Member Inspiring Story – Gavin Henson – Hyrox Challenge

Our next inspiring story is from long standing member Gavin Henson, who will be familiar to many as he is also the husband of our Fitness Manager Katy and a regular face in the Club.

Not a stranger to fitness by any means, Gavin used to do 3 – 5 classes every week, normally GRIT Strength, Cardio and Body Pump, but he admits he had got into a bit of a fitness rut and was struggling to find the enthusiasm to exercise or train.  So, he decided to find a challenge that would give him something to work towards and didn’t go easy on himself in selecting the challenge of Hyrox.

What is Hyrox?!

Quoting directly from their website “Hyrox is the new global fitness race for every BODY!” Around the World athletes compete in the same on the same course and each event hosts up to 3000 participants.

The competition starts with a 1km run, followed by 1 functional workout repeated 8 times.  The combination of functional exercises and endurance makes Hyrox unique yet still attainable for people from varying athletic and fitness backgrounds.  The exercises breaking up each 1km run are 1000m ski-erg, 2 x 25m sled pushes (x2), 80m burpee broad jumps, 1000m row, 200m kettle bells farmers carry (24kg), 100m sandbag lunges and 75 wall balls (9lbs).

Tell us what made you choose this challenge and how you got there!

I wanted something to challenge myself to really see what I could push my body to achieve and also to give myself a reason to focus on my fitness again.  I had completed lots of different challenges over the years including Tough Mudders, Superhuman Games and various runs and thought that Hyrox looked different and also would really challenge me and I wasn’t wrong! I signed up at the end of January and the event was at the Excel in London at the end of April.

How did you adjust your training?

I was already very familiar and competent with classes, but this challenge requires real body strength and also a mental determination to keep going, which was slightly different from what my body was used to from the classes I’d been doing.  PTs Mark and Neeraj from the Gym team at the Club were really helpful in providing both encouragement and also great advice on the best ways to train for this event.  For example, one of the functional exercises is a sled push which we don’t have at the gym, but Mark suggested using the Skillmill on the highest setting which gave an equivalent exercise to pushing the sled.  I really appreciated their help in getting me ready for the challenge.  I also added running to my weekly fitness routine along with the gym training and GRIT and Body Pump classes. 

How did you get on?

As this was a first for me, I wasn’t sure how long I would take but had set myself the target of under two hours and so I was really thrilled to finish in 1 hour and 29 minutes.  This was absolutely the hardest thing I’ve done and really pushed me to my limits both physically and mentally, but the feeling once I’d achieved it was incomparable.  It has been a big commitment but I’m feeling great for it.

What’s next?

My target is the Hyrox event in Madrid at the end of November. I want to shave some time off this event and also, as I will then be in the 45-49 age category, I’m hoping to qualify for the World Championships; a big challenge but I’m going for it!  All entrants are given a timing chip, which provides full analysis on the time of each of your laps, how long you are taking between each zone, how long each exercise took, etc. This will help me to identify opportunities to bring my time down and give me specific areas to work on. 

We salute you Gavin for undertaking and successfully completing this awesome challenge!

You can find out more about Hyrox here, or if you would like to find out more about Gavin’s Hyrox experience do get in touch with our Fitness Manager Katy on [email protected] and she will put you in touch with Gavin.

Equally if you have set yourself a challenge, be it a 5k, or a marathon, and would like some advice from our personal training team, do get in touch with Katy on the details above we would love to help.