How does cross-training improve results of exercise?


Cross-training enhances weight loss, reduced risk of injury, improved total fitness and enhances your adherence to exercise. Cross training can offer you a refreshing physical and mental challenge and break up the monotony of doing the same thing over and over again and it expands your overall fitness conditioning. Research shows that people that do the same thing over and over again end up quitting because of boredom. So try a free weight routine one day and jump into a group step exercise class on another day and on another do an entire workout using a stability ball and tubing.

Overweight people can effectively reduce body weight and stored fat by combining two or more physical activities in a cross-training routine. They can, for example, exercise on an elliptical trainer for 20 to 30 minutes and then cycle for an additional 20 to 30 minutes; or row for 15 minutes, cycle for 15 minutes and walk on the treadmill for 15.

Cross-training is very beneficial to your body.  Cross-training may help to keep your body balanced.  Many individuals who exercise may focus on what they are good at or what they enjoy.  Many males will focus on strength training while many females will focus on cardiovascular training.  Mixing these two up and being sure to keep yourself balanced will help your body to be successful in achieving your goals. 

If you are training for something in specific, a distance race, or a bodybuilding competition then focusing on running or strength training will be you’re most ideal for that time.  Following, you should be sure to mix-up the exercise and type of exercise you complete to be sure to again keep your body balanced.

Cross training became popular when Bo Jackson starred in two professional sports (football, baseball) and started wearing the first "cross training" shoes.  These were innovated by Nike's renowned designer Tinker Hatfield who made cross trainers to accommodate multiple workout activities. 


To perform cross training, pick two or more different workouts to use in your program.  For example, distance runners might also play pick up basketball and lift weights.  Weightlifters might add some "cardio" type workouts along with a Pilates class.  The benefits of cross training is better overall development and a decrease in overuse injuries & muscular imbalances.

Muscles need to get oxygen most efficiently in order to get the most out of exercise. To do that cardiac output, respiration and, the amount of oxygen carried by the blood must all be increased.

This can happen with resistance training in combination with cross-training, which is training for more than one sport at a time. It's also helpful to utilize multiple fitness components (strength, endurance and flexibility) all at the same time.

Cardiac output training can affect an increase in stroke volume, which means a larger heart, as well as a decrease in the resting heart rate. Increased stroke volume means the heart pumps more blood with each beat. Maximum heart rate is limited to 180-190 beats/min, so a slower resting heart rate (such as 50-60 beats per minute in a trained athlete vs. the normal 70-80 beats per minute) means the heart has a greater increase in heart rate during exercise. During exercise, this greater increase in heart rate at the same time of a larger volume, means increased cardiac output and thus blood flow to working muscle.

The respiratory system is helped during training when the resting rate of breathing is decreased, and the respiration rate during exercise is increased along with the tidal volume, the volume of air exchanged with each breath. All of this allows the lungs to take in more air as you exercise. Also during training, the amount of oxygen that the working muscles take from the blood is boosted, which is probably a reflection of the increases in metabolic enzymes.

Some runners and cyclists train in the mountains. This can actually increase the amount of oxygen the blood carries, which forces the body to develop more. There is less oxygen in high altitudes, so the body responds by producing erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone which causes more red blood cells to be produced by the bone, and more hemoglobin. Athletes might try to inject EPO directly into the bloodstream, but this is dangerous. This use of EPO has been banned by the International Olympic Committee because it increases the thickness of the blood, and this can lead to circulatory problems, even heart attack or stroke.

Continue Learning about Types Of Exercise

Types Of Exercise

Types Of Exercise

Exercise provides many health benefits - from fitness to increased physical and mental energy. In order to prepare yourself for a exercise routine, you need to research which exercise is right for you and how to fit a new exercise ...

e program into your daily schedule.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.