One of my coworkers moonlights as a physical trainer at a local gym so during our lunch breaks we run, bike, or lift together fairly often. He’s shown me some cool workouts over the past few years (kettle bells, thai chi, yoga, TRX) so we decided it’d be a good time to revisit TRX training which I’ve only done one other time before. I remembered two things about it, 1. The focus on stability and 2. The soreness in muscles I never knew I had.
Here’s some jargon from their website: ”Born in the Navy SEALs, TRX® Suspension Training® bodyweight exercise simultaneously develops strength, power, endurance, mobility, durability, balance, flexibility, and core stability. TRX Suspension Training requires the use of the TRX® Suspension Trainer™, a highly portable performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s bodyweight to enable hundreds of exercises that can be instantly scaled for any user to reach any fitness or training goal.”
We only had 30 minutes because of a short lunch break but we definitely made the most of it. The equipment setup was very fast seeing as though it’s simply made of webbing, two handles, and a caribiner. It seems to be really mobile, I could see it as something I could take on travel with me to do in my hotel room or out in a park somewhere. The whole system packs down to the size of two Nalgenes and weighs almost nothing so fitting it in a suitcase or backpack would be no problem. In the 30 minutes we had we hit shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, lats, core, quads and hamstrings. It was pretty broad overview of the major muscle groups as a way for me to learn some standard exercises. My buddy offered to mix a kettle bell workout into the mix but I respectfully declined, maybe next time :)
We shared the system by doing 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off. I was skeptical at first that 30 seconds would be enough to feel a burn, however, as I write this post two days later I can safely say that I’m still sore, mostly in my lats (I can feel it when I cough). The stability required to do these exercises correctly is pretty incredible. The entire system is designed around the fact that you’re unstable, therefore you have to use all of those little stability muscles to keep good form as you do the exercises. No longer is simply doing a pushup enough, you must do a pushup while engaging almost every muscle in your body. This is pretty cool stuff because it’s building very functional strength, forcing you to stabilize your own body weight is a great approach to overall fitness and building strength. My heart rate never got very high but I think this could have been fixed by jumping rope or something similar in between sessions. My heart rate min/max/average was 72/141/107.
I’m not sure I’m ready to buy a TRX system yet ($190 on Amazon, $120 on Ebay) but I wouldn’t say no if someone gave me a used set. I think a TRX regimen would dramatically improve my strength for rock climbing with a mixture of stability, strength, and power. Also, if I had some extended travel coming up for work I would probably invest seeing as though it’s hard to exercise well on the road. It’s quick and easy to setup but it’ll tear you apart (in a good way) if you get the chance to try it out, definitely do it, it’ll make a (wo)man out of you.