What is cross training? It’s doing a variety of workout disciplines either over one workout or over the course of several of your workouts.
There are generally 3 disciplines: aerobic, resistance training, and stretching. A solid cross training regimen includes all three to some degree.
Let me illustrate with an example. A cross training regimen over the course of one workout might look like:
Workout: 20 minutes jogging, 20 minutes weight training, and 20 minutes stretching.
Another way to do cross training is splitting up the disciplines over the course of several workouts – an example would look like as follows:
Day 1: 50 minute run.
Day 2: 25 minutes weight lifting and 35 minutes of core work.
Day 3: 25 minutes on a stationary bike and 35 minutes stretching.
Day 4: 35 minutes using a rower concluding with 30 minutes stretching.
Benefits of cross training:
1. Get some variety in your workouts. Doing the same workout over and over gets stale.
2. Getting in peak shape and being a peak performer is more likely if you do cross training so you condition your entire body – all muscles and systems. Cross training does this.
3. Reduce the chance of over training because you can rest one area after doing a workout, but still get a workout in by doing different exercises. For example, if you run 1 hour one day, you don’t necessarily want to run 1 hour the next day. However, the next day you could do a weight training workout.
4. Have fun learning new skills that may benefit your primary workout activity. For example, weight training can make you stronger for running.
Another way to cross train is what I call micro-cross training – which is doing different activities within a discipline. For example, if you’re an endurance runner, try mixing up your running routines with intervals or sprints.
Cross training is a fun way to workout – that’s the biggest benefit for me. The fact it can improve your primary discipline or all other workouts, that’s a huge bonus.
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