It’s amazing how TRX, which stands for Total body Resistance eXercise, with its hanging and slanging, can move the mind, boost the body, and vitalize vocal chords – that is, if moaning next day about stiffness, is any indication.
TRX is suitable and safe, once you’ve conquered the niggling fear that the bands may come unattached from the door or bar stand, leaving you face-plant attached to the floor, in that the positioning of your person, relative to the straps, is relative to the tension you wish to create. Closer to the attachment base makes it easier to perform the exercises.
But what if the required exercises are mandated by a personal trainer who makes Attila the Hun look like a wuss? What if, to that tyrannical trainer, fatigue is an unfamiliar concept, empathy a useless emotion, and concern an unknown characteristic? If your trainer has you alternating lower core work that offers - but seconds of respite – before plunging into upper body work, maybe capital punishment is not such a bad idea - and maybe legalized abortion, up to the age of your fitness trainer, is a great one.
We all know having a trainer pushes us just that little bit further than we want to go, and that that extra effort is the formative-change building block that leaves us, if introduced properly, with incremental, inevitable, and indelible physical improvements in strength, stamina, and flexibility.
Let me tell you of my first TRX try from my wrong side of Hell’s tracks. I met TRX way back on Wednesday August 24th, 2011 between 10 and 11 a.m.
It has taken me until now to recover from the ordeal. But here’s how things went down…as I wrote back then.
“It’s important to document my lament because my next session coming this Friday may have me take a powder, go on the lam - disappear - dreading as I do the dire and dreadful demands on my body development via TRX.
I have the shakes. And the willies.
Aah, the shakes. One of the principles behind TRX is to have the body stabilizers - diaphragm, pelvis, abdomen – steady, if not quell, the shakes that come naturally with using strange straps to do any strenuous, odd physical work. Do you recall ever seeing a gymnast lower into an iron-cross position, using ropes or chains, and how they’d exert to reduce the amount of incidental and peripheral movement?
Tis yeoman’s work.
Well, with me, the shake was a quake of Jell-O. On bennies. I was a wiggly morass of motor-mechanical skill motions gone asunder, as I floundered to adapt and apply this strap-handle regimen to a mind and body woefully unprepared for it.
It wasn’t that I was in “bad” shape. In fact, after weeks of walking, oft weekly weight training, with proper eating – meaning my emotional-binging staples of ice cream, microwave popcorn, and potato chips were receding - had me, if not a Superman, at least not a blimp. Yet, because I had not experienced moving in all compass directions, seemingly concurrently (though actually consecutively) my muscles rapid-fired complaints of ‘what the heck is this’ to my overwhelmed brain.
That first session was so arduous that I invoked the ‘wing’ clause. I cut the lesson short by two minutes telling the instructor of my date with an all-you-can-eat-chicken-wing-ding affair. Another minute of the four lower exercises would have left me a wasted space, wasted and spent of mind, body, and spirit.”
Back to today.
I’m exaggerating. Just body and spirit. No one in their right mind would do TRX.
Seriously, you’d have to be crazy NOT to try it. It is such a change, a diversion from the ho-hum routine of most exercise sessions that it awakens the mind – and startles the body – with possibilities – once you’ve stopped quivering in fear.
So what are these exercises to be treated with utmost respect and regard? The four I did are but four of hundreds of exercises that can be undertaken with straps.
Did you see the first Mission Impossible movie starring Tom Cruise? Do you remember the scene where he drops from a wire, barely hovering but keeping it together, above a computer terminal? Well, this first exercise done resembled Tom’s position, kind of, except the legs, instead of staying split wide open, opened and closed like a V-door, if a V-door actually existed. This exercise verges on fun, and having your legs in motion like this, sort of in air, is a new feeling. It tingles. You support yourself with legs in air by your arms in a tripod position, with the tripod firmly on the floor. Your feet ache in the stirrups.
Speaking of stirrups, this is a birthing-examination process. Wonderful way-out exercises spring out unexpectedly.
It’s kind of like bondage sex, without the sex. But you’ll sweat!
No less than Drew Brees, an NFL star quarterback, knows the value of TRX: “Tell me why someone you know deserves a TRX Suspension Trainer or Rip Trainer this holiday season, best answer wins!”
Bodyweight exercise, moving your being through air, working against gravity, is what TRX is all about. It’s tough and testing. You may stink at the exercises initially. But you will improve with repetition and you’ll never forget the sensations and newness of all that TRX has to offer, even after you become an old hand with it.
You can use the TRX Suspension Trainer at home, while away – any and every day - and you’ll be set - and fit - for life.