Over the last few decades, there have been advances in sports science that have led to research into more efficient ways of obtaining the maximum performance from an athlete’s body. Each sport demands something different from an athlete’s body, making sports-specific training so important. To be ultimately competitive these days requires more than just being talented at your sport. This is where cross training comes in.
Cross training can be the difference between 1st and 2nd place. That’s how beneficial the correct sports-specific training can be. It doesn’t make sense to give a 100m sprinter a program with a 3 hour run in it, because it’s developing the wrong muscle fibres (slow-twitch), which is the opposite needed for sprinting. The most beneficial cross training would be explosive exercises like plyometrics, which will be developing their fast-twitch muscle fibres.
There’s so much information going around on the internet, at the gym, at the workplace, within social networks, etc, that it makes it difficult to sift through what information is actually relevant to you and your needs. One of the unfortunate consequences of all this information is that everyone thinks they’re an ‘expert.’ If you’re genuinely serious about training the most efficiently and effectively for your sport, then start asking the right questions, e.g. what is the body movement in this technique (biomechanics)? Am I training for endurance or explosiveness? What scientific evidence does that person have to support their claim? Has my personal trainer studied and understood the movements required for my sport? These are just some basic questions to get you started and to keep you honest. They say truth is the hardest pill to swallow so if you’re wanting to complete a half marathon, don’t go to the gym and push 1RMs with your mates, go for a run. It’s not rocket science, it’s sports science!
By Janine Jungfels – Pushys Sponsored Athlete