Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
October 1, 2017
With the autumn weather finally hitting the American Southwest, fitness levels will start improving during this time. While some people will engage in the awesome seasonal beers that start coming out at this time of year, other people will use the lower temperatures to really get the most out of their fitness. For me, I have a problem with this time of year because I love pumpkin based beers and can go a little crazy when I try them. I mean I went to a brewery last week and tried a Pumpkin Spice Porter…which was simply amazing and I could have downed a full growler of that stuff if I had wanted to. Fortunately I showed restraint. Anyway, this is good time of year for the athletically gifted society here in Arizona. With the temperatures dropping and the day getting darker much sooner, we can make the most of our fitness in the outdoors more than ever. This also lends to another idea to finally resurface….cross training. Not to be mistaken with Crossfit, this is essentially a rather nondescript type of working out. Now I’m sure you have always wondered what those cross training shoes are meant for when you go to the store and start looking at the fall shoe sales. If anything, cross training is a great way to expand your horizons into other sports. https://www.runnersworld.com/cross-training Truthfully, the very concept of cross training is quite expansive, because there really is no method to the madness. Essentially, you can combine the discipline of other sports and morph them into one big hodge podge of athletic training.
Now there is two approaches when it comes to the whole cross training idea. The first one is pretty simple….training in multiple disciplines in one workout. This is the primary form of working out that I typically engage in, and there is a reason for this. Parsons Training really loves working your whole body! There are some days where I will go and do a “bro” workout and strictly do heavy workouts, there are also a lot of days where I will mix it up. Here is one idea you can engage in. Do a progression for your snatch (olympic weight lifting), then do some TRX training with your arms and body and then finish it up with some tabatas on the treadmill (10 seconds of rest, 30 seconds of running for the uninitiated). You have three different disciplines in one workout, and they will all provide good workout for you. You can either focus on one group at a time or do each group in a circuit style workout. It doesn’t matter how you do it, for the important thing is to work your body across those disciplines and completely get your body moving in different ways. Some stranger minds used to call this sort of thing “muscle confusion” but the reality is you are just working different muscle groups in one session. While this is the primary form of cross training when it comes to the term, there is another side of the coin that few people really talk about. Cross training can also mean engaging in multiple sports to help out your primary sport. https://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/16-cross-training-activities-to-try/slide/2 The most talked about crossover is the obvious…running and weight lifting. One of the biggest misconceptions is the idea these two disciplines cannot really crossover. Unless you are looking to become the best long distance runner in the world or the most buffed out monster on the body building circuit, engaging in both disciplines will aid you in the overall health of your body. Let’s start with the weight lifting. No matter what website you go to, any reputable weightlifting website will begrudgingly state that you nee to get some cardio into your routine every week. Usually they state you should devote 20-30 minutes three times a week to make your weight lifting effective, but that number really depends on what your overall goals will be. If you want to be much more cut and buff, that might be a good idea to stick with. If triathlons are in your future, leaning more toward the running aspect will be a bigger benefit. If that is your goal, don’t think for a second that skipping the squats and butterflies will mean you are better runner. One thing that is necessary to becoming a better runner is the fact the world is not a perfectly paved flat road. Sometimes you will get inclines and declines, and having some musculature to take on those situations will be helpful. Going uphill will require some stronger calves and ankles as you dig forward to push yourself forward. Even decline running needs some extra work, for your quads and glutes will need some extra strength due to the force absorption they will take when going downhill. Engaging in training methods that will aid you in both disciplines are essential to the performance within each. Better cardio will give you added ability to pump out those extra reps duet increased lung capacity. Strength training means you can maintain better stamina with your legs and allow you to conquer the track when you hit that wall. It’s a symbiotic relationship so to speak, but that is not the only ay you can really take advantage of the cross training world. If you want to be a good runner you can engage in sports that will force you to work stamina, much like soccer or basketball. Truthfully, there is more than one way to improve your times. Olympic training and TRX Suspension training would be a form of cross training for your strength needs. Heck, combat sports like wrestling and boxing might be good for both strength and cardio.
Needless to say, there is a lot of ways to get the most out of your training. This is the reason why a lot of people are speaking out against people that force young adults into specializing in a single sport rather than allow them to participate in other sports. I have seen how this works in the real world due to my days asa sports writer. One football coach noticed his players reflexes were much better when they played volleyball in the spring. Some soccer coaches even encouraged their players to run track in the spring to not only stay in shape but also improve their speed since the sport relies so much on short bursts of acceleration. Just because you are really good in one sport does not mean you should stop participating in others. If anything, that is the foundation of all cross training.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.