If you’re like me, doing the same exercise routine time after time can become boring. I have also noticed that my fitness tends to plateau, and the gains are not as good as they were to start with. The reason for this is that the human body adapts, and to achieve further increases in fitness levels, it needs to be pushed further, and in different ways. Cross training is a great way to achieve this.
Cross training involves using a variety of workout routines, and it isn’t focused on one particular exercise, or sport, but gives an overall improvement in fitness, that you may not get from doing only one workout type. The variety of the workouts is what I find to be the biggest benefit, as it means that I am likely to continue to include exercise in my lifestyle. It can be included in workouts, or across workouts. A couple of examples are probably best to show what I mean.
Some examples of cross training within a workout are:
- A 2 k run to a pool at an easy pace, stopping about every 2 minutes and doing pushups. Once at the pool, swim laps in any stroke you’re comfortable with, and then do the same run and pushup routine on the way back.
- A 2 k run to warm up, then find a suitable hill. From here, do a series of circuits that include running up the hill, then do situps, jog down to the bottom, do pushups and then run up to the top again. Repeat this as many times as your fitness allows.
- A 2 k run to a gym at an easy pace, do upper and lower body weights exercises for 30 minutes or so, then do the same 2 k run back.
Cross training across workouts means your workouts are varied, but each workout consists of only one activity. Some examples of cross training across workouts over the period of one week would be:
- Run 5 k’s at an easy pace.
- Swim laps of a pool in a stroke you’re comfortable with.
- Do a weights session.
- Do an interval session.
I found both types extremely useful, and you can even mix the 2 types to give even more variety and fitness gains. The workout options are only limited by your imagination. There are lots of other examples I can give, but that is probably best done another time.
Best of luck with your fitness.