IN THE PURSUIT of strength gainsimproved performance and a chiseled midsection, it’s important to utilize every method at your disposal.

Too many guys get stuck on a single technique or school of thought and dig themselves into a rut that’s hard to escape. We all experience plateaus, and to surpass them they need to be approached constructively. To grow, we need to reinvent ourselves and the things we do.

In the gym, this involves stepping outside of your comfort zone and seeking fresh, dynamic programs. Cross-training epitomizes this approach, drawing from a variety of disciplines and incorporating them into vigorous and supremely productive workouts. Cross-training is the method of combining several different workout strategies (for instance, body building, track and field, and boxing) for a single, comprehensive training session. Remember the ripped guys from the movie 300 a few years ago? They relied exclusively on cross-training to achieve their collectively jacked look. And there’s always CrossFit, which—love it or hate it—has helped reshape the way we talk about fitness these days.

Cross-training approaches are also becoming more and more popular in the military, NFL and NBA. So what’s all the hype about? Check out some of the benefits of cross-training below:


By performing a variety of exercises from different disciplines, you are asking more of your body than with a traditional, straightforward approach. Increased workload and variety lead to increased capability. In other words, by doing more with your body, your athletic and fitness levels have no choice but to grow.

Cross-training workouts aren’t tailored to a single goal, such as gaining strength or getting faster, but cater to these needs simultaneously. With cross-training, it’s possible to gain muscle, lose fat, increase cardio-aerobic capacity and quicken your feet—all in a single workout. This comprehensive style of fitness training is called conditioning, and it’s one of the benefits of cross-training.