Review: Functional Fitness Documentary

Functional Fitness is not your typical CrossFit documentary.  At least not one produced by CrossFit HQ.  The fact that it isn’t produced by HQ is probably the main reason you don’t see the CrossFit name in the title.  The documentary takes you through the lives of athletes in different stages of their journey.  From beginner athletes to affiliate owners to showing you a peak into the life of games athlete Talayna Fortunato.

It starts with two normal CrossFit boxes out of Florida.  The first one being CrossFit Body Mechanics which is now called CrossFit Fine Tuned Machine and Crossfit Fenrir which is now closed.  CrossFit Body Mechanics owner Casey Schmidt walks you through his journey as an affiliate owner starting off in his garage to what is now a 1,800 square foot facility.  We get to see the lives of both beginner athletes and seasoned competitor athletes.  This isn’t a box with regional or games level athletes but more of a typical box from around the world.  We get an inside look from a few featured athletes from this box and how CrossFit has affected their lives.

We also get to see the journey of CrossFit Fenrir affiliate owner Olly Goddard and his wife Anitra.  Early on Olly and Anitra decide to host a CrossFit competition called Central Florida Throwdown.  The stresses of putting on a local competition can be seen through the work put in by Anitra.  Olly’s journey begins by competing at local competitions to training to qualify for regionals to becoming a National Pro Grid League athlete for the Miami Surge alongside Talayna Fortunato.

Talayna’s journey starts off as a regular athlete doing the normal CrossFit classes to a games athlete working out on her own in the corner of her gym.  Working as physical therapist she balances work and training to make it onto the podium at the 2012 CrossFit Games.  We get back to Talayna after she finishes 5th at the 2013 CrossFit Games.

The film doesn’t have the same quality as a CrossFit HQ produced documentary but it successfully showcases the different aspects different athletes have at different stages of their fitness lifestyle.  It captures controversial topics in Casey Schmidt’s wife working out while being 8 months pregnant.  We also get a dose of injuries that can come from pushing yourself too hard whether you are a competitor from CrossFit Body Mechanics or a games athlete like Talayna Fortunato.  The release of this film was 4-5 years after it was filmed so you don’t get anything after the 2013 CrossFit Games.  Since then CrossFit Fenrir has closed and owner Olly Goddard joined the Outlaw Barbell Weightlifting Team.  Talayna Frotunato finished 33rd at the 2014 CrossFit Games and hasn’t been back since.  I would’ve recommended this documentary 4 years ago but today it just feels dated.  Imagine the improvements of the athletes at CrossFit Body Mechanics.  It would’ve been great to have given the viewers an update of the changes those athletes have gone through over the years.  That, in my opinion, would’ve been a great ending to this documentary.

Barbell Central
Josh Ortiz

I've been an athlete since I started playing baseball at the age of 7 up until the end my collegiate wrestling career. As a bodybuilder looking to supplement my training I stumbled into a Crossfit gym and was immediately hooked. Although I still enjoy bodybuilding I find my passion has shifted to being a competitive crossfitter. My articles will take you through my journey into Crossfit. Enjoy!

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