Home / General / The Benefits of Cross training for fitness & Weightloss

 

There is a lot of confusion around the term “cross training”. For many people it conjures images of intensive and seemingly crazy workouts you might see at the Crossfit games. Military like Spartan workouts that go on forever and require super human abilities just to survive for a few minutes.

While this type of training generally is crosstraining there is so much more to it. Cross training can be as simple as mixing two exercise disciplines into your training schedule.

If you are a keen cyclist you might consider adding squats or other resistance based exercise to your training to improve your overall performance.

Maybe running is your passion so adding glute exercises at the gym could help reduce injuries and improve your endurance.

Anything that can be considered complimentary to your training goal is a good idea. (Of course if you are unsure about any exercises or training types you should consult a Personal Trainer or Coach)

Cardio vs Resistance Training

If you exercise on a regular basis you have probably noticed that there tend to be two distinct camps.

People who like cardio, particularly runners who think any other training is a complete waste of time.

Vs

Weight lifters and gym goers who like to pump iron all day and consider cardio an unnecessary evil for people who are too weak to use weights.

So who is right? Well neither really, let me explain……

The truth is professional athletes in many sports use a combination of training to diversify their workouts and improve performance.

Examples of Cross training in sport

Take Sprinters for example. The run fast right! If you were asked how they train you would probably say they just run up and down all day until they get faster.

Of course they run a lot but a huge amount of their training takes place in the gym.

Explosive training like Plyometrics and Olympic weightlifting make up a large portion of the training schedule and give them that edge when it comes to acceleration off the start line.

Boxers need to be able to hit their opponent hard which of course requires strength and power. They often look like bodybuilders so it comes as no surprise that they spend a lot of time in the gym.

However if you have ever watched a Rocky movie you may also have noticed he runs a lot. So why is that? The simple answer is endurance and fat loss.

Boxers need to make weight so they need to drop as much body fat as they can. They also need to be able to stand the intensity in the ring, round after round. Running long distances builds their endurance and ability to last longer than the other guy.

How does this apply to me?

I can already hear you saying but hey I’m not an olympic sprinter or the heavy weight champion of the world. What has this got to do with my workouts.

Well the good news is you don’t need to be a pro athlete or have an entire coaching team to design a program for you.

Cross training can be as simple as hitting the gym and get started with the basics if you are a runner or even just adding bodyweight exercises like push ups, air squats and sit ups.

Even if you are not already a fan of one training type or the other and you just want to get started, loose some weight and improve your health & fitness cross training is the way to go.

Combining Cardio & Resistance training will allow you to burn more calories and getting more bang for your buck if you are stuck for time.

Jump on the Crosstrainer at the gym or get one to start your own home gym setup. Here’s a review of the Maxi climber as an example.

The bottom line

So there you have it. To put it simply by combining two or more training types into your schedule you will improve your health, Increase your fitness, drop body fat, improve your cardiovascular health and just feel better overall.

If you are training towards a goal it will help you run faster, run longer, jump higher, lift more or even fit into that pair of jeans you have been looking at longingly.

Choose your training types and get started today.

 

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