What is Hybrid Fitness? Is it a new fad?


I know I've been banging on about Hybrid Fitness and being a Hybrid Athlete, but It's occurred to me that you may not know too much about this fitness craze.

Is this some new fad money maker for fitness influencers? From what I've seen, there are people trying to cash in on it, but that's certainly not the case from my perspective because, in essence, there is nothing to sell with this dynamic training.

So, in this blog, let me give you the whole picture and complete clarity on what Hybrid Fitness is. Here's what you'll learn:


  1.  Find out where this holistic approach to fitness has come from.
  2.  Discover what the components of Hybrid Fitness are.
  3.  Understand what the benefits of Hybrid Fitness give you.
  4.  Learn what the scientific evidence is offering.
  5.  Find out how you can start your own Hybrid Fitness journey.


Reflecting on my years of experience as a personal trainer, NLP coach, and soldier, I'm struck by a profound realisation. The world of fitness and strength is as diverse and complex as the individuals who engage in it.

In my journey, I've discovered a universal truth: a hybrid approach to strength and fitness trumps specialisation in just one area. Being good across multiple disciplines is superior to being excellent in one!

Personally, I'm not interested in becoming a world champion bodybuilder. I enjoy having a muscular physique, but I no longer wish to jump on stage with no clothes flexing my pecs. I love running, especially in the mountains; however, I'm not interested in becoming an Olympic-level long-distance runner.


I don't wish to be a professional gymnast, Olympic lifter, world-class sprinter, swimmer, or powerlifter. But with all that said, I want a good-looking body that is fit, lean, strong, healthy, dynamic, versatile, and can do any of the things I ask.


Playing my favourite sports, hiking, running up mountains, skiing, swimming, lifting weights, and all the other good stuff I enjoy doing is what I want to be able to do now and until my Death… Welcome to a new way of fitness that offers superior benefits for everyone regardless of ability.



Where has this Hybrid Fitness approach come from?


Hybrid Fitness is more of a training philosophy and less of a rigid regime or system. It's an entirely holistic approach toward training that delivers more than any other training method.

The term Hybrid Fitness is not owned or patented by anyone like CrossFit. It has become an evolutionary concept developed from the following:


  • Evolution of Fitness Trends: Over the decades, there has been a growing recognition of the benefits of cross-training, where athletes train in sports or activities different from the ones they compete in. This concept laid the groundwork for hybrid training, demonstrating the effectiveness of combining different workouts. A great example of this is from one of the world's top Ultra Runners, Sally McRae. Despite specialising in ultra-distance marathons, she takes a multi-disciplined approach by incorporating functional and conventional strength training, mobility, and recovery sessions. She has a blended approach to her training, which helps her compete at a world-class level. She is one of my favourite YouTubers, and her channel is incredibly inspiring. You can check her out here.


  • Research in Exercise Science: As the field of exercise science expanded, research began to show the benefits of incorporating various types of physical activities into a training regime. This includes combining strength training, cardiovascular exercises, flexibility, and mobility work for balanced fitness. Only recently has the evidence shown the superior outcomes of combining these different components of fitness. 


  • Influence of Fitness Professionals and Programs: Influential fitness professionals, trainers, and popular fitness programmes started to adopt and promote hybrid training methods. These methods were showcased to prevent overuse injuries, improve overall fitness, and maintain a higher level of engagement by varying workouts. This effectively allowed participants and clients to maintain or continue their fitness progression despite an injury or issue.


  • Rise of Functional Fitness: The rise of functional fitness, which emphasises exercises that prepare the body for real-life movements and activities, further propelled the concept of hybrid training. Programs like CrossFit opened the commercial world to a more functional-based idea of training. Combining this with the popularity of elite-level Physiotherapists like Gary Gray and world-class strength coaches like Phil Mansfield, the Fitness industry shaped the path for personal trainers to enhance their skills in the field of functional movement.


  • Public Demand for Varied Workouts: As public interest in fitness grew, so did the demand for varied, engaging, and effective workout routines. Hybrid training offers a solution by combining elements to keep workouts exciting and comprehensive. The more versatile the regime, the more engaged people become, allowing for consistency through better adherence.


  • Technology and Accessibility: With the rise of digital fitness platforms and apps, access to various workouts has become more accessible, encouraging people to blend different forms of exercise according to their preferences, needs, and schedules. Due to the average Westerner's demands and time constraints, a versatile approach to fitness training via devices played a significant role in the awareness of the Hybrid Fitness Philosophy.


  • Competition Events: With the success of CrossFit and the Obstacle Course event Tough Mudder, new fitness competitions and events have been born that draw similarities to the previous two mentioned. Hyrox, Deka-Fit, ATHX, Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) and Turf Games have all surged in the public domain as these Hybrid Fitness events are easily accessible to most people. The appetite for these style competitions continues to grow… I've got my first Hyrox race in January 2024, so watch my social media to see how I get on. 

Now that you understand where this training philosophy has evolved let's look at what this consists of.


What are the components of Hybrid Fitness?


So let's be clear: firstly, nobody owns Hybrid Fitness, nor are there any rules or regulations stipulating what it is or isn't. We know that Hybrid means 'something of mixed origin or composition', which translates to multiple fitness components in the world of fitness.

These different components are as follows:

  • Strength
  • Power
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Mobility
  • Speed
  • Aerobic Capacity
  • Body composition

There are a couple more, and some may argue mobility/flexibility. Still, for the purpose of easy understanding, these are the key components.

To embark on a Hybrid Fitness Journey, you must know these elements and how to improve them. Once you gain momentum with these different pieces, you'll have a well-rounded, high-performing body. With a little preparation, you can enter any event you wish and do reasonably well at it.

See the illustration below to absorb a visual representation of these components.


The Benefits of Hybrid Fitness and what the science is offering


A hybrid athlete strives to excel in a range of physical competencies. This approach makes you physically and mentally versatile, adaptable, and resilient. You will be able to run a respectable distance, lift significant weights, maintain flexibility, move more efficiently, and demonstrate admirable mental toughness through good practice.

  1. Versatility in Fitness

Recent research supports the benefits of a diverse fitness routine. A study in the "American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine" (2018) highlights how regular physical activity, encompassing various exercise types, significantly enhances physical health and cognitive function. This is crucial for our everyday decision-making and problem-solving skills. This versatility is vital for those of us in high-pressure careers like female executives, professionals, and entrepreneurs.

  1. The Balance of Strength and Endurance

Combining strength and endurance will improve your overall fitness, muscle growth (don't worry, ladies, you won't look like a bodybuilder) and cardiovascular health. This is according to a study published in "Sports Medicine" (2019). If you apply this training philosophy, you will be more able to deal with stress and pressure within work and life, which are inevitably coming your way!

  1. Flexibility and Mobility: The Underrated Heroes

Flexibility and mobility are often overshadowed by the more glamorous aspects of fitness, like muscle gain and endurance. Yet, their importance cannot be overstated. Research in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" (2017) has shown that incorporating flexibility and mobility exercises into regular training can significantly reduce the risk of injury, improve athletic performance, and enhance muscle recovery. Being fit and strong is excellent, but moving well and pain-free is even better. How good would it be to be able to move like the carefree teenager you used to be?


  1. Mental Toughness: The Keystone of the Hybrid Approach

I touched on this earlier, but mental fortitude plays a significant role in the Hybrid approach. A study in "Frontiers in Psychology" (2019) revealed that varied physical training positively impacts mental resilience and psychological well-being. In a world where professional individuals suffer from burnout, imposter syndrome, and lack of self-belief, staying mentally strong and focused is as important as physical strength.

  1. Holistic Well-Being: The physical, mental, and emotional.

Diverse fitness routines align with the principles of holistic health, where physical, mental, and emotional health are interconnected. As per the "Global Wellness Institute" (2020), holistic approaches to fitness are on the rise, echoing a shift towards more inclusive and comprehensive health strategies. When you can think, feel, and act without limitations, you know you're in the right space… so stay there!

  1. Longevity

Peter Attia, MD, a Longevity expert, regularly talks about the 4 horsemen of Death:


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Neural degenerative disease
  • Metabolic disease (Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver etc)


By improving all components of fitness, you are having a significant impact on reducing the risk of the above. Exercise has been shown in countless studies to be the single most effective method of reducing the risk. Cardiovascular and strength training are effective, but combining them all has a significant positive impact.

Peter Attia has an insightful podcast, 'The Drive,' that I'd urge you to listen to to learn to live a longer and healthier life. Click here for his podcast.


How to start your Hybrid Fitness Journey

In a future blog, I will go into detail on how you can do this, but here is a snapshot of how you can get started today!

  1.  Assess
  2.  Structure
  3.  Progress



Assess - Start by assessing what you can do in 4 essential components of fitness. But before you start, allow me to pull out my safety net… Please ensure you seek medical advice or a relevant practitioner before embarking on any exercise journey.


Strength – To build strength, you need to have a stable platform, so the ability to execute your movement under control is vital. Use these exercises and see how many you can do but under strict form and with a 3-second down and 3-second up-tempo:

  • Squat
  • Pull-up
  • Press-up
  • Lunge
  • Deadlift

If you want my full demonstration of these assessment exercises, join my Warrior Fitness & Mindset Newsletter to access the tutorials. Record how many repetitions you can complete, maintaining excellent form throughout and keeping with the timing of 3 seconds up and 3 down. Use a timer to help assist you with this.


Aerobic Capacity – The distance at which we can all run is relative. Despite that, a good starting point is to see if you can run 5km without stopping. Don't worry if you've not run that distance before. Just get out there and see what you can do. Once complete, then record your time and how you felt.

Mobility – Your ability to dynamically move your joints well through space in 3-planes of motion is crucial. Here are mobility exercises I'd like you to try and see how well you can do them.

  • Standing behind the head press – Use a very light bar or PVC pipe
  • World's greatest stretch
  • Lateral Lunge


For more mobility exercises and a full tutorial on how to do them, join my newsletter and gain complete access. Once you do these movements, record how many you can and how easy or difficult they are.

Now, there's plenty more that you can do, but this is an excellent place to start. Remember to track the outcomes of all of the above.


Structure – Now that you've witnessed how easy or difficult certain areas are, give them a score of 1-5. 5 is excellent. With these scores, you can now start to structure a routine by providing a higher priority to those areas with low scores. A good example is this:

Let's assume you scored low on strength and better on your 5km and mobility, and you have 4 hours a week available to do deliberate exercise. Then you may break down a week of training like this:

2 x 1 Hour sessions of Strength

1 x Hour of Mobility

1 x Hour of Aerobic Capacity


Use the exercises in the assessments as a basis for your exercise routines. If you want more ideas for workouts, then you know the drill: subscribe to the newsletter to access video workout routines.


Progression - With a good structure prioritising your weaker areas, it's time to add progression. Increasing the intensity each week using more weight, time, repetitions, distance, or frequency. A good rule of thumb is to add 3-5% each week via any exercise variable you wish.


As mentioned earlier. Watch for my future blog, which details how to start your hybrid fitness journey. This will give you a great place to start… so get going!



Conclusion: Embracing the Hybrid Fitness Lifestyle


In conclusion, the hybrid approach to strength and fitness is more than just being well-rounded; it's about preparing for life in all its complexity. It's a philosophy that echoes my experiences as a personal trainer, NLP coach, and soldier. Embracing this approach means committing to continual growth, adaptability, and resilience.

Consider the hybrid approach, whether you're an executive, professional, business owner, seasoned athlete, or beginner. The benefits provide you with far more than you can imagine!

Good luck!



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