I Swapped My Usual CrossFit Training For A Bodyweight HYROX Workout, And I Liked It

The author performs a push-up on grass
(Image credit: Harry Bullmore / Future)

As an avid Crossfitter, eyeing up a rival functional fitness event like HYROX feels like something of a betrayal. I love the CrossFit way of training, but I also love a new challenge, and an 8km fitness race that features a different functional workout station every kilometer sounds like my kind of challenge.

On holiday recently, away from my usual CrossFit routine, I decided to try out a session created by HYROX master trainer Jade Skillen. The routine looked straightforward enough: A 1km run followed by 10 burpees, 10 push-ups and 10 lunges, repeated five times in total. The only fly in the ointment was that I’d be performing it on a woodland trail after a wet spell—not exactly the most appealing surface for burpees, but not bad enough to back out, so I set off.

How To Do Jade Skillen’s Bodyweight HYROX Workout

Five rounds for time:

  • 1km run
  • Burpee x 10
  • Push-up x 10
  • Lunge x 10

Three Things I Learned From This Bodyweight HYROX Workout

1. Compromised Running Is Harder Than I Expected

I train at a CrossFit box for 90 minutes or more at least five times a week  I regularly tackle long metcons featuring box jumps, wall balls and thrusters so I’m no stranger to leg-fatiguing workouts. 

That still didn’t prepare me for a sensation which I can only describe as trudging through treacle. The HYROX crowd call this “compromised running”, and it should be one of the key components of HYROX training. It’s hard, even by CrossFit standards, and it takes some getting used to.

2. I’m Not As Fast As I Thought

“Back in 30,” were the words I said to my partner as I left our yurt (after years slumming it in various tents it turns out I quite like glamping).  

I was not back in 30 minutes. 

I’m not a runner, but I’ve always comforted myself in the knowledge that I can run at a semi-respectable pace when called upon; a sub-50 10K or somewhere in the vicinity of 23 minutes when covering half that distance. 

Lately however, I’ve been focused on improving my CrossFit skills over running so haven’t run more than 800m in one go for a few months. 

Nevertheless, I confidently calculated a target time of 28 minutes based on a worst-case scenario of five-minute kilometers. Turns out I was way off. 

Each 1km took me an average of 25 seconds longer than estimated. I’m guessing that’s the impact of compromised running. That meant my finish time was just shy of 33 minutes. Not too bad, but not as fast as I expected. 

3. I Like Running

It’s a source of camaraderie among CrossFitters to groan every time running shows up in a metcon. As we’ve seen, there’s some work to do on the running front. However, I can’t help but enjoy the challenge, especially when there’s a mucky trail to explore.  

I found myself wending along a rickety wooden pathway covering a creek before leaping over logs blocking my path. The UK’s unpredictable weather hit me with bursts of sunshine, blustery winds and impromptu showers in turn—and I loved it.

Harry Bullmore
Staff writer

Harry covers news, reviews and features for Coach, Fit&Well and Live Science. With over a decade of training experience, he has tried everything from powerlifting to gymnastics, cardio to CrossFit, all in a bid to find fun ways of building a healthy, functional body.