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I’ve Been TRXed

TRX-training-585Yes, folks, TRX is now a verb.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s okay. TRX is the sweetest thing since sliced flaxseed bread. It’s a full-body suspension-training workout that doesn’t require anything other than your body weight and an anchor point, like a door or tree. Much like I loved up on Vega back in the day, I’m ready to spread the gospel of the TRX*. After weeks of half marathon training, I’m ready to refocus my goals and spend a bit more time on strength and a little less time on cardio. Plus, Crunch has a whole class with it, and I’ve already established that Crunch knows what’s up.

The TRX is basically a really well-designed set of straps and handles that can replicate darn near any exercise you can do in a gym (see it in action here). Many trainers use the system as a torture device for their clients, but those of us at home can buy an attachment so that you can use the system on any strong door in your house (and torture yourself as little or much as you want).

I have to admit that after opening the package when we first got the system, my hubby and I were a little miffed on how it would actually work on a door that opens toward you (seems like a big opportunity to fall flat on your face when you’re doing chest presses at an angle), but our concerns were quickly put aside when we stopped reading the written directions and popped in the instructional DVD. Video is so much better than words, and the system is just about as safe as you can get, barring your own clumsiness. And I’m happy to report that neither of us broke the door or lost any teeth after numerous TRX workouts.In fact, my husband and I tried really hard to find something wrong with it. Does it adjust for height? Yep, quite easily. What if you don’t have a big room to do it in? No prob. Just use a door in a corner. Is it a one-trick pony with just a few exercises? No, I think Cirque du Soleil performers could train on it. After the first workout, my boy’s only comment was, “Man, they really thought of everything.” (As a side note, he had a similar reaction when we bought a new car and found that it had hidden storage components.)He loves it. I love it. Heck, even my dog finds it entertaining when she watches us lunge, crunch, squat, curl, tricep extend and generally contort about on it. The whole workout just feels natural, kind of like yoga, while still being ridiculously challenging…if you want it to be. You can change your positioning on all of the exercises, thereby manipulating gravity to fit your needs. And because you’re unstable, you engage your core in every exercise. Most of the moves work both the upper and lower body, too, so in about 20 to 30 minutes, you can hit every major muscle group with some serious intensity (a full workout is included on the DVD, too!). Oh, and the whole system fits in a small pouch. Like I said, it just might change your life.

I’ve also found the TRX to help me in somewhat unconventional ways. For example, when the in-laws come over and there’s a dreadfully awkward lull in the conversation…the TRX comes to the rescue, as it permanently hangs on the door in my living room (because I’m both too lazy to take it down and sometimes like to stare lovingly at it) and naturally evokes the question, “What is that?” See? TRX=fascinating conversation.

It’s also spiced up the love life. There’s a rule in my house that when my hubby and I workout out on the TRX, we have to dress skimpy. For me, that’s shorts and a sports bra. For my husband, that’s shorts and no shirt. It’s still pretty PG-13, but gah-rowl. TRX=a spicier marriage.

These benefits have a price though. At $169.95, the TRX professional pack isn’t exactly cheap, but it is considerably cheaper than outfitting a home gym with a full set of weights, takes up virtually no room and gives you a full-body workout. A score on all fronts, really.

Have you ever tried the TRX system? Do you have a fitness product that you’re in love with? Tell us in the comments below! —Jenn

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