Ironcult » Training » Cross Training

Cross Training

  • By Vishwa on Training

  • October 20, 2009

“Cross training refers to training in different ways to improve overall performance. It takes advantage of the particular effectiveness of each training methods, while at the same time attempting to neglect the shortcomings of that method by combining it with other methods that address its weaknesses.” Wikepedia further adds “cross-training in sports and fitness refers to the combining of exercises to work various parts of the body. Often one particular activity works certain muscle groups, but not others, cross-training aims to eliminate this. Running for example is excellent for endurance, and prolonged use of large muscle groups in the legs. A runner may lift weighs in order to build muscle and increase upper body strength, things that running cannot provide.”

We see from the above definition that cross training means integrating several methods of exercises. You may ask me, why can’t I religiously follow some exercise pattern such as hitting the gym? I agree with that notion, as some of them would love to lift weights, and some would like to run and some would love to involve in some other method of physical activity. One thing which is common among all individuals who involve in some or other form of exercise in their daily routine suggests that they all would have involved in some kind of sport early in their lives and that would have subsequently prompted them to continue with any form of physical activity in the later stages of their lives. For example, I was passionately involved in various sports activities like kho kho, badminton, table tennis, and running which inflamed me to be physically active all my life, and I choose to lift weights to stay fit and healthy. But what about the majority of them who don’t like to exercise? Who cannot religiously follow a set pattern?
Write your own rules.
Be your own coach; Write the rules; create your own regime. There are numerous avenues to lookout for and create a suitable program. For example:
Monday’s-gym
Tuesday’s- swimming,
Wednesday’s- outdoor activity (go to a local ground, jog and perform high intense interval sprints),
Thursday’s- gym again,
Friday- bicycling,
Saturday- a long walk or any group game.
The above written workout is a sample routine. One can tune them to their needs. For example we could hit the gym thrice in a week, swim twice in week, and the sixth day we could run. There are numerous possibilities which means that we have various tools at our disposal. But more importantly what we need is to have the right mindset to work out on a regular basis. Moreover, involving in such varied activities doesn’t allow any place for boredom, and we can look forward to the following activity with genuine interest. And there are immense possibilities to improve on ourselves when it comes to reviving our workouts. For example, we could try to lift more weights in the gym, strive to swim faster than before, bicycle longer distances at the same time span etc.

I know that we all would always like to sit back and relax all the while. But as Voltaire, French revolutionary writer, had said, “Indolence is sweet and its consequences bitter.” What Voltaire meant was that we could sit around all the day lazily, but at the same time we should also be prepared to confront multitudinous forms of illnesses. Augmenting the above statement by Voltaire I would love to quote Adelle Davis (American Pioneer in the field of nutrition): She says, “As I see it, every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself.” So we see that Physical activity is a must for us. Human body is designed to perform various activities. So, we should strive to take advantage of being physical fit and enjoy supreme health. As the confidence the individual carries who is physically active is tremendous. Moreover, it doesn’t take more than hour’s of physical activity everyday to stay fit. There is one rule of thumb though; the workout which we perform has to be intense enough to yield positive benefits. Last but not the least, the physical activity performed should be strengthened by a well balanced diet. Again it is not necessary to make our diets cumbersome but treat the act of eating lightly. I personally don’t count my calories, as eating becomes very tedious which would result in disliking our meals. A well balanced diet would mean adequate amount of proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Importantly, splitting our three square meals to five or six smaller meals would serve us better to include all the above nutrients in our diet and it would also help to stabilize our blood sugar levels in a much better way. In addition, it will serve us undoubtedly well if we abstain from junk food, alcohol, and cigarette smoking.

Above all, strength training invariably underpins whatever approach we consider to perform on a daily basis. I emphatically state this for the very well known benefits we can gain from weight training. So, other forms of exercises like running, swimming, an hour’s play of a game such as football, basketball should complement strength training; importantly,  strength training has the innate ability to address the weaknesses which we come across when we perform other form of exercises.
PS: We at Ironcult have involved running and various other strongman workouts on every Friday’s like tyre flipping, sledge dragging, yoke walk, sledge hammer, and various sand bag workouts. I am also encouraging my clients in the gym for regular bicycle outings on Sunday’s. What I am suggesting that is I have been trying to bring in a cross training approach in my gym. Why so? An individual’s chances of continuing in this varied form of physical activity are much better than just performing anyone activity. Also, as stated above, human body is designed to perform various activities, so why should we constrain ourselves? After all, variety is the spice of life. Embrace fitness as a daily ritual and execute various modes of exercises. And believe me; you will never regret treading the fitness path.

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