Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Importance of Cross-Training

With Chris' help, I manage to get to the gym nearly every day. Being a personal trainer, I need to be at least as fit as my clients.

For the past three months, the gym where I currently work was undergoing major renovation. During this time, the variety of equipment and facilities was very limited.

My workouts during this time consisted of (several types of) push-ups at home and jogging a couple of times a week. I also managed an occasional visit to the free weight room at the student athlete training facility.

However, that has all changed since the gym re-opened this week. Nearly every day this week, I have had access to — and made ample use of — the new cable equipment for my weight training.

Today, for a change of pace and to practice my cross-training, I swam. Swimming provides a good cardio workout and good overall body toning.

Three laps into my swim, I thought my arms were going to fall off. I switched to the breast stoke to take some of the stress off my shoulders. Then my back tightened up.

After 35 minutes of swimming laps, I was really uncomfortable because my back was so tight.

Knowing my back needed to be stretched, I went home and asked Chris to help me stretch. Being the kindhearted soul she is, she was more than happy to help me out. She gently leaned on my shoulders as I poised forward. I heard a "pop" — which never is a good thing — and now I have tremendous pain in my right hip.

This is what happens when you don't cross-train.

So, to be truly fit, remember to work at all five categories of fitness on a regular basis:
  • muscular endurance
  • muscular strength
  • flexibility
  • cardio fitness
  • and a healthy body mass index (BMI) (which I will discuss in my next post).

This will keep you in better shape and out of the chiropractor's office (except for the all-important regular fine-tuning Chris advocates).

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