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Organized into 5 modules, totaling over 2 hours of content



Of which 8 are lectures with Bill DeSimone explaining the key concepts of the course



Including 30 exercise demonstrations videos, 2 stretching sequence videos and 1 full Hybrid FT + HIT workout video



Including tips on how to adapt a HIT routine and how to use them with clients

Why Functional Training?


Functional Training is often described and defined by clichés. The clichés may make for snappy arguments, but as Bill states “they aren’t necessarily a good application of anatomy and biomechanics”.

Simply labelling an activity “functional” isn’t enough; you actually need to do the exercise in a way that protects the joints and works the muscles appropriately. You need to follow good application of anatomy and biomechanics.


1. Stabilization techniques

2. Corrective movements

3. Integrated movements

4. Power plyometric exercises

5. Recovery techniques such as stretching.


To be able to target and stimulate muscle groups more effectively, efficiently and safely, with all intermediate and advanced clients using joint stabilization techniques.
Standard HIT alone may not be enough to address the muscle imbalances and postural deficits some individuals suffer from. With joint stabilization techniques, corrective movements and stretching added to the HIT template you will be able to help these individuals far more effectively.
To help you as a trainer be able to bridge the gap between rehabilitative physical therapy and strength training/muscle building.
To enhance client motivation, enjoyment and challenge, keeping them engaged in the process and ultimately to improve your client retention rate.
Some individuals, either psychologically or physiologically need more than standard weight training alone.
There is a mainstream audience demand for Functional Training, if you can safely apply and offer the best, biomechanically sound elements and principles of FT you will be able to attract clients who otherwise would have gone to a competitor.
To offer more challenging programmes for athletes and advanced trainees.

The functional training techniques and elements presented in this course have been written to gel synergistically, simply and safely with the HIT approach and are not time consuming or disruptive to recovery. They will enhance your clients workouts.


“Improves performance and reduces injuries.”

This is a great slogan, but does all that falls under the functional umbrella live up to this statement? In this course you will learn what has value and what to avoid.

“If you can do it sitting down or on a typical weight machine, it is not functional”

If you are sitting in a vertical chest press, and not wiggling as you press, it may not be “functional”, but it certainly has a practical benefit, in that you’re able to stabilize your shoulder girdle under a load. This course thoroughly explains and details core stabilization techniques to refine and improve the best standard exercises you are already performing.

“Train movements, not muscles.”

Unfortunately relying on training movements instead of muscles almost guarantees any muscle imbalances go uncorrected, since your body will either work around any weak links, or you’ll injure the weak link. This course ensures that you don’t make that mistake by reinforcing the value of “regular” strength training and HIT, improving it and demonstrating corrective exercises that directly address muscle imbalances.

Course Overview

If we look at some of the actual training elements that fall under the umbrella-term “functional training” we see several distinct elements that are presented in the course. Here is a brief description of the course structure:

Consideration of, and emphasis on stabilization of the upper body, trunk, and lower body during exercise performance.

The value of stabilization during upper body, trunk and lower body during exercise is not controversial but the vast majority of training enthusiasts and even many personal trainers are simply not aware of proper stabilization and do not know how to perform these easy-to-learn techniques. It is essential for everyone engaged in weight training to appreciate and apply core stabilization techniques once beyond the rank beginner level. This course thoroughly covers core stabilization techniques.

The foundational stabilization techniques demonstrated are required for inclusion in all intermediate and advanced client programming and are refinements and enhancements to exercises you already use with clients. Your favorite HIT routines can remain the same in terms of exercise selection and order: it is exercise technique and performance that is enhanced.

You will learn how and when to apply stabilization techniques to standard machine and free-weight exercises for the upper body, trunk and lower body.

Some individuals may struggle with stabilization, often due to muscle imbalances and postural deficits that need to be targeted and addressed specifically with corrective movements and set-ups. These exercises will help the client to re-engage, reintegrate and balance weak areas and both sides of the body. This will ultimately help these individuals both in their activities of daily living and ability to successfully and safely stimulate muscles during exercise. Corrective exercises and set-ups are demonstrated for key areas and muscle groups of the upper body, trunk and lower body.

Integrated movements involving the total body; these are exercises in which the body is not supported or braced by a machine or piece of equipment and it must work as a single unit to provide stability through which the muscles can exert force.

These movements enable the practice of protecting the back and joints under different conditions. Examples include standing rows and medicine ball lifts. Bill DeSimone explains why and when you may want to include this type of exercise in a routine for yourself or for your clients. In-depth video demonstrations detail only the very best of these integrated movements and show you exactly how to perform them both safely and effectively in a joint-friendly manner.

Power, plyometrics, and deceleration; exercises that build on whole-body Integrated movements and add the challenge of practicing quick changes of direction.

These are the types of exercises that most people picture when they think of Functional Training: the tire flips, kettlebell hip hinges, heavy ropes and so on. If you have seen any promo clips of athletes training, from football players and mixed martial artists to Formula 1 drivers and golfers, you will have likely seen exhilarating montages including these exercises.

An important question to ask when it comes to plyometrics is: if you are flipping a tire in your workout, is that improving your performance in anything other than flipping a tire? If you throw a medicine ball in your workout, and exaggerate twisting your spine in the process, does that reduce injuries or set you up for one?

Bill DeSimone demystifies power plyometrics thoroughly explaining who they are suitable for, when they can be used and for what specific purpose, then presents in-depth instruction on how to safely perform key plyometric and power exercises.

Recovery techniques, such as stretching

Bill explains why stretching can be a valuable cool down technique and one that can be appreciated and enjoyed by yourself and clients too. Video demonstrations thoroughly detail how to perform the stretches both with a partner and alone. The stretches presented here enhance cool down and moving from an exercising to non-exercising state and can also be very beneficial in addressing postural deficits.

The elements of the entire course are fused into a comprehensive blueprint for creating HIT/FT hybrid workouts. You will learn step-by-step how to adapt a classic HIT routine into various HIT/FT hybrid routines. We include specific example routines and exercise substitutions to suit intermediate and advanced trainees and those new to functional training principles, as well as to address specific concerns and physical limitations of the individual.

Additionally, we present a full hybrid workout demonstration video featuring Bill DeSimone coaching Simon Shawcross. The workout is fully explained in Bill’s detailed write-up on the whys and wherefores of the routine he puts Simon through including notes on each exercise and the relevance of the routine to the individual.

At the end of the course you will have the opportunity to have a video-call consultation with Simon Shawcross and the option to submit a video of your own hybrid workout for personalized feedback. If you do submit a video, you will be eligible to receive a HITuni Certificate of Completion.

This course is for you if:

You are a HIT oriented personal trainer, or a HIT enthusiast or weight trainer, who considers yourself to be intermediate to advanced.
You want to learn how to incorporate Functional Training into your HIT workouts.
You want to attract new clients and keep current clients enthused and engaged in their training with you.
You are at least 16 years of age if you want to attain HITuni certification.



What people say about the course

Your Instructor: Bill DeSimone


Bill DeSimone is a personal trainer, facility owner, author and speaker renound for his joint-friendly approach to weight training that focuses on leveraging correct biomechanics to help protect connective tissue and joints making exercise safer.
He is the author of Moment Arm Exercise and Congruent Exercise: How to Make Weight Training Easier on Your Joints. In addition, his articles have featured on breakingmuscle.com/coaches/bill-desimone.
He has been a personal trainer since 1983, currently works out of his studio, Optimal Exercise in central New Jersey, and is ACE-certified as a Health Coach and Orthopedic Exercise Specialist. Bill is also a blue belt in Gracie Combatives Jiu-Jitsu.

Personal trainer since 1983 (Sports Training Institute, NYC)

ACE-Certified Health Coach and Orthopedic Exercise Specialist

Author of Congruent Exercise: How to Make Weight Training Easier on Your Joints (Amazon)

Creator of the Joint-Friendly Fitness approach, soon to be published as Joint-Friendly Fitness: Your Guide to the Optimal Exercise Program.

Presenter at industry conferences (NSCA, Club Industry, REC) and in-services for private companies.

Recent continuing education includes Functional Fitness Specialist Certificate and Functional Anatomy Certificate.

Former certifications include CSCS (1991), CPT(1997), Gracie Jiu Jitsu blue belt (2013).

Do you have a question? Ask away.