Tips to improve your Hyrox performance

training for hyrox event

Hybrid training is a fitness approach that combines two or more different training methods or modalities to achieve a more holistic and well-rounded training plan resulting in improved fitness, athleticism, and overall health.

Hybrid training focuses on developing a balance between strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and mental toughness.

Whereas CrossFit is all about tackling the unknown, the demands of a Hyrox race will be the same each and every time, or at least it should be.

There ARE some differences between races, mainly regarding the running laps and surfaces (normally carpet) which the sleds are pulled and pushed on, but the required work remains the same.

For many, Hybrid Training can mean a lower incidence of injury as it is less demanding than the technical aspects of CrossFit (think Olympic Weightlifting and Gymnastics).

However, there is still the risk of overtraining with Hybrid workouts so make sure that you are following a programme or you have a coach overseeing you.

Why does Hybrid Training matter

CrossFit workouts typically revolve around short, intense intervals that demand a high level of anaerobic capacity. While this type of training develops explosive power and cardiovascular fitness, it may not address all aspects of overall athleticism.

Including the principles of hybrid training, on the other hand, integrates various training modalities promoting a more balanced and complete fitness profile.

Training for Hyrox can greatly benefit the CrossFit athlete as it focuses on cardiovascular endurance, strength, power, coordination, precision and stability, all of which you can expect to be tested in a CrossFit workout or competition.

So even if you are not planning on competing in a Hyrox race, there are many benefits to this style of training for the competitive CrossFit athlete:

  • Less risk of injury
  • Increased focus on cardiovascular endurance
  • Plenty of running, NOT the favourite modality for many CrossFit athletes…
  • Development of determination: a typical Hyrox Race takes more than an hour to complete, unless you are Hunter McIntyre who currently holds the world record of 53:22m.

What are the 8 stations in a Hyrox Race?

There are 8 static work stations in Hyrox, plus of course the 8 km of running which you would need to complete during the event.

Participants work through the stations in this order.

  • 1km run, then 1000m SkiErg
  • 1km run, then 50m Sled Push (aka Prowler)
  • 1km run, then 50m Sled Pull
  • 1km run, then 80m Burpee Broad Jumps
  • 1 km run, then 1000m Row
  • 1 km run, then 200m Farmer's Carry
  • 1 km run, then 100m Sandbag Lunges
  • 1 km run, then 75 (or more) Wall Balls

NB: The weights for the Sled Push, Pull, Farmers Carry, Sandbag Lunge and Wall Balls vary depending on which category you are competing in, so check the standards.

How can I improve my performance on the stations in Hyrox?

Firstly, we must point out that overall, your success in a Hyrox race is going to come down to how good your running is and how you manage with “compromised running”.

If you don’t currently run much in your programme, you should start to include runs.

Always be aware of how your body is feeling, it is easy to overtrain and you must take your rest and recovery very seriously.

If you want to prepare for a HYROX competition we have a training course for you!

Hyrox program
  • 4 training sessions per week for 6 weeks.
  • Detailed video tutorials with drills and progressions for tackling the eight HYROX challenges.
  • Tips to improve your running technique and performance.
  • Improved strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity.
  • Valuable advice by experienced coaches about what you should do leading up to race day.

Compromised running?

As soon as you get to the second km in a Hyrox race, or a simulation or even a regular workout, you are “running compromised”.

The term originates from Brakken Kraker on the podcast, “The Running Public” and describes what your running is like AFTER you have been doing something else that is not running.

The Hyrox stations are designed to compromise your running, and even if you are normally the gym’s Speedy Gonzales, you can expect to be significantly slower than you would be if you were “just” running.

hyrox running

This is an important element in Hyrox training and you will hear plenty of elite athletes working on improving this element in their competitive game.

To improve your running you could work on the following:

  • Implementing interval training to improve your cardiovascular endurance and lactate threshold. Interval training simulates the race conditions. Vary your pace with sprints and recovery jogs to build speed and stamina.
  • Incorporating training on hills to strengthen your leg muscles and improve running economy.
  • Maintaining proper running form to reduce strain on your joints and enhance efficiency.
  • Making sure to use GOWOD protocols pre and post workouts to help you prepare and recover optimally.

Whether you are preparing for a Hyrox, or just want to improve your CV endurance, plan to include more work on these stations and you will see gains.

Training for Hyrox stations

This is how you could improve the different Hyrox stations:

Improving your technique on the Ski Erg

The ski erg station provides a full-body workout, targeting the arms, core, and legs.

Ski Erg Hyrox
  • Include ski erg intervals in your training, alternating between short bursts of intensity and periods of active recovery.
  • Focus on your breathing and maintaining a steady, controlled pace to conserve energy and maximise endurance.
  • Engage your core muscles throughout the exercise to maintain proper form and power.
  • Practise efficient transitions between strokes to minimise wasted energy.

Getting better at the Sled (Prowler)

The sled pull and push stations require strength, and a decent amount of grit and determination.

sled hyrox training
  • During the sled pull, engage your whole body in the pull. There are a few different technique options, the ability to pull the sled has a great deal of technique attached to it, so practice and perfect your chosen style.
  • When pushing the sled, maintain a low, powerful stance and drive through your legs to overcome resistance. Engage your glutes, hamstrings, and quads to generate power and maintain proper form. Practise proper pushing technique to maximise efficiency and minimise fatigue. There are a few different ways to push the sled, experiment with the form which you feel most comfortable with: bent arms, straight arms or wrapped arms.
  • The availability of this piece of equipment can vary in some gyms, if you don’t have access to a sled/prowler perform a 50m D-ball bearhug carry per 25m instead of the sled push and 30 ring rows per 25m instead of the sled pull.

Learning to love Burpee Broad Jumps

Burpee broad jumps demand explosive power, agility, and coordination, and a strong mindset.

  • Perfect your burpee form by maintaining a strong plank position and exploding into a broad jump with each repetition. Maintain a tight core and engage glutes throughout the burpees to optimise stability and power.
  • Practise proper technique to avoid injury and maximise performance. Again there are a few options in how you perform the BBJ: you can step up and down, you can jump up and down, you can jump down and step up. Find the version which allows you to conserve energy and time. Don’t shuffle forward, if you are in a Hyrox race the judges could “No Rep” you.
  • Hand placement also matters, you can’t throw yourself forwards when you go to the floor, that’s another potential “No Rep”.
  • You must land with both feet, no skipping. Don’t waste energy on a “No Rep”, practise your technique and you will sail through.

PS: Don’t give up, BBJs can suck the soul out of your body, don’t lie on the floor wishing you had never started the workout, keep moving, be proud of your efforts!

Master your Rowing technique

Rowing challenges both upper and lower body strength while providing a cardiovascular workout. Pretty much every CrossFit athlete will be extremely familiar with rowing, but it’s always a good idea to check in on your form.

rowing hyrox improve
  • Focus on proper rowing technique to maximise efficiency. With your hands on the paddle, initiate the pushing movement with your legs, engage your core, and finish with a strong pull before returning to the start position. There should be plenty of power coming through your legs and you push away, and make sure that you are not holding your breath, keep breathing and stay relaxed but focused.
  • To improve your times; include rowing intervals in your workouts to improve your rowing capacity: alternate between short, intense efforts and longer, steady-state rows.

Get busy with the Farmers Carry

The farmers carry station challenges grip strength, core stability, and overall endurance as the competitors are expected to carry two kettlebells for 200m. For the majority of athletes, this station is the least taxing at walking pace, but the more competitive athletes will attempt to jog or run with the kettle bells which puts a lot more strain on the body.

kettlebell farmers carry hyrox
  • Gradually increase the weight of your kettlebells during training to build grip strength over time.
  • Focus on maintaining an upright posture and engaging your core to distribute the load evenly.
  • Consider carefully if it is safe to move faster than a walking pace with the kettlebells, practise this beforehand if you intend to do it on the day.

Perfect your Sandbag Lunges

Weighted lunges challenge lower body strength, stability, and balance.

sandbag lunges in Hyrox
  • Keep your core engaged and maintain an upright torso to prevent unnecessary strain on your lower back.
  • Gradually increase the weight of your lunges in your training sessions, ensuring that you can maintain proper form with each step.
  • You will be expected to carry the sandbag on your shoulders and touch your bent knee to the floor on each lunge. You must stand up completely and extend the hip before you take a step.
  • If you have any hip or knee issues this is one of the most demanding of all of the stations. Ensure that you have warmed up sufficiently before you begin.

If you want to prepare for a HYROX competition we have a training course for you!

Hyrox program
  • 4 training sessions per week for 6 weeks.
  • Detailed video tutorials with drills and progressions for tackling the eight HYROX challenges.
  • Tips to improve your running technique and performance.
  • Improved strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity.
  • Valuable advice by experienced coaches about what you should do leading up to race day.

Finish strong with the Wall Balls

Wall balls combine squatting, upper body strength, cardiovascular fitness and accuracy. Wall Balls are another staple of the CrossFit methodology, but be aware that Hyrox has different standards for wall ball execution on race day.

how to improve wall ball for hyrox
  • Practise a smooth transition between the squat and the throw, using your legs to generate power for an efficient movement.
  • Work on your accuracy by aiming for a specific spot on the wall. Consistent targeting can save valuable seconds during the competition.
  • The current Hyrox rules state that you must start with the ball being picked up from the ground and the athlete should stand in an upright position with hips and knees extended. He/she may then initiate the movement. At the bottom of the squat, the participant's knees must go below 90°. If you are in a doubles team, you must not pass the ball to your partner, they must also pick it up from the ground!

Images on this article courtesy of Hyrox Instagram account @hyroxworld