The Power of Hybrid Workouts: Combine Strength and Endurance

“You can’t be a runner and a lifter at the same time” - Gym bro

You don’t see many bodybuilders being excited about running long distances or marathon runners thrilled about lifting heavy weights, but does that really mean these two activities can’t be combined?

People who do both are called hybrid athletes.

In this article we dive into the worlds of hybrid workouts, which include different training styles within a workout program.

Hybrid workouts involve different exercise modalities, which usually are strength and endurance.

For example, combining long distance running and weight lifting.

But it can also include cardio, strength training, yoga, Pilates, martial arts, and more, within a single workout session or training program.

By incorporating various disciplines, these workouts provide a completed approach that targets multiple fitness components, including cardiovascular endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance.

For a long time we thought a bit of cardio would ruin all your muscle gains, which is the interference effect.

That’s why athletes would become a master in strength training, but would neglect cardio -- or vice versa.

Whereas the goal of a hybrid athlete is to become proficient at both.

And recent studies has shown that’s possible to include moderate amounts of cardio and lifting to get results without much interference effect.

Maximizing efficiency

Hybrid workouts allow individuals to make the most of their time by engaging in a well-rounded routine.

Rather than performing separate workout program for different goals, a hybrid approach ensures that multiple aspects of fitness are addressed simultaneously, resulting in a time-efficient workout routine.

By combining different exercise styles, hybrid workouts stimulate various muscle groups and energy systems, leading to improved overall fitness levels.

The diversity within these workouts prevents the body from plateauing and promotes continuous progress and adaptation.

Hybrid workouts improves your overall fitness which can be translated into your day-to-day life

Variety is the spice of life, and the same applies to fitness.

Hybrid workouts bring excitement and novelty into exercise routines, preventing monotony and keeping you engaged and motivated.

The ever-changing nature of these workouts makes them mentally stimulating, contributing to long-term adherence and enjoyment.

Hybrid workouts can be customized to align with individual goals and preferences.

If you want to build muscle while training for a marathon (like I did), you can adjust your workout plan accordingly.

Whether someone aims to build strength, increase flexibility, improve cardiovascular fitness, or achieve a specific athletic performance, hybrid workouts can be designed to cater to those specific needs.

Hybrid workouts often incorporate elements of mindfulness, such as yoga or meditation, fostering a holistic approach to fitness that prioritizes mental well-being alongside physical health.

Regardless if you do these, you will feel more connected to your body by doing these various activities.

By embracing this well-rounded approach, individuals can experience a deeper sense of balance and overall wellness.

It will be hard to be an expert

Since your attention will be divided across multiple activities, it will be difficult for you to be an expert in all of them.

That’s why you don’t see an ultra marathon winner be a world-class powerlifter at the same time.

You have a limited amount of energy, so it will be difficult for you to reach elite levels for strength and endurance, but that does not mean it’s impossible.

Most hybrid athletes are commonly training more than 5 days a week.

It usually includes a strength training one day, then endurance training the next, while varying intensity throughout the week.

Hybrid athletes have busy schedules to balance multiple activities -- but you won’t get disappointed if you love to work out,

Since hybrid workouts will mix strength training and cardio, you have to make sure the muscle groups you train don’t overlap.

For example, if you lift heavy weight for legs on Monday, don’t expect cycle for hours on Tuesday.

Scheduling is key when it comes to hybrid training, it allows you to avoid overtraining certain muscle groups, which would create imbalance and increase risk of injury.

As a hybrid athlete you usually spend more time exercising than if you only focused on one discipline.

It’s also very common to train twice a day if you’re trying to achieve a certain goal.

Proper recovery, quality sleep and good nutrition is extremely important when it comes to hybrid workouts, they will help you endure your long training sessions.

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To embark on a hybrid workout journey, it's crucial to understand your fitness goals.

If you’re training for a race, your schedule would look very different compared to if someone that just wants to try different activities.

I personally tried different workout routines during my fitness journey.

  • Monday: Swimming 1.9k
  • Tuesday: Upper body
  • Wednesday: Swimming 1.9k
  • Thursday: Running 14k
  • Friday: Swimming 1.9k
  • Saturday: Lower body + mobility
  • Sunday: Rest
  • Monday: Upper body
  • Tuesday: Running 14k
  • Wednesday: Lower body + mobility
  • Thursday: Running 10k
  • Friday: Upper body
  • Saturday: Soccer
  • Sunday: Rest

That’s what works for me at the moment, but this routine will change next year since my goal will change.

Here are other examples of hybrid workouts:

Combining the strength-building and cardiovascular benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with the mind-body connection and flexibility of yoga.

Pairing the functional movements and intensity of CrossFit workouts with the restorative and flexibility-enhancing elements of yoga.

Integrating Pilates exercises, which focus on core strength and stability, with resistance training to build muscle and enhance overall body strength.

Combining the high-energy and intensity of kickboxing while building power using compound movements and dynamic isolation movements.

Here’s a hybrid workout program you should try:

Hybrid workouts represent a tailored training experience based of preferences of fitness enthusiasts.

By integrating various training styles, these workouts offer a multifaceted approach that maximizes efficiency, enhances overall fitness, prevents boredom, and promotes holistic well-being.

Whether you're seeking variety, efficiency, or a customized fitness experience, hybrid workouts provide an exciting and effective path to achieving your goals.

Embrace the power of hybrid workouts and unlock a whole new level of fitness possibilities.

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Creating @gymaholic - Athlete and fitness coach. I help people move, feel and live better.

Weekly knowledge exclusively for people who want to improve their health, fitness and mindset.

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