Thinking about fitness, there are lots of different activities you can get involved in. In Canada, there is yoga, weightlifting, powerlifting, Zumba, cross-fit, and the list keeps going and going. It can be hard to make a choice and choose the right one. But there is one form of training in particular that can be great for everyone and provides a lot of great benefits.

It’s cross-training. Cross-training combines a lot of different movements from lifting weights, cardio exercises and mobility. It can be a great all-around program that is perfect for beginners. Even depending on your fitness goals cross-training can match them perfectly so you can get a good workout in and start reaching your goals.

Cross-training combines multiple areas of fitness.
Cross-training combines multiple areas of fitness. Source: Fran Van Heerden, Pexels
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What is Cross-Training?

Cross-training is combining different exercises. For instance, if you were a runner, your program would be based around running. You would be trying to increase your cardiovascular fitness. On the other hand, if you were a weight lifter you would be lifting weights and your program would be around increasing muscle and strength. Both of these can provide efficiency, but you can start to lack in other areas. Cross-training is combining the two methods, most commonly weightlifting and cardiovascular. Cross-training programs will incorporate functionality training as well, to keep you healthy.

Cross-Training allows you to improve your overall fitness. A certain level of cross-training should be in your program regardless. For instance, beginners starting may want to increase muscle mass and not perform any cardio, but they would be providing a disservice to themselves. By increasing their cardiovascular fitness there body is going to be able to pump blood more efficiently, which means when lifting weights they’ll be better adapted for the stressors.

Cross-training is even important if you focus on other cardio activities. If you're following a running program you should be using strength training to assist you. By strength-training, you're going to be strengthening your joints and tendons allowing your body to handle the impacts of running. Your legs are also going to have more power from strength training, allowing you to run faster.

Beginners can easily make this mistake and become one side in their training. If you are following another routine, besides cross-training you should be still using some of the methods of cross-training. There are cross-training programs out there that focus on these concepts, but cross-training is more commonly used one you have one goal in mind and you train in different ways to meet those goals as we mentioned above.

Cross-training can help keep your workouts fresh and fun!
Cross-training can help keep your workouts fresh and fun! Source: Ivan Samkov, Pexels

How Do You Start Cross-training?

Cross-training is great for beginners starting. It focuses on overall health or improving performance, so it can relate to anyone's fitness goals starting out. A lot of beginners can overthink training which can create a fear of starting. After you've met the requirements we'll talk about down below you just have to start. Working out doesn't have to be complicated and cross-training doesn't have to be complicated. Taking actionable steps forward will result in progress. There are going to be a few different ways you can approach cross-training. We’ll talk about all the different ways down below.

Goals

Beginners starting cross-training need to have a goal. This has to be step one. You need to ask yourself why? Having a goal will allow you to have a program that relates to your goal. Your goal could be wanting to run further, get stronger, build muscle or anything else. You just need to have goals.

Equipment

After having a goal, the next part is to think about the equipment you want to use. Thinking about the equipment will help with your program. You can reach your fitness goals with any equipment. If you want to use weights, use weights or if you want to just use your bodyweight, then use your bodyweight. Equipment can help aid you in your cross-training, but that shouldn't be an obstacle in your training.

Space

Space is going to mean a few different things depending on the equipment you're going to be using. If you are using equipment, you’ll most likely be in a gym. On the other hand, if you're using no equipment or you have a home gym you’ll be at home. Working out at home is possible, but it does have its challenges.

There are a few things you need to consider. The first one is space. You need to have ample room for working out. A good rule of thumb is if you have to think about hitting something you probably need more space. Another consideration to working out at home is distractions. You’ll have distractions from your kids, spouse, animals, or even just thinking about things around the house. You need to have a time where you can be free of distractions and limit those unwanted thoughts. Working out at home does have its challenges, but if you’re dedicated enough it's possible.

If you're working out at home make sure you have lots of open space.
If you're working out at home make sure you have lots of open space. Source: Gleb Krasnoborow, Pexels

Program

Beginners are going to be tasked with finding a program. You're going to want your program to match your goals, equipment and space requirements. There is lots of information online about creating a good cross-training program, there are also programs online that you can find based on your requirements. It will be more beneficial to hire a personal trainer. Your personal trainer will have years of experience to create a program based on your needs. This is one of the issues with finding programs online. Your trainer will also hold you accountable and keep you safe. They will be there with you every step of the way.

Superprof has 100s of personal trainers all across Canada that are ready to help you. They have the experience and knowledge to create a program that’s right for you. They’ll also be able to help you stick with your program. Superprof also offers lessons online and in-person giving you the freedom and flexibility to train when you want to train.

Start Cross-Training

One of the biggest obstacles beginners face is starting. They can often overthink about training too much and never start. Once you have the requirements met it's time to jump in and start training. If you are worried about how to get started or even training in general it's always beneficial to hire a personal trainer. They'll have the experience and knowledge to keep you safe and healthy in the gym. Your trainer can also be like a cheat sheet for reaching your goals. They will be with you every step of the way.

Cross-training can be a lot of fun and offers a lot of benefits for anyone looking to start working out. It incorporates a lot of things most beginners miss when first starting to train. You'll have better overall fitness by starting with a cross-training program.  Our last point for beginners starting out is to stay consistent. Fitness and healthy living are all about consistency. Having more good days than bad days will yield results. Even if you miss a workout or have a bad meal, just get back on track. Consistency is one of the most important things in training.

Start cross-training today!

Cross-training can be a massive subject to learn about. We have written numerous articles exploring cross-training. Check out the articles below to learn more about cross-training in Canada.

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Chester

You can usually find me writing at a cafe sipping on coffee or working out at the gym. I fell in love with writing a few years ago and have never looked back. I love being able to share my words with the world.