I go through phases with my training and I’m always looking for new ways to shake things up and keep it interesting. For a few months of the year, I tend to focus purely on intense weight training, to put on some size, while at other times, like now, while I’m training for races like Tough Mudder, I try to focus on a more whole body approach to training. My current training regime is focused on getting fit.

As Tough Mudder is a 12-mile adventure race, it means that I gain no benefit from carrying any unnecessary body weight. It’s all about getting fit and staying lean, which is why at times like this I tend to switch to full body circuit training. If you’re anything like me, however, I know you have the same frustrations about bodyweight training as I do. There are just parts of the body that it’s hard to work effectively and, if you’re in good shape, it can take a very high number of reps to get that burn that you’re after. I like to train hard, but for the shortest amount time possible, so I’m always after new ways of achieving maximum results in the most time-efficient manner.

This is why I’m so excited to have stumbled across TRX training.

TRX, or Total Resistance eXercise, marks a step change in one’s approach to bodyweight training. TRX is an approach to exercise which is built on the principles of suspension training; a method of bodyweight training first developed by the United States Navy SEALs. Through the utilisation of the TRX Suspension Kit, the TRX Suspension Trainer improves strength, balance, flexibility and core stability, by using gravity and your own body weight as a means of resistance.

If, like me, improving your fitness and becoming lean are your main objectives, then the TRX training method could just be the perfect solution that will help you achieve your goals. The TRX principle As no movement ever truly isolates one particular muscle group, the TRX training philosophy is one that is geared towards a focus on placing your whole body under tension during every exercise. By manufacturing an unstable environment for your body, the TRX training system builds full body strength, balance, flexibility and core stability during every movement, no matter the intended focus of the exercise in question.

Who is TRX training for? At the top end of the spectrum, TRX training is utilised by the U.S. military, Major League Baseball teams, National League Baseball teams, UFC fighters, Olympic-level cyclists, swimmers, runners, and elite athletes the world over. Unlike some training tools, however, the TRX Trainer is also suitable for any level of fitness, from beginners to more advanced trainers. The TRX training guide is bursting at the seams with hundreds of exercises that can be adjusted to suit your own unique fitness level and help you achieve your own unique fitness targets. It allows you to progress at your own pace and on your terms. TRX delivers because:

1. It works your full body. TRX Suspension Training is, without question, one of the most intense full body workouts that you can put your body through. It allows you to effectively target a specific muscle group, while the instability that your body is placed under simultaneously ensures that your core is engaged and strengthened, as your body fights to re-stabilise itself. It delivers excellent results in terms of increasing muscle tone and improving muscular endurance.

2. It’s easily carried. One of the TRX Suspension Trainer’s biggest selling points, however, is its portability. Whether you like to train at the gym, in your house, in a hotel room while away on business, or in the park, the TRX Suspension Trainer makes all of these options possible; it ensures that you can train on your terms, whenever and wherever you so wish. 3. It provides access to a 3 dimensional training method that few other devices on the market can compete with. Its effectiveness, versatility and suitability for all levels of athletes are the reasons why TRX training is becoming one of the fastest growing workout systems in the fitness world.

4. It fits all fitness levels. The intensity of the exercise can be adjusted based on the vector—the relative position of your body to the ground and the suspension’s anchor point.

TRX Whole Body Exercises: Three of the Best One thing you I love about TRX is that I can workout multiple muscle groups at the same time, either with low or high intensity. The following 3 exercises, demonstrated by TRX trainer Marc Coronel, are of relatively low, aerobic-type, intensity. They engage your biceps, triceps, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, and upper and lower back muscles. These exercises will not make you big. They will help you melt the fat away for more muscle visibility. Obviously, a proper diet plan plays a huge role when it comes to losing fat. Those who want to learn more about suspension training can read a recent article I wrote where I also offer a coupon code for the TRX rip trainer.

Squat, to low row, to bicep curl

Squat, to low row, to bicep curl

This is a fantastic full body exercise. With the TRX Suspension Trainer anchored to the surface of your choice, take one of the straps in each hand, facing the anchored surface. Slowly walk backwards until the TRX Trainer is at a roughly 45-degree angle to the ceiling and is taut. Lean all the way back, until the plane of your body is at a 45-degree angle to the floor, with your arms straight out in front of you. Slowly sit down as far as you can comfortably go, performing a squat. As you stand up from the squat, pull your chest towards the TRX handles, performing a low row. Once this has been completed, straighten your arms and perform a second squat. This time, once you have reached the bottom of the squat, twist your hands so that you are taking the TRX handles in an underhand grip. As you stand up from the squat, pull the handles towards your temples, performing a bicep curl. Alternate between low rows and biceps curls; performing a squat in between. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions or until failure.

Workout tips: This exercise is fairly complex. At first, perform the movements slowly, until you feel comfortable; only then can you make the movements more fluid. In order to enjoy the maximum benefit of this exercise, however, perform the movement in a controlled manner.

Chest press to tricep press

Chest to Tricep Press

With the TRX Suspension Trainer anchored to the surface of your choice, take one of the straps in each hand, facing away from the anchored surface. Lean forward, until your body is at a roughly 45-degree angle to the floor, with one foot in front of the other. Perform a chest press, slowly lowering your upper body down, until it is in line with the handles you are holding. As you straighten your arms, performing the press, take your rear leg and bring it forward, so that it becomes your lead leg and place it softly on the ground in front of you. As you do this, push the TRX handles upwards, until they are straight out in front of you. As your new lead foot touches the ground, bend your elbows and then straighten them, performing a tricep press. Once you have completed the tricep press, and your arms are straight, bring you arms down and replace your lead leg in its original starting position as the rear leg. From here, repeat the movements, performing a chest press, followed by a tricep press. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions or until failure.

Oblique crunch progression

Oblique Crunch Progression

With the TRX Suspension Trainer anchored to the surface of your choice, let it hang down vertically. Lie on the floor on your stomach, with your hands next to your chest, in a press up position, with one foot in each of the two TRX Trainer’s straps. As you tighten your glutes and core, perform a standard press up, so that you finish with your arms straight, in an elevated press up position. While in the elevated press up position, and with your legs together, swing your legs from side to side slowly. As you build up the pace, swing your legs all the way over to one side, bringing your knees into your chest as you do so. Repeat this movement on the other side. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions or until failure. These oblique crunches allow for progression. One could perform a crunch on one side, follow it with a press up and then perform the crunch on the other side, for example. For the advanced athlete, try performing an oblique crunch, as above, but as you bring your legs up to your chest, lift the hand on the same side off the floor, before replacing it and completing the same movement on the other side.

Workout tips: While the exercise relies on a pendulum motion, maintain a slow and controlled movement, ensuring that the core is tight at all times. Testing your body If you’re looking to build strength, muscular endurance and all around fitness, the TRX Trainer is one of the most effective means of achieving your goals. Its practicality, versatility and adjustability make it the best piece of whole body workout equipment on the market and a great addition to the armory of anyone who is serious about fitness.

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