If you want to become a well-rounded athlete who can lift heavy and run, cycle or play sports with dominance - then it's time to consider hybrid training.
Rather than focusing solely on endurance or strength, hybrid training combines multiple fitness modalities - helping you push past plateau and make physical and mental gains.
In this article, we explore the benefits of hybrid training and how it can help you become a better athlete, worker, and supporter for the ones you love.
- What Is Hybrid Training
- Physical Benefits of Hybrid Training
- Mental Benefits of Hybrid Training
- Hybrid Training Recovery Tips
What Is Hybrid Training
Hybrid Training is a unique, rapidly growing and highly effective fitness approach that combines two or more exercise disciplines, such as strength, endurance, and mobility training.
By blending various forms of workouts, hybrid training addresses all aspects of fitness, including cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, agility and balance.
This approach enhances physical performance while reducing the risk of injuries and improving overall health and wellbeing.
Whether you're a professional athlete or a fitness enthusiast, hybrid training can help you achieve your fitness goals and elevate your athletic performance to new heights.
The key to hybrid training is in its ability to merge seemingly opposing workouts, such as heavy lifting and endurance running, to produce a functional athlete who is resistant to plateaus.
It's no surprise that some of the most successful athletes, like Nick Bare, David Goggins, Ross Edgley and Hunter McIntyre (clockwise from left) use hybrid training routines.
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Physical Benefits of Hybrid Training
Increase overall fitness levels.
Adding strength training to a running routine can help build more muscle, which can then be used to generate more power and maintain speed for longer periods.
Cardio training improves heart health and lung capacity, enhances endurance, and burns calories, leading to weight loss, improved body composition, and faster recovery time.
Combining these two training modalities improves your performance in both. Increased strength can improve speed and power, while increased endurance can recovery time for strength athletes.
Hybrid Athlete Marcus Hunt: "I honestly started pursuing hybrid training because I thought simply getting stronger and looking half decent didn’t excite me anymore.
It was the mental challenge I needed/wanted. I wanted more. I deadlifted over 705lbs for the first time towards the beginning of 2022 and wanted to be able to do that plus more."
Have you ever noticed that after working out regularly for a while, it seems like your progress just stops?
That's what's known as a workout plateau. Basically, your body has gotten so used to the demands of your fitness routine that it's no longer challenged, and your progress levels out.
By constantly challenging the body with new exercises and workout modalities, hybrid training can prevent plateaus and keep progress moving forward.
Get Gains While Staying Lean
Incorporating high-intensity workouts that burn fat while also building muscle mass through a slight surplus and heavy strength training sessions will help you make gains while staying lean.
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Mental Benefits of Hybrid Training
Fitness is more than just lifting weights or running miles; it is an opportunity for self-exploration, building resilience, and improved mental health.
Ease Mental Health Symptoms
Aerobic training is proven to have significant positive effects on mental health, particularly in managing symptoms of depression and anxiety thanks to the release of endorphins, which are natural mood boosters that can help alleviate symptoms.
Regular exercise can increase brain activity and neural connections in areas of the brain associated with emotional regulation and cognitive processing, leading to improved mental clarity and reduced stress levels.
Learning to Slow Down
Endurance training requires athletes to maintain a steady pace for extended periods, allowing (or forcing) them to pay more attention to their surroundings and be more present. This offers an opportunity to process thoughts and emotions productively, leading to enhanced mental clarity and reduced stress levels.
How often have you (or someone close to you) said the words, “I could never be a runner, I’m not a runner.”
These are limiting beliefs that are extremely fixed for most people.
While you don’t need to sign up for a marathon, you can push yourself beyond your current comfort zone.
Staying consistent and seeing the progress you’ve made will lead to a more positive self-image and increased confidence.
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Nutrition & Recovery
Hybrid training demands a lot of energy, so it's important to focus on nutrition and recovery to avoid burnout and injury.
Nutrition plays a crucial role in recovery, and it's recommended to consume a high protein diet to support muscle repair and clean foods to fuel the body with essential nutrients.
Eating in a small surplus that takes into account the energy expended during training can also help in building muscle.
Adequate sleep is another critical aspect of recovery as it's during sleep that tissue repair and energy stores are replenished. Research shows that there's a correlation between decreased sleep and an increased risk of injury.
To improve sleep quality, avoid fluids 1-2 hours before bedtime, avoid screens emitting blue light, and practice breath work to activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
Supplements like magnesium and lavender can also aid in relaxation. Proper hydration is essential, particularly during longer endurance events, and isotonic or hypertonic drinks with electrolytes and carbohydrates can help replenish fluids and provide quick energy to the body.
Let's get it!
Hybrid training offers a new approach to fitness that combines strength and endurance training, leading to a well-rounded and functional athlete.
The benefits of this approach go beyond just physical gains and include mental health benefits such as self-exploration, resilience, and self-confidence.
To maximize the benefits of hybrid training, it's important to focus on recovery through proper nutrition, sleep, hydration, and supplements.
By incorporating these tips, individuals can achieve their fitness goals and improve their overall well-being.
Are you ready to give hybrid training a try and see the benefits for yourself?