TRX Suspension Training: A New Generation of Functional Strength

Nov 30, 2012

Written by: Patrick Edenfield, Personal Trainer & TRX Instructor, O2 Fitness Falls/540

Although the TRX suspension training system has been on the market since 2005, it is still the fitness industries’ best kept secret.  Randy Hetrick, a Stanford graduate and former navy seal first invented the suspension trainer in 1990.   Its unique design and resistance concept was utilized as way for military personnel to stay active and in peak physical condition while stationed overseas.  Since that time, the TRX system has become a must have for professional athletes and general fitness enthusiasts alike.

Unlike traditional fitness equipment, the TRX suspension training system uses the persons’ body weight as a means of resistance for the muscles’ integrated during each exercise; the level of resistance placed on the active muscles during each exercise is determined by your body’s positioning as well as your body’s relationship to the floor.   This allows the individual to adjust the difficulty of the exercises quickly and efficiently.


The Importance of Core Stability in Exercise Programs

If you ask any fitness specialist, they will tell you that core stability is one of the most important aspects of any successful exercise program.  Solid core strength in the past has been achieved with a wide variety of resisted movements used to target individual muscle groups.

During exercises used to work your legs, chest, back, and arms, your body is kept in perfect alignment using benches and back rests.  Take these out of the equation and what are you left with to keep your body straight and your form correct?  That’s right, your core!

With suspension training, those same muscles that one could spend an entire hour isolating are conditioned and strengthened with every movement made.  You are forced to stabilize your movements from start to finish adding an immense amount of core stability to your fitness programming.

Fitness and Muscular Endurance

One other notable mention of suspension training is muscular endurance.  Most would agree that it would be much more beneficial to be able to complete long physically demanding tasks than to have an incredible amount of strength only for a short period of time.

Being able to complete a 400lb squat would not help an individual climb a mountain much like a 400lb bench press would do nothing when tackling the daunting task of sheet rocking a ceiling.  The time spent on your legs during that hike, or the time spent with your arms above your head holding that sheet rock requires a different kind of strength.  Functional strength is necessary to carry out activities of daily life.  Gardening, walking, carrying groceries, or holding a child require much more than quick, explosive power.

Suspension training achieves this functional power based upon the principal of Time Under Tension.  The TRX system keeps a level of resistance to the muscles from start to finish building a person’s muscular endurance to its full potential with every set and every rep.

Most people may assume that by only using a percentage of your body weight to perform a lift, it may not be enough weight to produce results. However, this is far from the truth.  Even the strongest of men would not be able to complete a bicep curl or triceps extension with proper form using 100% of their body weight for resistance.  With this being the case, why would one need to use more than their body weight to get an effective workout?  I challenge you to try it out for yourself and tell us at O2 Fitness what you think!


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