It’s no secret that the fitness world has started to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to wellness and towards a more individualized approach. Today’s workout enthusiast isn’t limited to choosing just one fitness activity and sticking to it. Instead, many prefer to use a combination of activities, making them what is known as hybrid athletes.
As a hybrid athlete myself, I’m always excited to learn about the latest fitness trends and to discover ways that I can mix and match activities to create my own unique training program. I’m even more excited to see that hybrid athletes are on the rise and that research studies are now showing the benefits of being a hybrid athlete.
What is a Hybrid Athlete?
A hybrid athlete is someone who participates in a variety of physical activities in order to reach their health and fitness goals. This could be anything from running and strength training to Pilates and yoga. Hybrid athletes are not limited to one activity but rather blend different activities together to create a unique program that fits their individual needs.
Why Single-Track or Single Focus Fitness is Great, but Not the End All Be All
It’s no secret that single-track or single focus fitness can be great for certain goals. For example, if you’re training for a marathon, running may be your main focus. Or if you’re a yogi looking to increase your flexibility, yoga might be your primary activity.
However, while single-track fitness can be great, it’s not the end all be all. Just like athletes, goals and dreams come in many different shapes and sizes. That’s why hybrid athletes are on the rise and why research studies are now showing the benefits of being a hybrid athlete.
Hybrid Athletes are on the Rise
Research studies have shown that hybrid athletes are on the rise. In 2017, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas found that hybrid athletes, who participated in a variety of physical activities, had better overall physical and mental health than single-track athletes. The study found that hybrid athletes reported higher levels of physical activity, had lower body fat levels, and had better overall mental health than single-track athletes. This is likely due to the fact that hybrid athletes are not limited to one activity, but rather can switch up their workouts to address different goals and to prevent boredom.
Another study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that hybrid athletes experienced improved cardiovascular health, increased muscle coordination, and improved overall physical performance. This is likely due to the fact that hybrid athletes are able to better train their bodies by using a variety of exercises and activities.
Examples of Hybrid Athletes
There are plenty of examples of hybrid athletes out there. Nick Bare, for example, is a fitness influencer and entrepreneur who trains in CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting and Gymnastics. He has found success in all three styles and even has his own online fitness program, Bare Performance Nutrition.
Another example is fitness influencer and entrepreneur Jenna Douros. Jenna is an avid runner who also incorporates strength training and yoga into her workout routine. She believes that strength training and yoga have helped her become a better runner.
These hybrid athletes are proof that a lifetime of having healthy hobbies is more than likely going to include a multitude of workout styles and programs as our needs and wants change per stages and seasons of our life.
Hybrid athletes are on the rise and for good reason! Research studies are now showing the numerous benefits of being a hybrid athlete and there are plenty of examples of hybrid athletes out there to prove it.
So don’t limit yourself to one activity. Choose a variety of activities that meet your individual needs and goals and become a hybrid athlete! It’s a great way to stay active, healthy, and happy for years to come.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas. (2017). Physical activity, body composition, and mental health among single- and dual-sport athletes: A comparison study. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35(2), 171-178. doi:10.1080/02640414.2016.1160477
University of Pittsburgh. (2019). Hybrid athletes experience improved physical performance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190321134718.htm