I was first introduced to Cross-Training as a form of Rehab post my first Knee Surgery. Having been an avid football and hockey player, Cross Training helped me come back on my feet and start playing all over again.
Today the sport has become a routine in my life and medicine for me to walk, run, jump or simply move in my everyday life.
Over the last 9 years of my practice, I feel stronger, more agile, more flexible and fitter and fitter each day I practice.
The adrenaline you feel after each lift is addictive and the satisfaction after each painful workout is the rush that drives me throughout the day.
A sport of multiple emotions, the biggest one being practicing with like-minded people and joy of accomplishing a workout together!
Cross Training has helped me not only to walk again but also to live and feel alive each day.
What products would you need for a Crossfit/Crosstraining beginner?
For a new user, I believe one can easily start without any weights relying simply on freehand movement. But basic equipment that I feel are necessary to start learning the movements are the below
1. PVC Pipe
How do you know that you're progressing in practice?
Progress for me is when I am able to lift heavier weights or achieve more repetitions compared to what I was able to do earlier or even have a better finishing time.
The best way to track your progress is from the second or third time you practice the same movement. Start adding nominal weights with each time. For example, the 3rd time you practice a Deadlift, you start with the basic barbell without weights, the 4th time you add 5 kgs, 5th time to add 10 kgs and so on. Even if the increase in weight is very less, it's important to keep increasing it as long as it does not compromise on your form.
What does your weekly workout plan look like?
4 times a week I do a practice of movements with one day of competitive lifting/workout/WOD and 2 days of rest. I believe this routine is ideal. A regular can go up to 6 days a week with one day of lighter mobility workout, maybe Yoga (It's a good way of stretching your muscles and relieving yourself from fatigue)
Top 6 movements according to you?
- Helps in spinal stability and body balance. Plus there's a range of motion for your lower body and strength of course
- A basic primal movement. Improves back strength and helps develop a correct body movement to lift anything off the ground (required for day to day activities)
- For Upper body strength and a stronger core. Again a primal human movement which helps build the ability to push or sustain a press from or against any object
- Increases the ability to pull at any object. Helps create a correct body movement to PULL without hurting your back
- Helps increase explosiveness, complete body strength, control over an external object with the correct flow of the object against your body
- Explosiveness of the lower body. Also greatly helps in improving the ability to land from when your body is in air, improves the body balance at the time of falling and learning how to fall/land
All the above movements help the body to improve on basic functions like a push, pull, jump, acceleration, sprint, lift, etc... The right technique of the above really helps not only to increase strength but also to increase balance, mobility, and stability, and of course, when that is there, the scope for injuries are much less. I have lived it, so I am sure of it :)
Crosstraining for Runners
The workouts will and should vary with different types of running.
- Loaded with heavier weights (Heavy squats, DL, CL, Jumps etc) to improve muscle strength and explosiveness.The more the muscle power, the stronger will be the burst
- A mix of mid weight lifting couples with more HIIT, Flexibility and mobility movements and with a greater focus on core strength, balance, and endurance
- Freehand without weights. For a long-distance runner, the muscles should remain light but strong. Lifting heavy would make the muscles heavier thereby reducing the endurance of the athlete. Bodyweight exercises with HIIT to focus on strength, stamina and endurance would be a more suited workout for such athletes.
What I would really like to highlight about Cross Training is the ability of the sport to lift up anyone's physical health irrespective of age or circumstance. The sport has helped me to really improve my performance on my primary sport by firstly, helping me to recover from an extremely serious injury, increasing my strength and physical abilities. It is a sport that can be practiced by anybody, irrespective of age, physical structure, injuries, athletic ability or disabilities. It also really changes the perspective of lifting weights for many who think they cannot. The sport really creates a lifestyle change and a sport/change that can be started at any age in life (not like many other sports where the learning curve is strongest and capable only during childhood)
Again, all the above are through my eyes :)