How To Train For Hyrox

How To Train For Hyrox

Fitness trends seem to evolve quicker than I change underwear. Ok, not quite, but I'm willing to bet that 12 months ago you'd never heard the word Hyrox (I certainly hadn't) and yet you probably have now! In this article, we explore the origins of Hyrox, what's entailed and take a deep dive into how to train for optimal Hyrox performance

In the dynamic world of fitness there's a new kid on the block capturing the attention of fitness enthusiasts worldwide: Hyrox - a race that mixes both endurance and strength training in a format that appeals to a broad range of athletic abilities.

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Whether you're a gym rat, weekend warrior or serious athlete, Hyrox could be the next love of your life!

What is Hyrox?

Hyrox is a fitness competition designed for everybody and it's certainly not the preserve of elite athletes. It combines functional strength exercises with high-intensity interval running. It's a bit like Crossfit, but simpler and more accessible due to the standardisation of Hyrox: the races are the same everywhere in the world, consisting of eight workout stations interspersed with 1 km running segments, totaling 8 km of running.

Each station tests a different aspect of a competitor's physical capabilities including strength, stamina, and agility.

Origins of Hyrox

Hyrox originated in Germany in 2017, conceptualised by a group of fitness experts (and savvy entrepreneurs) who saw a gap in the market to create a standardised fitness competition that could be scaled globally (unlike Crossfit, where the competition is kept secret and you have no idea what exercises / movements will be used).

Hyrox was designed to provide a physical challenge that could be accurately measured and replicated in various locations, providing a consistent benchmark for participants to measure their progress against past performances or other competitors.

What's Entailed in a Hyrox Competition?

A typical Hyrox competition involves the following sequence:

  • 1km run followed by the SkiErg (a ski machine that tests upper body and core endurance)
  • 1km run then sled push (a heavy push on a sled over a distance)
  • 1km run followed by the sled pull (pulling a weighted sled towards yourself)
  • 1km run then burpee broad jumps (a combination of a burpee followed by a broad jump...awful things!)
  • 1km run followed by 1km on the rowing machine
  • 1km run then a 200m¬†farmers carry (carrying a heavy weights)
  • 1km run followed by the sandbag lunges (lunging with a heavy sandbag)
  • 1km run then wall balls (throwing a weighted ball against a wall and catching it)

How To Train For Hyrox

Amateur and elite athletes alike approach Hyrox with a combination of savage overall conditioning, strategic planning and an acute focus on both physical and mental preparedness. Here’s a deeper look into how best to train for Hyrox:

1. Structured Periodisation

Athletes use periodised training to prepare for Hyrox. This method involves cycling through different phases of training (a bit like training for an endurance event), each with specific goals:

  • Base Phase: Builds general strength and endurance through high volume, lower intensity workouts
  • Build Phase: Increases intensity with more Hyrox-specific exercises and reduced volume to adapt muscles and cardiovascular systems
  • Peak Phase: Focuses on high-intensity, competition-specific workouts that mimic the Hyrox event closely, tapering towards the competition date to ensure peak performance

2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Given that Hyrox is both anaerobic and aerobic, HIIT is crucial. Athletes perform short bursts of intense exercise with rest or low-intensity periods. For example, sprint intervals on a treadmill followed by a set of heavy sled pushes and pulls.

This training improves both speed and endurance, key components of the Hyrox races.

3. Strength and Power Development

Strength training is tailored to the needs of the Hyrox event. Athletes focus on:

  • Olympic weightlifting: Movements like cleans, snatches and jerks improve power and are particularly useful for the explosive effort needed in events like the sled push.
  • Powerlifting: Squats, deadlifts and bench presses increase raw strength, essential for the heavy lifting segments of Hyrox.

4. Functional and Core Training

Functional training enhances the ability to perform complex movements that involve multiple muscle groups, which is vital for Hyrox. Core strength is particularly important as it's needed for all Hyrox exercises. Planks, Russian twists and medicine ball throws are staples.

5. Endurance and Tactical Pacing

Athletes also focus on endurance training but with tactical pacing strategies. This involves not just running longer distances but doing so in a way that simulates the start-stop nature of Hyrox, integrating drills that mimic transitioning from running to strength tasks.

6. Equipment Familiarisation

Access to equipment used in Hyrox competitions is really important, particularly if you want to be competitive. Things like the SkiErg and sled push/pulls recruit really specific muscle groups and if you haven't used them beforehand, you're in for a shock!

7. Nutrition and Recovery

Getting your nutrition right is a fundamental to intense training and recovery - ie, what's required of Hyrox athletes. High-quality protein, carbs and fats are all needed to boost muscle recovery and energy levels, not to mention adequate hydration and electrolyte intake.

Other recovery habits to engrain include massage, physiotherapy and - most important of all - quality sleep. All are integral to sustaining high training volumes and intensities.

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8. Mental Preparation

While endurance athletes are great at incorporating mental toughness in their training, the mental aspect of preparing for something like Hyrox is often overlooked.

But mental toughness and the ability to push through physical discomfort are key for performing well at Hyrox! Use tecnhiques like visualization, stress management and competitive practice runs too. 

9. Community and Coaching

Hyrox has already created quite the cult following - communities are popping up all over the place - and training with fellow Hyroxers is motivating and provides accountability. If you can, join a Hyrox gym or, at the very least, join some online communities to share insights and training knowledge.

Some go one step further and hire a coach (either in-person or remote) to set their training plans to help guide them through training.


As Hyrox continues its inevitable expansion, it offers an intriguing challenge for anyone looking to test their fitness levels in a novel and structured way. Whether you're looking to compete or just incorporate some aspects of Hyrox training into your fitness routine, understanding and preparing for this competition can lead to significant physical gains and a deeper connection with the global fitness community.

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