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One of my goals for 2015 was to get serious about cross-training. In case you’re not familiar with the term:
Cross-training, sometimes referred to as circuit training, refers to combining exercises of other disciplines, different than that of the athlete in training. In reference to running, cross-training is when a runner trains by doing another kind of fitness workout such as cycling, swimming, a fitness class, or strength training, to supplement their running. (Runner’s World)
Cross-training is so important for runners (you should read this awesome article from Runner’s World to learn why); and yet for many of us, myself included, it’s surprisingly hard to do. I love to run. Anything else seems like a chore. Period.
Still, I know that cross-training will make me a stronger runner and a better athlete – so I’m trying to push myself outside of my comfort zone…and into the gym.
But here’s the thing about going to the gym – if I’m not there to use a treadmill, I don’t really know what to do with myself. I usually play it safe and go to some kind of circuit training class – that way, there’s an instructor who’s showing me exactly what to do. I just have to show up and follow along.
But what about those times when there’s no class available? The free weights are intimidating, the resistance machines are confusing, and I can only do so many squats and planks. That’s why I need to come to the gym prepared with a step-by-step plan of my own.
I recently had the opportunity to try out FitStudio.com from Sears. FitStudio is marketed as a “one-stop fitness destination and rewards platform.” It includes:
- Access to exclusive workouts, programs, and exercises
- A “goal center” for setting your fitness goals
- A workout tracker and dashboard for recording your fitness progress
- Free workouts and articles about fitness and nutrition
- Rewards for daily physical activity through the Points for Progress program and #Achieve15 fitness tips
- Video reviews and ratings of fitness gear/equimpment
- A personalized “Deal of the Day”
So here’s how it works. First, you sign up for an account. (If you’re already a Shop Your Way member, you can sign up through your SYW account.) There’s a short profile to set up, and then you can connect your account to your fitness device (options include FitBit, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, and more) to track your progress/points. Then you’re all set to earn Shop Your Way points that can be redeemed for merchandise in stores and online at Sears and Kmart.
As part of the Points for Progress initiative, members can earn $5 in Shop Your Way points (5,000 points) by burning 1,500 calories or walking/running 15 miles in 2015. You can also earn Shop Your Way points when you:
- Connect with FitStudio.com: Sign up, connect an app or device, or complete your profile.
- Get Active: Walk or run two miles per day and/or burn 200 calories per day.
- Socialize: Share your fitness progress and share FitStudio.com content on social media.
So can FitStudio help me with cross-training? It can – and can help with running, too. Here’s how.
FitStudio has lots of cool features, and I like earning points for my workouts. But my absolute favorite feature is Workout Central.
Workout Central really is a one-stop shop for fitness plans. It’s divided into 3 sections: Exercises, Workouts, and Programs. You can search for a specific body part, like “arm.” As you can see below, the search results include 62 individual exercises, 125 workouts, and 10 programs.
You can also search for an exercise, like “plank,” which results in 24 different types of planks. (Ouch.)
Naturally, I looked up “running” – and, wow, 52 different workouts came up! And lucky me – the top result was “8 Weeks To 10K: Cross-Training Workout.” I also found the “Runner’s Core Workout” and the “Strength Day Workout for Runners,” among quite a few others.
Okay, so what’s a Dumbbell Single-leg Deadlift, and how do I do one? FitStudio shows you exactly how, with both video and written instructions:
Bonus – I also found a ton of exercises and workout programs to use on the treadmill! (Check out Treadmill Boot Camp Xtreme – yikes!)
FitStudio is easy to use from my Android phone (although I would recommend signing up on a computer – it’s a bit easier that way). I love that I can browse through the workouts on my phone, pick one that works for me, and then have step-by-step instructions at my fingertips. It’s definitely made me more comfortable walking into the gym and is helping me reach my fitness (and running) goals.
FitStudio.com #Achieve15 Video Challenges: youtube.com/fitstudio