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Cross Trainers Fitness Training

What is Cross-Training?

What is Cross-Training? Contrary to popular belief, cross-training does not mean adding the additional cost of hiring a trainer for your workout. It is simply a mix of different activities, which results in better fitness and overall health. There are various health benefits of cross-training which is why it is gaining popularity among the masses. This article will talk about the benefits, examples, and useful equipment to practice cross-training.

What is Cross-Training?

Practicing other physical activities in addition to one main sport is called cross-training. Take athletes for example, their efforts are inclined towards excelling in the sport of their career. However, they are involved in other modes of training activities that benefit their performance on the field. This concept is common among marathon runners but has recently become a popular practice for swimmers and cyclists as well.

Photo Credit to KoolShooters

What are the Benefits of Cross-Training?

The main benefits of including cross-training into your regular workout regime are many. For starters, it helps in boosting your cardiovascular endurance. Studies have shown that the heart functions differently, with well-rounded cardiovascular health when an athlete is involved in cross-training. 

Another benefit of cross-training is the use of muscle groups otherwise left idle in the main sport. Runners for example, have toned leg muscles but the muscles on their backs tone up when they swim. This leads to higher stamina and a better-structured body. Similarly, when swimmers combine weightlifting with their training, it helps to engage leg muscles, which is not possible in swimming.

Other benefits include reducing the risk of muscle injury with the overuse of the same muscle groups. Additionally, it allows recovery time after a tournament and keeps your mind engaged in healthy activities.

Photo Credit to RODNAE Productions

What is an Example of Cross-Training?

A few common cross-training examples include:

  • Cycling is an alternative to running which helps maintain cardiovascular endurance.
  • Running or lifting weights instead of playing football to build strength and size.
  • Rowing as an alternative to swimming to engage similar muscle groups and maintain stamina.
  • Incorporating weightlifting with kickboxing for better cardiovascular health with coordination and focus.

Which Equipment is Ideal for Cross-Training?

The goal of cross-training is to add variety into a workout regime that increases stamina and improves endurance. Personal cross-trainers as well use unique workout tools that lead to quicker results for their clients. However, one piece of equipment can help you achieve lateral stability and an entire body workout.

The Pinnacle is one such cross-training equipment that can give your workout new varieties. Available at Pacillo, this is the best option out there, which combines lateral and linear motions. The stride width and foot positions are adjustable with a unique handle position.

Every feature aims to aid cross-training, no matter that intensity. The footplates for example, are adjustable for greater comfort when completing longer reps. On the other hand; it is adjustable for aggressive training.

Photo Credit to Andres Ayrton

Is Cross-Training Good for Me?

Cross-training benefits everyone, you do not have to be an athlete to start with cross-training. However, when considering this form of workout regime, there are several factors to consider. They are:

  • Your experience – this includes your experience in a fitness regime and a sport. The more experience you have, the better results you will enjoy.
  • Your training phase –includes your stamina and cardiovascular endurance. Suddenly going from zero to 100 can lead to muscle injury.
  • Where you want improvement – if you want to focus on a muscle group that is not engaged in your sport, cross-training is the way to do it.
  • Your favorite activities – it is important that you engage yourself in activities that you like. Otherwise, it will all feel like an extension of your training.

It is important to stay focused on your fitness goals to ensure that you do not lose sight. Cross-training will boost your mood, stamina and overall health.

References

  1. Cross-training is effective for all athletes. Healthline. December 3, 2021. URL: https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/cross-training#for-runners 
  2. Left ventricular structure and function in elite swimmers and runners. K. D. Currie, A. M. Coates, J. T. Slysz, R. L. Aubry, A. K. Whinton and J. F. Burr. Frontiers in Physiology. November 28, 2018. URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6279850/ 

 

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Fitness Training

The Benefits of Resistance Training

What are the Benefits of Resistance Training?

Resistance exercises are a great way to build and strengthen muscles. It became quite conventional in the 1990s. The American College of Sports Medicine even included resistance training as an official recommendation for all Americans starting in 1998. Moreover, resistance training has a lot to offer that is hard to overlook.

Photo Credit by Anna Shvets

What Is Resistance Training?

Exercise that influences the muscles to contract against an external resistance to increase strength is resistance training. The objective of resistance training is to increase endurance, tone, mass and strength.

Resistance applied from an external source can be rubber tube exercise, dumbbells, bricks or one’s body weight. Any object that would cause the muscles to contract is useful for effective resistance training. There are three most common styles of resistance exercises. These are:

  1. Powerlifting – a combination of squats, deadlift and bench press.
  2. Olympic lifting – lifting weight over the head like the athletes in the Olympics.
  3. Weight lifting – lifting of heavyweights that are commonly fewer than six reps. 

Lifting weights in the gym to get bigger and toned muscles is resistance training. People often associate the term ‘strength training’ with resistance training but this has a technical flaw. In truth, strength training is simply resistance exercises to build strength in the muscles.

How does Resistance Training Help in Losing Weight?

Effective resistance training exercises combine intensity, volume and progression. Every new session will make the individual feel challenged and every set and weight is gradually increased. Typically, for fat loss, each resistance exercise should have a maximum repetition method. Nevertheless, trainers recommend three to four sets thrice a week for every muscle group.

As a result, regular and effective resistance training, excess fats are lost because of after-burn after exercises. Additionally, the muscle size increases, which utilizes calories. Moreover, if an individual incorporates a healthy diet, the body fat loss will speed up. There are other health benefits involved with resistance training.

Photo Credit by Ketut Subiyanto

What should be Avoided when Resistance Training?

All types of training needs the supervision of a professional trainer. Do not start any resistance training exercise before a warm-up session. Additionally, avoid using equipment that may be faulty as it can cause injury instead of giving benefits. Picking up the heaviest weight or going the distance with exercises can backfire, therefore, always start slow.

Which Equipment is Ideal for Resistance Training?

As a beginner, an individual can use some basic equipment. Consider BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer that comes with a multi-grip chin-up bar. Additionally, this provides a greater sense of motion with the 2:1 cable ratio. This one is great for beginners since it comes with a protective rear stack guard.

Photo Credit by Monstera

What is the Best Way to Start at Home?

These few simple steps are good enough for anyone to start with resistance training at home. Some of the best ways are:

  1. Always warm-up.
  2. Start by lifting lighter weights.
  3. Give 60 seconds of rest in between sets.
  4. Keep a 45 minutes limit to every workout.
  5. Use a foam roller to relax your muscles after every workout.
  6. Include rest days in between workouts; two to three days are good for beginners.

Have fun gaining strength!

References

  1. ‘7 Tips for a safe and successful strength-training program’. Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Health. 16-03-2018.
  2. ‘Dynamic vs. Static Stretching Warm Up: The Effects on Power and Agility Performance’. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. McMillian, Danny J.; Moore, Josef H.; Halter, Brian S.; Taylor, Dean C. 2006.
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