Cross Train for Muscle Gain
Cross training involves working out in different ways to improve
muscle performance and fat loss. Cross training keeps your muscles from getting accustomed to doing the same
exercises day after day. Our body is so well trained that if we continually put
it through the same workout day after day, it will get accustomed to it, and
stop burning as many calories. Cross training prevents this from happening by
“mixing it up” and keeping your body guessing.
The best kind of cross training involves exercises done at a high
intensity. Cardio works best for this as it keeps your metabolism running high,
which is ideal for fat loss. You want to choose exercises that you enjoy and are
willing to do on a consistent basis. With the concept of cross training, you
want to be sure you have access to several different activities and pieces of
equipment in a short period of time. Cross training is about working in
different ways, but the most effective way to do this is through working out in
different ways during the same workout. This will give you the best benefits
when looking to increase muscle mass while also burning fat.
Doing cross training in this way works best if each exercise is
broken up into 15-minute increments. This keeps you interested and your body
“guessing” so it never gets too comfortable with the work it’s being put
through. You can either use this method to do cardio that’s “slow and steady”,
meaning you do it for a longer period of time total (generally around an hour),
and you do it at a consistently low intensity. This method will help you burn
fat and not carbs. The other method is cardio done at a high intensity, where
the duration is less but the effort put forth is increased. You burn a lot of
calories this way and should do the cardio in short explosive increments. Our
bodies react differently to each of these and it’s best to try each cross
training method to see which one suits you best.
If you’re at a loss as to how to choose the cardio exercises you’d
like to incorporate into your cross training routine, a few high fat-burning
choices include step aerobics, bicycling, swimming, the elliptical machine,
racquetball, rowing, walking, and running. Choose a few and make sure the
combination can be easily done in one workout.