TRX Upper Body:
How can you get a killer workout anywhere? Simple… The TRX (Part 1)
I don’t know what TRX stands for. What I know is that TRX is a company that produces Body Resistance Suspension devices so that anyone can get a killer workout anywhere. The TRX is basically a strap with two handles (what you hold) and loops (attaching ankles) underneath the handles. The strap can be shortened or lengthened with clamps on each side. The strap is fastened to another strap at the mid point. This second strap then wraps around and attaches to whatever can support your body weight with a carabineer or a door attachment. The exercises can be done with both handles as in doing bilateral exercises or one handle can be fed through the other to make the use of the unilateral exercise option.
There is a video so don’t worry if you do not understand yet.
When I first saw the TRX I was a bit skeptical because I was never a huge fan of body resistance exercise and the TRX seemed a bit awkward. Later I figured that the system was only good when travelling on vacation. I even made my own GTRX (Ghetto TRX) out of rope and two handles that I used in Hawaii a few years ago on the beach. I recently decided that I would have to get the real thing. I bought a Force TRX (Military Version) a few weeks ago and was very happy.
You can always make your own GTRX (Ghetto TRX), but that will be covered below.
How does it work?
The TRX uses your own body weight and leverage as the resistance. The straps lengthen or shorten via the clamps on the straps in order to accommodate for the specific exercise used.
How can you make the resistance more difficult?
- Vector Resistance: Changing the angle of a standing exercise by increasing or decreasing the angle makes the exercise easier or harder respectively.
- Principle of Instability: Changing the base of support or center of gravity can increase or decrease the difficultness.
- Pendulum Principle: Changing the position by either starting closer or further can decrease or increase resistance respectively. This is used mainly with the floor exercises.
- Adding Weight: Adding weight such as a weighted jacket or a backpack with some weight in it can increase difficultness. Using sand bags, dumbbells, kettle bells or any handheld weight can also make the exercise more difficult if used appropriately.
The TRX can be used to gain all sorts of fitness aspects from muscle growth and strength, proprioception (balance), flexibility to power training. The TRX allows you to do as many exercises on it as you can possibly come up with. I am constantly trying to find and come up with new ones.
I first suggest checking out my two previous posts regarding working out: Choose Your Fitness and You must walk before you run: A Basic Introduction to Anyone Starting a Fitness Program. These articles will guide you through choosing what your fitness goals are to what type of posture you should be in when working out. Make sure you are ready to begin a resistance-training program. Take it easy at first and make sure you are doing the exercises properly and safely.
The following video shows a General Upper Body Circuit workout with 4 exercises back to back (Back, Chest, Biceps, Triceps) done in 3 sets of 12 reps. There are 5 different circuits done here, with the last circuit only being back shoulders and front shoulders. There are two perspectives of what a harder version looks like (Simon) and what an easier version looks like (Monika). Make sure to check out Youtube for tons of other exercises. If you have any questions regarding some of the exercises in the video, then please let me know.
TRX Lower Body:
How can you get a killer workout anywhere? Simple… The TRX (Part 2)
Don’t get me wrong. I am not advertising for TRX, even though sometimes I feel like I am. I think that they are well overpriced for the material. A force TRX will run you just over $200. For the service, the TRX is worth it. It will get you in shape and improve your performance no question. I also think that this product is a good substitute to the gym and can save a lot of time, especially when going to the gym is somewhat of a burden. I bought my TRX on Kijiji for $80 brand new.
Caution: There are always scams out there such as fake TRX devices if not sold by an authorized dealer, so you must be careful. If $200 is too much and you do not want to take a chance on being scammed, then I suggest that you make your own GTRX.
How to make a GTRX:
Research first! There are many ways you can make this system. You first have to know how it works and what the components are that you are trying to duplicate.
- I suggest taking a strap that has a clamp on it in order to shorten or lengthen the distance such as the ones used to strap windsurf boards down to a roof of a car. You can also get a rope and wrap it around the anchoring device more or less for length depending on the exercise. Other ways of shortening and lengthening the rope would be to add a prusik (special climbing knot) to each side of the rope on the top middle.
- Get two ordinary handles used with elastic tubing ($5 at Winners). Take the handles off and feed the rope or strap through them and tie a secure knot, such as a follow through figure eight knot.
- Be creative and make up your own “safe” design.
Unless you do not care to be a power lifter, a body builder or do not care how much weight you can lift, then the TRX will do wonders. The TRX will get anyone sweating and it will always give you a killer workout and a great pump no matter what your fitness level. It is designed not only to build muscle, but is used by professional athletes for sport specific movements, conditioning and joint stability. I use it for myself and I also use it at the clinic for patients. What’s the best thing about it is that you can do it pretty much anywhere!
The following video shows a General Lower Body Circuit workout with 2 exercises back to back (Legs and Abs) done in 3 sets of 12 – 16 reps. There are 7 different circuits done here. There are two perspectives of what a harder version looks like (Simon) and what an easier version looks like (Monika). Again, make sure to check out Youtube for tons of other exercises. If you have any questions regarding some of the exercises in the video, then please let me know.
– Simon Bialecki