Functional Fitness at Home - Lamar Lowery - ebook

Functional Fitness at Home ebook

Lamar Lowery



In Functional Fitness at Home, Lamar and Chris Lowery, experts in functional training, present effective exercises that can easily be done at home or outside with your own body weight or small exercise equipment. The workouts and training circuits are compiled in such a way that fitness enthusiasts as well as beginners can achieve good and visible results and improve their performance considerably. With information on fitness types and desired exercise goals, you can easily select the best exercises and training plans that will have you meeting your fitness goals in no time. Each exercise is accompanied by detailed photos that will ensure proper technique. The authors have also created training circuits for both the beginner and advanced exerciser, taking the guesswork out of creating a workout plan. This guide additionally contains numerous tips and advice on proper nutrition and optimal muscle development contributed by two top experts in these fields. Become a fitter, healthier you with the training methods and exercises found in Functional Fitness at Home.

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Lamar Lowery was born in New York City, received sports scholarships for multiple colleges, and graduated as a mental health specialist. In the late 80s, he was transferred to a U.S. Army base in Germany and worked as Army Physical Fitness Master. After he left the army, he stayed in Germany and built his own fitness academy, Lamar Functional Fitness.


Chris Lowery found his way to strict and effective fitness training through his father, Lamar. He pursues functional training with the same enthusiasm as Lamar. Chris is the expert for functional training bootcamps at Lamar’s fitness academy.


Thank you to my son, Christopher, for participating in our first book project. He is learning the steps to becoming a professional fitness trainer and is progressing well, but that always requires hard work. I wish him all the best. Thank you, Christopher Lowery!

I would also like to thank Firma Artzt for their cooperation with this third book project. It has been a great adventure. Thank you, Ludwig Artzt, GmbH.

A big thank-you goes to Meyer & Meyer Sport for a super collaboration and further business opportunities. Thank you, Martin Meyer.


This book has been very carefully prepared, but no responsibility is taken for the correctness of the information it contains. Neither the author nor the publisher can assume liability for any damages or injuries resulting from information contained in this book.

For better readability, we have decided to use the masculine (neutral) form of address, but the information also refers to women.




British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Functional Fitness at Home

Maidenhead: Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd., 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78255-458-5

All rights reserved, especially the right to copy and distribute, including the translation rights.

No part of this work may be reproduced—including by photo copy, microfilm, or any other means—processed, stored electronically, copied or distributed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher.

© 2017 by Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd.

Auckland, Beirut, Dubai, Hägendorf, Hong Kong, Indianapolis, Cairo, Cape Town,

Manila, Maidenhead, New Delhi, Singapore, Sydney, Teheran, Vienna

Member of the World Sports Publishers’ Association (WSPA)

ISBN: 978-1-78255-458-5

E-Mail: [email protected]




































When you see me, Lamar Lowery, you will inevitably think of an action figure that has come to life. As a six-foot, five-inch American model athlete with dual German–American citizenship, I am a constant commuter between the old and the new world. My job: personal trainer.

For 38 years, I have been training athletes, executives, and many other groups of people, using innovative training methods built around functional fitness. I was convinced from the start that a structured approach—a rather German mindset—determination and regular continued education, or rather, information, in the areas of training, tactics, and research can produce great results in the health and wellness industry. I have always considered this tenet in my own training.


Benedict College 1984-1988/BA Sports Science

Columbia Junior College/Midlands

Technical College/Athletic scholarships

1986-1989 South Carolina Department of Lexington County Mental Health Hospital,

Columbia, South Carolina

Mental health specialist as a male nursing assistant

1989-1994 service in the U.S. Army

Army master of physical fitness

Instructor and master instructor

Fitness Institute International, Inc./exercise science foundations course

Fitness testing specialist course

Functional training specialist course

Nutrition education and weight management specialist course

Special populations/post-rehab specialist course

Strength and conditioning specialist course


Fascia training level 1

Fascia training level 2

Functional Fascia Fortbildung, 2016

Fascia Research Summer School, 2016


1995-2000 World Sport West End, Wetzlar, Germany

Maritim Hotel, Frankfurt, Germany

Hilton Hotel, Frankfurt, Germany


2000-2003 part-time coaching

2003-2005 Personal Palm Beach, Florida


2005-2007 MS in Sales Representative Consulting & Training GmbH, Wetzlar, Germany


2007 founding of the Lamar Functional Training Academy

I have always dreamed of having my own training facility. For 15 years, I have been a successful personal trainer in Germany, have been working with the leaders of large companies as well as many celebrities, and have been a contributor to trade journals. Nine years ago, I founded the Lamar Functional Training Academy. My functional training is comprised of individual exercises that are specifically geared to the client’s respective activities. My clients in Germany include the very busy Frankfurt executive as well as the successful business person from Gießen or the retiree who wants to improve his golf handicap.

To me, as a health professional, a good education, a well-trained eye, and lots of experience are the most important qualifications for the success of clients and trainers. Thanks to these foundations I am also able to help those recovering after an operation or injury to eliminate pain. Many people suffering from back pain feel fit, healthy, and resilient again after a specific workout with me. I live by my conviction: Targeted functional training is the best training for everyday life.

The Functional Fitness Philosophy

“Preservation of health is a duty. However, few people seem to be conscious of such a concept as physical morality.”

Although this quote is applicable today and might appear to have been written by a contemporary fitness evangelist, this is not the case. These words were spoken centuries ago by a Greek physician named Hippocrates—the father of medicine. Obviously, this historical figure valued health to the degree that he envisioned moral obligations extending beyond the physician and his professional commitment, a concept which we today know as the Hippocratic Oath.

What is physical morality? How does it relate to our present value systems? Should it be a part of our lives? And if so, would health education and promotion be able to effect behavioral change in this area? Answers to these questions lay the foundation for an understanding of our current health problems and their solutions.

By physical morality, Hippocrates meant that individuals had an ethical responsibility to take charge of their own health. Those who failed to maintain and preserve their health to the best of their abilities were shrinking their duties as citizens and, therefore, were guilty of immoral behavior. To the average American, this would undoubtedly seem a harsh definition, especially in our democratic society where we cherish our freedoms—even, perhaps, the freedom to neglect our health. It is likely that many would say that to choose to be unhealthy is one of our inalienable rights. But is it?

When we neglect our health, we become a tremendous burden to society. Nowhere is this more painfully evident than in America which has witnessed an outrageous explosion in healthcare costs of approximately $500 billion, or 11% of our GNP. Due to this astronomical expenditure, we are presently confronted with doubts about the stability of both Medicare and Medicaid.

As a result of our failure to adapt to the age of automation by programming physical activity and healthy eating into our lifestyles, Americans experience excessive degeneration and illness in later years. As a country, we are suffering the pitfalls of technological success. Labor-saving machines have created not only more leisure time, but also the sedentary lifestyle. Human bodies, built for rugged physical exertion, have become bloated and diseased with disuse. In the land of plenty, the motivation born of hard times has given way to indolence. The abundance of food has made every day a feast day and America the world’s most overweight society. Even the miracles of modern medicine have done relatively little to prevent the increase of heart attacks, strokes, and senility caused by a diet too rich and a lifestyle too lacking in physical activity. Modern technology may keep people alive longer, but only a healthy lifestyle will ensure a vigorous, robust existence free of debilitation and multiple trips to the hospital.

Because of this self-neglect and the increased cost of medical care, health insurance premiums have risen to staggering heights. To date, unfortunately, insurance companies have not really differentiated between those who take care of themselves and those who do not. Consequently, the healthy who make few claims are paying similar rates to the unhealthy who utilize the healthcare system frequently.

Many people who take pride in their health and possess self-respect for their bodies take great offense at those who smoke, overeat, overdrink, use drugs, fail to exercise, and, in general, practice self-destruction. And well they should, for the unhealthy are a principle reason for the exceedingly high healthcare costs which must be borne by all.

As Hippocrates stated so long ago, perhaps everyone should recognize the moral imperative of good health. Or rather, everyone should make a philosophical commitment to good health within his or her value system. Maybe this is a duty, an obligation that befalls every member of society; for if one fails to live up to his physical capabilities, then he has placed an unfair burden on others. Expressed another way, when one neglects his health, he neglects not only his personal well-being but also the well-being of his family, his friends, his employer, and his country.

If health education and promotion are to facilitate the development of a broad-based value system of health in which we avoid becoming a burden to others, then we must establish an operative definition of health. Recognizing that individuals will always have varying definitions of health, there still ought to be a comprehensive concept that permits a degree of freedom but ensures that health habits are to the benefit of society, not its detriment.

Unfortunately, health is still primarily defined as just the absence of disease. Although a supposed fitness trend has been sweeping the country, most people pay only lip service to any real concept of health. We say there is nothing we value more than health; yet, in reality, there is nothing we abuse more than our health and well-being. Typically, we concern ourselves with our health only when it is in jeopardy. It is a tragedy that we emphasize sickness rather than optimal health; that we are concerned with not dying rather than really living; and that we fail to accept the challenge of life’s greatest potential.

However, a few people today are redefining health as they begin to view this concept from a broader perspective. For these individuals, no longer is health just the absence of disease, but rather the wholesome lifestyle evidenced through vitality, productivity, and happiness. In fact, this positive view has been written into the preamble of the World Health Organization’s constitution which reads: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

This new definition of health is slowly making inroads into the American psyche through a number of different appellations which are currently receiving more attention. Total fitness, holistic health, health enhancement, and lifestyle modification are some of the more commonly used terms in describing this broad approach to the concept of health. Probably the most descriptive term which is slowly gaining general acceptance is that of wellness.

Much of the solution to our health problem is not only recognizing the perils of affluence, but more importantly, also redefining the good life and affirming the fact that we can be healthy and fit. To turn the health of this country around, the public must be awakened to its current unhealthy lifestyle and then be committed to refusing to allow this way of life to continue. As a nation, we must reconsider our goals through learning to value the quality of our lives as much as its material quantity.


Functional training is not new; rather, we have encountered it for several years, and currently it is probably one of the most overused terms in the fitness industry. An Internet search of functional training will produce 23,600,000 hits.

In the fitness industry, the market trend pendulum will swing heavily in a certain direction. Currently it has swung to the area of functional training. There was a time when many trainers used what I like to call the “Cirque de Soleil” training method. The philosophy behind this method excoriated any training exercise less complex than a one-armed shoulder press with a dumbbell while standing on one leg on a BOSU balance trainer as not functional and not suitable for everyday life. The problem with this philosophy is twofold. For one, the likelihood of executing a one-armed shoulder press with a weight while standing on one leg on an unstable surface is relatively low in everyday life, and, secondly, the more instability we add to an exercise, the smaller the load we can tolerate.

This type of training allows us to overload the central nervous system but hardly allows us to overload the musculature to create the necessary training stimulus—an example of a concept that could have some value but was overused. The reaction to this extreme philosophy was a big swing of the pendulum in the opposite direction. Suddenly the use of stability balls and balance boards in training was viewed in a negative light, and some trainers and therapists completely banished useful training aids from their sphere of activity.

While many people tend to believe that there is only one superior form of training and everything else that doesn’t fit this philosophy is of no value, actually, there are and should be many different effective forms of training. Anything that helps us reach our goals should be used. What we mean by functional fitness is the ability to improve daily functionality through movement patterns that we humans use every day—simple, effective workouts without a safety net and false bottom.

The one-sided activities in our jobs and recreation often result in a general lack of movement along with poor posture, decreased fitness, and, thereby, lower quality of life. The current trend is “back to the roots,” away from extreme sports and exaggerated weight loss and back to balanced exercise where the focus is on increased well-being and disease prevention.

Our functional training draws on tried and tested training principles and combines them in an efficient manner. It adopts the body’s natural tasks, its movements and functions, and practices movement patterns from everyday life to balance body, spirit, and soul and to preserve that balance long-term.

The goal of functional training is to “wake up” the body and give it mobility for life. This is done through

targeted movement of ideally all the body’s muscles and joints,

targeted movement and activation of the spine,

activation of the neurological system,

activation of the nervous system, and

activation of the muscular system.

The exercises in our functional training program make people stronger, more powerful, and draw from many training philosophies. My long-time international experience in fitness training and ongoing exchange with personal trainers in the US make my concept unique. This book provides an insight into my world of functional fitness training.


Functional training is a revolutionary training method from the US with ancient roots. Functional training can be labeled as the latest hype or as the catchphrase of the sports scene. At the same time, the content of this form of training is still hotly debated. The best way to define functional training is to take a closer look at the original meaning of the individual words.

Function can be defined as carrying out an action for which a person is specifically equipped or intended. Meaning, a function has a specific purpose. Training