While many exercises focus specifically on one area of fitness, such as arms, legs, or the cardiovascular system, many fitness enthusiasts have embraces cross-training as a way of working out the whole body in one extensive routine. Cross-training is a fitness routine that combines many different forms of exercise into one session. This includes cardio workouts, strength building, flexibility training, and more. As expected with an exercise this complex, many people rely on specialty crossfit equipment. Before you start buying your own equipment, consider this information as you prepare for your class. Knowing what to expect will help you purchase the right crossfit equipment for your routine.
Why Do People Choose Cross-Training?
People embrace cross-training because it increases their entire fitness level at the same time. This means that there’s less of a risk of accidentally neglecting an important part of a person’s overall health. Cross-training burns fat rapidly thanks to its rapid pace, and it also helps build up a strong cardiovascular system. It improves muscle health and coordination while simultaneously boosting agility and manual dexterity. Where most people might spend an hour at the gym and only work on their arms and legs, a cross-trainer has the advantage of getting a full workout for every part of the body during that same period of time.
In addition to helping the body, cross-training also helps the mind. If you have ever felt bored at the gym or believe that doing the same exercise routine every time leads to a feeling of monotony, cross-training can help you break out of that rut. A crossfit routine requires you to remain alert to the rapid series of exercises and to make changes very quickly. The exercises are far from monotonous, and that keeps the brain working. Such a routine also places a high value on alertness and reflexes, allowing you to build strength in those areas as well. If you want a fitness routine that helps improve both your body and your mind, cross-training is an excellent option.
Preparing for Class
The best way to build a suitable cross-fit routine that will challenge you without exhausting you or exposing you to injury is to consult a crossfit trainer. Many trainers offer classes for both beginners and advanced participants, so you can choose the skill level that fits with you. When you start your cross-training, you should ask the instructor what sort of cross training equipment you need to bring with you to class. Although individual instructors might have special requirements for their classes, you can usually expect to need the list of equipment presented below. If you purchase this crossfit equipment ahead of time, you will be in excellent position to make the most of your upcoming class.
Cross-training is very intensive on your feet, so choosing the right pair of shoes is possibly the most important crossfit equipment decision you can make. Don’t just bring a pair of running shoes and expect them to work. Running shoes are great for exercise that requires repetitive forward motion, but not so good for routines that involve a lot of lateral movement like cross-training. Instead, look for special crossfit shoes when buying your cross training equipment. The best shoes have strong outsoles that are designed to support rapid lateral movements. When you cross-train, you will probably be moving laterally more often than you move forward, so having these shoes as part of your crossfit equipment ensemble will spare you a lot of foot pain down the road.
Not only are socks an important piece of cross training equipment, but it is essential that you wear them properly in order to maximize your foot comfort. You should choose ergonomic socks that are designed specifically for right and left feet—that is, you should have one sock that fits your right foot perfectly and another that is designed specifically to fit your left foot equally as well. Light padding in the toes and heels will help keep blisters and callouses from developing, and moisture-wicking fibers will help you keep your feet dry during exercise. When you put your socks on, make sure to line up the toe seam with your toes and fit the rest of the sock from there. An improperly aligned sock can easily lead to blisters or increase the severity of foot injuries down the road.
When you fill your crossfit equipment bag with clothing, pack with ease of mobility in mind. Your athletic bottoms should include stretchable shorts and comfortable leggings or bottoms. Ideally, something with four-way stretch fabric would be most useful. Remember that you will run, lift, and twist throughout the exercise routine. Anything that feels baggy or heavy can cause discomfort as you start sweating, and something that is overly restrictive will likely either tear or slow you down once you get going at top speed.
For tops, you should go with lightweight, breathable fabric. If you can add a top with “cool and dry” technology to your cross training equipment list, that will help absorb sweat and keep moisture off your skin as the exercises hit their most intense phase. If you wear a sports bra, you should select one that is optimized for moderate to high impact. Racerback bras are especially useful, as they provide uninhibited body movement which will help improve your mobility during exercises.
Sleeves are best reserved for protective purposes only. Even in a cool environment, you will start to sweat a lot, and clothing that covers your whole body may feel restrictive as the crossfit routine continues. On the other hand, sleeves or padding designed to protect your joins will help prevent potential harm should you suffer a fall during a particular intense part of the routine.
Towels and Water Bottles
Health and hydration need to be key parts of your cross training equipment considerations. A water bottle is absolutely essential, especially if you don’t hydrate enough during a normal day. Make sure to get a good water bottle that doesn’t leak. Valve spouts are excellent for this, as they won’t spill if they get knocked over. If you don’t like to drink water, consider adding a flavoring that is colourless and low in calories. Do not, however, put caffeinated beverages into your water bottle, as this will simply dehydrate you more.
You will use your towel primarily to wipe away sweat in between exercises. Since cross-training will have you working up a lot of sweat even after you get used to the routine, a microfiber towel that dries quickly will prove very useful. Keep the towel in a safe and dry place during your exercise, and make sure that you clean it well between classes. Nobody wants to wipe their face with a towel stained by the sweat of last week’s class.
Getting into the Right Mindset
In addition to preparing by having the right cross training equipment on hand, you should make sure that your mind is set and ready to go when the class starts. You can do this in two ways. First of all, you can get to know your instructor and ask questions to make yourself feel more comfortable during the exercise routine. Secondly, you can make sure that you have the right mindset when it comes to hard work and the rewards of an intense physical workout.
You should talk with your instructor before you start your first cross-training class. This helps you to figure out whether you have a compatible personality with the trainer and what the expectations of the class are. Talking with your instructor ahead of time can also let you know what sort of specialty equipment you might need. Most training environments keep cross training equipment such as kettle balls and dumbbells on hand, but you might be asked to provide some gear of your own, especially if you have particular preferences.
In terms of mindset, you need to make sure that you are getting into cross-training for the right reasons. Health and fitness should be foremost on your mind, and you should make sure that you are dedicated to meeting your fitness needs. You should remember that the workouts will be intensive and will likely push you to your very limits. At the same time, the rewards include a stimulating exercise routine like no other and physical fitness that improves every part of your body in the same routine. Cross-training is not for the faint of heart, but those who are in the right mindset can reap many notable rewards.
Cross-training is a unique and intensive set of exercises that combines many other forms of fitness into one complete package. The workouts are intense but rewarding. Because of the fast pace and extreme nature of this exercise routine, having an instructor you trust and cross training equipment that is built to last is very important. If you follow the advice outlined above, you should be ready to participate in your first cross-training course. In other words, prepare to get healthy!