Hyrox Workouts and Training Plan - Foundry Personal Training Gyms

Hyrox Workouts and Training Plan

Hyrox represents a distinctive challenge in the fitness world, combining the endurance required for running with the physical demands of functional fitness exercises. This competition is structured to test participants’ limits across running intervals and functional workout stations, comprehensively assessing an individual’s fitness capabilities. As such, it appeals to a wide range of athletes, from seasoned runners to functional fitness enthusiasts, offering a unique platform where endurance and strength converge in a test of true athletic prowess.

At Foundry, we advise those interested in the Hyrox challenge to come prepared. Ideally, participants should have six to 12 months of consistent training before stepping into the arena. This preparation ensures a foundation of competence and stability in the basic movements required and significantly reduces the risk of injury. Hyrox is a demanding competition that pushes participants to their limits; entering without adequate preparation could lead to a less enjoyable experience and potential physical strain.

Acknowledging the intensity of Hyrox competitions and the importance of personal health and fitness levels is crucial. Therefore, we include an obligatory disclaimer for anyone considering this challenge: Assess your fitness levels and any potential medical concerns before participating in Hyrox or any other high-intensity fitness competition. If there’s any doubt about your readiness or if you’re managing existing health conditions, consulting with a healthcare provider for personalised advice is a necessary step. This ensures that you’re making an informed decision about your participation, safeguarding your health while pursuing your fitness goals.

For Foundry members and anyone with a personal training and functional fitness background, much of the Hyrox event may feel familiar. The exercises and equipment used throughout the competition align closely with the training regimens often practised in personal training gyms focused on functional fitness. This foundation can serve as a valuable asset in preparing for the unique challenges that Hyrox presents, allowing participants to approach the competition with confidence and a sense of readiness.


Hyrox Fitness

Hyrox is a fitness competition that uniquely blends endurance running with functional fitness challenges, presenting a structured yet dynamic test of athletic ability. The competition is meticulously designed around a fixed course of 8 kilometres of running, divided into 1-kilometre intervals, each followed by a functional workout station. These stations challenge participants with various exercises fundamental to functional fitness, including but not limited to rowing, sled push and pull, burpees, sandbag lunges, and wall balls. This format ensures a comprehensive evaluation of an athlete’s endurance, strength, power, and agility, making Hyrox an actual test of overall fitness.

The Hyrox Fitness Race is distinguished by its consistency in structure across all competitions worldwide. Whether participants compete in London, New York, Berlin, or any other global location, they face the same course layout and challenges. This uniformity allows competitors to prepare with precision, as the demands of the race are known in advance. Furthermore, it establishes a level playing field, enabling athletes from various backgrounds and regions to directly compare their performance against others globally. This aspect of Hyrox fosters a sense of international camaraderie among participants and adds a competitive edge as athletes strive to ascend the global leaderboards.


Preparing Your Body for Hyrox

Preparing your body for Hyrox demands a balanced approach to training, emphasising the development of both endurance and strength. This dual focus is essential because the competition’s structure tests your ability to run long distances at a steady pace while also challenging you with high-intensity functional exercises. Achieving success in Hyrox requires enduring and performing under fatigue, making the preparation phase crucial to a competitor’s performance.

Building a Solid Foundation

Endurance Training:
Begin with a baseline assessment of your current running capability. Gradually increase your mileage each week, aiming for a mix of long, steady runs and shorter, high-intensity interval sessions. This variety in training helps improve your cardiovascular system’s efficiency, increasing stamina and reducing overall fatigue during the race. Remember, the goal is to build up to comfortably running 8km in total, segmented into 1km intervals, which closely simulates the Hyrox race format.

Strength Training:
Parallel to your endurance efforts, incorporate a structured strength training regimen focusing on compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses. These exercises lay the groundwork for the more specific functional movements you’ll encounter in Hyrox. Aim for 2-3 weekly strength sessions, ensuring adequate recovery to foster muscle growth and prevent overtraining.

Preventing Injury:
As you increase your running mileage, you must listen to your body and recognise the signs of overuse or strain. Implementing a gradual increase in distance allows your muscles, joints, and cardiovascular system to adapt without the risk of injury. Incorporate rest days and cross-training activities like cycling or swimming to maintain cardiovascular fitness while giving your running muscles a break. Proper footwear and attention to running form can also significantly prevent injury.

Functional Exercises for Hyrox

Hyrox challenges competitors with various functional exercises that require strength, technique, and efficiency. Key exercises include:

  • Rowing and Ski-Erg:
    These machines test your endurance and upper body strength. Incorporate interval training on these apparatus to mimic the race-day intensity.
  • Sled Push and Pull:
    Focus on building leg and core strength through weighted squats and sled drills to prepare for the heavy resistance encountered in these stations.
  • Burpees and Sandbag Lunges:
    These exercises demand cardiovascular endurance and leg and core stability. Practice high-rep sets to build muscular endurance and resilience.
  • Wall Balls:
    Train explosive power and coordination by including wall balls or thrusters in your workouts, focusing on the accuracy and efficiency of each rep.


Endurance Training for Hyrox

Endurance training is a cornerstone of preparation for a Hyrox competition, focusing on enhancing both VO2Max and lactate threshold. These two physiological markers are critical for success in endurance sports, including the Hyrox race, which demands sustained high-intensity effort across running and functional workout stations. Improving your VO2 max enhances your body’s ability to utilise oxygen during intense exercise. At the same time, a higher lactate threshold allows you to maintain a higher intensity for longer before fatigue sets in. Here’s how to structure your endurance training for Hyrox:

VO2Max Improvement Strategies

1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):
HIIT sessions effectively boost VO2 max. Incorporate intervals where you push to near-maximum effort for short periods (e.g., 1-2 minutes), followed by equal or slightly more extended recovery periods. For example, after a warm-up, alternate between running at 90-95% of your maximum effort for 1 minute and jogging or walking for 1-2 minutes to recover. Repeat this cycle for 20-30 minutes.

2. Tempo Runs:
Tempo runs are performed at a steady, challenging pace, slightly below your maximum race pace, for a continuous period (e.g., 20-40 minutes). This type of workout trains your body to clear lactate more efficiently, raising your lactate threshold. The pace should feel “comfortably hard,” where you can speak in short phrases but not sustain a conversation.

Lactate Threshold Enhancement

1. Interval Runs with Lactate Threshold Focus:
Targeted interval training can improve your lactate threshold. Structure workouts with longer intervals at a pace you can maintain for about an hour of running. For instance, after warming up, run at your lactate threshold pace for 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of easy jogging. Repeat for 3-4 sets.

2. Hill Repeats:
Hill training provides a natural form of resistance training, improving strength and endurance simultaneously. Find a moderate to steep hill and run up at a challenging but sustainable effort for 60-90 seconds, then jog or walk down for recovery. Repeat 6-10 times depending on your fitness level and the hill’s length.

Suggested Running Workouts for Hyrox Preparation

1. Mixed-Interval Session:
Combine different types of intervals in one workout to target both VO2 max and lactate threshold. For example, start with shorter, high-intensity intervals (1-2 minutes at a near-maximal effort), followed by longer intervals (5-10 minutes at a threshold pace).

2. Steady-State Long Runs:
Incorporate a long run into your weekly training, focusing on maintaining a consistent, moderate pace. This builds aerobic endurance and mental toughness, teaching you to manage fatigue over longer distances.

3. Compromised Running Workouts:
To mimic the Hyrox race conditions, include workouts where you run after completing functional exercises that simulate the race stations. For example, perform a set of burpees, sled pushes, or sandbag lunges, immediately followed by a 1km run. This trains your body and mind to handle running in a fatigued state, which is crucial for race day success.


Strength and Power Development

Strength and power development are crucial for excelling in Hyrox competitions, which demand endurance and the ability to perform high-intensity functional exercises efficiently. Understanding the strength continuum is essential in tailoring your training to meet Hyrox’s specific demands. This continuum ranges from absolute strength through strength speed to speed strength, each playing a vital role in your overall performance.

Understanding the Strength Continuum

Absolute Strength:
The foundation of your power output refers to the maximum force your muscles can exert in a single effort. Increasing your absolute strength enhances your ability to handle heavier weights in exercises like sled pushes and pulls, which are integral to the Hyrox challenge.

Strength Speed:
Often referred to as power, this aspect focuses on the ability to apply force at speed. It’s crucial for movements requiring strength and quickness, such as a weighted sled’s explosive lift and push. Training for strength speed involves using moderate to heavy loads moved rapidly, mimicking the action and intensity of Hyrox stations.

Speed Strength:
This refers to the ability to execute movements at high speed with a relatively light load, mirroring the quick, repetitive actions seen in exercises like burpees and wall balls in Hyrox. Developing speed strength improves your efficiency and stamina in these high-repetition tasks.

Recommended Training Routines

For Absolute Strength:

  • Squats and Deadlifts:
    Incorporate heavy squats and deadlifts into your routine, focusing on low repetitions (3-5 reps) with maximal loads to build foundational strength.
  • Bench Press and Overhead Press:
    These exercises strengthen your upper body, which is critical for pushing and lifting movements throughout the race.

For Strength Speed:

  • Power Cleans and Snatches:
    These Olympic lifts are ideal for developing explosive power, teaching your body to apply force quickly and efficiently.
  • Plyometric Push-Ups and Box Jumps:
    These exercises enhance your ability to generate force rapidly, improving your performance in explosive, high-intensity bursts.

For Speed Strength:

  • Kettlebell Swings and Medicine Ball Throws:
    These movements train your body to maintain strength output at high speeds, crucial for the repetitive, dynamic actions in Hyrox.
  • Speed Squats and Lightweight Thrusters:
    Performing these exercises at a high velocity enhances muscular endurance and speed, which are vital for sustained performance in tasks like wall balls and burpee broad jumps.

Plyometric Exercises for Power Development

Incorporating plyometric training into your routine is essential for developing the explosive power needed for Hyrox. Plyometrics improve neuromuscular efficiency, allowing for quicker and more powerful movements. Include exercises such as:

  • Box Jumps:
    For lower body explosiveness, it is crucial for leaping and bounding movements.
  • Bounding and Hopping Drills:
    To enhance lower limb power and agility, improving your ability to transition between movements quickly.
  • Plyometric Push-Ups:
    To build upper body explosiveness, aiding in tasks that require pushing and thrusting movements.


Movement Efficiency and Technique

Mastering movement efficiency and technique is paramount for athletes preparing for a Hyrox competition. The unique combination of endurance running and functional exercises in Hyrox demands physical strength, stamina, and a high technical proficiency. Proper technique ensures that each movement is performed as effectively and safely as possible, enhancing performance while minimising the risk of injury.

Importance of Movement Standards

Hyrox competitions involve a series of common functional exercises in the fitness world yet require specific standards for execution during the event. Adhering to these standards is crucial for several reasons:

Injury Prevention:
Proper form and technique reduce undue stress on muscles and joints, lowering the risk of acute injuries and chronic overuse.

Performance Optimisation:
Efficient movement conserves energy and allows for faster completion of exercises. This is especially important in a Hyrox event, where time is of the essence, and energy conservation across multiple disciplines is vital to overall success.

Fair Competition:
Hyrox events enforce movement standards to ensure a level playing field. Mastery of these standards ensures that all competitors are judged equally and fairly.

Working with a Coach

Working with a coach can be invaluable to achieving movement efficiency and meeting the rigorous standards of Hyrox exercises. Certified coaches deeply understand the specific requirements of Hyrox competitions and can offer personalised instruction to refine your technique. Here’s how a personal training coach can help:

Technique Refinement:
Coaches can provide immediate feedback on your form, helping you adjust to perform each exercise correctly. This includes breaking down complex movements into manageable parts for learning and mastery.

Injury Prevention Strategies:
By assessing your movement patterns, a coach can identify and correct inefficiencies or imbalances that may lead to injury, ensuring your training progresses safely.

Customised Training Plans:
A coach can develop a tailored training plan that addresses your strengths and weaknesses, focusing on exercises that require extra attention for technique improvement.

Preparation for Competition Conditions:
Coaches can simulate race-day conditions, offering strategies to transition smoothly between running and functional stations and practice the pace and intensity required on race day.

Incorporating Technique Work into Training

To integrate movement efficiency and technique work into your Hyrox preparation, consider the following:

  • Dedicated Technique Sessions:
    Allocate specific training sessions to focus solely on form and technique for Hyrox exercises without the fatigue of a full workout.
  • Video Analysis:
    Recording and reviewing your training sessions with your coach can provide insights into areas needing improvement that might not be apparent.
  • Progressive Overload:
    Gradually increase the complexity and intensity of exercises under the guidance of your coach, ensuring that proper form is maintained as you advance.


Balancing Endurance and Strength Training

Balancing endurance and strength training is a pivotal aspect of preparing for a Hyrox competition, where both capacities are equally tested. However, the interference effect often challenges this balance, a phenomenon where concurrent endurance and strength training can impede gains in muscle strength and size due to conflicting physiological adaptations. To optimise performance for Hyrox, it’s crucial to employ strategies that minimise this effect, ensuring you can develop both endurance and strength efficiently.

Avoiding the Interference Effect

1. Separate Training Sessions:
Whenever possible, plan your strength and endurance workouts for different times of the day or, ideally, on separate days. This separation allows your body to recover and adapt specifically to each training stimulus, reducing the risk of interference. For example, dedicate mornings to strength training and evenings or alternate days for endurance work.

2. Prioritise Training Based on Personal Needs:
Assess which area—endurance or strength—requires more focus based on your current fitness level and the demands of the upcoming Hyrox event. If you’re stronger in endurance, prioritise strength training in your plan, and vice versa. This targeted approach ensures balanced development.

3. Use Periodisation:
Structure your training plan in cycles focusing on building endurance and strength. For instance, spend a few weeks focusing more on endurance training, followed by a phase emphasising strength. This method allows you to develop both areas without one consistently impairing the progress of the other.

Structuring a Weekly Training Plan

A well-structured weekly training plan for Hyrox should incorporate a mix of endurance, strength, and functional workouts while allowing ample time for recovery. Here’s a sample structure that balances these elements:

  • Monday: Strength Training Focus

Start the week with a session focused on building absolute strength, incorporating exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. Keep the intensity high but the volume relatively low to maximise strength gains without excessive fatigue.

  • Tuesday: Endurance Training

Dedicate this day to endurance work, focusing on longer, steady-state cardio sessions such as a long run or sustained effort on the rowing machine or SkiErg. This builds aerobic capacity and endurance.

  • Wednesday: Active Recovery or Rest

Allow your body to recover with light activities like walking, yoga, or mobility exercises. Active recovery aids in muscle repair and prepares you for the rest of the week’s training.

  • Thursday: Functional and Strength Speed Work

Combine functional exercises specific to Hyrox with strength speed work, such as power cleans or plyometric drills. This session should mimic the intensity and diversity of a Hyrox race.

  • Friday: Endurance Intervals

Focus on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to improve VO2 max and lactate threshold. Mix sprints with functional exercises to simulate the Hyrox race experience.

  • Saturday: Long Endurance Session or Hyrox Simulation

Engage in a more extended endurance session or a scaled-down Hyrox simulation to build stamina and practice transitioning between running and functional stations.

  • Sunday: Rest

Dedicate this day to complete rest, ensuring your body has time to recover and adapt to the week’s training.


Nutrition and Recovery

Optimising nutrition and recovery is essential for anyone preparing for a Hyrox competition. Proper nutrition fuels your training sessions and aids in recovery, while effective recovery techniques ensure you can train consistently and prevent injuries. Here’s how you can approach both to enhance your performance for training and race day.

Nutrition for Hyrox Training and Race Day

1. Balanced Diet:
Focus on a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Carbohydrates are your body’s primary energy source for high-intensity training, while proteins support muscle repair and growth. Healthy fats are essential for long-term energy and hormone production. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your daily meals.

2. Pre-Training Nutrition:
Consume a meal or snack rich in carbohydrates and protein about 2-3 hours before training sessions. This could be a banana with peanut butter or a small portion of chicken with rice. The aim is to provide your body with the necessary fuel without causing discomfort during your workout.

3. Hydration:
Stay hydrated throughout the day, emphasising drinking water before, during, and after training sessions. Dehydration can significantly impair performance and recovery. Consider electrolyte solutions or sports drinks during longer or more intense sessions, especially in hot conditions or if you sweat heavily.

4. Post-Training Recovery Nutrition:
Within 30 minutes to an hour after training, consume a meal or snack rich in carbohydrates and proteins to aid muscle recovery and replenish glycogen stores. Examples include a protein shake with fruit or a lean protein source with quinoa and vegetables.

5. Race Day Nutrition:
Develop a nutrition strategy for race day, including a well-tolerated pre-race meal and hydration plan. Familiarise yourself with the type and timing of nutrition that works best for you during training to avoid any gastrointestinal issues on race day.

Recovery Techniques

1. Active Recovery:
Incorporate light activities on your rest days, such as walking, yoga, or stretching. Active recovery helps improve circulation, facilitating nutrient delivery and waste removal from muscles.

2. Adequate Sleep:
Prioritise getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Sleep is critical for recovery when the body undergoes most of its repair and growth processes.

3. Foam Rolling and Massage:
Utilise foam rolling and massage to reduce muscle tightness and promote blood flow. These techniques can aid recovery and reduce the risk of injuries.

4. Cold Therapy:
Consider post-training cold showers, ice baths, or localised cryotherapy to reduce inflammation and soreness. While the research on cold therapy is mixed, many athletes report feeling refreshed and less sore after cold exposure.

5. Rest Days:
Schedule rest days into your training plan to allow your body to recover fully. These days are crucial for physical and mental recovery and should be respected as much as training days.


Race Day Strategy and Tips

You’ve done the training, and now it demands strategic pacing, diligent hydration, effective energy management, and robust mental preparation. The unique combination of endurance running and high-intensity functional exercises makes race day a complex challenge that must be carefully navigated. Here’s how to approach it:


  • Start Conservatively:
    Resist the temptation to start at full speed. Begin with a manageable and slightly conservative pace, especially during the first 1km run and the initial functional stations. This strategy helps preserve energy for the latter stages of the race.
  • Know Your Limits:
    Familiarise yourself with your capabilities at each exercise and running segment through training. Use this knowledge to set realistic pace goals for each part of the race, avoiding burnout.
  • Listen to Your Body:
    Be responsive to your body’s signals. If you’re feeling strong and energised, you can slightly increase your pace, but it’s wise to dial back and conserve energy if you’re struggling.

Hydration and Energy Management

  • Pre-Race Hydration:
    Begin hydrating well before the race starts, aiming for light to clear urine as a sign of proper hydration. Avoid overhydrating right before the start to prevent discomfort.
  • During the Race:
    Use the hydration stations strategically. Even if you’re not feeling thirsty, take small sips to maintain hydration levels without overfilling your stomach.
  • Energy Intake:
    For longer-duration races, consider energy gels or chews you’ve practised with during training. Ensure any energy supplementation is something your stomach tolerates well to avoid gastrointestinal issues.

Mental Preparation

  • Visualise the Race:
    In the days leading up to the race, visualise each segment, imagining yourself performing each exercise and running with strength and efficiency. Visualisation helps build confidence and reduces race-day anxiety.
  • Set Realistic Goals:
    Whether it’s to finish the race, set a personal best, or place in a certain rank, having clear, achievable goals can keep you focused and motivated throughout the event.
  • Stay Positive:
    Maintain a positive internal dialogue, especially when faced with challenging moments. Remind yourself of your training and preparation, and focus on the satisfaction of overcoming each obstacle.
  • Adapt and Overcome:
    Be prepared for the unexpected. If something doesn’t go as planned, stay calm and adapt. Flexibility and resilience are vital to navigating the highs and lows of race day.

On the Day

  • Warm-Up Properly:
    Engage in a dynamic warm-up to prepare your muscles and cardiovascular system for the race, focusing on movements that mimic the race activities.
  • Post-Race Recovery:
    After crossing the finish line, engage in a cool-down routine, continue to hydrate, and consume a post-race meal or snack to kickstart the recovery process.

If you have any questions on the above or would like some advice on how we could help you with your fitness goal, don’t hesitate to visit one of our personal training gyms in London


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