Last week I explained what cross-training is and why it’s beneficial. Today, I’m going to discuss how to get started and how to create your own cross-training program.
If you’re just starting a cross-training regimen, start slow and gradually build your strength and abilities. As your overall fitness level and abilities increase, you can step up the intensity of your workouts and try new activities that you may not have been ready for before. To start out, list 10 exercise activities or circuits to draw from any given week. Then, exercise 30–60 minutes a day, 5–6 days a week, choosing different exercises on your list (try not to do the same activity more than twice a week). After a few months, throw in some new exercises or activities. Tons of resources are available online that can help you come up with exercise ideas, effectively schedule your workouts, and ensure correct form.
Your greatest challenges may include being consistent (with nonconsistent exercises, of course) and being disciplined. To overcome these obstacles, find one or more workout partners. The larger your support group, the better. Even if you don’t always exercise with your partners, you’ll feel accountability and a motivation to complete your workouts. If you’re doing it alone, write down workout goals and keep a schedule. You may want to tally each workout you complete and reward yourself if you meet your goal(s) for the month. It’s important not to give up. We all slack a little sometimes, but don’t let a bad day turn into a bad week, and don’t let a bad week turn into a bad month. It may take you anywhere from 2 to 8 months to really form the habit of cross-training, but I promise you it’ll be worth it. If you stay in it for the long haul, you’ll be healthier, feel better, and have more energy. Expect more and live better. You can do it!
Example of a Good Cross-Training Schedule
If you’re just starting a cross-training program, your schedule may consist of walking for 30 minutes 3 times a week and doing stairs, strength training, yoga, cycling, and/or stretching on the other days. Remember to start with activities that match your current fitness level and then build slowly. My schedule usually looks something like this:
- Monday: 1 hour strength training / or swimming
- Tuesday 1 hour cardio and circuit training / or cycling / or trail running
- Wednesday 1 hour circuit training / or basketball / or tennis
- Thursday 1 hour cardio and strength training / or sprints / or mountain biking
- Friday 1 hour workout video (Insanity or P90X) / or running / or rest
- Saturday Wakeboarding and waterskiing / or mountain biking / or cycling
- Sunday Rest and recovery
Here’s an example of a cardio and circuit-training routine:
- 1 minute squat jacks
- 1 minute spider pushups
- 2 minutes run
- 1 minute flutter kicks
- 1 minute burpees
- 2 minutes run
- 1 minute lunge jumps
- 1 minute plank
- 2 minutes run
Repeat entire workout 2–3 times.
Important Reminders and Tips
- Go at your own pace.
- Don’t get discouraged.
- Push yourself, but be patient.
- Be consistent.
- Mix it up.
- Listen to your body.
- Eat a healthy diet.
Cross-Training for Life
Cross-training is the way to realize all the benefits of exercise. Cross-training dynamically strengthens the cardiovascular system, muscles, bones, and joints while reducing body fat and improving flexibility, agility, balance, and coordination. If you want to commit to a lifestyle full of health, vitality, and energy, commit to cross-training. Commit to fitness and nutrition. Commit to the Blendtec lifestyle.
More Cross-Training Exercise Ideas
- Push ups/sit ups/pull ups
- Free weights
- Gym machines
- Mountain biking
- Stair climbing
- Rope jumping
Strength and Flexibility:
- Circuit training
- Workout videos
- Skill conditioning
Which exercises do you plan to add to your regimen?