One of the biggest fitness trends of the last 12 months has been multi-sport workout and it’s not hard to find proof of this rise.
There is the runner outside your office on his way to boxing, one of the 480 Australian F45 gyms on every block, and the nippers of all ages who take over your beach every single weekend. Don’t believe it? Just try to find a carpark at your local beach on a Sunday morning.
Multi-sport training and its participants are now no longer a subculture forced into the shadows of underground CrossFit boxes, but are becoming the new norm. In fact, 88 perfect of Australian sport club members are involved in supplementary workouts on a weekly basis, according to the Medical Society for Sports Medicine.
Our fitness idols and celebrities are also a reflection of this trend, with heroes no longer always bred in the isolation of a single sport. The greatest multisport athletes in the world have followings in the hundreds of thousands, dwarfing the 20k-plus followings of our Olympic champions, and the sponsorship dollars that chase them are reflective of their influence.
These athletes reflect our personal desires — they are good at everything. In a society where we want it all, fitness is now an outlet where we legitimately can, and the benefits of mixing it up when it comes to training keep adding up.
From a health and results perspective, keeping our body guessing by throwing in different styles of training into the one workout plan delivers great results, fast. Activating different muscles and energy systems through a variety of movements keeps the metabolism firing and always working to adapt to your next fitness outing.
According to research published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, this variety and constant metabolic conditioning also ensures that athletes don’t adapt to monotonous routines, and that results don’t plateau.
Cross training also decreases the chance of serious injury by decreasing the continuous and repetitive load on single sport specific muscle groups, increasing flexibility, and building the necessary muscle to support joints through a range of movements. When it comes to burn-out and mindset, the big winner from mixing up your program is that your workouts are always interesting.
Multi-sport workouts mean different locations, different movements, and different training groups. You can train outside with your mates, find your Zen and recover in a yoga studio, and get some serious business sweat-working done in the gym.
Variety in your program doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice routine or structure in your training, and the chaos can certainly be organized to meet any objective or need. The greatest athletes in the world following multi-sport training are those who follow a plan with firm goals and targets — however they’re aware of the benefits of targeting all aspects of fitness.
While the multi-sport trend has been gathering momentum over the past 18 months, the fit-tech sector has also started issuing responses. Apps and tech that promote access to exercise variety are experiencing continuing growth thanks to our increasing desires. Classpass, the US based fitness app allowing users to book into a multitude of affiliate studios, has taken over the Australian market, while gyms and franchises that facilitate this variety have swept the nation, and even the world. Large tech firms Garmin, Fitbit, and Apple have all introduced new devices to not only measure running, but swimming and cross training also.
The uptake has been so strong that sport-tech now includes apparel. It’s no longer enough to wear a daggy workout singlet that doesn’t enhance our performance, and brands are responding to the way we’re training. Fitness has always been an outlet and reflection for our desires and goals, and now “having it all” can be added to the list of reasons why we should continue to get our bodies moving.