So what’s all the fuss about? Well, cross training tries to fit a very demanding workout session in a very short time span. It’s the intense mix of Olympic-like lifts, interval training of aerobics, gymnastics and body weight exercises, all in one class. The reason why it’s so popular is because it forges a bond of camaraderie. You’re no longer working out on your own; you have fellow athletes to motivate you when you feel you can’t go any further. Cross training centers around healthy eating habits, ethical competition and a sense of community. It’s true, cross training stands between being increasingly popular yet not mainstream which is why some go as far as to call it a cult.
So what’s the problem? Well, many claim that cross training is actually too demanding and that it pushes people way over their limits, thus dramatically increasing their risk of injury. It seems to be too extreme and hardcore for some. However, these people miss the core concept behind cross training: by training better, eating better and competing better, you become a better person. It’s a workout that’s all about pushing your boundaries, most of them mental rather than physical. And just like any other exercise, with a good coach and a good technique, the risk of injuries is minimal. Of course, training gear such as knee wraps or wrist support gripper gloves also go a long way to do the same.
What kind of injuries are we talking about? Again, under the guidance of a good coach, the incidence of injury should be low. However, if you push yourself too fast and too soon, like in any other exercises, injuries will occur. I’m not talking about incidents that require hospitalization as those are indeed rare. Most people who are into cross training simply deal with a lot of joint or muscle soreness, sometimes suffer from loss of appetite and sleep and often tear calluses. It all boils down to a bit of common sense: stick to the things you are comfortable with, listen to your body and don’t push yourself if you think it’s not safe. Much like any other workout, a good attitude and a clean technique will take you a long way.
All things considered, much like any other form of exercise, cross training entails certain risks. And it is recommended you discuss it with your doctor before you enroll in any classes (just like you would if you were to join any other demanding physical activity). So if you enjoy being active three to four times a week and you enjoy challenging workouts that are never the same, then cross training might just be the right fit for you. Just remember to visit your doctor beforehand and stay safe by using lifting gloves with wrist support and knee wraps for compression. The great combo between cardio and weight training that cross training offers along with the sense of camaraderie will certainly keep you motivated and fit!