You could ask 100 people and while you wouldn’t get 100 different answers you most certainly would not get one answer either. Fitness, and the definition of it will alter person to person. A runner will ask how fast your 5k or marathon time is, a bodybuilder may ask what your Bench Press is, and a Crossfitter what your Murph time is.
But true fitness comes from being a hybrid of many different forms of training. The definition of the word Hybrid being ‘Something that is the product of mixing two or more different things’.
So in terms of health and fitness this will be a combination of things; being physically and mentally strong, fit, flexible, mobile, ambitious, competitive, driven to succeed and plenty more. Basically, the more things you are good at the more all-round fitness you personally will have.
I am a huge believer in hybrid training and this is reflected in how I train myself, overall I want to be a better all-round individual then I was yesterday and training in a hybrid of ways will achieve this
It’s not just about the physical aspect of fitness that we should concentrate on though, your mental health is just as important as being physically active and exercise is great way to stay healthy in terms of your body and your mental health.
Mental health has been at the forefront for a lot of people during the Covid-19 pandemic and with gyms being closed for so long in England where I am from and while home training for a lot of people is not as enjoyable as being in the gym, myself included, it is vital we keep training for our mental health.
This also feeds into my hybrid training thought process, it isn’t just about training in a hybrid of ways its also training in a hybrid of environments, the gym, the park, the swimming pool etc.
Different environments like different training methods offer a variety of benefits and can create the hybrid athlete you may want to be.
Now of course if you are a runner and you want to improve your times then yes running should be your main focus, however, if you also did some work in the gym to get stronger and more mobile then you would give yourself a better chance of improving your times. It would help increase your power so you are faster, your strength so you are more injury resistant, this list goes on and on. Ultimately you would be a better runner and the same applies to a bodybuilder, if they were fitter, they would recover quicker and could train more often, their lactate threshold would also be stronger so they could do more reps before hitting failure.
In summary, to be truly fit you should train in several different ways as well as different environments to become a true hybrid athlete.
Words: Ross Taylor, Personal Trainer and Team TRAIN member.