Cross training means training in a variety of sports in order to improve performance in each of them. Thus, improving in one sport makes you better at other sports. Closely linked is the idea of muscle confusion: When you work a muscle the same way every time, eventually you plateau. However, if you change the routine, working the same muscle but in different ways, you continually progress.

Spiritual cross training is a scripture-study program based on this principle. Instead of studying The Book of Mormon for a month (or a year), you mix it up daily–you cross train. This idea came to me when I was spending up to two hours a day studying the temple. I was very excited about it, but eventually I got burned out: I didn’t have the time or energy to study that much on a daily basis. The unfortunate result was me taking a break from scripture study for days on end.

Here’s my schedule (but the principle can be personalized to your interests and schedule):

  • Sunday: Topical study (Temple, for now. 1-2 hours.)
  • Monday: Priesthood/R.S. manual (20 min.)
  • Tuesday: Conference talk (20 min. Usually from the last conference, but the options are open.)
  • Wednesday: Book of Mormon (15-30 min. I read in Spanish. Consecutive chapters, not by topic.)
  • Thursday: Conference talk (20 min.)
  • Friday: Book of Mormon (15-30 min.)
  • Saturday: Preach My Gospel (30-45 min.)

This keeps my scripture study fresh. And it allows the flexibility to ease a bit during the busy week and do a heavier workout on the weekends. Also, the routine could be changed. For example, once I get my applications finished, I might start doing topical study 2-3 times per week.

I think an important part of this is to have a set schedule. If I miss Monday, I don’t repeat it on Tuesday. I skip it and catch it again next week. This makes it easier to keep from doing catchup all the time (as missing days is inevitable).

— Travis

(P.S. I’d love to learn from your scripture-study techniques.)