Fitness is inevitably prevalent around us. We see commercials or ads for all sorts of fitness programs from yoga, Zumba, cross-training, weightlifting, bodybuilding and the list goes on and on. So how do you choose the right fitness program? It’s all going to come down to your goals, but if you're looking for an overall balance of health and fitness we recommended cross-training.
Cross-training involves training multiple fitness disciplines. For instance, a bodybuilder will primarily train in building muscle, and incorporate cardio for added benefits, which will touch on below. CrossFit follows the same principles as cross-training. Whether you’re into CrossFit or incorporate cross-training into your program you’ll notice improvements.
The Benefits of Cross-Training
Cross-training is focused on training multiple disciplines. There have been numerous studies noting we need to be efficient at several things for health, injury prevention and so many other reasons. Training in one discipline will increase your likelihood of injury. This isn’t to say you can't train one discipline, but at the very least you should incorporate the principles of cross-training. Here are some of the benefits of cross-training.
Injury Prevention - Crossin-training means your going to be training different exercises hitting different muscle groups. This will help people avoid repetition stress on their joints. They’ll be able to correct imbalances and strengthen different muscle groups.
Improved Performance - Improving performance is one of the main reasons cross-training should be used. For instance, a sprinter can perform better at their sport by strength training and running. It’s not as effective to just practice running.
Fresh Workouts - Performing the same workouts day in and day out can become repetitive. Adding different forms of training will help you train safely, but you’ll also find more enjoyment in your workouts. It can be fun to try new things.
Are CrossFit and Cross-Training The Same?
The line can be blurry when describing the two, but they can be seen as the same. CrossFit on its own is a trademark strength and conditioning program. CrossFit workouts will train multiple different areas, which relates it to cross-training principles. CrossFit is also a community. CrossFit gyms offer a community place to workout out. It's a great place to meet like-minded individuals that share the same passion. CrossFit has its own culture. Cross-training is a term that is primarily used around athletes to help them boost performance in their sport.
However, everyone can follow cross-training principles to improve their performance to see results. CrossFit by itself is its own training style and cross-training is used as an add-on, which is the best way to put it. The two are very similar since they share the same ideas. Regardless of what you choose between cross-training and CrossFit, you’ll be able to see multiple improvements.
Is CrossFit Dangerous?
For those considering CrossFit, there is a big misconception around CrossFit being dangerous. This is a huge misconception. Any fitness program is dangerous if done incorrectly, that goes for anything. By performing CrossFit you're likely to get injured if you're performing moves incorrectly or working past your limits. The same can happen from a regular strength training program. You need to be safe. Here a few tips to keep your CrossFit training simple.
Focus on Form - Form should be number 1 in the gym and that goes along with safety. You need to keep yourself safe. Having good form will ensure your body can handle the exercises and use all the right joints and muscles. CrossFit is tiring and your form will start to break down. It’s important to maintain good form regardless of it you got tired. You’ll need to lower the weights or reps if you're unable to maintain form.
Overworking - Beginners in CrossFit can sometimes try to stick it out. They’ll work out alongside other CrossFit individuals who have been doing it for a while. You’ll try to keep up and your body won't be able to handle it. Work in your own zone and focus on yourself. Pushing yourself over your limit is never a good idea. There is a difference between pushing yourself and going overboard.
Listen to your body - Our bodies will usually tell us something before we get injured or something bad happens. If your arms are sore or your shoulder is sore, it’s not always ideal to push through the pain. If you're feeling unwell or hurt, it may a good time to take a day off.
Always consult a professional before stringing any new training program.
How to Start Cross-Training or CrossFit?
As we mentioned above a good training program should incorporate cross-training principles. It can be very easy to add cross-training to your program. You can easily add it in if you're missing it from your routine. Understanding your primary goal will help you take the steps needed to use cross-training principles. For beginners starting into cross-training, there are lots of different programs online that are good to start with. They can safely get started in the gym.
To get started with CrossFit check out your local CrossFit gym. They usually offer a free class to try them out, sometimes they offer a free week as well. It gives you a chance to try it out before making that cost commitment. Joining a CrossFit gym can be a good way to have accountability and work out with other people. It's a community that welcomes and encourages everyone.
You can always hire a personal trainer to start cross-training or CrossFit. A personal trainer will have years of experience and know the best practices to keep you safe and have you reaching your fitness goals. Superprof has 100s of personal trainers across Canada that are ready to work with you. They have the experience and knowledge to train you in the best way possible. Superprof also offers sessions online and in-person giving you the freedom and flexibility to train when you want to train.
The amount of fitness programs or styles of workouts that are popular in Canada is a long list. Cross-training and Crossfit can tailor to everyone and help them reach their fitness goals. You just have to make that first step and start training. If you are unsure you can always work with a personal trainer. They can be like a cheat sheet for reaching your fitness goals. They will be with you every step of the way from start to finish.
Cross-training offers a lot of benefits and is perfect for anyone looking to try something new. It also a great way to improve performance, stay healthy and keep your workouts fresh. If you are interested in trying a CrossFit gym remember to check out a local one in your area. Most we'll offer a free workout. It gives you a chance to try it out before making the cost commitment. You just have to get out there and start trying. You can only read about cross-training so much before you have to try it out yourself. If you are worried about starting you can always find a personal trainer near you or work with a personal trainer on Superprof.
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.