Fitness competitions are going mainstream.
Warm-up. HYROX, the world’s fastest-growing indoor fitness event, will host its first race in Dublin this October before kicking off inaugural events in Greece, Sweden, Denmark, and The UAE later in the year.
Eyeing growth, HYROX founder & CEO Christian Toetzke said he believes the sport of fitness racing will attract over half a million participants within the next four years.
“The ambition is for HYROX to become one of the largest and most recognisable sporting properties in the world.”
On your mark. Unlike its predecessors Spartan Race and CrossFit––the latter of which crowns the “Fittest on Earth”––HYROX found a sweet spot between traditional endurance events and functional fitness offerings available to casual gym-goers.
Its standardised format includes alternating circuits of one-kilometre runs and a prescribed distance or rep count of exercises like sled pushes or wall balls. Done individually, partnered, or in a team relay format, the fastest time wins.
Picking up speed. Launched in 2017 with a single race in Germany and 650 competitors, HYROX’s popularity has exploded on pillars of both performance and inclusivity.
- Participation in HYROX events increased by more than 100% YoY in 2022.
- Over the same period, Google searches for HYROX leapt by 127%.
- HYROX-affiliated training programmes are now in 600+ gyms worldwide, with the UK boasting 100 affiliated gyms and 25K event participants alone.
Looking ahead. Rival CrossFit is still on the back foot after organisational miscues and a relatively slow pandemic recovery — and its premium price tag is keeping growth modest. Meanwhile, despite not owning gyms of its own, HYROX is making up ground with its affiliate network.
Bolstered by its 2019 investment from the Infront Sports & Media Group, HYROX will host 40+ races across 11 countries in 2023, with the Asian market earmarked for expansion following a successful launch in Hong Kong last year.
Takeaway: With 52% of gym-goers now citing fitness as their sport, HYROX is betting big on giving the everyday athlete the opportunity to train and compete in a credible category of their own. So far the wager is returning positive results.