It may have been developed for the Navy SEALs, but you don’t have to be in secret-weapon shape to work out with TRX. The concept of the TRX suspension training is pretty basic: you use two cables on your feet or hands to partially suspend your body and use your own body weight as resistance. The muscle groups you work as well as how hard you work them all depend on the positioning of your body on the cables.
To find out more about the benefits of the workout, we spoke with Randy Hetrick, former Navy SEAL and current CEO and founder of TRX, at the unveiling of the newly expanded TRX Training Center in San Francisco, CA. If you’ve ever wondered about all those odd-looking straps hanging in your gym, read on to find out more about working out with TRX.
1. It’s for anyone: So, who should do TRX? Everyone, Randy says. “People who like yoga and Pilates tend to like TRX because there are some crossovers. But it’s also great for runners, cyclists, or anyone who is an endurance athlete and wants to have more strength training.” Even reluctant “power lifters” are usually swayed by the workout once they see how effective it can be at building muscle, he says.
2. It’s beginner-friendly: Another reason to try a TRX class — it’s easy to tweak exercises to your own level of difficulty and ramp up when necessary. “It’s all user-defined,” Randy says. “You determine how hard or how easy you really want to go. So really advanced or really beginners can work out in the same class and get what’s right for them.”
3. The cardio-strength training connection: Don’t think it’s just your muscles that you’re working. TRX moves target different parts of your body while also raising your heartbeat. Many exercises done on the TRX suspension cables “integrate so many muscles, which require oxygen,” Randy says. This increases your heartbeat and breath as you hold a move or do your reps, making many TRX exercises “super efficient, integrated strength and cardio moves,” explains Randy.
4. It beats boredom: Two suspension straps — infinite ways to use them. You can do it all with TRX, from lunges to planks to upper body resistance exercises. And the best part? Your workouts can change as many times as you want them to. That means that both your mind and your body will stay challenged with all the ways you can mix up your workouts. Actress Jaime Pressly loves the workout for just that reason. “I get bored easily, so my trainer, Mike Jones, introduced me to TRX,”she said.
If you’ve never done TRX, sign up for a class at your gym, if they offer one, before you commit to any at-home or individual training. That way your instructor can teach you the proper way to do a move without injuring yourself.