Cross training is one of the most popular training systems these days and for good reason. This allows you to train all the muscle systems in your body so you can achieve total body fitness and increased endurance. However, it also comes with a couple of risks, and you need to consider the pros and cons of cross training. Here are some of the pros and cons of cross training:
Pros of Cross Training:
- Enhances overall fitness – If you are constantly training for a single sport, you will only be working the same groups of muscles all the time. For instance, if you are constantly training with heavy weights, you may lack flexibility and endurance. Cross training allows you to train in other disciplines so you will have better overall fitness.
- Decreases the risk of injuries – Because you are training various muscles when you cross train, it decreases the likelihood of stress-related injuries. Giving the usual muscle groups that you train a break will also give them more time to recover and get stronger.
- Keeps workouts fresh and exciting – Cross training offers an almost unlimited variety of workout options. For instance, if you are aiming to work out at least three times a week, you can run, use an elliptical machine, and swim laps for one week. You can then use a treadmill, spin cycle, and do bodyweight exercises the following week. This keeps your workouts fresh and exciting, thereby making you look forward to working out.
- Enhances flexibility and improves heart health – There are only a few workout disciplines that work on the individual’s flexibility, so you can cross train using exercises that improve it, like yoga. Moreover, if your current workout regimen does not include any cardio, you can add running or cycling into your training menu to strengthen your heart and lungs.
- More reliable weight loss results – Numerous medical studies showed that it is easier to lose weight when you do moderate to intense workouts for thirty minutes at a time. As long as you can raise your heart rate to at least 60% of your maximal rate, then you can lose a lot of weight in a relatively shorter period compared to other workouts.
Cons of Cross Training:
- Takes up more time – If you are training for one particular sport, then you will need to set aside additional time for cross training aside from the time you spend on your regular workouts. On the other hand, if you will only be doing cross training just for personal fitness, you will not have this problem.
- Additional costs – Because you will be doing other exercises aside from the ones that you usually do, you may need to invest in additional machines and equipment. For instance, if you only used to run every day, you have to purchase a set of free weights to work on your upper body strength.
As you can see, although cross training still has a couple of drawbacks, they can still be considered minor ones. If you want to reach your optimum fitness, achieve your target weight, or any other health goals, you can use cross training to attain them all.