Sometimes, getting in your fitness can feel simplistic. Maybe you head out for a 4-mile run or you stop over to the gym for a pre-work weightlifting session. Or, perhaps you’re super into spin class or hitting a late-in-the-day barre class with your friend. Whatever your poison, more and more boutique studios have been offering ways to combine multiple modalities into a single workout. That’s right, hybrid workout classes — or opportunities to train differently within a single class — are popping up left and right. And fit fanatics are loving it.
“I prefer hybrid workouts,” says Alyssa Kluge, an account executive living in Venice, California. “Two of my go-tos are a combination of different work: Equinox has a class called True Athlete where I’m doing everything from bodyweight exercises to mobility, and Barry’s Bootcamp always feels super efficient — you’re done in 60 minutes (or less) and you’ve fit in both cardio and strength.”
Efficient is a great word for it, says Andrew Stern, director of training at Rumble Boxing, a boxing-inspired group fitness studio, which has locations in New York City and Los Angeles. In a typical Rumble class, athletes move between teardrop-style, water-filled boxing bags and a strength bench to tackle everything from punches to burpees and strength-training movements.
“Combining different types of training into one workout is not only efficient for your busy schedule, but also your busy brain,” he says. “We know, as athletes, the importance each component of training is, which is why a lot of our exercises [at Rumble] correlate to improve movements on the opposite side. For example, we will hit oblique twists on the floor side because a stronger core will help when we throw power hooks.”
THEY ENCOURAGE CROSS-TRAINING
Mile High Run Club, a treadmill-based studio in New York City, recently tweaked its programming to bring fans of its signature treadmill workouts something different. Called “The Build,” the 45-minute strength-based class is designed to help runners build power and stability for stronger miles.
“We found that our clients who loved to run were in the dark on which specific strength modalities would impact their running the most,” says Rich Velazquez, COO and coach at Mile High Run Club. “That’s where this class came from, since there is necessity and importance for strength training in one’s running and cardiovascular training program. With that in mind, we also wanted to stay true to the brand and ensure there was still a running component to the class. In ‘The Build,’ this is primarily seen in short bouts of hill work.”
THE BOTTOM LINE
In short, studios understand the necessity of building a better body as a whole. Not only does this type of upgraded training keep class-goers entertained, hybrid workouts also keep their body guessing.
“The body can easily adapt to consistency,” says Rich Alvarez, trainer at Fhitting Room, a high-intensity training studio in New York City. “Constantly adjusting your environment prevents plateau. Because of the human body’s tremendous ability to adapt, the more fit we become, the more able our bodies are to handle the same level of exercise.”
Without dynamic workouts, our bodies burn fewer calories, our metabolism decreases and our progress stalls over time. In fact, an ACE Fitness study showed that a combination of cardio, resistance and functional training is an ideal way for “non-responders” (those who see no clear results from an exercise program) to break through plateaus. Delivering multiple types of stimuli helps to continuously progress and achieve new personal bests.
“It also forces you to work outside of your comfort zone, which fosters continuous progress toward your fitness goals,” says Alvarez. A bonus, since mental toughness and persistence extend far outside of the studio or gym.