When you’ve got your eye on the prize—bigger muscles, a faster marathon, impressive strength, more efficient cycling, or improved athleticism in a sport—it’s easy to feel like you should only focus on the workouts proven to get you there. And therein lies a problem.
“It’s great to be spectacular in a specific activity, sport, or style of training, but we must also take into consideration that our bodies will eventually adapt and become super-efficient at whatever the primary movements involved are,” says Sean Alder, C.S.C.S., a personal trainer and team educator at SOLDIERFIT in Maryland. “We must also understand that the other parts or systems of the body are being neglected, increasing the likelihood for muscle imbalances from overuse or overtraining.”
An easy enough fix: Break out of your routine by cross-training once a week. The change-up will round out your ability without hurting your specialty, while also enhancing your overall results.
Pick one of these outside-your-wheelhouse workouts based on your goals, and get training.