Is the floor going to be slippery when you combine Ski-Erg and Swimming? I hate to talk about it but we NEED to. It’s just not ok to have injuries due to these kind of things.
- Homogenous scoring system – That everyone recognizes and understands.
- Anti doping – We just hate the talk about doping. It is infectious. Can we please focus on the sport? To be able to truly get there we need to get recognized by RF / WADA and this is where YOU and your club comes in. We will NOT get there without you!
- Nationals – Crowning the fittest in Sweden! This is ofc one the most important parts of a sports federation.
EXPANDING THE FUNCTIONAL FITNESS SPHERE
This might not be the purpose of Swe3F but as long as I am chairman I will push for increasing the sphere of FF. Box Owners! How is your growth going? Is the Netflix series about ”crowning the fittest on earth” doing you any good?
I see boxes all over like mine struggle with the class model that is purely focused on FF so we introduce variations to get a notch broader. Why is that? Well Nr 1 is that the business model of the small class setting sucks to start with. That however is out of the scope for Swe3F. Fact is that the sphere / market just is too small regardless of town you live in. Big city – bigger competition.
Something we however CAN improve is the most important and it WILL change the world and your business.
Nr 2. By creating an organisation that is recognized by RF, having the Olympics as the pinnacle we will
- Increase media time making your grandma understand what FF is. I do not rest until your grandma knows what a wall ball is
- Increase grass roots foundation – THE KIDS! Getting recognized by RF leaves you with enormous options. Getting a big grass roots foundation will automatically pull in their parents if you do it correctly.
- Increasing your civil status! It’s not ok to forever and ever expand your knowledge from understanding mitocondria to knowhow in building vo2max to understand creatine battery training to improving members mobility to providing rehab foundations and have less of a civil status than a division 4 coach in Soccer! I get angry when I think about this. And your salary / career? It’s just not ok.
- Legitimize the sport – No one can claim that it’s not a sport if it is recognized by RF / IOC (International Olympic Commitee)
- Making people understand that you can compete and train on any level. We need division elite to division 1, 2, 3,… boys/girls 12-14 and so forth on a sub district, district and national level. For fucks sake table tennis have 4 regions in Sweden + each little district have their own federation. Even Karate is bigger than FF. Moving on to the next bullet
- We need District Federations – Today you have NO interest in talking to your neighbouring club since there is nothing to talk about. Nothing to organise. Nothing to gain from it. You manage your gym and that’s it. Sure you have many friends but you have no organisational structure that enables you to have monthly calls with a neighbouring club. I think this alone will address a lot of the community issues we are facing.
These are just some thoughts I have and increasing the sphere will have an impact on your business since where should people train FF? Well at your club since you are the best in town in that regard!
Join us! If you are interested in hearing me talk about these things then attend Coaches Congress at Eleiko headquarters in Halmstad 26th to 28th of Jan. I am speaking 8:30 AM on Sunday. Right after the talk we have the first annual meeting for Swe3F at ca 9:00 AM. BE THERE and vote for your candidate for the board and apply as a Swe3F functional fitness club.
Coaches congress: https://www.coachescongress.com/
Annual meeting: http://www.swe3f.se/kallelse-till-arsmote/
Start a club for dummies Swe3F style: http://www.swe3f.se/support/