Monday, October 6, 2014

Cross training to keep it interesting.

You probably already know that I’m a runner. I don’t exactly look like a runner but I do, in fact, run for fun and exercise.

It’s something I really love to do. But I’m also getting older. And my body isn’t what it used to be. Joints hurt, muscles ache, and both my hubby and I were plagued with nagging injuries.

It's akin to reading burnout. The things you enjoy just aren't as fun anymore. So to handle my physical burnout I took a piece of advice out of my writing life: when burn out happens, change it up.

My hubby, Handsome Jack, and I decided running, alone, could no longer be our only exercise method. We decided to experiment with cross training.

At first we did things on our own, DVDs like insanity and yoga and stuff like that. (Did I mention I love yoga? Well, I do). But we weren’t seeing results like we had with running only. We started packing on pounds and eventually gave up.

After surgeries and rest we finally decided to tackle running again. But this time we knew we couldn’t rely on running alone. So we joined a gym. And we paid extra for the personal training sessions. We figured we didn’t know enough about training the body so the sessions would almost be like ‘work out school’ and the trainer, our ‘teacher.’

And we loved it.

The trainer we have is amazing. He’s not a yell-in-your-face kind of trainer. He’s just encouraging and he knows a lot about muscles. He pushes us to try harder. Here’s an overview of our sessions:

30 mins 3 times a week

Mon – chest and tri

Tues – back and bi

Fri – total body focus on core

The work outs are high intensity. We almost always use our legs while we work out another muscle group (like doing bicep curls while in a deep lunge. It burns, baby. It burns).

Of course we kept running. Mostly on the elliptical 30 mins before or after the personal training session. It wasn’t until we signed up for the Dopey Challenge that we took our running back outside and started tracking mileage.

We are super happy with the results so far. I’m murdering hills on the trails during our long runs and I know that’s because my legs are so much stronger than they used to be. I’m also happy with the strength in my back and arms. It feels really empowering to be able to pick up heavy stuff without hurting yourself. And we have had less muscle injury (I’ve had a few injuries related to my general clutziness but none, yet, due to overuse or muscle strain).

But the best part about cross training with a personal trainer – variety. We mix it up. We are always learning something new and it’s a lot more fun than playing the same DVD over and over again.

I wish I would have taken a before and after pic….

How do you cross train? What’s worked for you?

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