CrossFit versus Hyrox

The Distinction Between CrossFit and Hyrox

CrossFit is a training methodology. Hyrox is a sport. CrossFit is the equivalent of a broad-based fitness “education.”  Hyrox is a specific “test” of certain aspects of fitness.

A CrossFit “education” involves ten different “subjects:” cardiovascular / respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, accuracy, balance. A Hyrox race is a specifically defined test of (primarily) three aspects of fitness: cardiovascular / respiratory endurance, stamina, and strength.

Hyrox is not a training methodology. Hyrox is a sport that combines both running and functional fitness workout stations, where participants run 1 km, followed by 1 functional workout station, repeated eight times. While Hyrox is a clearly defined event, that doesn’t make it easy. The Decathlon is also a clearly defined event.

The Difference Between CrossFit Training and Hyrox Training

The three primary physical skills required for a Hyrox race (cardiovascular / respiratory endurance, stamina, and strength) are organic. They involve physical changes to the body and are developed primarily by training. (Flexibility is also an organic physical skill.)

In addition to these four organic skills, CrossFit develops four neurological skills: coordination, agility, accuracy, and balance. Neurological skills are developed in the brain primarily by practice. They also are the source of great frustration for many people who don’t come to the gym to practice, but to work hard and sweat.

CrossFit training also involves skills that combine organic and neurological skills: speed and power. Speed requires physical adaptations plus the neurological skills to move with precision. (For example, hitting a ball or running a given distance at maximum speed). Power is doing work quickly. Power can involve a large set of physical skills, for example the Olympic Lifts.

Hyrox training can be done by concentrating primarily on running plus the functional fitness challenges involved in a Hyrox race: sled push, sled pull, ski erg, rowing, sandbag lunges, burpee broad jumps, farmers carry, and wall balls). It is possible to get very good at Hyrox (strong and conditioned) by training with various combinations of just these exercises. Hyrox training is vastly superior to the standard High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Bootcamp classes offered by most gyms. It is also a great way to transition to CrossFit training.

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