Hybrid Fitness, The New Normal, and Enjoying the Best of Both Worlds
You’ve probably never heard of hybrid fitness, and yet if you’ve been training at all during 2020 and 2021, chances are you’ve already been doing it to some extent.
This article looks at what the concept of hybrid fitness is, the key benefits of hybrid fitness, as well as what hybrid fitness training actually looks like in real life, with specific examples that you can use in your own training.
What is Hybrid Fitness?
Hybrid fitness is the combination of home-based and gym-based workouts. Some days you might be in the gym lifting barbells and dumbbells whilst on others you might be at home performing bodyweight exercises or a core conditioning circuit. Essentially, you’re training in a way that allows you to get the best of both worlds.
What Are the Key Benefits of Hybrid Fitness?
Combining home-based and gym-based workouts provides far more flexibility for your training. If you’re running late at work and run out of time for the gym you can still get home and have a short 30-minute home-workout. On the other hand, if it’s really busy at home and you need to head out to a separate space to focus, you can go to the gym and train there.
Let’s be honest, in 2020 and likely much of 2021, gyms have been opening and shutting seemingly every other week. If your entire training programme relies on daily gym access, you’re probably going to struggle. By mixing in home-workouts into your training plan you can keep on working towards your goals even when your local gym’s doors are locked.
Full time gym memberships can be pretty pricey, so choosing to only drop in a small handful of times per month can make it much easier on your bank balance. This is especially true in 2020 and 2021, where millions of people have found themselves paying for gym memberships and yet unable to access the gyms they’re paying for.
Keeps Training Fresh
One of the biggest complaints people have about the gym is that it can get boring and repetitive over time. Hybrid training counteracts that by forcing you to mix up your training style. If you’re at home without a dumbbell or barbell, suddenly you need to get good at bodyweight exercises. Alternatively, if you’ve only ever trained at home but now start to mix in some gym sessions, suddenly you’ve got a whole variety of machines and weights to try out.
Helps You to Improve Your Technique
A common mistake at the gym is to keep on increasing your weights and training harder without really working on your technique, which is a recipe for injury over the long term. Hybrid training allows you to mix in some home workout sessions where you can slow down, get your phone out and record your technique. What’s more, with virtual personal technology like Kemtai available, you can access real-time feedback on your movement quality. Over time this will make you safer, and stronger, in the gym.
What Does A Hybrid Fitness Approach Look Like
If this all sounds great, the main thing you’re probably wondering is “how do I combine all of these different training methods into a programme or structure that works?” That’s where we’ve got you covered. Here are three proven and effective hybrid fitness approaches…
The Gym and Home Phased Approach
In this approach, you will alternate between blocks of training at home, followed by blocks of training at the gym. For example, you might spend four weeks training at home, doing lots of sets and reps of bodyweight exercises, then you might spend the next four weeks training at the gym, doing fewer sets and reps but with heavier weights. So a workout might look like…
Bodyweight squats: 4 sets of 20
Press Ups: 4 sets of max reps
TRX or Table Inverted Rows: 4 sets of 20
*Adding extra sets and reps to progress over the four weeks
Barbell Squat: 3 sets of 6
Bench Press: 3 sets of 6
Deadlift: 3 sets of 5
*Adding weight to progress over the four weeks
The Heavy Day
This approach divides up sessions within a single week. All but one of your sessions will be home workouts, in which you do lots of sets and reps. Then at the end of the week you’ll head into the gym for a heavier training session, where you perform fewer sets and reps but try to lift much heavier weights.
The workouts for this approach would look very similar to the ones outlined in the first approach, the only difference is that you’re dividing the different session types within a single week rather than dividing them month by month.
The Category King/Queen
This approach offers maximum flexibility, and is based around you selecting what you wish to work on that day. To do this, you separate your workouts into categories such as…
Core: Things like planks, sit-ups, side planks
Cardio: Things like running swimming, cycling, rowing
Bodybuilding: Lots of sets of 8-20 reps aimed at building muscle. Things like press ups, lunges, glute bridges, bicep curls, tricep dips.
Strength: A few sets of 3-6 reps using heavier weights. Things like squats, bench presses, overhead presses and deadlifts.
You can then choose which environment works best for that category of session. For example, strength sessions are much easier to do at the gym, whereas a simple core workout can be done at home, saving you time and money. Then with things like cardio and bodybuilding you can probably have a great workout either at home or at the gym, so it’s really down to preference.
Hybrid Fitness Summary
All things considered, hybrid fitness is probably going to be the new normal for 2021. It’s flexible, affordable, covid-proof, helps to improve your technique and works to keep your training fresh. So instead of planning strictly structured routines that can easily be disrupted, why not embrace a hybrid approach, try some new training methods and give yourself the opportunity to succeed with your fitness this year.