top of page

Matej Grožaj
Personal coach
Z-Health Practitioner


Current offer:

My concept of functional training:

Functional training is a complex and at the same time varied training system built on a wide range of exercises from various sports, targeting development of the client's full movement potential. Emphasis focuses on working with one's own weight, uniform strengthening of the muscle and ligament apparatus, development of the nervous and respiratory system and the body as a whole.

My main goal is to teach the client to recognize his own body, its needs and to teach him how to use this training system to his advantage. 


The purpose of functional training is to help  athletes discover and fully develop their hidden potential, thanks to which they will gain a significant advantage over their opponents.

Developing athletes' potential means targeting training on three main key components, which are:

  1.   Motion

  2.   Sensory Systems

  3.   Mental Processes


Let's take a closer look at each of these components:

1. Movement expression

The first key factor that separates elite athletes from the better ones is an exceptional level of self-awareness.

In practice, these individuals stand out thanks to their movement expression, which is defined by the following characteristics: the ability to extreme changes in speed, explosiveness, roughness and repeated unpredictability of movement in the eyes of the opponent. In others, it is possible to observe the ability in an extremely short time and under pressure to adapt their movement to the needs of the development of the match.

These qualities are often the decisive factor of victory. This is also why elite athletes invest a lot of time in training aimed at improving their movement performance.

A high degree of bilateral skill, gracefulness, fluidity and a high degree of efficiency of one's own movement in different speeds and positions, allows the athlete to effectively use limited energy resources and at the same time to save one's own body for critical moments that decide whether to win or lose.

The athlete's ability to ensure a smooth transition of his own body from minimal to extreme speed is the result of targeted and long-term training aimed at feeling or perceiving his own movements. Simply put, it is a regulatory system that allows us to control the speed and frequency of movements of our body or its parts.

The ability to accelerate and decelerate safely, efficiently, (un)consciously is one of the keys to success in sports. The inability to regulate the speed of one's own body or its parts causes an early exhaustion of energy reserves, which the athlete often does not even notice. This results in rapid onset of fatigue of sensory systems and mental processes, prolongation of regeneration time, or frequent injuries.

2. Sensory systems


The second key factor is the specialization of sensory systems.


Each specialization in sport places specific demands on the level of development and cooperation - mutual communication - of sensory systems. It is therefore essential to clearly define their required/expected functionality and to set the right way of training them so that the communication of the sensory systems is effective. In this case, we are talking about a specific sensory training called neuroathletic training.


As an example, I will give the influence of the vestibular (equilibrium) system on other systems:


The athlete's ability to resist acceleration and deceleration for a long time depends on the functionality of the vestibular system on the left and right side of the head. Their cooperation primarily affects the athlete's stability in place and in motion. In addition, it significantly supports the function of the visual system, the regulation of muscle tension as well as mental processes such as memory and concentration.

The above systems can be negatively affected, for example, by a malfunction caused by an impact. The result will appear almost immediately in the form of a deterioration of the athlete's performance and, at the same time, an increased risk of injury. Neuroathletic training will help adjust the vestibular system so that its disruption in the event of an impact is minimized.

3. Mental processes

The third key factor is mental processes.

Elite athletes are not only united by a high degree of efficiency of movement expression and sensory systems, but also a high degree of efficiency of mental processes, which are necessary to achieve the desired goal during a match or competition.

It is the result of the specifically developed architecture of the brain centers and the neuronal network, which are the result of the formation of the demands of the specialization of the given sport. The state of alertness and mental stamina is directly dependent on the degree of efficiency of the sensory systems and movement expression, respectively. technical maturity of the athlete.

Findings from practice clearly confirm that the fatigue of the sensory systems leads to the deterioration of motor performance. In this state, it is not possible to ensure the full functioning of mental processes. Their result does not take long to show and almost always results in a decrease in sports performance.

One could simply say that our system runs on two circuits.

The first represents the brain centers that are responsible for processing information from the sensory organs.

The second circuit is made up of brain centers that process raw (unprocessed) sensory information in such a way that it can be used in a specific game situation. These calculation operations and the speed of their processing is the key to success! Our ability to predict depends on them.

Elite athletes often find themselves in a state of nirvana at critical moments of a game or match, when time seems to slow down for them. And in that short window of time, they make decisions that are unpredictable and unexpected for other players! Their ability to shoot from an angle that no one expected or to pass in a non-standard situation is the result of the perfectly built cooperation of all three systems.


Example from practice:

What unites hockey and tennis is a flying object - a ball or a puck. Receiving a flying object at the right time is primarily dependent on the functionality of the visual system.

The ability of the visual system to correctly evaluate the speed of a flying object allows the athlete to predict when the object will come close enough to hit him. This ability to predict improves with an increasing number of repetitions, i.e. repeated experience with a given situation (for the purposes of this example, I am abstracting from the possibility that the ability of the visual system could have been abnormally impaired in some way - for example, by a blow to the head, etc.). How effectively an athlete processes a flying ball or puck - i.e. hits the racket or hockey stick in the most ideal place - then depends on his technical maturity.

In practice, we can often watch the best of the best perform almost virtuoso performances in critical moments, when athletes can process a reception from a place they did not expect and still score a goal or get out of the defenders' closing.


In conclusion:

When the cooperation of all three key factors in an athlete is maximally played out, the athlete is determined and throws himself into critical situations or fights that he would otherwise not dare to enter. Confidence in knowing one's own body, knowing its possibilities and feeling invincible are the driving force for many elite athletes during sporting events. The more extreme the situation in which the athletes won, the more intense the experience, which strengthens them internally and significantly stimulates them hormonally. For them, this state of ecstasy becomes a drug that they repeatedly seek and are willing to risk everything for. In the end, those who don't risk don't win. At critical moments, athletes are selected for the elite and the others, win or lose. And functional training plays an important and irreplaceable role here.


I offer two types of functional training for children and adults:

1. Functional training for non-athletes and hobby athletes is determined

  • for all (non)athletes who inthey perform for example a sedentary job, they have problem walking up stairs bothers them decline in fitness and poor resistance to stress, have feeling that they the whole body begins to disintegrate and still something hurts and they decided to actively do something about it 

  • to all hobby athletes who are interested in moving and strengthening their body in the right way and thus prepare it for the next sports load such as recreational running or triathlon


2. Functional trainingfor professional athletes is intended for those professional athletes, who

  • are aware of the fact that performing a certain sports activity (or narrower specialization) results in a natural and continuous reconstruction of the human body in favor of this activity and that it is necessary to include compensatory-preventive exercises in the training process

  • are interested in including such a type movement preparation into your training process, move the quality of your movement to a higher level and thus gain significant advantages over your competition. 

In athletes the performance of a certain sports activity (or narrower specialization) results in the human body being exposed to a natural and continuous reconstruction in its favor. It is essential for the athlete, the parents of the young athlete and the coach to understand this specific adaptation. This knowledge plays a key role in managing the training process, from the choice of compensatory and preventive exercises to the construction and management of fitness training.

My functional training allows an individual to gain significant advantages over his competition. These are continuous, constantly evolving processes that take place on many levels simultaneously.

As an example, I present the following processes:

  • Knowledge of one's own body, which enables the athlete to perceive individual events during exercise

  • Learning a wide range of exercises from different areas of sports, which serve to enrich one's own movement expression

  • Choice of suitable exercises for different training situations / warm-up, stretching, compensatory exercises, mental training, fitness training and various other experimental parts of training/

  • Management of the training process, which includes the appropriate choice of sets, repetitions, load, intensity and other factors of the training process

  • The use of sensory systems in the training management process

  • Improvement of one's own movement expression technique

  • Control of emotions and the ability to use them at the right moment  

Benefits of functional training in younger athletes

  • Learning a varied composition of exercises from different areas of sport

  • Development of fitness, coordination and mental abilities

  • Ability to move efficiently while accepting current weight

  • The ability to improve one's own movement expression with a changing body composition

  • The ability to control and manage emotional expressions

Benefits of functional training in older athletes

  • Improvement of already mastered movements while using own, additional weight

  • Experimentation in discovering new movements, which is an indicator of a high level of movement fitness

  • More effective discovery of the shortcomings of one's own technology and their subsequent elimination

If you are interested in cooperation regarding the training of professional athletes, please do not hesitate to contact me.

How I built my own functional training concept: 

Functional training is an exercise system I've been building for the past 15 years. It is the period when I was intensively engaged in basketball, combat sports such as judo, taekwondo, various types of dances such as Latin, acrobatic rock and roll, ballroom dancing, water sports such as aquafitness, synchronized swimming, swimming, gymnastics, athletics, ashtanga yoga and inline skating.

I primarily created this system to deal with my own health complications that arose as a result specific adaptation to various sports activities. I enriched my rich practical experience from various sports with knowledge from courses focused on coaching and rehabilitation. It allowed me to perceive the movement of the human body from a different perspective. I mean understanding the specific adaptation of the human body to individual sports and their specializations, with which certain positives and negatives affecting the health of the athlete are connected.

By connecting knowledge from the world of coaching and rehabilitation, I managed to build a varied exercise system that enabled me to move more efficiently and better know the current limits of my own body. I consider it extremely important to discover weak points and gain knowledge on how to eliminate them and at the same time minimize the risk of injury.


The huge importance lies mainly in the independence of the management of the training process, which is based on a good knowledge of the exercise system. Choosing suitable exercises and their dosage in different training situations, such as warm-up, stretching, strengthening and prevention is a key factor for successful progress. Many exercises learned in childhood will allow adolescent athletes to smoothly transition to training with additional loads.

For the last 10 years, when I have been intensively engaged in coaching, I have had the opportunity to apply a large part of my functional training in practice. Thanks to working with children, adults and athletes, I was given the opportunity to improve this exercise system and adapt it even better to the needs of individual age and performance categories. In the case of athletes, purposefully adapt it to the specialization.

bottom of page