Fit + Fabulous in Frisco 8

Why Cross Training is All the Rage

PHOTOGRAPHY Richard Martinez • MAKE UP Katie Moyer

“Are you doing cardio or weights today?” 
This is a common question you’ll hear among gym-goers. But it doesn’t have to be either/or. In fact, combining cardio with strength training is an excellent way to get a full-body workout that increases your caloric output, torches fat, and builds muscle. Shifting between different exercises and equipment with little rest in between maximizes your workout. While cross training certainly isn’t a new concept, it seems to have reached much more popularity recently. Perhaps it’s because it is an efficient, yet highly effective workout, and most of us don’t have hours upon hours to spend at the gym each day. 

There are many ways to integrate cross training into your workout regimen. You can incorporate strength-training circuits within your favorite cardio activity. For example, if you are an avid runner, you could do 30-second treadmill sprints followed by 15 push-ups and/or renegade rows (with 30 seconds rest between) for a total of 15 minutes. The same can be said for cyclists. You can alternate between 2-minute spin bursts and 15 clean and presses. 

There are also many classes out there, and even gyms for that matter, that are based on cross training methods. At Lifetime Fitness in Plano, there are a variety of classes offered that integrate strength and cardio training for a full body workout; H.I.I.T. (high intensity interval training), TRX (total body conditioning extreme), INSANITY Live, and our Alpha TEAM training just to name a few. 

While these formats differ depending on the class, instructor, and equipment, the concept is essentially the same: cardio interval and strength training circuits for a total-body workout, giving you the most bang for your buck.

H.I.I.T. is one of my personal favorite workout formats. As a fitness instructor, I give my class a combination of heart pumping cardio (think burpees, tuck jumps, plyometric squats and lunges), while also hitting every single muscle group with strength training (think deadlifts, overhead lunges, and push-up variations). We alternate between quick 20- second drills and longer one-minute circuits with very little rest in between. The moves are always different so that we are challenging our muscles in new ways, leading to potentially greater fat burn and accelerated weight loss. 

If you don’t have a full hour to spend in the gym, here’s a H.I.I.T. workout that’ll help you torch calories and build strength in half the time.

Tabata Style: 20 second work, 10 seconds rest, 8 rounds

  1. 1. Single Leg Deadlifts, alternating legs each set
  2. 2. Banded Side to Side Touchdowns

45 seconds rest

1 Minute Drills: 2 rounds

  1. 1. OH Lunges, alternating legs
  2. 2. Medicine Ball Push-Ups (Alternate hand on ball)
  3. 3. Medicine Ball Skaters

45 seconds rest

Tabata Style: 20 second work, 10 seconds rest, 8 rounds

  1. 1. TRX  Knee Pulls
  2. 2. TRX Air Squats

45 seconds rest, followed by 45 seconds of Box Jump

As with any workout, always remember to warm up at the beginning, and stretch at the end for at least 5-10 minutes. Neglecting stretching can lead to injury and slower recovery. It’s important to keep our muscles long, lean and limber.

Check the schedule at Lifetime Fitness Plano to try one of our awesome classes! Also, you can find me on Instagram at @stylishstrength for fitness tips and much more!

Melissa Jones

Certified PT and Group Fitness Instructor