Though I attempted to enjoy a sugary breakfast cereal more than working out, I totally did not. On the day I tried TRX for the first time, I also considered eating some Trix that were in my office space – one look at the ingredient list led me to not even bother pulling out a bowl. But despite the fact that I knew TRX would involve a strappy thing anchored to the ceiling, I merrily bought a deal on one of those deal-site things (great way to try new workouts, by the by) and went to class with my friend and TRXpert, Kane.
TRX is a little weird. Rooted in a type of Navy Seal training (isn’t that sort of thing supposed to be top secret?*), it involves two straps that hang from the ceiling at an anchor point with stirrups on the end of each strap. I…well, I’m not going to ignore the pink elephant that stood in the gym from the moment I stepped in: these things totally look like they belong in a BDSM fantasy room. Which is absolutely fine, it was just not what I was expecting (and thank God I went to this class with Kane, because I definitely said this out loud to him. Imagine if I took my Mom. Or Dr. Dad). See:
So, there was that to contend with. But once I stopped giggling and class started, I felt bad for thinking this in the first place. Because TRX is challenging. Basically, you use the suspenders** by putting your hands or feet in them, and pulling against them. You’re using them for resistance sometimes, and you’re using them for balance others.
For example: you might hook your toes in to them, get in a plank position, and rock forward and back parallel to the ground. Yes, you look silly. Yes, it really does work you out. Yes, at the end of a 50 minute class it’s hard.
What is really interesting about TRX is the fact that you can make it easier or harder by simply adjusting your position to give you more resistance or less resistance. So an entire class can include beginners, intermediate and advanced exercisers and everyone can make it a strenuous or light workout with ease. Rare to find something so easy to adapt to all levels.
Does this all sound really complicated? It is at first – you have to position your body in and around these dangling stirrups and you don’t even get to do something super amazing, like swing from them. The class I attended was more strength focused than cardio – I’ve got nine more classes though, so we’ll find out if that is the norm or not.
If you decide to take a class, which I recommend you do (especially if your instructor plays Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies all through class like mine did so I was able to sing along), you might want to note a few things:
– Focus on your form – this is key to doing exercises right. If you can see yourself in a mirror, even better.
– Ask for help, from a kindly looking classmate or from your instructor. You’ll have to adjust those straps throughout class which is confusing at first. I had a Kane. But you might have to rely on the kindness of strangers.
– You’ll feel ridiculous. There was more than one moment when I laughed. Out loud. I’m sure Kane wanted to disassociate from me (if he hadn’t already after we jumped rope and I kept trying to talk to him while we warmed up). I think a sense of humor is key. You’ll do it wrong. It’s totally fine.
So get on your local daily deal site and find a class near you. My biceps hurt. Misery loves company, so yours should too.
*I’m confused as to national ground defense and training strategies, like Krav Maga, boot camp and now TRX, are being used to get civilians fit. Doesn’t that seem like a peculiar plan for outdoing your “enemy” (not that I think we should have enemies).
**Not a technical term.