Cross Training for athletes
There was a triathlon today in my town, and I went. I enjoyed seeing men and women of all ages swim, bike, and run to the finish line. It got me to thinking about how these people train for these events. By looking at them, they are some of the fittest people out there. And they come from ordinary towns like you and me. They are thin but still muscular. They can move and perform like athletes, and they are athletes.
If you do triathlons, do you swim, bike, and run for training? That is all great exercise, but do you do strength and power training also? You can lift exercise sandbags or barbells for that matter so fast that it becomes cardio training. This is also called power training. Then you can do heavier weight slower in smaller reps. This is called strength training. Both types of weight training can help endurance athletes.
A few decades ago the latest fad was for football wide receivers to train for their sometimes gymnastic ability by doing ballet. Yes, ballet. There were those who made fun of it. They made fun of it until the wide receiver made some acrobatic catches on the football field. Then it was accepted practice.
If you do Crossfit, do you only lift barbells, dumbbells, do bodyweight exercises, run, and throw medicine balls? You should go outside that comfort zone and try sandbag training. By comfort zone I do not mean to offend those of you in Crossfit. After doing it for 5 years, it is by no means a "comfort zone". So try to understand my play on words.
Let's turn our example around and look at a ballet dancer. You require loads of grace and skill. But you also require speed, power, and strength. So you should try strength and power training with sandbags. It will make you a better ballet dancer.
If you are a firefighter, do you train only with fire hoses? By the way, pulling a fire hose around with water in it must be great exercise. I am sure you guys and gals do plenty of that, even not fighting fires. I am sure you do it in your gyms, too. If you don't you should. You can take old hose of different lengths, fold over one end, tape it shut, and add sand. Then you can fold over the other end and duct tape it shut too. Be sure to keep it loose. This is a great slinky training tool that is very difficult to lift and move. And right there in your fire department to use. So do not throw away old fire hose.
If you are a police officer or sheriff, you need to do strength, power, and speed training in your headquarters. These jobs are stressful and you need the relief from stress that exercise gives. In addition to strength and power training with weights or sandbags, you can do speed training by playing basketball.
As for basketball, if that is your sport, you certainly need to be fast and agile. But you also need to cross train for strength. Here again is where workout sandbags come in. They are a great tool for keeping you strong and fast.
You get the idea. Whatever your sport or profession, you need to cross train. Keep it up. Keep it safe and keep it fun. Here is our sandbag training page.