Guide to Hyrox Training

If you’re in the fitness world, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard about the Hyrox training phenomenon. 

Recently there has been a surge in people taking part in this unique hybrid-style fitness event that combines strength and endurance. I know a lot of people who took the plunge and entered a Hyrox event for the first time last year. And they’re not alone – according to the Hyrox website, there were more than 90,000 finishers across 40+ races in 2023. 

With its growing popularity and the hype surrounding it, Hyrox could be the biggest thing since the emergence of CrossFit in the 2000s. It’s clear that this new event is here to stay.

What sets Hyrox apart is its accessibility to individuals from various training backgrounds. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete, a qualified personal trainer or just beginning your fitness journey, Hyrox offers a challenging yet achievable goal to work towards. 

In this article, we’ll look into the exciting world of Hyrox training. We’ll break down the race format and look at what it takes to prepare for a Hyrox race. So, whether you’re considering signing up for your first Hyrox event, curious about this fast-growing fitness phenomenon or looking to get into the coaching, keep reading to discover everything you need to know about Hyrox training.

What is Hyrox?

You may have heard the name mentioned in gym circles, but what is hyrox?

Hyrox first emerged in Germany in 2017. It was founded by Christian Toetzke, CEO of Upsolut Sports, and Moritz Fürste, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in hockey. Toetzke isn’t a stranger to organised fitness events, having launched the Hamburg Triathlon back in 2002. The very first Hyrox took place in Hamburg in 2018. And since then, the event hasn’t looked back with Hyrox training and events popping up everywhere. 

Hyrox combines running with functional strength elements in a large indoor space. Hyrox is certainly a good form of functional fitness. The concept behind the event is simple, but very challenging: participants alternate between running 1km and completing a functional workout station. This sequence is repeated 8 times. 

The format behind a Hyrox race stays the same each time. This allows participants to track performance and progress with themselves and others. There’s even a global leaderboard and World Championships at the end of each race season. 

What sets Hyrox apart from other fitness competitions is its accessibility and inclusivity. There are no time caps, qualification requirements or overly technical moves. This makes it an appealing option for those who may find other competitions, like CrossFit, a little bit too daunting or technical.

There are also different categories to choose from depending on your level of fitness and preference. You can take part on your own, as a pro, in doubles or in a team. 

hyrox training two women on the rower

Source: Hyrox.com

The Hyrox Workout: Stations and race format

The unique nature of Hyrox combines a series of 8 x 1km runs with 8 functional workout stations. The format is simple: run 1km, workout station, run 1km, workout station…until you’ve completed 8km and 8 stations – that’s the Hyrox workout. 

These stations and the race as whole are designed to test participants’ strength, endurance and overall fitness levels to the max. 

Let’s take a closer look at the 8 Hyrox stations, the weights, distances and reps involved.

8 Hyrox workout stations – Weights, distances and repetitions

After completing the first 1km run, the participants are straight into the first Hyrox workout station. Here’s how the race workout stations unfold after each 1km run. 

Some of the stations come as they are and there aren’t any weights or reps involved (just distance), whereas others involve different weights. For ease, we’ve shown the requirements for the men’s and women’s open (standard entry), as well as the men’s and women’s pro races. All is explained below. 

  1. 1000m SkiErg
  1. 2 x 25m sled push
  • Men’s Open: 152kg
  • Women’s Open: 102kg
  • Men’s Pro: 202kg
  • Women’s Pro: 152kg

hyrox training sled push rob

 

  1. 2 x 25m sled pull
  • Men’s Open: 103kg
  • Women’s Open: 78kg
  • Men’s Pro: 153kg
  • Women’s Pro: 103kg
  1. 80m burpee broad jumps
  2. 1000m row

hyrox training sled pull rob

 

  1. 200m kettlebell farmers carry
  • Men’s Open: 2 x 24kg
  • Women’s Open: 2 x 16kg
  • Men’s Pro: 2 x 32kg
  • Women’s Pro: 2 x 24kg
  1. 100m sandbag lunges
  • Men’s Open: 20kg
  • Women’s Open: 10kg
  • Men’s Pro: 30kg
  • Women’s Pro: 20kg
  1. Wall balls
  • Men’s Open: 100 x 6kg
  • Women’s Open: 75 x 4kg
  • Men’s Pro: 100 x 9kg
  • Women’s Pro: 100 x 6kg

 

Hyrox Divisions

As hinted above with the open and pro requirements, Hyrox offers three main categories to cater for the various levels of fitness and preferences. These different categories include:

  1. Singles (Open and Pro) – Take on the standard or Pro Hyrox as an individual.
  2. Doubles (Open or Pro) – Find a partner and take on Hyrox as a pair. Both participants will have to complete all of the running together, but each workout station can be split as you choose. You can compete in the women’s doubles, men’s doubles or mixed doubles.
  3. Team Relay – As a team of four, the relay sees each teammate complete 2 x 1km of running and two workout stations. You can compete in the all women’s relay, all men’s relay or mixed relay with two males and two females. 
Hyrox training team relay finishers
Source: Hyrox.com

Hyrox Age Categories

So you can see exactly where you sit for your age group, Hyrox splits the results into age categories, which are as follows:

  • 16-24
  • 25-29
  • 30-34
  • 35-39
  • 40-44
  • 45-49
  • 50-54
  • 55-59
  • 60-64
  • 65-69*
  • 70+*

*The Hyrox Pro division’s last age group is 65+.

For the doubles competition, the age groups are slightly broader:

  • 16-29
  • 30-39
  • 40-49
  • 50-59
  • 60+

 

Why has Hyrox training become so popular?

Hyrox has experienced a rapid rise in popularity since it first got started in Germany. Its draw has attracted both fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes from around the world.

In 2023, Hyrox hosted over 40 global races in places such as Stockholm, Barcelona, Chicago, Dubai and Hong Kong. In the UK, we’ve seen Hyrox London, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham. Overall, 90,000 participants completed a Hyrox in 2023.  

One of the key factors contributing to its success is its accessibility. Open to anyone aged 16 and over, Hyrox welcomes participants of all fitness levels. This makes it an inclusive and inviting event for those looking to challenge themselves and push their limits. Yes you’re competing against others in your category, but just like an organised run, you’re mainly competing against yourself. 

The consistent race format is a popular pull. Whilst having the same format might seem a little repetitive, this is the norm when it comes to fitness events. Whether it’s a 10km run, marathon, Ironman, powerlifting or Olympic weightlifting event, you know what you’re getting into. People like this as it provides a clear goal to work towards. They can aim to beat their previous times and achieve personal bests without necessarily concerning themselves with the performance of other competitors. It’s only CrossFit that has majorly bucked this trend in terms of having a standard format. 

The Hyrox workout format aligns with a growing trend towards participation in endurance events, collaborative challenges and training outside of the traditional gym setting. People want new opportunities to challenge themselves and engage in exciting fitness experiences. As more people experience this mix of running, strength and endurance, we can only see Hyrox events and Hyrox training becoming even more popular. 

 

What does a Hyrox training plan look like?

A well-rounded Hyrox training plan needs to incorporate a balanced approach of running, strength training, cardio and Hyrox-specific exercises. 

Like any good training plan, it should promote progressive overload, gradually increasing in intensity to make sure that participants are as prepared as possible for the Hyrox race.

In terms of Hyrox workouts, a core aspect is running. Running makes up 50% of the event and needs to be a focus. However, it’s very different from a 5km run or half marathon. You’ll be taking on 8 x 1km runs and after some leg-heavy workouts. Have a closer read on the pros and cons of running here. 

Running after a 50m 152kg sled push or 200m of sandbag lunges with 20kg isn’t easy. You’ll be running under major muscle fatigue, especially towards the end of the race. All of this needs to be accounted for and incorporated into your Hyrox training.

Aside from the running, you’ll have to make sure you’re comfortable with all of the Hyrox workout exercises. These involve cardio workouts like the SkiErg and rower, plus strength-based movements like the sled push, sled pull, lunges and wall balls. You’ll need to be familiar with both the weights involved and reps to make sure you’re completing the movements as efficiently as possible. This is key.

hyrox training strength training

Between 1-3 strength training sessions a week will stand you in good stead. Make sure all of the major muscle groups in the lower and upper body are targetted to build all-round strength. Check out our article on strength training for women.

Ultimately, Hyrox is an endurance race. It’s going to take most people anywhere between an hour and an hour and a half to complete. Your heart rate will be high throughout and this needs to be trained towards effectively. 

A Hyrox training plan will vary from person to person depending on levels of ability and fitness, but a typical training plan across the week is likely to include:

  • Running – mixture of steady-state runs and interval runs
  • Strength training – focus on the strength basics to build muscle endurance, particularly in the legs, shoulders and back. 
  • Hyrox-specific workout – Practising the technique involved in the Hyrox stations

A Hyrox training plan is also likely to be segmented so that intensity and volume is increased towards the middle of your training block, so it can then be tapered to reach peak performance come race day. 

For example, at the start of the training block you may focus on developing basic strength and aerobic capacity. During the middle phase you may then move onto building up strength and perfecting those specific Hyrox workout exercises. Then for the final few weeks you’ll want to refine your techniques and get a good understanding of the intensity required by completing a quarter, half or full simulation. One of the key aspects of a successful Hyrox training plan is its adaptability to various fitness levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced athlete, the plan should allow for adjustments to accommodate your individual needs and goals.

Rest and recovery should also be incorporated into Hyrox training to prevent injury and make sure you stay as fresh as possible. An essential part of the recovery process is nutrition and the correct fuelling of your body. This will be made up of a high protein diet, complex carbs around your training time, plus vegetables and fruit to get all of your micronutrients. For those with a passion for nutrition, check out our range of nutrition courses

 

What’s a good Hyrox time?

hyrox training finishers in birmingham
Source: Hyrox.com

 

When it comes to Hyrox training, the question of what’s a good time is of course subjective. It depends on various factors, including fitness levels, age and personal goals. 

However, it’s helpful to have a general understanding of the average times across different categories to gauge your performance and set realistic targets.

According to the data provided by Hyrox, here are the average completion times for each category:

  • Hyrox Men: 1:35:00
  • Hyrox Pro Men: 1:30:41
  • Hyrox Women: 1:38:02
  • Hyrox Pro Women: 1:31:22
  • Hyrox Men Doubles: 1:19:22
  • Hyrox Women Doubles: 1:28:43
  • Hyrox Mixed Doubles: 1:25:26

At the top end of the spectrum, the elite athletes of Hyrox are completing the race in under an hour. The current world record in the pro category stands at 53:22 mins and is held by Hunter Mcintyre of the USA. Michael Sandback has the quickest time for a British athlete in the pro category at 56:34 mins. 

For the pro women, the world record is held by Lauren Weeks of the USA at 58:03 mins. In the women’s open category, Jana Sussmann of Germany has the quickest time at 59:32 mins. 

For competitive athletes with a strong athletic background and prior fitness experience, a good target time is between 60-75 minutes.

Most people consider a ‘good’ time to be one that is better than the average times mentioned above. All you can do is try your best, show some grit and determination and get it done in the quickest possible time for you personally.

The beauty of Hyrox is that once you’ve set a time, you’ve got something to beat.

Hyrox partner gyms

Hyrox has established a large network of partner gyms worldwide. To date, more than 2,000 gyms and personal trainers worldwide have joined forces with Hyrox. In the UK and Ireland, there are now over 300 Hyrox affiliated gyms. I’ve been to a couple Hyrox affiliated gyms in Manchester

All are united by their passion for the sport, their commitment to helping members prepare for Hyrox races and the supportive community it develops.

Hyrox partner gyms gain access to a range of tools, services and benefits that help them successfully integrate Hyrox into their programming. Hyrox affiliated gyms hold exclusive rights to host Hyrox classes and training sessions. 

 

How to become a certified Hyrox coach?

hyrox training qualified coach

If you’re passionate about Hyrox and personal training, becoming a certified Hyrox coach could be a great way forward. Not only does it give you another string to your bow with sports related jobs, but it gives you the opportunity to make more money as a personal trainer

To become a certified Hyrox coach you need to qualify from a course at the Hyrox Academy. Before you do this, it’s crucial to have a strong foundation in health and fitness. 

It’s essential to understand the basics of personal training by obtaining a Level 2 Gym Instructor and Level 3 Personal Trainer qualifications. Having an internationally recognised PT qualification, such as those offered by The Fitness Group, provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to offer clients the best advice for health and fitness, not just Hyrox specific training. 

As a qualified personal trainer, you can enjoy a rewarding career with good earning potential and even hit the heights of a high paying job with no degree.

Once you have established your personal training credentials and have that solid foundation, it’s then a good idea to become a certified Hyrox coach. At this time, you can only become a certified Hyrox coach via a Hyrox partner gym. 

Hyrox is a tough, leg heavy, endurance event. Why not consider becoming qualified with a sports massage course? Sports massage is a fantastic service to offer to help clients recover faster and perform better.

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