Manic Monday ~ Cross Training To Try

Out of all the different training styles I prescribe and train with clients, the most favorite is the cross training style. Now, don't get me wrong.....it's not a favorite because of its intensity...in fact, it's quite difficult. It's the FEELING my clients get after they have accomplished this challenging regime. Not to mention, the fast paced workout makes the session seem like it goes by really fast. So, what is this "cross training" program? It is a mix of high and low intensities that are reached by incorporating a rotation of cardiovascular training and strength training. Most people separate their workout sessions into two categories: cardiovascular and strength. Usually I see a lot of people spending 30-60 minutes on the cardio machines OR using the free weights and the strength circuit. Cross training combines both in one session. The results are great. Time is also used efficiently unlike some strength routines that infuse 2-3 minute rest periods between sets (there is a place for that though). Another great benefit with cross training is that it reduces the body's ability to adapt. Many cardio exercises are adaptable and therefore won't challenge the body any further causing a plateau effect. Here are a few examples of what a cross training routine might look like: Example 1- 4 minutes / treadmill jog 30-50 self weighted alternating leg lunges 2 minutes / treadmill jog or run 30-50 alternating leg lunges *2 minutes / treadmill jog *1 set of 20 reps of leg extension (machine) *1 set of 20 reps of leg curl (machine) *repeat exercises with the * 1 set of (10-20 reps) DB Chest Press 50 jumping jacks 20-30 push-ups (modified if needed) 50 jumping jacks Repeat the above 4 exercises again in the same order {This regime takes about 30-36 minutes and primarily works legs and chest. For other muscle groups you can follow the above pattern.) Example 2- (This is a SIMPLE total body conditioning routine and will take about 27-37 minutes) 2 minutes of cardio (elliptical if possible) 1 minute of walking leg lunges (alternating legs) 30 seconds of wide sumo squats or jump squats *Repeat 1-2x 1 minute of jumping jacks 1 minute of push-ups (modify to knees if needed) 30 seconds of tricep dips (use a step or low platform) *Repeat 1-2x 1 minute high knee jog in place ( high intensity if possible) 30 seconds of a weighted DB shoulder press (should be challenging) 30 seconds of a weighted DB bicep curl (challenge with a little heavier weight) *Repeat 1-2x 1 minute of "speed skater" plyometric or fast paced side to side step 45 seconds of bent over DB back row or reverse fly (challenge it) *Repeat 1-2x Cool down with 5 minutes walking, 5 minutes of ab/ low back work and stretching. Even though these are very general regimes, you will find the difference in the heart rates as you go from fast cardio bursts to strength movements, I MUST say that you become fatigued through this workout, you will need to be very mindful of your form and technique. Weak form in an exercise can cause injury. I would recommend researching the above exercises and learning the bullet points on how an exercise should be performed. Have fun with it! I was reminded of why our young kids are so lean. And, I do believe some of my observation is true.... I see my kids run around the yard tagging each other, then one stops to lift his bike out of the ditch and push it up the small hill. Then I see see one riding fast on his bike as another chases him. Then the chaser stops to climb the tree. This kind of play goes on for hours. ......uh, as I may be sitting with a coffee in my hand because this is clearly how they start their warm weathered days (this really happened during this week). Hey...be a kid!! Have fun! Have a GREAT, GREAT day!!! Rachel Zimmerman, Certified Personal Trainer and Life Coach ACE/NSCA Wife, Mother, and Friend.

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