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How Functional Body Building keeps Marcus Filly sharp and passionate about training.

by Victor Pellegrino on September 19, 2019

The Open is coming. Will you be participating this year? No.

What advice do you have for athletes preparing for the Open? This year the OPEN is happening for the second time in one calendar year. My hope is that you all took the necessary time to heal and recover after the March OPEN and have put in your solid 6-month training plan to be ready for October.

In an event that places such a high cumulative demand on the body, mind, and spirit for 5 weeks, it is essential to minimize stress wherever possible. I always encourage my athletes to make a game plan and map out their 5 weeks ahead of time. Look for every possible window in your life surrounding the event to simplify. How can you make your meal prep easier? Do you have to take on that extra work or can you save it for after the OPEN? Can you lean on your support team around you a little more heavily than normal? Maybe now is the time to do some favors for your loved ones so that they can, in turn, help you during those 5 weeks stay on top of your principal focus which is the OPEN.

Discuss your philosophy to training in regards to your "Built Not Burnt" motto. Anyone that has done the CF OPEN knows just how exhausting it is. By the end, most of us are a little beat up and overloaded from the intensity week after week. The mistake I see being made time and time again is that athletes and clients alike take this level of intensity right into their training, assuming they can keep it up for the entire year. The typical cycle is that clients can ride that momentum from the OPEN for a couple of months until they hit a BURNOUT wall. Injury, exhaustion, or simply a lack of motivation and passion for training arises. This is the BURNT pattern we see in so many individuals. Trying to push the limits year-round is NOT what we were designed for. Instead, we like to take the approach with our Functional Bodybuilding programs to thoughtfully build you up through progressive and periodized training plans. They start simple and end with you doing things you never thought possible. INTENSITY is the key variable we look after so you don't get BURNT too early in the year.

What differences have you experienced since transitioning from typical CrossFit training to Functional Bodybuilding? The beauty of FBB is that we still value mixed modal training and get plenty of CrossFit style doses in there. We love CrossFit over here and don't want to say goodbye to it. Quite the contrary. We build FBB out of a desire to keep doing this style of training for a long time. We were tired of seeing hoards of people move away from CrossFit because they got injured or couldn't keep up with the intensity. So transitioning to an FBB approach has allowed me to stay sharp and passionate about my training while also growing my career, watching my kids grow up, and experiencing all that life has to offer. Gone are the days when I'm so sore and beat up that I can barely enjoy the time playing with my kids. And yet I still get to do muscle-ups, burpees, and thruster. They are just sprinkled in with a lot more control, more isolation training, and much more bodybuilding principles.

There are a lot of Grips out there. Why do you choose Victory Grips?  The engineering on Victory Grips has always stood out to me as the highest quality. I have always gravitated towards brands that were built by individuals that have 1000's of hours in the trenches doing the work and using the products. Vic has just that. When I met Vic in 2015 we were competing on a GRID team together and it was clear to me that this man had been in the gymnastics game for a long time and knew something that we all didn't know about hand protection and optimal usage. When someone can teach me as much as Vic has taught me, then I gravitate towards their products. Since introducing Victory Grips into my training and competing life I've seen the products get better and better from refinement and new innovations.

What are your favorite style and material of Victory Grips? I've been a fan of the 3 finger leather grips since very early. I love the way they have formed to my hand. But as new materials have been introduced I've started to like having the option of using a 2 finger grip and for that, I've got a pair of X2 on hand.

A lot of people use the excuse that "they don't have enough time to workout". How do you balance marriage, two little girls, businesses, athletes, traveling and overall life while still making your fitness, nutrition, and recovery a priority? I can totally relate to this. Life has gotten immensely more busy for me since my competitive fitness days. But one thing remains the same. I'm a better person and I enjoy life so much better when I've prioritized my workout time. On a day I miss a workout I'm in a bad mood. I'm a bad husband, father, and business owner as a result. I remind myself that I owe it to not only myself, but all those around me to prioritize my training time. Find an amount that you can confidently commit to and block it off in your calendar like a doctor appointment. DON'T SKIP IT.

The inaugural West Coast CrossFit Classic will take place in California (your neck of the woods). Will you be looking to qualify for this event? Maybe.

What does Fitness mean to you and has this definition changed over time? Fitness still is defined by many of the metrics that I used to measure my CrossFit success. Strength, gymnastics, capacity, etc. But now in addition to that, I need to feel a translation to my life. I used to joke that around competition time in CrossFit I might be the fittest person on the competition floor, but outside the gym, I was usually tired, banged up, and not capable of really enjoying much outside of the gym. So my fitness definition now has to encompass being able to actually use my fitness and feel pain-free on a daily basis.

How can someone get in touch with you to learn more about your Functional Bodybuilding approach to training? I invite everyone to go to and sign up for my email list. We send out FREE weekly content that is full of programs, nutrition guides, and educational material. You'll get a free workout and nutrition program right when you sign up!


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