What is Cross Training? By Richard Uzelac

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So let’s say you’re a fitness enthusiast, and you’re new to running, and you’re so excited that you’ve signed up for a 10k race that is about to happen in 3 months. How would you imagine your performance would look in the race? Do you think you outperform others who have been on their fitness journey for a longer time than you have? This is when cross-training is necessary. 

Cross Training with Richard Uzelac: Boosting Performance Across Multiple Activities

Cross-training entails incorporating additional or diverse exercise routines into your primary workout regimen to enhance your overall performance in the activities you engage in. For instance, if you aspire to run a marathon, it would be advantageous to supplement your running routine with elements of strength training to complement and elevate your running ability. You might be taken aback by this idea because you might think that you’re gonna gain more weight if you incorporate weight lifting into your regimen. On the other side, by doing lifts,, you can build strength in your muscle which could lead to better performance during running. Especially if you focus on exercises that would target our legs, such as squats and lunges.

The aim of cross-training is to enhance overall fitness and performance. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully select cross-training modules. For instance, a weightlifter or powerlifter may benefit from incorporating certain aspects of yoga into their routine, which can improve joint flexibility and ultimately enhance their ability to perform movements more effectively. In short, cross-training offers valuable benefits to fitness and performance.

Richard Uzelac's Recommended Frequency for Cross Training

Experts recommend incorporating cross-training once or twice a week into your fitness program for optimal performance. This allows the body to recover and adapt to the new movements and exercises while also preventing overtraining and fatigue. Cross-training can be customized to meet individual needs and goals and can include a range of activities such as cycling, swimming, yoga, Pilates, and strength training.


Incorporating cross-training into one’s fitness routine has several benefits. It can improve cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, flexibility, and balance, while also preventing boredom and burnout from doing the same activities repeatedly. It can also enhance mental health by reducing stress and increasing motivation and energy levels. Incorporating cross-training into your fitness program once or twice a week can lead to optimal performance and overall health..

It’s crucial to keep in mind that cross-training should not take away from your primary workouts. Therefore, it’s essential to limit the amount of cross-training you do. It’s essential to remember that the purpose of cross-training is to supplement your primary workouts and address any weaknesses that may arise from them. Choosing cross-training activities that complement your primary workouts can help you achieve optimal results without interfering with your training goals.

Benefits of Cross Training

Doing the same workout routine repeatedly can lead to boredom and a lack of motivation. Cross-training provides a variety of activities to keep workouts interesting and challenging. Cross-training is an effective approach to prevent overuse and burnout in the long run, especially for new runners. Incorporating cross-training allows individuals to engage in different activities while still maintaining a good cardio workout, reducing the risk of becoming burnt out and losing motivation to continue running or walking.
It allows your body to recover – Cross-training provides a way to continue exercising while recovering from an injury. By engaging in activities that do not use the injured muscles, individuals can maintain their fitness level without aggravating the injury.
Reduces stress: Engaging in different activities can provide a mental break and reduce stress levels.
Enhances performance in primary activities: By strengthening different muscle groups and increasing overall fitness, cross-training can improve performance in primary activities such as running or weightlifting.


The Best Crosstraining Workout for Adults

picture of a gym by richard uzelacIf you’re a beginner, this 30-minute cross-training workout can pump you up. 

Jumpin Jacks – 30 seconds / 30 seconds rest
Itch Worm – 30 seconds / 30 seconds rest
Lunges – 30 seconds / 30 seconds rest 
Butt Kicks – 1 minute / 30 seconds rest
Legs Down – 30 seconds / 30 seconds rest
Plank – 1 minute / 1-minute rest  Skaters – 1 minute / 30 seconds rest  Then Repeat three times.    

Indulging in swimming – who doesn’t feel great about swimming? Swimming is one of the most efficient and effective cross training work out. It combines not one, not two, but three essential types of exercise – aerobics, stretching and strengthening. You may be asking yourself, how is that even possible? Well, swimming is a low-impact activity that provides a full-body workout. With every stroke, you’re stretching and elongating your muscles, increasing flexibility and mobility. Meanwhile, the resistance of the water strengthens your muscles, providing a fantastic resistance training workout.    

  If you are into Weightlifting, Yoga is a great cross training workout as it helps your joints become flexible. Yoga is a fantastic cross-training workout that complements weightlifting in ways you wouldn’t believe. One of the most significant benefits of incorporating yoga into your routine is the improvement in joint flexibility. As weightlifters, we often focus on building muscle and strength, but we forget about the importance of having supple, mobile joints. Tight muscles and joints can lead to poor form, which can result in injuries.


If you are enrolled in an aerobic class, running is complementary to your endurance. Moreover, running can also help improve leg strength, which can be helpful for athletes who participate in sports that involve footwork, like soccer, basketball or gymnastics.     

Remember, Cross-training should be used to supplement your primary training, not to replace it entirely. Additionally, you should pay attention to your body and listen to any signals of fatigue or injury, and adjust your training accordingly.  
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