For my first article I really want to focus on the basic core concept and benefits of cross-training instead of highlighting various exercises or routines (though all of my articles will have a routine included in for your exercising pleasure). So first, what is cross-training?
Cross-training is what happens when you combine exercise disciplines in a single workout; it is the combination of exercises from different fitness disciplines in order to train the body in as many ways as possible with the most efficient exercises. An example of this could be combining gymnastics with powerlifting – doing some iron-cross work combined with clean and presses. Another example would be combining deadlifts with pull-ups. Cross-training’s main goal is the train the body as well as it can. No one could ever seriously suggest that someone who only does bodybuilding is in great shape. They would lack the degree of power, endurance, strength, and muscular endurance that someone training in those disciplines would have.
But I know what you all really want to know, and that is what are the benefits of cross-training? Well cross-training trains a users body in ways that a single exercise discipline just couldn’t do. If you focus on squatting, deadlifting, and benching – you’ll be able to move some heavy weights. It is unlikely, however, that you will be able to move your own body through space, e.g. pull-ups, dips, and handstand push-ups just to name a few. With cross-training, you will be able to build size, strength, power, speed, cardiovascular endurance, and muscular endurance. In future articles I will go into depth about the different exercise disciplines as well as the qualities they develop best. Then I will tell you how to maximize results by combining exercise disciplines and qualities in the most effective way.
As promised, here is the routine for this article. I know almost everyone wants to lose some weight, so this routine is to do just that. It is easily accessible by beginners and will challenge even the most advanced trainee. This routine is composed of only one exercise, the man-maker. To do a man-maker, start with your arms above your head holding whatever dumbbell weight you can comfortably use for ten to twelve reps. Then, squat down, bring your arms down to your shoulders, put the dumbbells on the floor, do a squat thrust (kick your legs out so you’re in a push up position), do a push up (if you can’t, do a push up on your knees and if you can’t do that, slowly lower yourself in a controlled manner without hurting yourself), then do renegade rows (while in a push up position, pull the dumbbell to your torso; this will require you to twist your body a little and maybe spread out your feet to gain greater stability), then bring your legs back in, stand up, clean the dumbbells to your shoulders, press the dumbbells overhead, and finish with a jump squat (the jump squat isn’t originally in the exercise, but I added it in). Set up a tabata timer online (Google tabata timer) and do eight rounds with twenty seconds of work and ten seconds of rest. Try to beat your repetitions for the previous round each subsequent round. Of course, everyone should consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise program if necessary and if the text description was not enough for you, you can find a few videos by Googling “Man-maker”.
And finally, if anyone has any questions, comments, criticisms, exercises, or anything else they wish to share, please feel free. Oh and if anyone has any specific goals they’d like me to touch upon, just let me know. Hope you enjoyed the first article; be on the look out for more coming soon!