Avoiding Cross-Training Like the Plague

There are times I’ll willingly step out of my comfort zone. Wearing electric blue pants in the light of day? Fine. Ordering the tasting menu at Manzo, complete with a petit filet of bovine tongue? No big deal. Helping my pilot friend fly a two-seater plane over the San Diego Bay last weekend? Done and done.

But when it comes to adding cross-training to my weekly workout schedule, the likelihood of me donning a pair of spin shoes or striking a child’s pose in yoga is about the same as Rick Santorum winning the popular vote in Chelsea.

My aversion to cross-training is mostly an efficiency thing: In the time it takes to pack a gym bag, walk to the YMHA, go through the metal detector (what, your gym doesn’t have airport-caliber security?), claim a locker and make my way to the 4th floor cardio studio, I know I could have already covered a mile and a half on foot if I’d forwent cross-training and opted for a good old fashioned run instead.

It doesn’t help either that the adult workout classes offered at my gym at convenient hours mostly sound excruciating – things like “Aqua Fusion” or “Total Body Groove” or “Spending Time with Cats.” Paired with a crippling fear that the instructor will use me as an example of “how not to do a pushup correctly” in front of the entire group fitness class, that’s enough to keep my exercise routine refreshingly singular.

But in the spirit of Leap Day week, I’m going to take a page from Liz Lemon’s fictionalized playbook and try something new in the weeks ahead: cross-training at least once a week.

(Confession: this should already be on my schedule, since my current 10K training plan requires 60 minutes of cross-training every Saturday. My cross-training yesterday consisted of watching my boyfriend and his roommate rearrange furniture in the morning and tapping my toes along to The Artist at night. That may or may not actually qualify as actual exercise. I can’t be sure.)

But what kind of cross-training is best for a busy New Yorker? I posed the question to one of my blog idols, and she suggested SoulCycle, the high-energy spin-sation that has claimed to have “taken the world of fitness by storm.” I’ve heard great things from everyone and their mother about these classes, but at $32 a pop, they seem a little hard to justify on top of my monthly 92Y membership fee. (Funny how I can be so frugal on some fronts and so lavish on others. Last weekend, for example, I spent significantly more than that for a butter-infused vodka cocktail and a couple rounds of Wylie Dufresne’s bacon-wrapped hotdogs w/ deep fried mayonnaise. Priorities, people.)

If I’m really trying to be economical here, my best bet is to try out some classes at my home gym. 7 p.m. is a hard target when you manage a daily newspaper, but I’m hoping if I really bust my butt, I can make it to a 7:05 cardio kickboxing session tomorrow. Other ideas: testing out my gym’s indoor pool, streaming a Pilates workout on my laptop or intentionally leaving my Metrocard in my fifth-floor walk-up. Or I could just wait three weeks until soccer season begins again.

What’s your favorite form of cross-training? And can I tag along?


6 thoughts on “Avoiding Cross-Training Like the Plague

  1. Your favorite Philly friends HIGHLY recommend Jillian Michaels’ The Shred video..it will kick your butt big time and is only 18 minutes (22 with warm-up)! Worth every penny of the $9…

    Carrie and Laura

    1. If I don’t get into the expanded Broad Street Run (lottery results due any minute… eek!), I’ll still come down some weekend this spring for a Jillian Michael’s workout and a recovery cheese steak. Deal?

  2. lululemon has free yoga sundays.,… they call it sunday saluation i think… look up your local lulu and hop into the store for some free yoga from instructors in some of the best yoga studios in the city. I haven’t tried it, but i hear its fun!

    1. Will you be my date? I’m afraid to try something new alone, but I’d feel infinitely better if you were there holding my hand. (Note: this may just be a shallow attempt to get you to hold my hand.)

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