7 Functional Bodybuilding Exercises for Performance AND Aesthetics from CrossFit Games Athlete Marcus Filly (Pt 3)

6 x CrossFit Games Athlete Marcus Filly has a unique perspective on health and fitness. Use his ideas and exercises to build muscle and improve your functional fitness.

Marcus Filly does not follow the crowd. He has developed a form of training that combines Crossfit workouts with his method of “Functional Bodybuilding”. This strengthens movement patterns, builds muscle, improves mobility and gets him ripped in the meantime! 


“I’ve used the term “Functional Bodybuilding” because many of my workouts involve atypical strength and accessory lifts that focus on building certain parts of the body. There is more isolation in my training lately than during peak periods of the CrossFit Games season. The movements we are using are still quite functional and do require coordination and balance, but they are being performed slow and controlled most times. Developing great control and strength in slower movements has allowed my brain and body to get healthy and strong. I believe for many people this can and would be an effective way to train year round for health, fitness, and personal fulfillment! Not to mention keeping you feeling less beat up.”

Add these exercises into you training in order to target particular movements, build strength and look better.

Chin Up Isometric Ring L Hang

A good tool to challenge your anterior while also pushing your upper back to stabilize. Perform sets of 20sec until you can hit these unbroken for 3 sets. Then build from there in total time under tension. 

Snatch Grip Deadlift

Performed in today’s #daily dose at a 3030 tempo for sets of 6-8 reps. That amounts to a 56sec time under tension bending drill. Snatch grip Deadlifts add range of motion to the deadlift and challenge the upper back differently than conventional grip Deadlifts. These are also a great way to reinforce good positions for Snatch work at speeds. 

Feet Elevated Banded Glute Bridge

Perhaps one of the most effective ways to wake up my glutes that I’ve found. I use these to prep before a hip dominant session. Either bending or knee flexion days. This set up works wonders to allow for focused contractions of the posterior chain. 

Landline Single Leg RDL 

Greater stability on this drill than some of the other single leg hinge variations we have done. I particularly like this as a prep drill on heavier bending days to ensure both hips are activation prior to double leg hinge variations.

Alternating Dumbbell Bent Over Rows 

Performed we with a 2sec pause on each rep at the top. With heavy loads this will demand a lot out of your posterior chain. In addition there will be some rotational strength happening due to the single arm nature of this variation.

Ring Stability Slide Board Pike Ups

Begin with your hands on the floor before progressing to the rings. This is a powerful combination of shoulder stability and scapular rotational control, along with anterior core strength. 

Axel Bar Overhead Reverse Lunge

Single leg strength coupled with overhead shoulder stability. This movement also delivers a high level of difficultly in midline Stability. 

Check out more functional bodybuilding exercises from Marcus Filly