Sunday, December 9, 2012

TRX Suspension Training

I'm not usually one to give in to fads, like the latest diets or latest exercise craze, but I decided to do something insane and bought myself an early Christmas present: A TRX Suspension Trainer!

Okay, Why?

For the past six months I've been taking a boot camp class at the YMCA. Our trainer set it up as a series of stations at which we spend one minute killing ourselves, and then thirty seconds resting. It's great for burning calories, but it hasn't done much for increasing my strength. The YMCA does have a very well equipped weight room, but then we run into my second problem: time. Even though I'm over there at 5:30 in the morning, I run really late those two days.

A bit over ten years ago I used to do my own weight training in our house and was able to keep to a better schedule. I think it's time to get back to that and see how I do. I used to have a bench, a couple bars, and all the gear necessary. It was large, heavy, and in general. a pain in the arse to adjust and move around. After a couple years I gave up on it because dragging it out and putting it away each day took more time than the actual routine!

Enter suspension training.

For those of you not familiar with suspension training, the concept is simple enough: you use your own body weight against yourself. Over time you increase the angle at which your do any particular movement so that it gets progressively harder. Obviously there comes an upper limit that you can't get past because your body weight won't significantly change, but I'll worry about that when I get there. If it's good enough for Marines and Navy SEALs, I think I could benefit from it as well.

TRX was the first company (and product) to popularize the concept of suspension training, but now there are a number of imitators. My trainer at the YMCA told me that this is definitely one of those products that you get exactly what you pay for. TRX is the strongest of the bunch and the easiest to adjust. The other brands try to come in at a cheaper price, but quality suffers.

City Sports had a 20% off sale this past weekend to which I added a $10 coupon.

My old workout a decade ago was pretty effective. It came from The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes. Seriously. The title of the book is no lie: It really is the bible. I lost a lot of weight and added a bit of muscle back them. Say what you may about the man today, but back in the 1970's he was THE MAN.

So now I'm modifying my old routine to work with TRX straps, kettlebells, and medicine balls. I'm also mixing it up with some interval training to increase my running speed.

Tomorrow is chest and back day.

Wish me luck!