HYROX: Your Ultimate Fitness Challenge in 2024

all about hyrox racing

HYROX is a global fitness race that combines running with functional exercises. It’s available to everyone from amateurs to professional athletes.

Hyrox burst onto the scene with a fresh take on functional fitness, blending elements of traditional exercises with high-intensity cardio. The Hyrox race format involves completing a series of standardized workouts, including rowing, running, burpees, and sled pushes, among others. Participants navigate through these stations in a set order, testing their endurance, strength, and agility.

Ironman World Champion Sebastian Kienle has taken up competing in HYROX events as well as professional triathlete Joe Skipper. The event mimics the multi-discipline sport of triathlon in many ways so transitioning to it is relatively easy.

Kris Rugloski was participating in ultra marathons before taking part in a HYROX event in 2020. In 2022, she became the HYROX World Champion. Endurance sports athletes seem to do really well in these events.

If you want to learn more about the world of HYROX, keep reading.

Quick Points

  • HYROX is a growing global fitness racing movement that combines running with functional workout stations, offering a standardized race format across international events to allow athletes worldwide to compete under the same conditions.
  • Appropriate gear, particularly footwear, is essential for optimal HYROX race performance, with emphasis placed on shoes that provide stability, and grip, and avoid slipping during sled pushes.
  • The HYROX community extends beyond racing through programs like the HYROX Gym Affiliation Program, promoting camaraderie among participants and offering various benefits, leading to a high event completion rate and an enjoyable athletic experience.

Exploring the HYROX Fitness Racing Phenomenon

HYROX racing - sled push
Man performing in the sled push station. Courtesy HYROX

Launched in Germany in 2017, HYROX has swiftly become a rapidly expanding fitness sport in a short span of a few years, with events taking place in over 11 countries and 30 major cities.

HYROX is a unique fitness race that successfully blends running and functional workout stations, offering a varied physical challenge that attracts both professional athletes and everyday fitness enthusiasts worldwide.

This distinctive race-style competitions attracts athletes from various backgrounds, including runners, CrossFitters, and functional fitness enthusiasts. The standardized workouts allow for a level playing field, emphasizing individual performance rather than competition against others.

This fitness racing HYROX event is gaining popularity due to its innovative approach to fitness competitions, as fitness racing HYROX combines elements of running and functional workouts.

HYROX distinguishes itself with its universal race format. Regardless of the event location, the consistency of the race format enables participants to connect on a global scale. The race, filled with intense endurance challenges and functional fitness stations, is an immersive and electrifying experience that keeps participants coming back for more. Essential functional marketing plays a role in promoting this unique race experience to a wider audience.

What Makes HYROX Stand Out?

With its global standardization, the HYROX race allows athletes to compete and benchmark their performance against other athletes anywhere in the world. Whether you’re in Germany, the US, or Australia, the race format remains the same.

This unique feature not only upholds the fairness of the competition but also allows for a truly global community of athletes to emerge.

It’s not just about winning; it’s about personal growth, consistent improvement, and global camaraderie.

Gear Up for the HYROX Race

HYROX racing - sled pull
Woman performing in the sled pull station. Courtesy HYROX

Each race involves over 8km of running, so comfortable running shoes are a must. In fact, half of a HYROX race is running. Your shoes need to provide stability for HYROX’s many tight turns and maneuvers while offering good grip for exercises like the heavy sled push.

Choosing the wrong shoes can hinder your performance, especially during critical exercises like the sled pull and push. A textured outsole with ridges is recommended for better traction.

You’ll want to experiment with the right shoelace tightness as well since there is so much force put on your shoes with the various stations.

Training Essentials: From Kettlebells To Wall Balls to Running Shoes

Chalk is part of the proper gear for a HYROX race
Workout chalk can be useful during HYROX races so your hands don’t slip.

Besides running, you need to master the functional workout stations. Along with versatile running shoes, you’ll want hand chalk for a better grip during the weighted exercises.

Functional workout equipment like kettlebells will also come in handy for your training. For the Farmers Carry station, you’ll carry kettlebells for the distance your division requires.

HYROX racing - wall balls
Man performing in the wall ball station. Courtesy – HYROX

Wall balls can be easily purchased or found at your local gym. Performing these at the end of a workout is a great way to replicate the fatigued state you’ll be in while training your body to push on.

Hopefully, your gym has a RowErg machine and if you’re lucky, a SkiErg machine as well. You could literally recreate a race day atmosphere and train accordingly.

Participating in a HYROX Event

A HYROX race is held indoors
Each HYROX event is held entirely indoors. Instagram / @hyroxworld

A global ranking system is integrated into each HYROX event, enabling participants to compare their performance with others across various events, divisions, and age groups worldwide. This unique feature creates a sense of global competition, adding another layer of excitement to the race.

Each HYROX season culminates in a World Championships, where the top participants are showcased on a leaderboard. This grand finale further elevates the global competition, giving athletes the chance to see how they measure up against the best of the best.

The Different HYROX Race Categories

You can enter a HYROX event by yourself or as a group. Hyrox race categories are:

  • Open Women
  • Open Men
  • Pro Women
  • Pro Men
  • Doubles Women
  • Doubles Pro Women
  • Doubles Men
  • Doubles Pro Men
  • Doubles Mixed
  • Women Team Relay
  • Men Team Relay
  • Mixed Team Relay

The HYROX competition offers different divisions to cater to different fitness levels and goals:

  • Open division: designed for the broader public, striking a balance between challenge and achievability
  • Pro division: for those who crave a more demanding challenge, with heavier weights
  • Doubles division: for those who prefer working as a team, you can pair up with a partner
  • Team Relay division: for those who want to form a group and compete together

Each category is tailored to different fitness levels and preferences. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or someone who’s recently caught the fitness bug, there’s a race division just for you.

Age Groups

Within each division and category, you’ll race against other competitors that are in your age group.

For singles (non-doubles or relay), these age groups are:

  • Under 24 (16-24)
  • 25 – 29
  • 30 – 34
  • 35 – 39
  • 40 – 44
  • 45 – 49
  • 50 – 54
  • 55 – 59
  • 60 – 64
  • 65 – 69
  • 75 – 79
  • 80 – 84
  • 85 – 89

For people in the Double categories, you take the average age of the two competitors at the time of the event.

  • Under 29 (16-29)
  • 30-39
  • 40-49
  • 50-59
  • 60-69
  • 70+

For relay competitors, it’s the average of all team members at the time of the event.

  • Under 40
  • Over 40

Station-by-Station: A Breakdown of a HYROX Course

HYROX racing - Rowing machine
Woman performing in the rowing station. Courtesy HYROX

The HYROX course distance and format do not deviate from race to race. It consists of a series of workout stations, each designed to test different muscle groups.

However, since each race is in a different location, be sure to familiarize yourself with the course to avoid any unnecessary confusion during the race.

The race format is as follows:

  • 1km run
  • SkiErg – 1000 meters
  • 1km run
  • Sled Push – 50 meters (total weight dependent on category)
  • 1km run
  • Sled Pull – 50 meters (total weight dependent on category)
  • 1km run
  • Burpee Broad Jumps – 80 meters
  • 1km run
  • Rowing – 1000 meters
  • 1km run
  • Farmers Carry – 200 meters (total weight dependent on category)
  • 1km run
  • Sandbag Lunges – 100 meters (total weight dependent on category)
  • 1km run
  • Wall Balls – 75 to 100 (reps dependent on category) (total weight dependent on category)

Each station offers a different challenge, ensuring that your first HYROX workout station experience and the entire HYROX race is a full-body workout like no other at the HYROX workout station.

Don’t Get a Time Penalty

HYROX racing - there is 8km of running during an event
Athletes during one of the 8 – 1km runs. Courtesy HYROX

Just like a triathlon, if you don’t follow the rules, you’ll get a time penalty. The time penalties are always five minutes.

If you don’t run the right amount of laps necessary for a kilometer, that’s an additional five minutes. There are others, so familiarize yourself with the rules to avoid penalties.

Pace Your Race

HYROX racing - skierg station
Woman performing in the SkiErg station Courtesy HYROX

Maintaining a consistent pace is vital in HYROX, as the running segments account for roughly 50% of the total race time.

Many people go out too strong in the beginning when they feel fresh, and fade horribly near the end. It’s important to remember that it’s a long, difficult race. Pacing is critical to a fun race.

Many athletes know exactly what each station should take them, and use a triathlon watch that can help them track their pacing throughout the course. Practicing 1km intervals at your planned race pace can help you find your rhythm and judge your effort.

Data analysis of past workouts can also be beneficial but don’t get bogged down in data. On race day, you’ll want to listen to your body and make sure you’re well-prepared for anything.

The HYROX Community

HYROX extends beyond racing; it’s also about joining a community. The event partners with over 500 gyms worldwide through the HYROX Gym Affiliation Program, fostering a sense of community among its participants and collaborating with third-party providers.

Members of affiliated gyms receive not only a dedicated HYROX entry discount code but also access to special areas at HYROX events and visibility on a global platform. This sense of community, combined with the thrilling race format, contributes to a completion rate of over 98% for HYROX races.

The HYROX Gym Affiliation Program plays a crucial role in fostering this sense of community. By offering exclusive benefits to gym members and providing resources for training, the program encourages camaraderie, support, and engagement among athletes.

Comparison of Hyrox To CrossFit

Comparing the Two Titans:

  1. Race Format
    • Hyrox: Participants follow a structured race format, completing a set series of exercises in a specific order.
    • CrossFit: Races are constantly varied. Competitors do not usually know the workouts until just before the event.
  2. Race Length
    • Hyrox: 60 minutes – 180 minutes on average.
    • CrossFit: Varies, but averages about 20 minutes.
  3. Competition Style
    • Hyrox: Races are timed, and participants strive to achieve their personal best, with an emphasis on individual performance.
    • CrossFit: Competitions are often head-to-head or against the clock, with athletes vying for the best overall performance.
  4. Community and Culture
    • Hyrox: Fosters a sense of community through race events, bringing together athletes with diverse fitness backgrounds.
    • CrossFit: Known for its tight-knit community and the camaraderie built within CrossFit gyms
  5. Equipment and Movements
    • Hyrox: Utilizes standard equipment like rowers, sleds, and weights, with a focus on functional movements.
    • CrossFit: Incorporates a wide range of equipment, including barbells, kettlebells, gymnastics rings, and more, with a diverse set of movements.

In the showdown between Hyrox and CrossFit, the choice ultimately boils down to personal preference and fitness goals.

Hyrox offers a structured racing experience with standardized workouts, while CrossFit provides a dynamic and constantly varied approach to functional fitness.

Whichever path you choose, both Hyrox and CrossFit promise to push your physical boundaries and add to your fitness journey.

Summary

From its unique race format and diverse divisions to its global ranking system and strong sense of community, HYROX is more than just a fitness race. It’s an electrifying fitness journey that offers a unique challenge to both professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Whether you’re looking to test your strength and endurance or immerse yourself in a global fitness community, HYROX offers a compelling and inclusive experience that keeps athletes coming back for more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a HYROX workout?

HYROX is a global fitness race designed for participants of all abilities. It involves a 1 km run followed by 1 functional movement, repeated 8 times in large indoor venues, creating a unique stadium-like atmosphere for all participants.

How is HYROX different from CrossFit?

HYROX races take an average of 1.5 hours to complete, with elite athletes finishing in under 60 minutes, whereas most CrossFit workouts usually last less than 20 minutes. This indicates a significant difference in the duration of the two activities.

Why is it called HYROX?

The word “HYROX” is a portmanteau of the words “hybrid” and “rockstar,” created by the founding team without standing for anything specific. It originated from a playful combination of the two words.

How hard is HYROX?

HYROX is a grueling and rigorous test of overall fitness, requiring strength, speed, endurance, and power. Participants have compared the exertion required to that of a half marathon or an Olympic triathlon. It is not for the faint of heart.

What is a HYROX event?

HYROX is a global fitness race that allows participants from all around the world to compete in the same format, featuring a 1 km run followed by 1 functional movement repeated 8 times in large indoor venues, creating a unique stadium-like atmosphere. It is the first mass participation event that gives everyday gym-goers their own race to train for, bridging the gap between traditional endurance events and functional fitness.

Disclosure

We review products based on a multi-point health-focused methodology. Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to us if you decide to purchase the product at no cost to you.

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