Beachbody Hybrid Programs – Create Your Own!
I love creating Beachbody Hybrid Calendars and Hybrid Workouts! You get to take the best of this workout program and the best of that one and make something new that targets your goals. I am working on a couple hybrids for the team at the moment. That got me thinking, what if you wanted to make your own right now!? Well here it is, how to build your own Beachbody Hybrid!
Let me interject right now and say that if you haven’t done a workout program all the way through, don’t start with a Beachbody hybrid. I prefer hybrids because I can tailor the lifting and cardio to meet my specific goals. But if you haven’t gone through an initial program as designed, you really need to do that first to get a good foundation of fitness and to know how the programs work with your body. Ladies should consider Chalean Extreme. Guys should consider Power 90 or P90X depending on what you can handle to start. I feel like those 3 programs provide the BEST overall combination of resistance training, cardio HIIT training, core work, and a solid nutrition plan. If you haven’t done a program yet, be sure you check out my article on “choosing the right workout program”.
Now for those of you who have knocked out a round of P90X, Insanity, etc., let’s talk about what YOU might want to consider in creating a Beachbody hybrid for yourself as you move forward from here.
Creating a Beachbody hybrid is one of the most enjoyable things you can do with Beachbody programs. You can really make a custom program that is tailor-made for your goals. Each and every program has certain strengths and weaknesses as you look at their workouts. By combining the specific strengths of multiple workouts you can create a killer Beachbody hybrid that might just may be better than any of the original programs by themselves. Beachbody knows this and has included hybrids in many of their newer programs (Asylum, X2, TurboFire…). Those pre-made hybrids can be found on Team Beachbody in WOWY and in the Worksheets page.
There are a lot of things to consider when you get into designing a hybrid. You want to know each program well enough, down to the individual workouts, so that you can place workouts in order that will help you reach your goal but not leave you injured or over-trained. I have made a bunch of hybrids over my 3+ years of doing Beachbody programs. You can easily start with one of my hybrids as a backbone for your own Beachbody hybrid program. Complete list of my hybrids can be found here: My Hybrid Worksheets/Calendars
Considerations Before You Begin Creating Your Beachbody Hybrid
As I mentioned above, you really need to know your programs well to make an effective Beachbody hybrid. Like I said above, I recommend completing a program as it’s designed before utilizing it in a hybrid. The place where I’ve made an exception to this rule is with a program like Insanity. I’ve never completed a pure round of Insanity because I don’t feel it best meets my goals (too much cardio and not any real weight training). If you don’t know all the individual workouts that you plan on using in your hybrid you won’t know what muscle groups those workouts hit and if the order you’re placing them in is realistic and doable.
If you are really familiar with the program you can also use the standard order and placement of workouts as a guide for where to place them in your Beachbody hybrid. All the Beachbody programs have made careful considerations as to where to place workouts and how much rest you should get before similar workout.
You also need to know what your overall goal for your hybrid is. This will help you determine the balance of lifting to cardio and and even what programs you want to pull workouts from. For most of my hybrids my goal has been to lift heavy, maximize cardio, and still hit abs hard. So if you want some good ideas based on my past hybrids, feel free to check them out in the FREE DOWNLOADS section.
Lifting and Muscle Groups
If you’re going to have a lot of lifting in your Beachbody hybrid (more than three days a week) then you should really be aware of what muscle groups you’re hitting with your lifting days. You want to utilize the 48 hour. For instance, if you were to lift biceps Monday then the soonest you could lift them again would be Wednesday (and if you are doing back on Monday, the biceps will automatically also be used in the back workout on pullups and rows, so you can’t work biceps until at least Wednesday). These considerations will be really important if you’re going to try something like hitting each muscle group twice a week.
Also pay attention to total body lifting workouts. You really shouldn’t put another lifting days directly before or after these workouts. Just keep that in mind if you’re going to use any Les Mills PUMP workouts, Asylum Strength, Body Beast total body, etc.
You have a little more freedom to put cardio workouts closer together. Yes a lot of the Beachbody cardio workouts will have some body weight lifting exercises, but they aren’t as targeted as a dedicated lifting workout. For example, you will do some push-ups in Speed & Agility but nowhere near the amount you would do in Chest and Back from P90X. If you’re really concerned then you can simply repeat the cardio exercise prior to the lifting exercise rather than doing the pushup sequence in Speed & Agility.
I’m not going to break apart every single program and all the individual workouts, but I will give a quick overview of many of the popular programs to use and hybrids. Let’s take a look!
P90X – the lifting workouts are self-explanatory (Chest/Back, Shoulders/Arms, etc). How they are paired in the phases should be a clue as to how you should pair them (C/B with S&A and CST with B/Bi). Plyo is still a good cardio option, and for all you yoga junkies… Nothing’s longer than YogaX :-)
P90X2 – the Foundation phase lifting workouts are really total body workouts, so space them accordingly. The Strength phase workouts can be used the same as the P90X lifting workouts. The PAP workouts from the Performance phase are good upper and lower body splits (PAP Lower is a nice legs option). Again with X2, Plyocide is a great cardio option. X2 Yoga is good for a shorter yoga routine. Finally, maybe the most unique workout from P90X2 is Recovery and Mobility. Great to throw in to make sure you’re taking care of your body.
P90X3 – Many great 30 minute workouts to add in if you have time constraints or just want a lighter day each week. My favorite would be “The Challenge” for a fast chest and back killer. I also really like CVX for some cardio with weights. Finally, if you want some yoga but not 90 minutes of YogaX, X3 Yoga is just 30 minutes.
Tony Horton 1-on-1s – TONS of great routines here. My favorites are: the 30-15 Routine (chest and back), Just Arms (bi/tri/forearm), and Diamond Delts (Shoulders). Fountain of Youth yoga is a nice shorter (45 min) routine. Definitely worth a look if you are trying to get into yoga more.
Insanity – Pretty obvious that you are going to get GREAT cardio options from Insanity. Go all out with MAX workouts or even set the early phases up with Pure Cardio and Plyo Cardio Circuit and work up to the MAX workouts.
Insanity MAX30– Take Insanity’s great cardio, boil it down to 30 minutes and add in MAXING OUT and you have Max30! Like P90X3 condenses the lifting of P90X, MAX30 takes all out cardio to 30 minutes. You get an amazing workout and as long as you repeat your workouts, you will have a goal to try to beat!
The Asylum Volume 1 – Vertical Plyo may be one of the toughest workouts Beachbody has ever made. Great for getting the most out of your cardio days. As mentioned before, Asylum Strength is a good total body lifting option. Speed & Agility would be another great choice for cardio. If you really want to amp up your cardio use Game Day. Relief is nice for quick stretch.
The Asylum Volume 2 – Here lifting days are broken into Upper Elite (primarily chest and arms) and Back & Six Pack (primarily back). X Trainer, Power Legs, and Championship are great cardio choices.
Body Beast – Simple to use and a great addition to any hybrid. Build workouts are almost all multi-muscle group and then the Bulk workouts are single muscle groups. Build: Legs and Bulk: Legs should be the obvious answer to building your legs. There are no better leg workouts for size. And don’t overlook throwing in Beast Cardio. A quick 30 minute option that is a rocker if you really push the pace and weights.
Hammer & Chisel – This will again give you some shorter workout options, but use a little caution. Since H&C targets a lot of legs and total body, I would want to make sure I have a good cardio or even rest/recovery workout after a hard H&C. I wouldn’t want to roll into another tough lifting program if I was just coming off a workout like Hammer Power.
Ab Workouts – Man there are a ton to mention. Pick your favorites! ARX, X2AR, Cardio Abs, Killer Abs (1-on-1), Insane Abs, Beast Abs, X2 Ab Shredder… you get the picture!
There are tons of other options I haven’t even touched, within the programs above and in other programs. If you are familiar with Les Mills COMBAT for example, use it in your Beachbody hybrid. If you can’t get enough TurboFire or ChaLEAN, make them fit and have fun!
I like making my Beachbody hybrid calendars in an Excel document so then I can print them and post them in my workout room. That way you’ll have your plan right in front of you all the time. Below is a link to blank document. Get creative and keep pushing your limits. Bring it!
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