After six TRX workouts, I have some definite impressions to share. Let me start with a statement I made in the first TRX article. Remember my reference to spandex? The TRX is definitely not for everyone. Doug, (I am now very familiar with the guy who demonstrates the 'easier' versions of the exercises) makes the workout far more 'average Joe' than Bianca, but this is still not a workout for the faint of heart. Before starting any exercise program, especially this one, please consult your doctor.
I believe in trying out fitness equipment personally before recommending, or using it with my clients.
Here is why the TRX is working for me:
They had me at 30 minutes
Kick my butt in around 30 minutes and you've got my attention. I don't have a lot of time, so getting a great workout in at home before the kids get up in the morning is priceless!
Gets to the Core Issue
I feel my core engaged throughout the entire experience. I believe in training the core first and foremost. Creating a strong core creates greater functionality in every day life activities. A strong core also contributes to overall body strength. The TRX really delivers. You use your body weight and positioning to create an unstable environment for the core and therefore engaging the muscles of the abs and lower back.
I love to train hard
It took me three workouts to truly get the hang of things. Why? For one, the workout is just plain hard. It took some time for my body to get used to what I was experiencing. Consider this: the plank performed with your feet hanging from straps about 8 inches from the floor while your arms stabilize and support your body for 30 seconds. Repeat. One of about a dozen exercises. If you are just a little twisted like me, this is the exact type of insanity that has you coming back for more!
Here's what has me less than thrilled:
It's difficult to use at home
My TRX came with a door anchor. I have very heavy wooden doors. I am a healthy weight at 5' 9". I could see and feel the pressure of my body weight on my door. You must have a clear path in the space around the door. In my case, one of the dressers in my bedroom came within inches of my defined space. Also, the fear of one of my children opening the door (even though it was locked) was significant. I have since secured my TRX to my cage system. This is working much better, but I think using the X-mount attachment sold separately might be the best way to both use and secure the TRX.
"You gotta be smarter than the equipment you're working with"
One of my husband's favorite quotes, but I really don't want to 'think' when I work out. I do my thinking and planning ahead of time so that I can move through sets gracefully. This part of the TRX experience reminds me of the Bowflex. The models in the infomercials make adjusting the bows look so easy. Same with the TRX. Sliding the straps into place for each exercise is not difficult, but getting it 'right' takes practice. I found that this somewhat broke the flow of the exercise; particularly given the fact that there is only 30 seconds to both rest and prepare for the next set.
It's a little rich for my budget
I'm kind of a Bargain Betty. The $150-$200 price tag gives me sticker shock. Having said that, it is really a well made and well presented piece of equipment. The truth is, good fitness equipment generally comes at a high cost, but when it works, it's completely worth it. Let's face it, most people would sell a non-essential organ for a tight body.
It has been a while since I have been this excited about a workout. I am still in the trial period (I am giving it six weeks before I render a verdict) but the forecast is promising! Next stop, I am hitting the streets in search of a local studio that combines the TRX and group fitness. Can this get any better?