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The benefits of cross-training

Do you ever wonder why a person cross-trains? Why not stick to one activity, become amazing and master one thing like cycling, running, lifting, or only Lagree?

Amanda Webb, one of Grit’s founding members and newest Climb instructor, is here to share her story about integrating cross-training and how it has helped her in other aspects of her athletic lifestyle!

“As many of you may know, I am an avid runner. I love to explore on trails as well as pound some pavement. All of these miles can take a toll on my body, so I am always looking for cross-training opportunities, which led me to try a Climb class at Grit in December 2021.

From the first class, I was hooked on Climb. The ability to work in a different plane of motion and move vertically was such a new challenge for my entire body. I felt it in my legs instantly and imagined that this would only improve and translate to greater strength on the run. I ran the Houston Marathon just weeks later in January 2022 and knew Climb had helped prepare me. I’m continued climbing several times a week thru the spring and summer. When I went on training runs and hikes, my legs didn’t fatigue as quickly and I had minimal soreness the next day. I attribute this to the strength I have gained from Climb. In August, I completed TransRockies a stage race which goes from Buena Vista to Beaver Creek, Colorado. Each day you wake up and ask your body to run anywhere 13-20 plus miles with all the elevation gains. My legs again proved they were ready from all my Climb classes. I added in Shake as well to balance out the cross-training. Each of these classes have prepared my body in the best way to run all the miles. I completed another stage race event in Utah last week with all my runner friends from Pittsburgh and they asked how I was so prepared, I explained it all because of Climb and Shake. With just weeks to go before the New York City Marathon on November 6th, I will continue to Climb and Shake a couple times a week to ensure I am as strong as I can be for race day.

As an aging runner, the best advice I have is to explore alternative ways to prepare for a starting line. Yes, miles in the bank count, but so do strong legs and lungs. Explore adding cross-training modalities to your training regime such as Climb and Shake and expect good things!!”

The reason cross-training is so important is because muscles have memory. When you do the same workout and work the same group of muscles, they get stronger, your body is trained to only know that workout. Your other muscles may get weaker, fatigue can set in faster and it can cause physical injury. When one muscle group is targeted constantly it can over compensate for the others. You may notice your knees will hurt during normal activity, or your back will start to hurt. Cross-training is great to be able to strengthen, build up muscles in other parts of your body, and improve flexibility. Flexibility is more than just touching your toes. As humans, our spine is meant to move, our core is meant to hold us upright, we are meant to move with ease and not in pain. Moving our own bodies with ease is when we incorporate flexibility with strength.

Cross-training gives you these benefits that allow you to keep moving your body and doing all the things you love longer in life.

Not only does Cross-training have huge benefits for your physical self but it also has HUGE benefits for your mental health. Trying new things and allowing your mind to learn new exercises and stimulate your body releases endorphins. More endorphins means more joy!! Who doesn’t need more joy in life?

At Grit we believe that in life you need to have a balance. We believe that hard work will lead to change not only in the physical but also in the mental realm. We believe that life needs a balance of intense high energy and also calming restorative movement. We always want you to be proud of everything you do and the more you’re willing to try new things, whether it is Yoga, Climb, or Lagree; we hope you will always be proud that you stepped outside of your comfort zone safely and released some endorphins!

Stay Gritty Friends!