How varied is your weekly workout schedule? Mine includes walking the dog, a one-hour session with my personal trainer and teaching fitness classes: interval training with weights and indoor cycling.
Somewhere in there I should be fitting in yoga, as well. Doing so would round out my cross training routine nicely. Cross training means working out in a few different ways so your body and mind don’t get too familiar with doing the same-old-same-old. Keeping yourself challenged, basically.
Cross training is not a new concept, but it’s still strongly tied to current trends in the fitness industry. Here are three popular fitness modes that score big points in the cross training department.
TRX Suspension Training: Hands down, suspension training has got to be one of the best cross training trends out there. One reason is because you can move your body in a unique way compared to other, more traditional forms of exercise.
Plus, with suspension training, you can put a whole new spin on “traditional” exercise. For example, today my trainer had me doing biceps concentration curls using just the TRX. And try doing an abdominal plank with one leg suspended in the TRX and the other lifted into the air. Ouch. But good.
Personal Training: Have I mentioned my personal trainer yet? Hiring Colin Westerman of F.I.T. Traininghas been one of the best things I could have done for my cross training quota. Even though I’m a fitness professional, I sometimes get stuck in a rut doing the exercises I like best.
Colin blows those ruts out of the water, pushing me to try new exercises or slightly different versions of my favorite moves. It goes to show that anyone can benefit from the cross training benefits of a personal trainer, whether you’re just starting out or already a fitness fanatic.
Interval Training: Interval training is about going hard for a short bout, like 20, 30 or 60 seconds, then taking it easy for about the same amount of time. Then repeat.
There’s one really good reason why interval training helps boost cross training: It’s hard, and so it makes sense to do it for a shorter amount of time than other cardio styles, like a long, slow run or bike ride, for instance.
Let’s say you have an hour to work out. You could do interval training for half that time (that includes the warm-up) and reserve the rest of your time for weight training or yoga or stretching (or all of the above). Cross training accomplished? Check.
Have you tried any of these approaches? How do you fit cross training into your weekly workout plan?