I try and get out of the gym as often as possible for cross-training days. I’ll take a bike ride, or a yoga class, or go on a hike if it fits my schedule. But let’s face it, sometimes it’s just easier to hit the gym. There are days when I feel guilty about that, but at the same time I want to get to the weight room at the gym at least twice a week. I know that strength training is important to keeping me injury free and besides, lifting weights makes me feel bad-ass.
I’ve made it part of my routine to do my cross-training at the gym on Wednesdays. My training plan declares Wednesdays “Rest/XT” days, but for some reason I’ve begun to treat that XT as Xtreme Torture rather than simply Cross-Training. Forget that rest stuff – rest is for the weak! … just kidding, I just usually take my rest days on Friday’s.
I started this routine about a month ago, on a day when my attention span was about that of the fruit flies that have invaded my kitchen (they’re everywhere! They’re everywhere!). For whatever reason I couldn’t bear the thought of spending any length of time on any one machine at the gym that day. I made a deal with myself that I could break my workout up over multiple pieces of cardio equipment as long as I hit a minimum of 30 minutes. I ended up doing this:
StairMaster: 10 minutes
Arc Trainer: 10 minutes
Stationary bike: 10 minutes
Weight circuit: 20 minutes
Holy hell. I was a sweaty beast by the end! I really wasn’t expecting the workout to be so challenging given my slacker attitude going into it, but holy cow - I kicked my own ass that day. I think I burned something like 650 calories.
Four weeks later I’m sticking to that same routine, but I’m mixing it up a bit too. I’m playing with the resistance levels, doing speed intervals, and lengthening the durations a bit. Last week I lifted the heaviest weights I could and could barely walk the next day, but it felt awesome. Today, I played games with the RPMs on the bike and the Arc Trainer. I found a difficult pace and then vowed to not let myself drop below that number of revolutions per minute. To make it more challenging, for 30-45 seconds I would either increase the resistance or add 40 RPMs, and then allow myself to drop down the the initial pace for a 1 minute recovery before repeating. Let’s just say that not only was I wiping off the equipment when I was done, but I was also mopping up the embarrassingly massive puddles I’d left on the floor. Oops!
What do you do on your cross-training days? Do you have a favorite piece of equipment at the gym? Treadmills don’t count!