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The Hybrid Story by Rob Orlando - CrossFit Journal

The Hybrid Story

By Rob Orlando

In Affiliation, CrossFit, Videos

February 17, 2012

Video Article

In 2008, 32-year-old Rob Orlando was reaching the end of his personal-training career. It was time to find another way to make a living, he says. Then the question came from a client he had been privately training at local gyms: “‘What’s stopping you from just doing this on your own?’”

Orlando’s response: $50,000.

“He just took out his checkbook and wrote me a check. He basically told me to shut up, find some space and open a gym.”

Hybrid Athletics was born in May 2008, and it became a CrossFit affiliate later that year.

In Part 1, Orlando talks about opening his gym and his entrance into the CrossFit community.

In Part 2, take a tour of the Stamford, Conn., facility.

Orlando often says if the typical box has 100 toys, Hybrid has 107. There are tires weighing 750 and 1000 lb., a 330-lb. piece of timber that washed up on shore during a hurricane, 11-ft. axles, and kegs as heavy as 250 lb.—for starters.

And there’s the so-called “Globo Gym Graveyard,” where dozens of plastic key-ring cards are nailed to the wall.

“This is where people have kind of finally seen the light and they come in and they turn in their card on my desk and I hang it up,” Orlando says with a smile. “Love that.”

Part 1
7min 4sec

Part 2
8min 11sec

Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 202 by Justin Judkins, published Dec. 14, 2011.

Free Download

Part 1:
Part 2:


15 Comments on “The Hybrid Story”


wrote …

Rob, very inspiring! Makes me feel I am on the right path with my affiliate! I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to meet and work with you and your coaches. Your belief of "strength takes a lifetime to acquire" has resonated into every aspect of my training and coaching to where I understand that not only strength but fitness and coaching skill takes a lifetime to acquire. Keep doing what you love!!!


wrote …

Awesome gym man, but you need to have a water bottle graveyard I've seen you kick dozens in your WOD videos!


wrote …

Rob quick question. How did you build the tire sleds? How do you adjust the weights? Awesome idea, would like to borrow it if you don't mind.


wrote …

Great place. Did I not see the pullup bars and towers?


wrote …

Great place. Did I not see the pullup bars and rowers?


wrote …

Hybrid does have a few C2's kicking around and pullup stations are along the edges of the monkey bars he mentioned in the vid.

Tire sleds are done with an upright pipe on a board that is bolted to the sidewall of the tire. Secure an eyelet thru the tread of the tire with a nut and washer. I like to do two eyelets to reduce the chance of both failing and dumping me on my face.


wrote …

A great honest appraisal...well done...Is Rob competing at Regionals this year..?


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

Rob - LOVE seeing the success, homie!!!! Keep kickin' ass!


wrote …

Having been to Hybrid several times and taking a week long seminar with Rob I must say that the greatest advantage that Hybrid has is Rob O and Tim . These two men are unique in their skill levels as athletes , coaches and overall as people.

I together with a group of friends traveled some 6,000 miles from Israel to get certified at Hybrid at a level one course and spent five days before that training with Rob at strongman skills.

It was well worth every mile we traveled .

Three of us are planning new boxes here in out small country with two of us opening up pretty soon.

Great film of a great advocate for Crossfit .

Cheers from all of your friends in Israel


wrote …

Great Vid. Awesome place. Looking forward to the Strongman Cert in may at Goldcoast.


wrote …

Great gym Rob. Loved seeing it for ideas for my home gym. Great job!
Good luck this year.


wrote …

Great job Rob.. The Music in this video is very annoying!


wrote …

Without a doubt, Rob and Hybrid are what Crossfit is all about......down and dirty and badass all the way. Way to go brotha!! I really need to get out there sometime.......not in the snow though hahaha!


wrote …


has brought me to where i want to be, part time strongman-part time crossfitter! Small steps!


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Very cool, Rob!
Still planning on hosting your Strongman seminar in the future

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