What is a hybrid athlete?

For many years, the conventional wisdom was that strength and endurance training don't mix. An influential 1980 study by Robert Hickson found that endurance training reduced strength gains, and strength training provided no benefit for endurance athletes. This became known as the "interference effect" and influenced how many people approached exercise for decades. Runners stayed out of the weight room, and weightlifters stayed off the track. 

That's all changed. New research shows that the interference effect was overstated and with a smart approach to training, most people can increase their strength and endurance simultaneously. The number of hybrid athletes — people who are seeking to improve both their strength and conditioning — is exploding. 

Hybrid training is more functional than a specialized approach. Humans, afterall, need to be able to move through space and occasionally lift heavy things. Plus, for many people, a varied approach is a lot more fun. 

There are plenty of athletic competitions for endurance athletes (marathons) and strength athletes (powerlifting). In recent years, exciting new competitions for hybrid athletes have emerged worldwide, including Hyrox and Deka. These races already have hundreds of thousands of participants annually — from fitness novices to professional athletes. 

What is The Hybrid Letter?

The Hybrid Letter is for anyone interested in hybrid athletics or finding a new approach to staying active. You'll find everything from tips on how to get started in hybrid training for the first time to advanced race strategy from the top athletes and coaches in the world. 

Each edition will feature clear and concise information to help you improve your performance and reach your goals. Topics include training tips, race strategy, nutrition, mindset, and recovery. You will find workouts, gear reviews, athlete Q&As, summaries of the latest relevant scientific research, and much more. 

The Hybrid Letter is published weekly, every Friday. Right now, all of this content is completely free. (In the future, some content may be available only to paid subscribers.)

Who is Alex Shabo?

I've spent over a decade in the fitness industry, managing, coaching, and building communities. At a certain point, the passion I had for helping others stopped bleeding into my own fitness. My results and performance stagnated, and my dedication waivered. 

Then, I found hybrid fitness. And everything changed.

I participated in my first Hyrox race in New York in 2022, and the adrenaline I felt walking into the arena was unbelievable. After crossing the finish line, I wanted more. More training. More education. And more of the results I saw. After spending a year training and learning, I'm more enthused than ever about being a hybrid athlete.

In this newsletter, I will take you on this journey with me. I hope that this newsletter will help you achieve your goals — whether that's getting started with hybrid training or reaching the podium in an elite competition.

Subscribe to The Hybrid Letter

A newsletter for strength and endurance athletes — and anyone who wants to become one