(This is gonna be a quick one and more of a personal testimonial from my recent climbing trip to the Red River Gorge.)
Let's first define "cross-training." Cross-training is exercise you do that is similar to a specific sport you want to improve in. For example, swimming is great cross-training for running because it builds your cardio capacity and core strength. Or doing cable rows is great for building upper back and shoulder muscles to improve paddling.
Cross-training is crucial because it creates a well rounded body and irons out imbalances that repetitive movements create. Most overuse injuries can be prevented by cross-training...but that is a different and much longer post.
Cross-training improves specific sport performance, especially when sport specific training is unavailable.
There are a lot of things I love doing that I only get do do once in a blue moon. Climbing has unfortunately been one of those things. Climbing is also one of those things that takes practice and consistency to improve in.
Over the past year I've been mostly trail running, cycling, training at BAREfit and building stuff because thats what time has allowed for this stage in my life. Thus one would not blame me for going into this trip expecting to have fun but not necessarily kick ass.
Well I was wrong...
My first first climb of the day was a 5.9 with a small roof that had shut me down about a year ago when I was climbing more consistently. I was hoping for a 5.7/8 to warm up on, but Jeremy of Elemental Climb Club was not about to grant such wishes.
I tied in, put on my red Mad Rock shoes and resigned to accept my fate...