Suspend your disbelief training
The TRX system is the latest “must-have” fitness regime. It consists of several suspension cables, which you attach to either arms or legs as straps that then suspend you from a surface using your own body weight (and gravity) as resistance. The intensity of the exercise is determined by how you position the cables on your body. It’s a pretty simple but effective way of working out that can help breathe life into your current resistance routine. Whether you’re into Pilates and want to ramp up your core workout or a power-lifter looking for some variation in your strength routine, TRX is worth investigating. We talk to Randy Hetrick, the Navy Seal turned fitness innovator who developed the equipment.
The market is flooded with devices to help your strength, core and balance training. Where does the TRX fit in?
The real advantage of TRX equipment and training is the ability to train you to use human movement as the foundation of fitness, performance and durability. Becoming aware of your own body weight – developing and maintaining appropriate levels of mobility, strength, power and endurance – is a great stand-alone training method. You should be competent, and even attain a certain level of mastery, in getting a great workout using only your own body weight. You can also modify exercise intensity across a wide range to meet the needs for virtually everyone.
For the home workout enthusiast who’s wondering whether the outlay is worth it compared to tying tubes and bands around his or her home, what would you say?
In addition to being more versatile and scalable, in terms of ease of use and effectiveness for all levels, TRX is portable and even fun. Once you master the basic movements and modify resistance and stability to challenge your fitness, the sky is almost the limit to creativity and applications. You will not outgrow it, or get bored. With the ideas and support TRX provides you can keep it simple or stay on the cutting edge of fitness and performance.
Do you think TRX is portable enough for travelling with work and staying in hotel rooms, or is it better confined to use in homes and parks?
People can train anywhere, anytime. One of the reasons TRX has been so successful is that we see our customers using it in the gym during winter or outdoors during good weather. And for the time-constrained business traveller it is perfect as it weighs less than 2lbs, fits nicely in a suitcase and a full body workout can be accomplished in as little as 30 minutes.
Would you recommend learning to use the equipment with a trainer first?
One of the nice things about the TRX Suspension Trainer is there’s a relatively small learning curve. Once you’ve mastered how to adjust the straps and the easiest way to put them on your feet, you’re ready to try the most common exercises, modified so that you use your own weight. With five minutes of instruction, a beginner should be comfortable with most of the facets of training.
TRX Suspension Trainer Pro Kit is £160, Escape Fitness
MUST TRY MOVES
• TRX Overhead Squat: This is a great exercise as it integrates not only the largest muscles for the lower body, but it also integrates back and shoulders, helping strengthen the muscles that weaken from extended periods of sitting at a desk.
• Stand tall with arms overhead. Hold a TRX strap in each hand so that the TRX hangs diagonally with a little slack.
• Initiating the movement with your hips, squat back and down until thighs are parallel with the floor and the strap is straight. Return to a standing by pushing through hips.
• TRX Single Arm Row: A great exercise that targets the postural muscles in the lower back while focusing on core strength and rotation.
• Holding the TRX handles in your right hand, turn yourself to face the anchor point. Stand with left foot in front of right, both feet facing forward.
• Bring right arm to chest height and straighten your elbow. Slowly lean backwards keeping body weight over rear leg, right arm at chest height.
• Bend right elbow, pulling your body away from your arm, right elbow moving towards the right ribs. Keep torso straight and slowly lower your body back to start position.