Athens, GEORGIA (April 1, 2016)–In a gym typically packed with equipment, there’s a nearly empty room dedicated to a new fitness fad.
Roughly ten straps hang from the ceiling in a room of The Club, a health and fitness center that hopped on board with the new trend of suspension training.
TRX Suspension Training is a unique fitness style that primarily uses bodyweight exercises designed to increase balance and strength through a total body workout. TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise.
Bodyweight exercises utilize bodyweight to perform exercises as a form of strength training. These exercises can be tailored to fit each person’s fitness level based on their bodyweight.
“It’s a really great place to start for a lot of people, so that they’re not making things too tough,” says Shelby Harris, a certified personal trainer at the Omni Club of Athens. Harris believes that bodyweight exercises are less intimidating for beginners who aren’t familiar with gym equipment and more complicated exercises.
Allison Nermoe, with the Health Promotion and Wellness department of Southeast Georgia Health System, says that bodyweight exercises are the best form of strength training because they don’t require equipment and can be done from almost anywhere.
Trends come and go within the realm of fitness, but the use of bodyweight exercises has only increased in popularity. Nermoe believes that these bodyweight exercises will stick around for a while because they are convenient and effective.
“I think that the fitness industry is finally getting a grasp on all the benefits that bodyweight exercises can provide, especially as our society continues to lead such busy lifestyles,” says Nermoe.
TRX Suspension Training has taken advantage of the benefits of bodyweight training. This system utilizes gravity to make effective workouts with minimal equipment. A strap set that mounts from the ceiling is the extent of the equipment needed to get an effective workout.
TRX was developed by a Navy Seal as a more efficient workout method during deployment. Tim Carlson, who served four years in the United States Marine Corps and current owner and CEO of BodyworX Studio 912, is familiar with the difficulties of exercise during deployment.
“You have to be creative depending on your environment that you’re in. I would carry my tennis shoes, Abmat, jump rope and water bottle,” says Carlson.
Carlson prefers bodyweight exercises because they tend to be more efficient in terms of space and cost.
“TRX straps were easy to transport and would give you a great workout,” notes Carlson.
Core strength is one of the primary goals that can be accomplished through using TRX Suspension Training. Carlson acknowledges that in the Marine Corps, cardio and core training is key to survival. The Marines adopted TRX in 2007 as a staple of training.
While TRX was designed to make exercise easier and more accessible for deployment workouts, it’s not just for soldiers.
“I could teach an 80 year old TRX, just because of the bodyweight and the foot position,” says Pat Kent, Director of Personal Training for The Club and TRX instructor. TRX can easily be tailored to the needs of each person taking the class.
However Kent was not impressed with the new trend at first.
“Someone asked if I thought it was any good and I didn’t know much about it and I said nope!” Kent recalls with a chuckle. He has since changed his mind, noting that the trend within fitness has begun to move toward body movement exercises as opposed to isolated exercises.
The response to TRX has been “tremendous,” Kent says, “Every class I have is full.”
Kent teaches his class at six thirty every Tuesday, but despite the early hour he still sees an amazing turnout.
Chris Lee, a certified TRX instructor, believes TRX differs from other fitness because of its versatility. Cardio, strength training, balance, and mobility are all incorporated into one fitness technique. Lee also mentions the “cool” factor associated with the class.
“Many people are curious about those yellow straps they’ve seen around the gym,” he says, noting how his clients like the unique qualities of exercises using the TRX.
While TRX is fun and adaptable to most fitness levels, Lee admits that there is a slight learning curve for new users. The most difficult aspect of a TRX class is usually the balance and focus that it takes to complete an exercise. Instructors of TRX are also careful to make sure that everyone has the correct form. This is easier to manage with the small class sizes that TRX tends to have.
“We keep it small, it’s intimate,” says Pat Kent of his classes at The Club.
The typical structure of a TRX class is a small group that allows for one-on-one instruction. This decreases the possibility of injury for those who aren’t familiar with TRX and who are unsure of the correct form.
While the primary method of TRX has mainly been in a gym setting with a personal instructor, the trend has shifted towards practicing suspension training at home. The TRX Home Gym has been a best seller. It is a portable suspension trainer that allows for home workouts.
“You can workout outside and tie it around a tree branch, put it over a door,” says Harris, who is familiar with the product.
The versatility and the simplicity in which TRX Suspension Training has utilized bodyweight training has made this fitness style become one of the top trends in the industry today.
Over one million people in 60 different countries have caught onto the trend of TRX Suspension Training and it continues to grow.