Myself like many fitness enthusiasts are constantly seeking new and exciting challenges to push their limits and achieve their goals. If you're looking for a high-intensity workout that combines endurance, strength, and pure determination, Hyrox might just be the perfect fit for you. In this blog post, I will share my personal experience with Hyrox.
What is Hyrox?
Hyrox is a unique fitness competition that combinesfunctional exercises with elements of endurance and strength training. It challenges participants to complete a series of eight workouts, or "zones," each focusing on different movements such as rowing, running, burpees, sled pushes, wall balls, and more. The ultimate goal is to finish the entire course in the fastest time possible, either as an individual, pairs or as part of a relay.
Personally I have two decades worth of experience working inthe fitness industry and have always loved and enjoyed fitness and my base line fitness is generally very good. I have taken part in Half Marathons, Tough Mudders, Spartan Races and more Mud Runs than I can remember and well I was looking for something new. Basically my 'starting position' is already fairly good. Luckily for me one of my Coaches at the studio, Cat stumbled across it and was off in shot to take part. FOMO, massive Fair Of Missing Out occurred and I didn’t waste any time in booking in the next local event in Birmingham, October 2022.
I had a good look at the Hyrox event and the demands needed and made sure I prepared both physically and mentally for it. Endurance training mainly running, afterall it is a running event, rower machines and erg ski’s, strength workouts lifting heavy weights and push, pulling, and interval training were key components of my training routine. I also focused on improving the cross-training aspect of running/cardio and the specific exercises featured in the Hyrox competition in the final few weeks leading up to the event. At the studio we run a True Grit group sessions to accommodate this and to give people a taste of the type of training that is specific to the Hyrox demands. Additionally, I paid attention to my nutrition and hydration to ensure my body was ready for the intense physical demands of the event, like I would with all events. Afterall, you can’t out train a bad diet.
Leading up the last few weeks I had a two or three practice runs of the full event to experience it and ensure I had I clocked in my head what I was doing and generally what to expect. I had a good Idea of how long each run would take and some target times for each workout zone. I registered a decent time in my training simulations but was conscience that because this was the first time doing the event I was going into it with the expectation of enjoyment and fun over the pressure of a time.
The Event Day:
The day of the Hyrox event arrived, and excitement filled the air. We drove down the morning of the event to the NEC Birmingham which is only a steady 45minute drive from where were based in Nottingham. We arrived around 90mintues before I was due to start and walked from the carpark to the NEC, a short 10-15minute stroll. I was clear from the off it was going to be a busy day with the amount of people around. It got busier and busier as we approached the NEC and area where Hyrox was being held and I could feel my excitement level rise. We made our way to the registration and that was it… I needed my first nervous wee. After a quick pit stop we made our way into the main room and wow, the energy was contagious, with participants from all walks of life gathered together for this shared challenge. The atmosphere was electric, the music was pumping, people where taking on their challenge, spectators and cheerleaders, stalls and merchandise, I was just buzzing and the overall energy was great.
With all the excitement time fly’s and before I knew it, I needed to drop my bag off at the bag drop and get myself into the warmup area. I planned to warm up for a good 20-30 minutes including a pulse raising and a
lot of mobility work for my back, shoulders, and hips. I made my way to start gate around 15 minutes before my wave was due to start. As the volunteer marshall checked my number on my arm and wrist band I walked into the tunnel, and it was at this point I actually felt nervous and I could feel the adrenaline surge through my veins. I continued to move and stay warm with the little space I had around me in the tunnel and whilst I was nervous, ultimately, I felt excited and confident. I couldn’t wait to get going.
The dramatic music kicked in and the countdown commenced, the competitors around me suddenly became more animated and the energy levels all around were increasing and as the starting gate was released, my internal dialogue shouted ‘LET’S GO’ and we were off! ‘Two and a bit laps for this first run and then onto the ski’ I thought. The erg ski is one of my strongest zones and I felt good that it was first but after exiting it and doing my first lap of the second run, I was starting to blow hard. I wasn’t running any faster than in training and I did exactly as planned on the ski… But the Adrenaline rush had caught up with me and was striping away my energy. Enter the mindset. ‘Relax and run smooth’ I kept reminding myself and slowly but surely, I regained my heart rate and breathing rate to where I wanted it to be and was over the initial surge of the event. This was crucial to ensure I didnt burn out. I was now in a mode I wanted to be. That is right now, is just another workout, just like the simulations I did in training. Simply apply the training that has been done.
Moving from one zone to the next split up by 1000m run eachtime brought different challenges, my muscles and chest burned with the sled push and pull and even had a leg wobble after the rowing machine. Each exercise zone
tested my strength, agility, cardiovascular endurance and mental resilience. But the best bit was the team from the studio. I was the first competitior out of our group from the studio actually competiting on the course and wow didn’t I know it. Every time I turned into a workout zone, there was 13 of TeamWTF screaming and shouting my name, cheering me on to do my best and give it my all. To say it fueled my determination to keep pushing forward is an understatement. Even when fatigue started to set in, the team was at every zone cheering me to keep pushing. The energy for other competitors and the crowd is unreal but the energy from my community was something special and something I will never forget.
The Challenge and Triumph:
Personally I love a physical challenge and regularly do it within my training and Hyrox is another way for me to not just test myself a physically; it's a mental challenge as well. It pushes you beyond your comfort zone and demands mental fortitude to overcome obstacles when your body screams for a break. However, with every obstacle I conquered and every zone I completed, a sense of accomplishment washed over me, boosting my confidence, and fuelling my desire to finish strong. I started this journey with the idea that, this being my first event I wanted to just enjoy it but I was feeling strong and had this urge to beat my time I achieved in training, the last few zones and runs with heavy legs I pushed.
The Finish Line:
I get to final zone, the wall balls. The grandstand is full,the finish line is right there, the legs are heavy, and noise from the spectators is incredible. I set out squatting and wall balling and after around 10/15 reps my volunteer stops me. No reps? What? I’m hitting 90 degrees easily in line with the standards set out I thought. ‘You need to be deeper’ she said. At this point I’m tired and bemused, ‘do you want me to depth squat them?’ I asked. She nodded
and off I went. I can depth squat easily but this isn’t what I had planned or had been doing during my simulations and as you can imagine my legs felt dead with this minor alteration. I completed the 100th wall ball and turned and ran for the finish line and a mixture of exhaustion and exhilaration mingled within me. I had beat my training time by one minute and crossed the line at 1 hour 19 minutes. But the best was still to come… I collected my finishing
patch and turned around to my team to nothing but smiles, cheering and congratulations. It melted me and I felt emotional. That for me was the best bit of Hyrox, finishing to have people that know and care for you be happy for you. Completing my first Hyrox event was a great experience. The sense of achievement, the camaraderie among participants, and the energy during the event. It was a true testament to the power of pushing oneself beyond perceived limits. But its biggest asset is bringing people together in a positive and empowering way.
Conclusion:Hyrox is more than just a fitness competition; It’s a way to challenge your physical and mental boundaries. It’s an opportunity bring positive people together The combination of endurance, strength, and camaraderie creates an unforgettable experience that leaves you feeling empowered and inspired. If you're ready to step out of your comfort zone and embark on an exhilarating fitness journey, I highly recommend giving Hyrox a try. Prepare yourself, train hard, find a community that is positvie and supportive before bracing yourself for a thrilling adventure that will push you to new heights. Your first Hyrox experience might just become a transformative turning point in your fitness journey. If you want help and support with your First Hyrox experience why not come and train with us at Witness The Fitness Training Studios Nottingham. We might be just the fitness
community you’ve been looking for.