Friday, June 21, 2024

Hyrox: The new fitness trend sweeping the capital – BBC News

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Image caption, Gyms across London have started offering specialised Hyrox classes

It’s midday at a gym in central London and Charles Carroll has just finished his first Hyrox class.

“I’m exhausted but it was very rewarding,” the 30-year-old says.

He was part of a class of 20, but across London thousands of people are lacing their trainers for this new fitness trend.

They are part of a rapidly growing global movement that is said to have witnessed a 1,000% increase in participation in the past five years.

Image caption, “It’s a great way to motivate myself,” says Charles Carroll

Leading today’s session in Paddington was The Gym Group’s master trainer, Jenni Tardiff.

She says Hyrox is essentially “a global fitness race”.

“Basically, you run one kilometre (0.6 miles) and then it’s followed by a functional exercise like a sled push or a rowing machine.”

Image caption, Jenni Tardiff says people aged from 18 to in their 70s have participated in her classes

Competing in either pairs, quartets or on their own, participants must complete eight stages – a total of 8km (5 miles), although you don’t have to formally compete to get involved with the training routine.

The word Hyrox itself doesn’t actually mean anything but it all started back in 2017 as a race.

Christian Toetzke, alongside Olympic champion hockey player Moritz Fürste, set up the first race in their home country of Germany.

The inaugural event saw 650 participants – fast-forward to today and Hyrox says almost 200,000 competitors are dotted around the world.

In London, the first race in 2021 saw 522 participants. Jump to 2023 and more than 24,000 people took part across two races.

Image caption, There are currently 41 Hyrox races across 14 countries

Hyrox is most popular among 35 to 39-year-olds and the London Hyrox races saw an average age of 37.

The gender-ratio has evened out since its inception, with women making up 48% of those registered for this year’s London race, an increase from 42% at the first race.

The ability to train in groups, and to use a range of equipment, has also attracted people to the programme.

Social media has promoted the pastime, with ‘#hyroxlondon’ garnering millions of views on TikTok and tens of thousands Instagram posts.

“I like weightlifting and having the right conditioning is really important, so being able to combine all the exercises is really great,” says 28-year-old Pushi.

She’s at the class on her lunch break and has brought along her friend Eva for her first class.

“It was my first time and I loved everything… I’d heard about it a lot on social media so I definitely wanted to try it and see how it is.”

Image caption, Eva (left) and Pushi did the class during their lunch break

Across London, more and more gyms are offering Hyrox classes.

One participant is London-based The Gym Group, which first offered Hyrox classes in March last year at one of its venues. This has since expanded to 14 gyms across the capital offering classes.

“It really quickly became the most popular class in the gym,” says Ms Tardiff.

“It started off with members who maybe knew about Hyrox and then it just exploded into everybody.”

While the trend might be taking off it isn’t something that is cheap.

The prices to enter the race begin at the £70 mark, while the average gym membership in the capital is £40 a month, according to research by the Times newspaper.

But so far, this hasn’t proved to be a deterrent as the next London race in May has already sold out.

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