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What is Hyrox and should you try it?

Since its launch in 2017 in Germany, Hyrox has taken the fitness world by storm and now it’s impossible to go on social media without seeing hundreds of people post about their latest Hyrox workout or event. But what is Hyrox? And is now the time for you to see for yourself what all the fuss is about? Use our expert guide to the all-round physical and mental challenge that is Hyrox to take your training - as well as your fitness, confidence and resilience - to a higher level

Picture an arena in which endurance meets strength, speed intersects with strategy, and mental fortitude is as crucial as physical prowess.

Welcome to the world of Hyrox, the fitness competition designed for everyone – athletes and amateurs alike – looking to push their limits and set new benchmarks for their physical prowess and mental toughness.

Born in Germany in 2017, Hyrox quickly spread across the world and has taken the global fitness community by storm – along with ice baths, Zone 2 cardio and tracking heart-rate variability – thanks to its uniquely challenging workouts and events. In 2023 there were more than 40 Hyrox events staged globally, with more than 90,000 competitors taking part.

Unlike all other fitness competitions you can think of, including CrossFit, Hyrox’s strength lies in the importance it places on competitors being all-round athletes, rather than relying on one skillset to the detriment of all others.

Combining rounds of running with functional fitness exercises, Hyrox has created a decathlon-style format that is as enjoyable as it is demanding.

Whether you’re a seasoned long-distance runner, a gym rat, or completely new to cardio and resistance training, here’s what you need to know about Hyrox to take your training – and your fitness – to the next level.

What is Hyrox?

Hyrox is a competitive fitness event that combines intense cardiovascular efforts with strength- and power-based challenges. Participants tackle a series of eight 1km running segments alternated with functional exercises, such as sled pulls, burpee broad jumps, rowing, and sandbag carries.

The unique structure of Hyrox competitions is designed to test universal aspects of fitness, ensuring that not just specialists, but well-rounded athletes, can compete and excel.

This event is standardised globally, meaning whether you compete in the US, Europe, or anywhere else, the course and its challenges remain consistent, making it an equitable test of determination and endurance, and helping its rapid rise to international popularity.

What is a typical Hyrox workout?

A typical Hyrox competition comprises a sequence of eight strength-based challenges interleaved with eight rounds of stamina-based 1km runs for 16 total rounds against the clock. These workouts are therefore designed to challenge participants across various physical competencies.

Here’s an example of a recent Hyrox competition workout, which illustrates the demanding nature and multi-skilled scope of Hyrox events.

Sample Hyrox Workout

  1. 1km Run
  2. Sled Push (25 metres)
    Participants push a weighted sled over a 25m course. This tests power output and anaerobic capacity.
  3. 1km Run
  4. Sled Pull (25 metres)
    This involves pulling a sled towards oneself using a rope, a challenge that heavily engages the core, arms, and back.
  5. 1km Run
  6. Burpee Broad Jumps (80 metres)
    A combination of burpees followed by a broad jump. This exercise is designed to test plyometric power, coordination, and cardiovascular endurance.
  7. 1km Run
  8. Kettlebell Carry (1,000 metres)
    Participants carry a kettlebell over a specified distance, challenging their grip strength, stability, and muscular endurance.
  9. 1km Run
  10. Rowing (1,000 metres)
    A straightforward but grueling rowing round that demands both strength and stamina.
  11. 1km Run
  12. Farmers Carry (2 x 25 metres)
    Carrying heavy weights over a distance as quickly as possible, which tests grip strength and overall muscular endurance.
  13. 1km Run
  14. Sandbag Lunges (100 metres)
    Participants perform walking lunges while bearing a weighted sandbag, targeting lower body strength and endurance.
  15. 1km Run
  16. Wall Balls (100 reps)
    Throwing a medicine ball to a target height against a wall and catching it on the rebound, requiring coordination, strength, and endurance.

This sample workout showcases the demand for a broad range of physical skills and attributes, from raw strength and power to endurance, speed, and agility. Preparing for such an event requires a balanced training regimen that not only focuses on each of these areas but also integrates recovery strategies to enhance overall performance and prevent injuries.

Training for a Hyrox event (see below for more details) isn’t just about focusing on one type of fitness but rather developing a comprehensive fitness base that can handle varied physical challenges. This requires a holistic approach, incorporating nutrition, physical training, mental preparation, and recovery protocols—all of which are essential for competing effectively in Hyrox and similar high-intensity fitness competitions.

What’s more important for Hyrox: physical strength, athletic endurance or mental toughness?

While physical strength and athletic endurance are critical for performing well in Hyrox, mental toughness plays a pivotal role as well. The competition’s format, which alternates between high-intensity running and strength exercises, requires a balanced approach.

Physical strength will help you manage the functional exercises more efficiently, while endurance ensures you can sustain your energy throughout the 8km of total running. However, mental toughness is what will see you through the inevitable moments of fatigue and challenge, helping you push past barriers and maintain a competitive edge.

Successful Hyrox participants often train not just their bodies but also their minds, preparing to handle the stress and strain of competition with resilience and determination.

Who is behind Hyrox and when did it launch?

Hyrox was created by Christian Toetzke and Moritz Fürste in Hamburg, Germany, in 2017 with a vision to craft a fitness competition that was not only universal in its standardisation, but also inclusive for athletes of all levels.

Toetzke is a veteran in organising large scale sporting events, and Fürste is an Olympic gold medalist in field hockey. Their collaboration aimed to fill a niche in the fitness industry, offering a rigorous, scalable competition that mirrors the varied capabilities of everyday fitness enthusiasts and elite athletes alike.

Is Hyrox like CrossFit?

While Hyrox and CrossFit both involve high-intensity functional exercises, there are key differences.

CrossFit is broader in scope, encompassing a wide range of random physical tasks to test general physical preparedness.

Hyrox, in contrast, focuses on a fixed set of challenges that combine running with strength and endurance exercises in a repeatable and standardised competition format.

This makes Hyrox competitions consistent and comparable across events, unlike CrossFit, which features constantly varying workouts that challenge participants in unpredictable ways.

Where can I take part in a Hyrox competition?

Hyrox events are held in major cities across the globe, including locations in the United States, Europe, and Australia.

To find an event near you or to see the international schedule, visit the official Hyrox website where they list all upcoming competitions and locations.

How much does it cost to do Hyrox?

You can train for free but there is a cost to take part in an organised Hyrox competition.

The entry fee can vary depending on the location and the timing of your registration. Early bird registration typically offers the lowest prices, with fees increasing as the event date approaches. On average, you can expect to pay between $70 to $120 to compete in an individual category.

Team entries and relays may have different pricing structures. It’s best to check the official Hyrox website for the most accurate and up-to-date pricing for events in your desired location.

How do I train for a Hyrox event?

Training for a Hyrox event means preparing both your endurance and your ability to handle various functional exercises.

A balanced training approach should include cardiovascular training through running and rowing, along with strength training that focuses on the specific exercises featured in the competition, such as sled pushes and sandbag carries.

Many athletes incorporate interval training to improve their ability to recover quickly between exercises, a crucial factor in Hyrox given the alternating format of running and functional tasks.

How fit do I need to be to do Hyrox?

Hyrox is designed to be accessible for individuals of varying fitness levels, but having a baseline of cardiovascular and muscular endurance will greatly enhance your experience and performance.

Ideally, participants should be comfortable with running up to 8km and handling moderate weights for the functional exercises. While you don’t need to be an elite athlete, preparing for the event through consistent, targeted training will help ensure you can enjoy and complete the challenge safely.

Is Hyrox for men or women?

Hyrox is a gender-inclusive competition, with categories for both men and women. There are also mixed-team categories, making it a versatile event that encourages participation from all.

This inclusivity reflects the philosophy of Hyrox, which aims to test fitness without gender bias, allowing competitors to focus purely on their performance irrespective of gender.

Am I too old to do Hyrox?

There is no age limit for participating in Hyrox. The competition is designed to accommodate participants of all ages, with categories specifically for different age groups. This ensures that you can compete with peers in a similar age range, making the event enjoyable and fair.

It’s not uncommon to see participants in their 50s and even 60s embracing the challenge. The key is to train appropriately and listen to your body, ensuring you are physically prepared for the intensity of the event.

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