HYROX tips: How to make your race a success!

HYROX tips: How to make your race a success!

Running 8 kilometers combined with various strength exercises: we're obviously talking about HYROX! HYROX, a 'fitness competition for Every Body', is super trendy and slowly but surely conquering the fitness world. HYROX is suitable for all levels, but make no mistake, smart preparation is half the battle. Yaenty, a HYROX expert and ambassador, shares indispensable tips and tricks in this blog to make your HYROX experience successful and unforgettable. Ready, set, go?

25-year-old Yaenty from Rijswijk has already completed seven HYROX competitions and knows the game. You might recognize her as one of our models! But what drove her to start HYROX? Yaenty shares her story: "Three and a half years ago, I took my first step into the gym after years of dancing, handball, and judo. Initially, it was to lose weight, but by now I'm about 8 kilos heavier than when I started. After only doing strength training in the gym, I met another athlete during a photoshoot at Lifemaxx who persuaded me to do more performance training. My brother also had grand plans to do a HYROX with me, and that's how things got rolling. I then attended two circuit training sessions at Elevator Sports in Rotterdam, and then I was 'forced' towards the starting line of my very first HYROX in Amsterdam in November 2022. I thought it was so cool and was instantly hooked. Right after my competition, HYROX approached me to become an ambassador for the event, and I was eager to! There's nothing better than collaborating with an event where athletes of all levels come together with one thing in common: a love for sport."

HYROX: Endurance is key

Since its launch in Germany in 2017, HYROX has expanded to 11 countries, 30 cities, and annually counts 100,000 finishers. The race was inspired by millions of athletes worldwide who consider functional fitness their favorite sport. The HYROX race is the same everywhere in the world. Participants tackle an impressive indoor course, starting with 1 km of running followed by functional fitness exercises repeated a total of 8 times to test all aspects of physical fitness.

Yaenty says, "First and foremost: HYROX is an endurance competition, though it also includes some strength elements, but endurance is central. So, make sure you're familiar with running because you'll run a total of 8 kilometers. The best preparation for this is through long-distance running in zone 2 and interval training."

General HYROX Tips

Before we dive into station-specific tips, here are some general ones:

  • Footwear: The right shoes can make a big difference. You'll need to run a lot, but also perform exercises like lunges and sled pushes. Therefore, choose shoes with good grip to prevent slipping.
  • Station order: In the heat of the race, it's easy to forget your next station. Performing the stations in the wrong order will result in a penalty. Therefore, knowing the order (skiing, sled push, sled pull, burpee broad jump, rowing, farmer's carry, lunges, wall balls) is crucial.
  • Movement standards: HYROX exercises require minimal skill, but it's crucial to know and practice the movement standards.
  • Delay in the Roxzone: Many participants, especially newcomers, significantly slow down in the Roxzone, wasting valuable time. The best athletes in the sport don't do this; they maintain a solid pace throughout.
  • Number of rounds: A common mistake during HYROX events is running too many or too few laps of the course. Depending on the location, you'll typically need to run between 2 and 4 laps to complete 1 km, as indicated in the technical briefing sent before the event. However, some participants lose count and run too many or too few laps. It's important to be aware of this and keep track of how many laps you're running to avoid unnecessary difficulties or time penalties.

Yaenty adds, "Don't start too fast! Time and adrenaline make you want to start too fast and keep up with the rest of the start wave, but this is your own race. Make sure you don't completely exhaust yourself during the first kilometer of running, because after that, there are still seven remaining kilometers with fun stations along the way."

HYROX station tips: ensuring your race is a success!

Station 1: Ski Erg
"Don't rush the exercise and avoid turning it into a squat. Officially, it's a core/lat exercise. Keep a steady stroke rate and don't go too fast."

Station 2: Sled Push
"Familiarize yourself with different pushing techniques. To prevent acid build-up, consider stopping midway through each lane for about 5-10 seconds, engage your core firmly, and keep breathing! Try to stay as low as possible to avoid pushing the sled into the ground."

The unique floor at HYROX makes moving a sled more challenging than on a gym's sprint track. Therefore, train with heavier weights to prepare adequately.

Station 3: Sled Pull
"Experiment with different techniques so you know which one you'll use during the race. You can turn it into a kind of deadlift, which uses more leg energy. You can put tension on the rope and walk backwards, which also uses more leg energy. Or if you're strong enough, grab the rope with your arms and initiate the movement from the back and biceps. This gives your legs a rest, but you need sufficient upper body strength. Ensure there's always tension on the rope before you pull!"

Station 4: Burpee Broad Jump
"Burpees: hate it or love it. Many athletes dread them, but they must be completed. 80 meters, to be precise. Focus on speed or consistency, keep feet shoulder-width or wider for a solid base of the jump, and keep your core muscles engaged while pushing your body up. You can either step or jump in for the burpee broad jump. Stepping in uses less energy."

Station 5: Row
"1000 meters rowing: make sure you push yourself back with your legs and keep your heels flat on the footplates, lean back while keeping your core muscles engaged. Pull the handle to your sternum and recover on the way back."

Station 6: Farmer Carry
"Engage your lats, back, and core when picking up the kettlebell; you might hold it slightly towards the back so they will hang forward. You want to minimize arm movement and keep the chest up and shoulders back."

Station 7: Sandbag Lunges
"Step slightly wider as if you're stepping on train tracks to maintain more balance. Keep your back straight, look forward, and keep your chest up throughout the exercise. This ensures not only a good posture but also more air and recovery! The knee must touch the ground with each step, and hips must fully extend with every step."

For optimal preparation, train with a sandbag. Sandbags offer a unique challenge compared to weights like kettlebells, due to their instability and how they move.

Station 8: Wall Balls
"The final station! Try to get the most out of yourself in the first set. After that, you can break down the numbers. Hold the ball at the bottom, not the sides, and keep your elbows under the ball. Practice enough so you know the distance you want to be from the rig."

As you've read, participating in a HYROX competition requires considerable preparation. Start early to get to know your body and limits, experiment with various techniques to find out what works best for you, and above all, enjoy the process.

For more insights and valuable tips, follow Yaenty on Instagram, where she shares everything about HYROX, including nutritional advice. If you have questions about the equipment we offer to prepare for a HYROX race, please contact us.

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