Cross-training is a fairly new term in the fitness industry, but it has been around for years. Cross-training is essential in performing different exercises that have different goals. For instance, a bodybuilder that is focused on building muscle will primarily stick with exercises that relate to their goal. Without knowing the benefits of cross-training, some may think performing cardio as a bodybuilder would have an adverse effect, but scientists have proven this to be wrong. It can be beneficial to perform cardio and train for bodybuilding at the same time. This is one of the many benefits of cross-training. It has a lot of different uses and should be incorporated into everyone's program whether there following a program for a certain goal or working with a cross-training program.
There are 100s of different workout styles. Things like boxing, yoga, Zumba, weight lifting, callisthenics and so many other workouts are out there. Every workout has its own benefits and reasons for performing the workouts. Cross-training doesn't have to replace any of these workouts and the most efficient training programs you’re following all have cross-training incorporated into the program. If your program doesn’t incorporate cross-training you're missing out on the benefits.
Why is Cross-Training Effective?
Cross-training can be something that should be used in every program. It is a perfect training tool for becoming better all around, but why is cross-training so effective? If we look at fitness's main goal and why most people choose to workout at its core is to be healthy. It’s healthier for our bodies to move and get better at physical fitness. The other benefits of working out are building muscle, strength, and losing weight. A lot of people can make the mistake when training to focus on one thing, but in reality, that is not the route to take.
For example, if someone was to only train on lifting weights. Yes, they would be strong and have muscle, but what about other benefits. They would have a poor cardiovascular system and would be inflexible. Going back to our health goal, they would have trouble running down the block or even going up a flight of stairs. Now, if we look at cross-training, let’s say someone focuses on weight lifting, but they use cross-training in their program they would be strong, have muscles, be good at cardio and be flexible. They’ll have better overall fitness.
Of course, the question then becomes what if you don't care about improving in other areas? This is where the other benefits of cross-training are important to know. Sticking with our bodybuilder example, performing cardio helps them improve their weightlifting. Training your cardiovascular system is important for your heart. It strengthens your heart and makes your body more efficient at pumping blood. The bodybuilder that trains cardio as well will be able to train harder because their body can handle it. They’ll be able to be less tried during their weightlifting sessions. In general, their bodies would be able to lift more efficiently.
Cross-training will have the same effect on the opposite. Someone that focuses solely on running, won't be as strong and have low muscle mass. Now, looking at someone that cross-trains the runner that incorporates lifting into their program will have more power in their legs and have stronger joints and tendons. The runner that cross-trains will be more powerful and safer than someone that doesn't.
Is Cross-Training its Own Program?
Cross-Training is typically used to assist people in their programs as we mentioned above, but some programs focus solely on cross-training. A cross-training program's goals will behave overall fitness. They will train strength, cardio, flexibility, functionality and build muscle. If your goal is to focus on overall health and fitness cross-training can the right training program.
Cross-training programs can look very different depending on your trainer. Some workouts will involve all these aspects while others will have days dedicated to the training. For those of you that worry about focusing on multiple goals fitness, it’s important to note you’ll still see benefits. By training all these different areas such as strength, cardio and functionality you’ll be able to improve. The exception becomes if your a bodybuilder or runner you want your program to relate to your overall goals. You can use methods from cross-training to assist in your program. For those that want general improvements in their fitness cross-training can be an effective program.
Benefits of Hiring a Personal Trainer
Looking at cross-training can either be interesting or boring for someone interested in fitness. For those of you that are disinterested in learning about the scientific principles that go into a workout, you can always hire a personal trainer.
A personal trainer can take care of everything, you just have to show up and put in the work. The more you know about training the better results you can expect. Training just to train isn't always the best step forward. Even if you are interested in different training methods like cross-training you can still experience a lot of benefits from a personal trainer.
Accountability - Cross-training is going to require consistency to see results. Your trainer will have dedicated time each week with you so you can stay on task.
Safe - A trainer can keep you safe during your cross-training program. They can help with form as well increase your workout intensity ina safe manner.
Individualized Program - There are lots of cross-training programs online, but having a program that's tailored to you will be the perfect option. It will be based on your strengths and weaknesses.
Superprof has 100s of personal trainers all across Canada that are ready to help you with cross-training. They have the experience and knowledge to teach you everything you need to know. Superprof also offers lessons online and in-person giving you the freedom and flexibility to train when you want to train. They've worked with so many people now, it's your turn.
Is Cross-Training Right For You?
Cross-training should be used in every program. There are a few exceptions, but for the average person, you should be having a main goal of health. This means you're strong, flexible and have a good cardiovascular system. You'll have better overall health training using the cross-training programs. Plus you'll be able to improve performance, stay injury-free and keep your workouts fresh.
You just need to make that step forward and start training. If you are worried about starting, hiring a trainer can be the right decision. They'll take care of everything from start to finish. Personal trainers have years of experience and knowledge to help you reach your fitness goals. They can also help you incorporate cross-training into your workout plan. Find a personal trainer near you or work with one on Superprof. Most trainers on Superprof offer the first session for free. This gives you a chance to try out the session before making that cost commitment.
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.