Workout of the Week: TRX

Griffin Hughes takes on TRX in her personal training session. — Photo Courtesy Griffin Hughes Wellness

I was browsing Facebook when I saw a post by Griffin Hughes Wellness, a personal trainer in Edgartown. “Who wants TRX classes on M.V.?” she asked.

Even though I was familiar with Ms. Hughes’ outlook on wellness, nutrition, and exercise, I had never heard of TRX before. A quick Google search revealed TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise, and it was invented by a Navy Seal. I looked at a few photos and was interested in learning more, so I contacted Ms. Hughes, who uses TRX Suspension training as a part of her coaching. She got me right into the studio to learn what it was all about.

Unlike many workout programs, TRX only requires one apparatus. It’s very basic, and slightly odd-looking. It’s simplicity is pretty genius if you ask me. Basically, it’s two nylon straps with handles you can mount on a door, a beam, or even a tree. You partially suspend your body with your feet or hands and use your own bodyweight as resistance.

Exercises range in variety and difficulty, and you can tweak each one by adjusting the position of your body. A pretty basic example is a push up: with your hands in the handles, face away from the suspension system and push your hands out. Standing straight up, there is no resistance, but take your feet back a few steps, tilting your face closer to the ground, and you have a more challenging modified pushup.

After a few basic exercises with Ms. Hughes, I noticed a lot of parallels to pilates and yoga. For instance, TRX is not only is it great for strength training, but flexibility and balance. I noticed a constant engagement of my core while I balanced on the suspension system. I learned how to execute a TRX chest press, rows, lunges, squats, planks, oblique crunches, stretches, and one failed attempt at a pike (a sort of v-shaped handstand).

The TRX workout got my heart rate going, and at times my legs and arms began visibly trembling. The next day I was sore, but it was a good sore. I felt stronger, without having to perform the grueling sets of weight training.

TRX is so versatile, it’s a good program for beginners, as well as experts looking to mix up their routine. Be on the look out: Ms. Hughes is looking to expand her personal training sessions into TRX classes, something she experienced when living in California which she described it as popular, competitive, and fun. The TRX kit can be purchased online starting at $200. In my opinion, having a portable full gym seems to be well worth the price.