What is Cross Training and who can practice?

Cross training

We’ve all heard of the fitness training Cross Training. I would even say there are more people talking about her than practicing her. Many are the critics and, in fact, everyone has the right to express their opinion, even if it is often created without any basis or knowledge.

In a very simple way, Cross Training consists of performing functional exercises in a constantly varied, high intensity way . The aim is to prepare the practitioner for his daily tasks, both for the most obvious and for the least predictable.

If you’re getting ready to try Cross Training for the first time, read my other article on what to do in the first practice.

The variety present in the training should not be confused with a random choice, but rather with the aim of covering the maximum of movement patterns, training volume, or even loads used . As for the high intensity, it must be instilled in a logical order of motion mechanics, of its consistency, and only after these steps will we be able to work it. While we are not able to do this, we must use basic movements with little or no external load, minimizing the risk of injury .

Who can practice Cross Training?

I would say that in a place with good conditions and accompanied by a competent professional, anyone from 8 to 88 years old can benefit from Cross Training results . The methodology allows to adapt the movements, making the training easy to apply to different levels of physical condition. In this way, we can achieve an equal relative intensity for all practitioners.

This methodology entered the “fear” in Portugal and were counted by the fingers of the hands the spaces of training. The coaches were not many, there were no grassroots athletes and the few who had derived from other modalities, or came from professional areas such as security forces and armed forces. I had the privilege of watching the growth of all this: in 6 years, we went from a training space to more than 100, 4/5 coaches to more than 600 people with Level 1.

The methodology, which was going to be a fashion, became a certainty and, today, Portugal is following the European growth that has been noticed. Proof of this is to have athletes of 14/15 and over 50 years to practice, qualified trainers and optimal spaces for practicing the sport, thus attracting Portuguese brands to support athletes. Now, looking back, as a coach and as an athlete, I can say that Cross Training has changed my life , that of my athletes and family members for the better.

Look for a BOX (Cross Training training space) near you, with qualified technicians and try out this training methodology that is changing the lives of more and more people.

Cross Training Training Plan

I leave a small suggestion of training plan of Cross Training that can be done by anyone , it can be adapted either in the load, or in the number of repetitions:


  • 5 ‘light jogging;
  • Hip mobility.

Skill / Strength:

  • Back Squat (5-4-3-2-1) / (60-70% -80% -90% -100% of Maximum Repetition – RM)


Every Minute On The Minute (EMOM) 9 ‘:

  • 1 ‘- 10 Calories Rowing
  • 2 ‘- 15 Push Up
  • 3 ‘- 20 Goblet Squat @ 24 / 16kg
  • (3 series of EMOM)

Rest 2 ‘

  • 3 Rounds for Time (RFT):
  • 10 Calories Rowing
  • 15 Push Up
  • 20 Goblet Squat @ 24 / 16kg

Additional work:

  • 3 Rounds Not To Tempo:
  • 10 Unilateral Rows
  • 10 Inverted Abs
  • 10 Pistol in the Box

Cross Training Glossary

  • AFAP (As Fast as Possible) / RFT (Rounds For Time): Fixed number of exercises that must be performed in the shortest possible time.
  • AMRAP (As Many Rounds / Repetitions As Possible): Perform as many sets of exercises / reps as possible within a set time.
  • BENCHMARK WOD / GIRLS: These are standardized and used to measure the evolution of the physical conditioning of the Cross Training practitioner. The most well-known benchmark is Fran, 21-15-9 Thruster and Pull-Up: 21 Thruster reps, followed by 21 Pull-Up replays, followed by 15 + 15 and lastly 9 + 9.
  • COACH: As we called the Cross Training coaches.
  • COMPLEX: Sequential weight lifting exercises that are finalized without dropping the bar.
  • DNF (Did Not Finish): This is when the athlete does not complete the whole workout.
  • EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute): Performing a series of exercises that starts every minute and the rest of the minute after the exercise series is used as rest.
  • HERO WOD: These are challenging and generally longer training sessions designed to honor members of the American public safety force who died in combat.
  • KIPPING: It is a way to realize some movements where the potential energy of the hip is used to help in the movement. Widely used in Pull-Up, Muscle-Up and Hand Stand Push-Up.
  • METCON (Metabolic Conditioning): Metabolic Conditioning, achieved through WODs.
  • PR (Personal Record) / PB (Personal Best): Personal Record of a given exercise or workout. 1RM, 2RM, 3RM … (Rep Max): It is the maximum weight that can be raised by performing a number X (1, ​​2, 3, …) of repetitions of an exercise.
  • RX: Prescribed standard movement of movements and loads, without adaptations or escalations.
  • SC (Scale): It is the version of Cross Training accessible to all, since any training can be adapted / scaled / customized according to the individual abilities and abilities of each one (elderly, atypical, sedentary, athlete, obese , young, skinny etc).
  • TABATA: It is a training protocol of 8 rounds of 30s, which total 4min, with each round starting with 20s of activity, followed by 10s of rest.
  • UNBROKEN: Is to be able to perform all the proposed repetitions, without pauses until finishing the round or the WOD.

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