Starting a new training program can sometimes be intimidating, especially if you aren’t familiar with the terminology and acronyms – but it doesn’t have to be! Maybe you have even heard of the term “cross-training” thrown around, but too shy to ask what it means. How about AFS? Perhaps this is just another sports medicine acronym to you that your Cross Fit friends would know. Well, we’re here to break down not only what cross-training and AFS mean but also shed light on 3 major benefits of doing AFS cross-training workouts here with us at Fit Societe!
What is Cross-Training?
Simply put, cross-training is the practice of engaging in two or more sports-focused exercises in order to improve one’s overall fitness. Cross-training typically involves workouts of both low and high intensity and pairing together workouts that will support each other. An example of cross-training is pairing a HIIT workout with a heavy lift workout in the same week, something you can experience with us here at Fit Societe.
What is AFS?
AFS stands for Applied Functional Science, which is the convergence of three science philosophies: Physical Science (the world we live in), Biological Sciences (the human body) and Behavioral Science (the mind). We move in three planes of motion in real life – whether it be lifting heaving groceries from the car, putting away plates in cabinets or lunging to catch a falling object. With AFS, all these three perspectives (and planes) provide functional movement exercises to mimic how we really move in real life. Fit Societe is founded on AFS principles, so it only makes sense that all of our workouts have us moving in three planes of motion as well.
Benefit 1: Injury Prevention
Both cross-training and AFS greatly contribute to injury prevention. Many sport-related injuries are due to overuse, biomechanical irregularities, and muscular imbalances. As you now know, cross-training provides much variety in workout and workout programing, which prevents athletes from overuse of a particular muscle, muscle group, or muscle chain reaction.
AFS movements work with biomechanical irregularities (such as a foot overpronating when you run) by adjusting form and with both cross-training and AFS providing full-body, complete muscle group exercise programming, this helps build up weaker muscle areas.
Benefit 2: Active Recovery
Another major component of athletic injury is inadequate recovery time. Luckily, since AFS cross training exercise programming provides variation, it allows for adequate active recovery time – meaning exercise can happen while simultaneously resting certain muscle groups that need a break. For example, if one day focuses on push movements (3D push ups, 3D overhead press, bench press) the next day might be more pull movement focused (grip variation pull ups, rotating dumbbell rows, and lat pull downs).
Pushing movements in the upper body activate the chest, shoulders and triceps. Pulling movements in the upper body activate the back, biceps and forearms. By splitting up the days on which muscle groups we focus on, we give other muscle groups a much-needed break!
Benefit 3: Enhances Flexibility, Mobility and Balance
Our AFS cross-training workouts focus heavily on stretching, mobility, and balance – in fact, the first 15 minutes of every LivFit class or first 30 minutes of every Fit4Life class are dedicated to stretching and mobility work. Stretching helps guide joints to move through their full range of motion (flexibility) which in turn helps our muscle to work most effectively not just in our workouts, but in our daily lives.
AFS mobility work consists of movements typically in a matrix form (lunge matrix, bicep matrix, shoulder matrix, squat reach matrix, etc.). A matrix in AFS terms is doing a single exercise in multiple planes. For example, a lunge matrix is an anterior lunge (lunging forward), followed by a lateral lunge (lunging to the side) and a transverse lunge (lunging back diagonal). Being more mobile brings more balance. More balance prevents falls, injuries, pain reduction, and athleticism.
There are so many other awesome benefits from AFS cross-training, but the best way for you to actually experience them is to come see it for yourself! Check out our website to schedule a free, no-sweat consultation with one of our coaches today and get your fitness journey started!