Does TRX Really Work?

There I am standing in a gym staring at a piece of equipment (something made from nylon with two handles at the end) that is supposed to give me a killer workout. Curious about what I was staring at, I decided to give TRX Suspension Training a try.

Now, I've always heard amazing things about TRX and have seen it numerous times on The Biggest Loser, but wanted to see for myself if TRX really was a body-changing workout.

I don't want to toot my own horn here or anything, but I consider myself to be in pretty good shape. I work out daily, run, and practice yoga, so I contemplated whether or not TRX could really give me a good workout? Open-minded to TRX, I met with my trainer to see if TRX is all it's made out to be.

Doug Balzarini, fitness trainer and conditioning coach for UFC Champion Dominick Cruz and Phis Davis, asked, "Are you ready for TRX?" I responded, "Bring it on."

First I should explain what exactly TRX is. TRX Suspension Training is a fitness tool made from high quality nylon. It has handles at the bottom and is durable to hold up to 1400 pounds. TRX is portable; you can set it up anywhere. It's a total-body training system that allows you to do all sorts of exercises using your body weight. You have to use you core stabilizers to work out with TRX, so you build your core, strength, balance, agility and power.

Doug explained that there are six basic body positions with TRX, which allow for hundreds of exercises—no matter the skill level.

Standing:

  1. Face the Anchor Point
  2. Face Away From the Anchor Point
  3. Face Sideways to the Anchor Point

On the Ground:

  1. Lay Face Down
  2. Lay Face Up
  3. Lay on Your Side

Now that the basics were out of the way, Doug put me to work.

We started with a basic squat. As simple as the movement was for me, the benefit of doing a regular squat with TRX allowed me to keep my alignment right. From a basic squat, we went to one-legged squats to one-legged squat-hops. You can keep advancing your skill level by adding balance and movement.

We did pushups, jumps, twists, one-legged dead lifts, and so on. By the end of the hour I was sweating and feeling energized. I wanted to do more...I wanted to take the TRX system home with me. I immediately saw how a simple low lunge movement could help me improve my runs. It's no wonder why so many professional athletes incorporate TRX into their workout regimen.

The Benefits of TRX Suspension Training

  1. It's great for all levels. "Anyone can use TRX due to its versatility," says Balzarini.
  2. It's portable. It weighs two pounds so you can take it anywhere and use it indoors or outdoors.
  3. It helps you reach any goal.  Use to improve sports performance, lose weight, gain strength, rehab an injury, and more.
  4. It's functional. It's designed to carry everywhere and meets the demands of daily activities.
  5. You stand to train. People sit too much and have sedentary lifestyles. This allows you to get off your butt.
  6. It's all core all the time. "TRX requires you to constantly remain "engaged" and "stable" throughout your entire body," says Balzarini.

After my workout, I asked Balzarini why he is so passionate about TRX. "I love it because of all the benefits," Balzarini said. "TRX is unlike machine-based training. It allows you to move through endless ranges and angles, which is much more beneficial and functional than other workouts."

TRX training is a great workout. I love TRX because you can work in a variety of planes and in all ranges of motion. I can work on my running stride one day and perfect my golf swing another. TRX allows you to get creative, have fun, and push yourself past your limits.

The next day I was sore, but it was a "good sore" and I felt stronger.

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Fara Rosenzweig is an online lifestyle editor for Active.com.


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