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The Secrets Of TRX Training

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The TRX story that goes back to the late 90s has seen a massive hype over the past decade or so. You literally can’t find a gym that doesn’t have TRX or talk to a trainer without hearing about suspension training. It’s convenient, efficient, and effective. So let’s dive straight into the details of the TRX magic. Learn everything about the TRX hype, the TRX equipment and the personalized training app.

The History of TRX

When saying TRX what we’re really talking about is a training method called ‘suspension training’. Suspension training has all started in 1997, when an old Navy SEAL, Randy Hetrick has developed a method that allowed for exercising during deployment.

The earliest version of his creation was built with a simple jiu jitsu belt and a parachute webbing [1]. Not the fanciest equipment, but as there were no dumbbells or steppers available on deployment, the main goals here were, the use of bodyweight, and effectiveness.

And these are exactly the key characteristics TRX is known for today. But before we move any further, let’s clarify one thing. The name TRX is usually used interchangeably with suspension training due to one simple reason.The Suspension Trainer produced by Hetrick’s company called TRX® is the equipment most commonly used for suspension training. Hence the word TRX, which stands for Total Resistance eXercise, became synonymous with this type of workout.

What Is TRX SuSpension Training

TRX is one of the most commonly known methods of bodyweight strength training. All you need for it is two things. 1) A pair of suspension trainers, which you can literally hang up on anything from a pull-up bar to a door or even a tree. 2) Your body.

What you should know about the workout itself is that TRX is also a form of functional training. And why we like functional trainings is because their benefits go well beyond your fitness studio. With functional training you don’t just burn fat and build muscles. You also increase your core strength, power and mobility, which are needed for virtually every movement in life. Hence, such training method can translate into better performance in your daily activities outside the gym as well.

As mentioned earlier, TRX is also an entirely bodyweight method of exercising. This means that your bodyweight will be your only source of resistance during the workout. Combining this bodyweight-resistance with gravity, TRX allows you to adjust the difficulty level by simply changing up your body’s angle. It won’t get any simpler than this.

TRX, as most functional trainings, includes full-body exercises and activates a number of muscle groups [2]. With the simple and easily portable hanging TRX bands, you can unlock an imaginary library of over 100 exercises. This “library” includes a variety of upper-body, lower-body, and core-focused exercises.

This is why we can think of TRX as an entire gym packed into an equipment that weighs less than 2 lbs. Perfection for frequent travelers.

The Benefits Of TRX

TRX training has a number of benefits, some of which we have already touched upon.

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First of all, a research conducted by the American Council of Exercise (ACE) has found that TRX training improves your metabolism, which helps to enhance both your strength and cardiovascular endurance. These basic fitness benefits result in additional health benefits of reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. And as an extra, TRX also boosts your stability, balance and flexibility, which are key in everyday life and for your overall health.

Learn How Pro Runners Boost Their Endurance

And if you’re all about the numbers and/or aim to lose weight, I’ve also got some good news for you. A single session of 60-min TRX training at high intensity burns approximately 400 calories [3]. Which is indeed more than what you can expect to burn with all the fancy boutique cycling classes.

Additionally, as TRX is strength training performed at high intensity that uses numerous muscles, your fat burning rate is also maximized. Hence, you can expect to see your desired results relatively fast.

On the technical side of the story, we can talk about convenience, flexibility and cost-effectiveness. As mentioned earlier, to use TRX you can simply tie the suspension bands to basically any tall and stable item. This allows you to take the workouts from the gym to virtually any location. Let this be your living room, your backyard or a hotel room during vacation, you can definitely enjoy maximum convenience and flexibility with TRX training. .

This convenience factor will also lead to saving money on your monthly gym membership. As the workouts are transferred to your own apartment, you won’t need to spend money or time on going to the gym. Plus with the high number and great variety of exercises that you can do with a single piece of equipment, you won’t need to invest in expensive fitness gear either.

I bet you’re ready to add ‘TRX® Suspension Trainer’ to your Christmas wish list now.

The Dark Side Of TRX

So are there any drawbacks of TRX training? You probably already know the answer to this one. Nothing is perfect in life, so of course there are.

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While suspension training is thought to give you flexibility, you might need a trainer for the first few sessions. TRX is indeed not the easiest training method and hence, it’s easy to get the movements wrong. Just have a few classes with a trainer and learn how to perform the exercises right, so you don’t get injured or waste your sweat!

Even though TRX is categorized as strength training, ironically it is not an effective way of building strength. There are two simple explanations behind this.

Firstly, the resistance you have with TRX is limited to your body weight. This weight – especially for proper body building – is a lot lower than what you’d lift with free weights. Secondly, the high stability and balance demands of TRX exercises may result in lower ability to exert power. Which basically decreases the rate of building muscles.

Additionally, for effective muscle building it’s key to add small increments from workout to workout. But with TRX it’s really hard to quantify the level of difficulty of a single exercise. And so while you’re able to make exercises harder, it is not possible to build up a precise sequence of incremental changes.

And lastly, if you’re aiming for a leg-day that will have a ‘Can someone call an Uber to get me from my bedroom to the bathroom’ effect, don’t go for TRX. Yes, you can do leg exercises with TRX. But no, it won’t be as effective of a lower body workout as performing other exercises.

The TRX Suspension Trainer & App

There are a number of companies producing suspension bands, but as mentioned earlier, the TRX Suspension Trainer™ is your ultimate option. You can choose from 4 different types of their signature TRX bands based on various personal factors. These are, your fitness level and goals, where and when you want to work out, and your preferred training types.

Their “most basic” TRX Home2 System ($169.95) is for example made for everyday people and provides the greatest flexibility. You can use it indoors, outdoors and even on-the-road, as its light weight makes it easy-to-travel-with. And fitness goal wise, they’re claimed to be the perfect alternative to “build, burn and tone”.

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To reach these goals more effectively all you have to do is download their TRX app. With the app, you’ll get access to a set of on-demand workouts. These include both suspension and other training types. All of them are video and audio guided so you might even be able to skip that initial personal training sess.

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But what really puts the cherry on top is connecting your fitness tracker/heart rate monitor. This way the app will be able to adjust the workout in real-time based on your performance metrics. And once you’re done, save your data to track your progress, get personalized workout plans and maximize your results.

So who’s ready to join the TRX community?


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Spartan Race Training Plan
Our comprehensive training plan provides you with 30-days of exercises right up to race day!
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Lilla Laczo

Lilla is a content writer and community manager at Shape.
Download Our FREE
Spartan Race Training Plan
Our comprehensive training plan provides you with 30-days of exercises right up to race day!
Download e-Book