Last month, the New York Times published an article examining the benefits of cross-training. Many clinicians and coaches tout cross-training for the simple fact that it offers more of a comprehensive workout. The theory is that your targeted areas will also benefit when you boost your overall fitness regimen.

For example, if you’re training to become a bicyclist, you can strengthen your whole body and improve your overall well-being by also training your arms, torso and general upper body. This can help you train your heart, your breathing rate, your endurance and the way your body operates with its parts working in coordination. It can also provide alternatives for athletes who want to diversify their skills, such as for a career move or simply training for a triathlon.

The New York Times reports that The American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine calls cross-training a “total body tune-up” and highly encourages the practice. Similarly, the American College of Sports Medicine advises choosing various forms of training for a comprehensive exercise experience.

Another argument for the benefits of cross-training is that it can actually help athletes and regular gym-goers prevent injury in the long-term. You can change up your routine and give certain areas of your body a break without fully taking time away from the gym. This is especially important to newcomers who are just framing their foundation for working out and training their bodies to respond to exercise before formulating a fitness plan that’s entirely oriented toward their goal sport.

But the question remains whether this is simply for the benefit of losing weight and being healthy, or if it would actually serve to benefit an athlete who’s training to excel in one area. More on that will be discussed next week; in the meantime, if you have questions about incorporating new target areas to your typical training, be sure to ask one of the highly knowledgeable personal trainers at our Pivotal Fitness Greenville sportsclub.