Wednesday, June 3, 2009

TRX Suspension Trainer - A Review!

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…."- Matthew 6:19-20

I recently purchased the TRX Suspension Trainer for my home gym after reading about it for the last year and seeing how it effectively works the entire body - including the core. There's a reason they dubbed it "all core, all the time."
What is the TRX Suspension Trainer?
The TRX Suspension Trainer is the original bodyweight-based portable training tool that builds strength, balance, flexibility and core stability for people of all fitness levels. It contains 12 feet of nylon-webbed straps, anchors and handles that can be used in a variety of places and provide a full-body workout using one's own bodyweight.

The TRX was designed by Randy Hetric, a former Navy SEAL, to keep his unit in top shape when deployed. He used it effectively in places where no weights were available and in small spaces such as in ships and submarines. He used materials from a parachute to rig a system that allowed him and his unit to train using their bodyweight. From this initial design, he created the TRX Suspension system now being used and sold.

The entire unit weighs less than two pounds and fits into a stuffsack the size of a lunch bag. While it looks deceptively simple, the TRX is crafted from heavy-duty nylon webbing with built-in handles and an ingenious pair of quick-release strap adjusters to produce a rugged, extremely practical piece of equipment. It attaches to anything from a tree to a hotel-room door (using a door anchor) and provides a total-body, core-intensive workout.

TRX Suspension Training is a new category of exercise for athletes of all abilities that leverages one’s own bodyweight and gravity to develop strength, balance, flexibility and joint stability simultaneously while encouraging multiplanar training that mimics real life movement. It's for that reason that I decided to purchase the TRX.

After looking through all the products, I decided to purchase the Essentials Bundle as it contained the TRX Suspension Trainer Professional, the door anchor and four excellent training DVD's (Flexibility, Strength, All Body Xpress and Cardio Circuit). I also purchased the X-mount so I could install it on my garage ceiling.

Once I placed my order, I received a UPS tracking number and eagerly tracked it until it arrived (only a few days later). When I opened the package, I was extremely impressed with the quality of the TRX Suspension Trainer and all the DVD's and workout manuals - it also smelled like a new pair of athletic shoes.

Fitness Anywhere has done an incredible job of putting together a durable and high-quality product that will last for many years and provide an excellent way to train at home or on the road.

The straps, handles and buckles are of the highest quality. The TRX is easy to adjust and can be used nearly anywhere (door, tree limb, pole, jungle gym or playground, etc.).

There is a slight learning curve when first using the TRX and luckily, the DVD's quickly show how to adjust the system and how to use it in single-handle mode or for various exercises. Check out this video to see it in action:

Fitness Anywhere Video

So far, I've only had it set up for a little more than a week and have used it a few times. For my first workout, I followed the All Body Xpress DVD and in less than 30 minutes I was dripping in sweat and had a thorough full-body workout - I was in love!

As simple as the exercises looked, I could tell that they worked. I wanted more. I'm now using the TRX twice a week as a metabolic conditioning workout. I'm also performing two full-body strength workouts and playing ultimate frisbee on Sunday's.

I plan on following this routine for the next eight weeks to see how effective the TRX is for fat loss and conditioning while maintaining or gaining strength.

My schedule looks like this:

Monday - Full-body strength workout (squats, benches, lunges, rows, back extensions, DB overhead presses and hanging leg raises)

Tuesday - TRX Metabolic Workout A

Wednesday - OFF (mid-week bible study)

Thursday - Full-body strength workout (deadlifts, standing barbell overhead presses, step-ups, chins, glute-ham raises, dips and ab rollouts)

Friday - TRX Metabolic Workout B

Saturday - OFF or light activity

Sunday - Ultimate Frisbee

I'll post the results of the above schedule in a few months.

For anyone who has considered purchasing equipment to train at home, I highly recommend the TRX Suspension Trainer. It's affordable, convenient, easy to use, takes up very little space and can be anchored to a door (with the door mount) or mounted to a wall or ceiling (with the X-mount) and taken on the road when traveling.

The TRX truly provides a full-body workout that will help increase strength, conditioning, balance, flexibility, fat loss and joint stability.

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