The Benefits of Cross Training

Cross-training is when an individual engages in different types of fitness activity to supplement their overall performance.

Let’s take a runner for example, who is training for a marathon. There is only so much running they are going to do before they need to start incorporating different training disciplines to help boost their performance and overall time.

They may look at utilising weights to help build their power and strength in the gym, or take part in a Pilates class to help strengthen their core, or even start Swimming to help with recovery and be able to continue to build their fitness levels in an environment that doesn’t create impact on their joints. All these different forms of training will ultimately improve their overall running time, which running alone would not be able to achieve.

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine encourages cross-training, saying it can provide a ‘’total body tune-up’’ something you won’t get if you just do one type of activity.

The Verdict

A recent study by Norwegian researchers confirmed that weight lifting could increase performance by improving a runner’s efficiency and the length of time they could run before getting exhausted.

Investigators in this study determined that weight lifting may train supporting muscle fibres in the legs, allowing runners or cyclists to use them to supplement muscle that get tired.

Other studies confirm that building muscle can provide support for your joints and flexibility exercises can prevent stiffness or injury.  Low-impact cross training activities, like bike riding and swimming, can also provide health benefits without putting more stress on your joints.

What’s recommended?

The NHS advises that adults should try to be active daily and aim for:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (or 75 minutes of vigorous activity) every week
  • Strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

We can help.

We offer over 60+ classes a week including Indoor Cycling, TRX Suspension Training, Yoga, and Body Balance.  Why not try some strength training in our dedicated weights area or for the ladies join one of our Women’s Weight Sessions. Finish it all off with a swim in our 25m pool and then finally relax in our sauna.

Maybe you don’t feel confident in the Gym (so many machines!).  Why not book a free review session with one our fitness instructors and get a personalised programme set up.