Training for Hyrox London- 19th November 2022
Updated: Oct 15
Watch the video of my Hyrox training on YouTube
I was drawn to Hyrox after seen clips on instagram of Josh Cooper and Gary Williams taking part.
Partly because they peeled off their vests mid way through and completed it shirtless. But also because it looked challenging but fun.
The boys did incredibly well, and quantified to take part in the World heats in Las Vegas.
I knew Josh and Gary from UN1T where Gary still coaches and Josh now works for another gym Milo and the Bull.
After UN1T Holborn closed down, I continued to train at UN1T Southwark and at Milo and the Bull at both their Clapham studio and newly opened gym in Peckham.
The gyms both operate a similar programme dividing the week up with both strength and conditioning days.
Josh is something of a Hyrox champion, and addict. Having coming 3rd in the UK and 8th in the world. He is also a very good friend, and was one of my favourite coaches at UN1T.
He has an incredibly natural rapport as a coach, whilst making everything fun, and manages to push and motivate you.
As well as my tiny crush on owner George, it was the chance to continue to train with Josh that was my main reason for signing up to a membership at Milo and the Bull, where Josh now works full time across both studios and trains people privately.
Josh put together a team of people from Milo and the Bull to enter November’s Hyrox competition in London.
Although I was still a member of UN1T Holborn at the time, I joined Team Milo and signed up, not really knowing the full extent of what it entails.
I had roped my friend Sean in to parter up with as a Men’s Doubles team. He similarly had no idea what we were signing up to.
Sean I had met when he joined UN1T Holborn as a member. I was drawn to his Irish charm. We became friends and he joined me as part of Team Phil which I put together to take part in Tough Mudder for my 40th Birthday in April.
We had regularly taken classes together at UN1T and Sean was great for pushing me to work harder.
The first idea of what Hyrox was going to be like was a test session in June with Josh at UN1T Holborn where we ran through a few exercises and he showed me how much weight I would be expected to push on the sled. It was a lot.
For some reason, men and women are characterised with different sets of weights. Because of my penis, I have to keep up with the other men and lift heavier weights than the women. Even though a lot of the women I know who train regularly are a lot stronger than me.
I had a few more practice attempts at UN1T with friends Hannah and Phuc who are also taking part.
The concept essentially is 8x 1km runs with 8 sets of exercises between each.
These are as follows for Men’s Doubles:
1 KM RUN
2×25m Sled Push (125kg)
2×25m Sled Pull (75kg)
80m Burpee Broad Jump
200m Kettle Bells Farmers Carry (24kg)
100m Sandbag Lunges (20kg)
100x Wall Balls (6kg)
I hadn’t really fully comprehended what this would feel like until I spent an afternoon with Josh at Milo and the Bull going through a few of them. By that point, my money was paid up and it was too late to pull out.
I enjoy a challenge, and have especially enjoyed having a fitness focus since taking up running during the lockdown.
Along with the Tough Mudder, I had already taken part in the London Marathon in October 2021 and the Great North Run in April 2022.
I had found the experiences incredible, as I’ve always enjoyed running, and would usually start gym sessions with 5k on the treadmill.
The training session with Josh had been tough. Mainly because he is a machine and makes everything he does look easy.
Josh had put together a WhatsApp group for everyone who had entered. As a group chat it was a lot more serious that other groups I am part of. I of course try to occasionally liven it up with my own brand of banter, usually about food or drinking or boys I fancy.
In August, Josh organised and assembled a group of us for a run club to practise the 8km that we would need to complete. But being Josh he threw in some extra spice by having us run 5k up and down hill streets in Clapham.
It was hard and to struggled to keep up with the rest of the group, lagging at the back.
It was a warm summer night, and I had been up since 4.30am and had been filming all day before cycling from Euston to Clapham to take part in the run.
Although I can just about endure long runs. My pace has never really been competitive. I realised while training with Sean that I will definitely need to improve and increase my own pace in order not pull him back.
To combat that I had been trying to attend HIIT classes at 1Rebel or Victus Soul once a week where they incorporate treadmills to help develop training with interval running.
As part of Team Milo we all paid for our choice of branded T-shirt of vest with our names on and socks.
I wore mine for the first time at the first full training run through organised and mentored by Josh at Milo and the Bull Clapham.
Sean had been called back to Ireland do a few weeks to look after his ill mother, so as I substitute I was paired with Kiran who’s parter was also unavailable that day.
There were six of us practising, starting at staggered times, and included the full eight activities with 8 x 1 km hill runs. On the day these will be flat. But it’s a nice little added challenge to push us further.
We got off to a good start, and round by round we ticked them off the challenge.
The sled pull was a lot heavier than I had remembered, and I struggled to get to grips with this at first. The burpees was the next toughest for me. Other than that though it was all fairly attainable.
It came with a huge sense of satisfaction once we completed the course in 1 hour 20 mins. Knowing that it is achievable and that I can do it was a huge relief. I had honestly thought it was impossible when I first saw the list of exercises, but having conquered the training run through, I was now actually starting to get excited for the big day that is only six weeks away.
To be continued….
For information about Hyrox visit:
For information about UN1T Southwark visit:
For information about Milo and the Bull visit:
Josh Cooper @joshcooper90
Gary Williams @garywilliams_pt
Sean Treacy @sean_treacy1