Cross Training Keeps Competition Fresh
Recently at Advantage Strength and Conditioning, we adapted our Cross Training model to create more opportunities for athletes to come together to compete in a low stress, highly active environment. This change came after a parent recently mentioned to me how rare it is to see the kids in his neighborhood getting together after school to play a game of pick-up, and staying out until the street lights come on. This may be a nostalgic idea these days, since we are seeing a general shift away from impromptu, unstructured play towards mandatory practices, off season tournaments, and single sport athletes. To battle this trend, we are offering opportunities for our athletes to come together and compete with themselves and each other in activities held at our facility and around town. Essentially, we are using the community as our neighborhood, and offering a variety of activities for our clients to come and enjoy. We are the kids in the neighborhood who constantly come to your door, asking “You wanna come out and play?”
The reason athletes are involved in sport in the first place is because it satisfies their need to move, play, and compete with others. These are deep rooted, primal urges that are being suppressed by today’s hectic schedules. At Advantage, we want to expose everyone to the benefits of play by offering weekly Cross Training Events. There are a number of benefits associated with Cross Training. Most importantly, it is a chance to reap the benefits of getting out and being active without the stress of having to fit into a certain set of standards. Take a day off of your usual training routine to enjoy our sand volleyball tournament or yoga classes, for example. Come out, compete, be with your friends, have fun, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy the benefits of your workout. No stress, just enjoy the fact that you came out and competed with yourself and friends, and go home feeling satisfied. It is a great way to get something out of a day where you didn’t feel like doing your usual workout, and it also gives your mind a few hours to relax and prepare for your next training day.
Another beneficial aspect of Cross Training is that you can use these events to train your body in a different way. Let’s use a distance runner as an example. This runner may not be too excited to join us on our Trail Run Event. It is not really all that different from their daily run workout, and would not offer benefits they would get on a daily basis. It would be of more interest to that runner to join us for a hill sprint or stair sprint day, so they train a different energy system than they normally would. Glycolytic training (intense 30sec-2min repetitions) has been shown to increase VO2 max and late race kick in distance runners, and would be a great asset for this runner. In a similar way, a predominantly anaerobic athlete can benefit from a trail run or some other aerobic training because it can improve recovery times between sets or intervals. So it becomes clear that Cross Training can have physical benefits for any athlete.
In addition to the physical and mental benefits of Cross Training, it brings a community of like-minded individuals together to do what they love to do: stay active. Whether you are novice or elite, a Cross Training day can keep your routine fresh and offer a bit of variety in your activities. These days can go a long way towards balancing your mind and body, making you a more well rounded athlete in the end. So come out and play.