It’s Day 28 of INSANITY MAX:30, and you couldn’t be more excited. You feel amazing, you look amazing, and you’re starting to think “What’s next?” Should you do another round with Super Trainer Shaun T, or move on to a different program, like CORE DE FORCE? Or maybe you don’t have to choose; maybe you can combine them to create the ultimate hard-hitting total-body HIIT program!
Welcome to the allure of the Beachbody hybrid. These combination programs take two or more workout regimens and schedule them together to create a whole new fitness challenge. Sounds amazing, right?
If done correctly, it can be. Believe it or not, there is a method to our madness here at Beachbody. We take great care to design our programs in a way that maximizes results while minimizing the risk of overtraining and injury. And if you follow the tips below, you can create your own unique hybrid workout schedule without jeopardizing those goals. Indeed, you can potentially reach a whole new level of fitness. Ready to get started? Read on.
How to Pick the Right Beachbody Programs for Hybridization
Creating an effective hybrid starts with smart program selection. That means not simply choosing a couple that “look good” at first glance. A little research and some careful consideration go a long way here.
Get Familiar With the Programs
Would you ever wake up one morning and decide to train with the Los Angeles Kings, knowing full well that you have no idea how to ice skate? Of course not! The same caution should extend to the creation of a hybrid workout schedule. In short, know what you’re getting yourself into.
We suggest you complete at least one round of one of your chosen programs before combining them to ensure that you are physically and mentally prepared for the added challenge that a hybrid workout schedule presents. At the very least, preview (i.e., fast-forward through) the workouts in both programs to familiarize yourself with their content and structure.
Choose programs that are similar in difficulty
As fun as a Tai Cheng/INSANITY: THE ASYLUM hybrid sounds, the two programs were created for two very different fitness levels. If you’re a beginner, combining them might leave you frustrated—or, worse, injured. Alternatively, if you’re in stellar shape, you might not find the combo challenging enough to achieve the results you want.
The lesson here is to try to combine programs that are designed for the same fitness level. We’ve made that easy to do by labeling every program in Beachbody On Demand as beginner, beginner-intermediate, intermediate, intermediate-advanced, or advanced.
Choose programs that offer compatible goals
If you want 17-inch biceps and legs like oaks, combining a muscle-building program like Body Beast with an extreme fat loss program like INSANITY might set you up for failure. Instead, select programs that have complimentary goals.
The old adage of “Don’t try to sand and paint at the same time” was never truer than with hybrids. Figure out what you want to accomplish, and then find two programs designed to help you achieve that objective.
Focus on intensity, not duration of programs and workouts
Deciding how long you want your new hybrid program to last is completely up to you. Finding two or more programs that run for the same number of days (e.g., 21, 30, 60, or 90) makes scheduling easier, but it’s not necessary. The same goes for the length of the workouts. If you’re used to the 40- to 60-minute workouts of P90X, the shorter workouts in 22 Minute Hard Corps might seem like cheating — until you actually do one and find yourself sucking wind in a pool of your own sweat. The key is to give every workout your all, regardless of how long it lasts.
How to Create Your Beachbody Hybrid Workout Schedule
Once you’ve identified the programs you want to combine, it’s time to hybridize them. As you’ll see below, there are a few different ways to do that, but regardless of which one you choose, follow these three basic guidelines:
1. Schedule at least one day of recovery each week.
2. Do not target the same primary muscle group in back-to-back workouts. In other words, if you do P90X Chest & Back on Tuesday, Wednesday should not be Body Beast Build: Back.
3. Avoid scheduling a lower-body day next to a plyometric style workout. Your legs will thank you.
Option 1: The flip-flop method
The “flip-flop” method goes back to Beachbody’s roots and the original Power 90. The premise for that program was to alternate between cardio and full-body resistance workouts for 90 days to torch fat and build lean mass (a.k.a. muscle). Not only is such a strategy effective for increasing both strength and cardiovascular fitness, but it’s also simple to schedule and helps minimize your risk of overtraining and injury. So if you were going to create a hybrid program using 21 Day Fix and SHAUN WEEK: INSANE FOCUS, your first week might look something like this one:
(21 Day Fix)
(21 Day Fix)
(21 Day Fix)
Option 2: The CDJ method
The Challenge Du Jour—an exclusive feature of Beachbody on Demand — schedules a different workout from one of our 50 most popular programs each day of the week. It’s a fun way to try a variety of workouts from a variety of trainers, and it lives up to its name — if you don’t feel challenged, you’re doing something wrong. Under this method, you can plug the workouts from your selected programs into the following weekly schedule:
|Plyo||Upper Body Resistance||Cardio + Core||Yoga/
Option 3: The “trading places” method
Possibly the simplest option, this method entails following one program, but swapping in similar workouts from another. For example, if you wanted to do a second round of P90X, you could swap its cardio and plyometric workouts for those from another program, like The Master’s Hammer and Chisel:
|Chest & Back, Ab Ripper X||Hammer
|Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper X||Yoga X||Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X||Chisel Cardio||Rest or X Stretch|
Which hybridization option is best? That depends entirely on you and your individual preferences. Indeed, a much better question is “Which option appeals to you the most?” That’s the one you should try first, as it offers the greatest chance of keeping you motivated.
Whatever option you choose, be sure to follow the nutrition plan that comes with one of the programs in your hybrid. Working out provides the stimulus for change, but to optimize your results, you have to fuel your transformation with smart eating and targeted nutrition. When it comes to building muscle and burning fat, what you do in the kitchen is just as important as what you do in your home gym.
Combining Beachbody programs is even more convenient when you can access them all in the same place. Beachbody On Demand allows you to stream all of our most popular programs via your TV set-top box or mobile device. Pull up any of the ones mentioned above and dozens more at Beachbody On Demand now!