What is the difference between fitness training and cross-training?


Cross-training is a term that is frequently used in the fitness community, but what does it actually mean? Simply put, cross-training is the process of incorporating various types of exercise into your routine to improve your results. You can target different muscle groups and improve your overall fitness level by varying your workouts. There are endless possibilities when it comes to cross-training, so there’s no excuse not to give it a try! We’ll look at some of the most popular types of cross-training and how they can benefit your workout routine in this blog post.

What is Cross-Training?

The practice of participating in workouts that involve more than one sport or category of physical activity is referred to as “cross-training.” The hope is that you will be able to improve your overall athletic performance and lower the likelihood of suffering an injury if you follow this recommendation. You could, for instance, cross-train by swimming or biking if you already participate in running. Running will have less of an impact on your legs as a result of this, which will aid in the development of different types of muscle endurance.

1. Legality and terminology

Simply put, “cross-training” is a term people use to describe physical activity that is not directly related to their preferred sport or activity. For instance, a soccer player might view bike-based endurance training as cross-training. Although it is something they do outside of their regular soccer training, by enhancing their endurance, it can help them become better athletes.

2. Choosing an exercise

Cross-training, as I mentioned above, puts your strength, endurance, and capacity for high-intensity training to the test. Cross-training involves a lot of bodyweight exercises as well. Push-ups, a 400-meter run, and a 225-pound deadlift might all be required during the same workout.

Cross-training also offers a variety of themed workouts, such as “hero” workouts that pay tribute to military personnel who have died in the line of duty.

There isn’t necessarily a set of exercises that make up cross-training. Depending on the aspects of your sport that you want to improve, it can include any strength or cardio exercises that you want.

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3. Aspects of society

When you cross-train, you almost certainly exercise alone. Even though you and your friends or teammates may be in the gym at the same time, chances are that you are each paying attention to your own workout.

Community is the foundation of Cross-training. Nearly every day of the week, Cross-training boxes have regularly scheduled class times. For their members, many boxes host internal competitions, holiday gatherings, and birthday parties. One of Cross-training’s main draws is its social component.

Even people who do Cross-training at home can often talk to coaches and other people who follow the same program through social media groups or chat features on mobile apps.

4. Exercise time and intensity

Cross-training is a form of exercise that is naturally intense, whereas cross-training can be as intense as you choose to make it. It frequently entails quick workouts that call for you to move as quickly as you can to finish a workout or finish as many rounds as you can in the allotted amount of time.

Furthermore, many Cross-training workouts last only 12 to 15 minutes. You must exert a lot of effort the entire time, whether they are shorter or longer.

Conversely, your workout will probably last at least 30 minutes if you are performing cardio exercises for cross-training. Additionally, you’ll be exercising at a faster pace that won’t leave you out of breath after a short while.

What is the difference between cross-training and strength training?

Strengthening enhances all other athletic metrics. It promotes proprioception improvement, better coordination, and the development of strength. Lean muscle is developed as strength increases, and lean muscle benefits a variety of bodily functions, including insulin sensitivity and bone density. In athletics, bigger is always better.

Strength improves your resilience and durability, whether you are an officer, nurse, lawyer, construction expert, wife, husband, or someone else entirely.Which is superior over the long haul? That is the distinction between purposeful and steady and harder and faster. Cross-training’s randomness and constantly changing exercise regimens prevent that kind of adaptability from happening.

Cross-Training is simply exercise, and for many people, that is sufficient—at least, until it isn’t. Cross-training is unable to find a solution to this conundrum because it cannot be solved by adding more exercise. The program needs to be tailored to each individual rather than the general population because load and intensity are frequently the wrong approach. If not, you simply join the herd without any leadership.

What is cross-training in exercise?

Any exercise that an athlete performs that is not part of their primary sport is referred to as “cross-training.” Cross-training includes activities like strength training on days when you don’t run and sprint intervals on a bike for powerlifters to build conditioning.

There isn’t always a set structure or set of exercises for cross-training. It’s more of a catch-all phrase for any activity that differs from the exercises and routines an athlete would practice for their particular sport.

By giving athletes the chance to exercise muscles they don’t typically use and complete activities they wouldn’t have time for during their competitive season, it prevents muscular imbalances.

Cross-training advantages

1. It can help prevent injuries.

The same exercises and training drills are repeated repeatedly when you are training for a specific sport. Because the same muscles are being used in the same manner repeatedly, this can result in overuse injuries.

You can strengthen other muscles that you don’t use very often by cross-training. Additionally, it enables you to fortify the tendons and ligaments that encircle your joints and muscles, reducing the risk of injury.

Even if you do sustain an injury, cross-training allows you to continue working out around it, allowing you to maintain your fitness level while resting.

2. It improves your athletic performance.

You can improve your balance, coordination, and agility through cross-training, which is beneficial for most sports.

When you cross-train, you also get the chance to exercise muscles that you don’t typically use and put your physical prowess to the test. As I mentioned above, this not only helps you avoid injuries but also builds a more balanced body that is better equipped to handle unforeseen challenges.

Cross-training can also help you recover more quickly by encouraging blood flow to sore muscles and preventing you from becoming overly stiff. This means that when you have your next competition, game, or practice, your body will be better prepared to work hard.

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3. You are very adaptable.

You can pick and choose the activities you want to focus on, even though cross-training should have some crossover with your main sport or help you develop essential skills for your sport, like a vertical jump in basketball.

For instance, if you are aware that your endurance needs work, you can choose to bike, run, or swim as your cross-training exercises. You can pick from a variety of upper- and lower-body movements if your strength needs improving.

Additionally, you can fit in your cross-training exercises around your sports-related training. You can still put cross-training on the back burner a few days a week while still prioritizing your sport’s training.

It can help you stay inspired.

Even if you adore your sport, you might occasionally experience boredom or struggle to remain motivated during practices and games. By switching up your workouts, you can experience new physical challenges and maintain mental and physical stimulation. This is known as “cross-training.”

Cross-training is also beneficial in the off-season because it allows you to maintain your fitness while giving your body a break from sport-specific training.

And if you simply enjoy participating in other sports, cross-training gives you the chance to do so.

Types of Cross-Training


An example of a rowing interval workout you can do to get in better shape is shown below. Even though it’s difficult, rowing is a great cross-training exercise because it’s low-impact and doesn’t put a lot of strain on your joints.

You can perform a similar interval workout on the bike or elliptical if you don’t have a rowing machine or simply don’t enjoy it. In the pool, you could also perform swim intervals, but I advise keeping the distance to 50 or 100 meters.

8 x 500-meter intervals with a warm-up of five minutes of light rowing at a target pace of 28 to 30 strokes per minute

Take a minute to rest after each five-minute break of light rowing to recover.

Related Article: The Top 5 Cardio Exercise Machines for Losing Weight



An example of a day of total-body strength training is shown below. Although I created this exercise routine with runners in mind, anyone can use it.

You’ll also notice that this workout is low volume and low intensity so that you won’t be too exhausted to continue your sport-related training.

3 sets of 6 squats at 75% of your 1RM

Bench press: 3 x 8 reps at 75% of 1RM

Romanian deadlift: 3 x 10 single-arm bent-over rows; side planks: 3 x 45–60 seconds each

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Who should engage in cross-training?

In order to increase your strength or endurance while competing in a sport, you must engage in other activities.

You want to try something new because you are worn out from your sport.

The off-season for your current sport is now.

Your injury is being treated.

Visit the Fitbod app for more suggestions on cross-training. Based on the muscle groups you want to concentrate on, the equipment you have access to, and the amount of time you have to exercise, you can develop a routine. Additionally, you can ask the app to recommend a cardio workout to go along with your strength training. Right now, get your first three workouts on the Fitbod app for free.


Cross-training is an excellent choice if you have two goals in mind: either you want to improve your overall fitness or you just want to switch up your workout routine. Targeting different muscle groups and keeping your body guessing are both benefits you can achieve by varying the types of exercises you do on a regular basis. This not only helps prevent individuals from becoming bored, but it also has the potential to lead to improved outcomes. Therefore, the next time you find yourself in a workout rut, try incorporating some new elements into your routine by using the tips provided for cross-training.

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