We've all been bombarded with the need for our exercise programmes to be 'functional' haven't we? But what are your specific goals? If your goals include shaping/developing muscles then be wary of programmes which are entirely based on standing ('ground based') cable exercises. Some recent evidence from the University of Massachusetts showed that we are limited in some of these standing cable-based exercises to a maximum of 40% of our body weight. For many of you, even if you've only recently started or resumed your strength programmes, you will find this load insufficient to effectively stimulate muscular development.
What happens in this instance is you may simply told to do even more reps - but this significantly alters the physiological outcome. If your goal really is muscular shaping/ development you want to reach that point of 'overload' within approximately 45 seconds. That will often require loads in excess of 40% body weight in standing cable-based exercises. If you can train for longer than 45 seconds you will need to do increase the support during the exercise so that you can really target the working muscles in a more appropriate time scale. There is a variety of ways to do this - not least of which is a bench or pad (!). Traditional stabilized training didn't become ineffective overnight. Consider adding stability into your exercises, watch the loads you're using increase and feel the results for yourself...
International Director of Education and Training