Zest's editorial assistant Taylor tries her hand at TRX and realises it’s just the thing her W day prep needs
Halfway through my first ever TRX session, I thought of the perfect intro for this blog: ‘Think you’re tough? Not until you've tried TRX.’ The line came to me in the middle of a set of one-legged, hopping lunges, which – I can assure you – don’t seem half as bad in writing as they are in real life.
I consider myself quite fit. I run 5Ks, do yoga and lift weights regularly. I take the stairs, choose walking over the Tube and can hold the plank for a minute (well I did once, when a particularly scary PT was towering over me with a whistle). I’m always up for trying new workouts, especially now that I’ve got my wedding (and a slim white dress) to look forward to in the not-so-distant future.
So when I received an invite to test TRX, I figured it would be tough but nothing I haven’t tried before. I’ve read (and written) about the benefits of TRX suspension training, how it challenges muscles even the fittest fitties never knew they had. I’ve seen muscle-bound men grunting their way through sessions in my local common. Yet none of this prepared me for the amazing (read: killer) workout I was about to have.
My trainer Elizabeth, with her strong yet svelte figure many women would sacrifice at least one paycheque for, is the perfect example of the type of body TRX can shape. She doesn’t exclusively use the system, but says it’s a great compliment to running and weight lifting, as it requires stabilisation of the smaller muscles in the body. Traditional moves like lunges and bicep curls work large muscles in a static plane of motion (forward and backward), while TRX straps allow the freedom to work with a 360-degree range of motion, essentially toning your body in a more complete way.
Elizabeth also points out that, once the straps are anchored (to a TRX base, a doorway or even a tree) there’s little time wasted between sets. You simply change your footing or the angle of your body to alter resistance. Compare that to the time it takes to change out dumbbells or weights on a machine. Basically, says Elizabeth, it allows you to do a lot more work in less time.
As a bride-to-be with seven months until the big day (well, six months and 28 days, but who’s counting?) the idea of a workout that gives me more bang for my buck is endlessly appealing. And I can confirm that over the course of my 45-minute session, no muscle went unworked.
We started with stretches to wake up my desk-bound back, arms and hips and I felt firsthand how the straps (even during basic moves like forward bends) supported me while encouraging a much deeper stretch.
The workout consisted of exercises I was already used to with a slight twist: instead of lunges we did the aforementioned one-legged jumping lunge. Standing squats were replaced with fast paced side squats with my body at a 45-degree angle (holding the straps prevented me from toppling over, like in the picture above). My feet were strapped in and suspended mid-air during press ups, which took a lot of concentration and much more core and shoulder work than my usual girly push ups. There may nothing wrong with putting your knees on the floor to me, but I can safely assume Elizabeth disagrees.
These minor variations had a major impact on the intensity of the workout, and I could feel myself becoming more and more jelly-like as the minutes passed. Even though they’re great, I can’t say my lunchtime jogs have the same effect.
The hardest part, though, was yet to come. After strapping my feet in, Elizabeth told me to hold a plank. It was more difficult than usual, but do-able. Then she asked me to pull my knees into my chest to crunch, once in the middle and then once each side to work my obliques. I could only do three repetitions. Three! ‘You can do an hour of crunches and not get anywhere near the same activation in your core as you just did in three repetitions,’ said Elizabeth. That was all the proof I needed – TRX and I are going to be great friends.
If you’re looking for a fitness kickstart (whether or not you’re a bride to be) it’s time to give TRX a go. You don’t have to be super fit, as Elizabeth pointed out, because the intensity can be adjusted to any fitness level. Basically, it offers a complete workout for fitness newbies, gym fanatics and everyone in between. And for you brides out there, it just may be the magic bullet you’ve been looking for – I know it is for me.
Visit www.trxtraining.com for more information on TRX, training tips and to purchase equipment. You can also trial TRX at your local David Lloyd leisure Club
Want more bridal blogs?
Read week 3: Finding your wedding fragrance by Leyla
Read week 2: The perfect wedding tan by Lyndsey
Read week 1: The best pre-wedding facial by Taylor
Read The Launch Bridal Blog
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