4 Benefits of TRX Suspension Training

1)   Delivers a fast, effective total-body workout

TRX which stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise, is revolutionary workout method that uses your body weight and gravity as resistance to build strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, core and joint stability. So whether you want to build strength, lose fat, improve endurance or flexibility, the TRX Suspension Trainer can be used to achieve any fitness goal. By simply leveraging your body weight to perform hundred of exercises, you get a full body workout, while simultaneously working your core. And because you’re working with one training tool, and can adjust your weight on the fly, you can minimize your training time by switching from one exercise to the next in just seconds.

2)   Helps build a rock-solid core

Having a strong core means more than having a visible six-pack.If you want to move, feel and look better, chances are you should start with your core. That’s why any movement performed on a TRX Suspension Trainer requires that you brace and stabilize with your abs, obliques and lower-back so you can leverage your own bodyweight as resistance. The TRX exercises use functional movements to help you increase your overall core fitness.

3)   Benefits people of all fitness levels (pro athletes to seniors)

Because you can simply adjust your body position to add or decrease resistance, you're in control of how much you want to challenge yourself on each exercise - making it the perfect piece of equipment for people of all fitness levels. 

And because of its suspended nature, TRX Training is very low impact training method which allows people of all levels to train comfortably with less risk of causing or agitating a pre-existing injury.

4)   Can be set-up anywhere (gym, home, hotel or outside)

Originally designed by a Navy Seal who needed to stay in shape within limited space on his work travels, the TRX Suspension Trainer, is an easily portable system that can be set up anywhere with an anchor point. 

So whether you want to set one up at home or take it with you on your holiday or work travels, you can enjoy the benefits of TRX wherever you are.

15 Effective TRX Moves to Challenge Your Body from Head to Toe

Tired of your workout routine? Challenge your total body and core with TRX Suspension Training. Born in the Navy Seals, TRX Suspension Training is a revolutionary workout method that develops Strength, Balance, Flexibility and Core Stability by allowing you to leverage gravity and your bodyweight to perform hundreds of exercises.

Because you can simply adjust your body position to add or decrease resistance, you're in control of how much you want to challenge yourself on each exercise- making it the perfect piece of equipment for people of all ages and fitness levels.  

So whether you're a high level athlete looking to build SEAL-worthy strength, or a weekend warrior looking to add something new to your workout routine, these 15 TRX moves will challenge your whole body from head to toe.

Jump in, and get ready to hang tough!

Upper Body

1. TRX Y Fly

Extend your arms overhead in a "Y" position, palms facing forward, with your feet in an offset stance. While maintaining tension on the TRX, slowly lower your body down, keeping your arms extended. Focus on holding your plank position as you lift your handles up to the ceiling, by driving your knuckles back, and lifting your chest up while keeping your eyes on the anchor point.

2. TRX Push Up

Start in a plank position with your feet in the foot cradles. With your hands under your shoulders, slowly lower yourself down in one controlled motion until your chest is just above the ground. Maintain your plank position by engaging your core as your drive your body up, back to your start position.

3. TRX Power Pull

Stand facing the anchor with a wide stance. Grab the TRX with your left hand and hold it at chest height, with your left elbow pointing behind body. With your opposite arm reaching up towards the top of the straps, slowly reach your free arm the towards the ground, while extending your working arm. To return to your starting position, drive your working elbow straight back while rotating your free arm up toward the anchor point.

4. TRX Low Row

Facing your anchor point, grab onto the handles with your palms facing one another. Lean back in your plank position until weight is on your heels, with your arms extended out in front of you. Looking up at your anchor point, focus on driving your elbows back to squeeze your shoulder blades together. Keep your core tight as you pull your chest up to meet your hands. Lower to return to start.

 

LOWER BODY

5. TRX Hip Press

Facing your anchor point, lie down on your back and drop your heels into the foot cradles. Bring your knees into your chest until your knees form a 90-degree angle over top of your hips. Dig down through your heels and push your hips up towards the ceiling by engaging your core and squeezing your glutes. Lower back down to start. For an added challenge, keep your hips off the mat the entire time as you extend and lower your hips. 

6. TRX Suspended Lunge

Start standing on one leg facing away from the anchor point with one foot suspended in both foot cradles. Standing up straight, engage your core and drop your hips down and back into a deep lunge. Keep your front knee over top of your ankle and focus on keep your head and chest up. Stop at the bottom once your back knee reaches 90 degrees. Drive through your front leg to return to the top of your lunge. For an extra challenge add a hop or knee tuck as your drive back up to your starting position.

7. TRX Squat Jumps

Stand facing the anchor point with your chest up, feet hip width apart and the TRX positioned at mid length. Keep your elbows relaxed and into your sides. Holding onto your handles, drop your hips down and back, keeping your weight in your heels. Squeeze your glutes and drive through your heels as you jump to reach full hip extension at the top of your squat. Use the TRX straps to help you decelerate and land as softly as possible.

8. TRX Single Leg Squat

Stand facing the anchor point with your elbows under your shoulders and tension on the straps. Lift your left leg off the ground into a full pistol squat position with your toes pointed up to the ceiling. Then, lower your hips down and back, allowing the knee of your assisting leg to bend. Keep the majority of weight in your working leg and focus on driving up through your heel, thoroughly extending your hips at the top of the movement. Repeat on the left side.

9. Hamstring Curl

Facing your anchor point, lie face up on your back with both heels in the foot cradles, with your arms extended by your sides. Keeping your core tight, dig your heels down in the foot cradles and lift your hips off the floor. With control, pull your heels in toward your hips and push your heels back to straighten your legs back out to your starting position. Focus on staying engaged though your core and keeping your hips off the mat throughout the entire movement.

 

Total Body/Core

10. TRX Standing Roll Out

Facing away from your anchor point, stand feet shoulder with the part with your arms stretched out in front of you. Engage your core, tuck your tailbone and reach forward. As you fall forward reach your arms up until they’re in line with the rest of your bodying brace yourself with your core. Reverse the movement y drawing your belly button into your spine to return to start.

11. TRX Standing Hip Drop

Stand sideways to the anchor point, facing to the left side and hold handles in both hands directly above your head with your elbows bent out to the side in a diamond position. Keeping tension on the straps, drop your hip out to the right, and engage your core and obliques to perform a side crunch to return your body back up to your upright position. 

12. TRX Pike

Start in a plank position with both feet in the foot cradles under the anchor point. Brace your core and pike your hips up to the ceiling while letting your head drop between your arms, and by drawing your feet in towards your upper body. Drop your hips back down with control, and return to a plank position

13. TRX Atomic Push Ups

Start in a pushup position with your feet in the foot cradles directly under the anchor point, and your hands under your shoulders. Brace your core and perform a pushup. When you reach the top of the push up, pause for a moment and perform a TRX crunch by drawing your knees toward your chest and pikeing your hips up slightly.With control, slowly lower back down to your starting position. 

14. TRX Mountain Climber

Starting in a plank position with your feet in the foot cradles under the anchor point, begin with your right knee drawn into your chest, and left leg extended out behind you. Engage your core and just as you would with your feet on the floor, alternate bringing one knee into your chest at a time. Once you get the rhythm, speed up the movement while maintaining control. 

15. Side Plank

Begin side facing the anchor point on your left side with place both feet into the cradles. Stack your top leg in front of your opposite foot with both feet facing forward, heel to toe. Create a strong foundation by stacking your your elbow under your shoulder. Lift yourself up into a side plank and hold. To make it harder, add a hip drop by lowering your hip to the floor and raising it back up into the side plank. Hold for a few seconds at the top, and then repeat.

There is No Finish Line

As fitness professionals, beginners to exercise and long standing clients, it's easy to get caught up in what you can't do, or to constantly compare yourself to others who are stronger, faster or leaner than you are.

It's easy to focus on how far you have to go, rather than to reflect and celebrate how much you've progressed from where you first started.

This past weekend, I competed in my second Individual Crossfit competition and placed third in the Rx Women's category. 

But what excited me more than my podium finish, was thinking back to where I was this time last year. I remember how intimidated I was by movements like chest to bar pull ups, how frustrated I would get practicing handstand push ups, how ring muscle ups seemed absolutely unattainable, and how the thought of lifting my current personal bests - seemed damn near impossible.

The true celebration of my performance this weekend (which was in no way perfect) was in reflecting on how far I've come, and the excitement of what's coming next.

It's those moments where we accomplish what we once thought was not possible that make all the moments of struggle, and the hours of practice worthwhile. It reminds us to celebrate the little victories and to remember that there is no finish line, just the constant pursuit of better.

So the next time you feel frustrated with your progress or performance, take a second to remember where you started and to celebrate how far you've come.

Have faith that if you enjoy the process, the results will come. 

Slim Down for Summer: 6 Habits for Optimal Body Composition

Ready to make some changes in your over all health and body composition? If your goal is fat loss, start by combining 2 to 3 strength training sessions a week, paired with two high intensity interval training workouts like tabata or circuit training to help you build muscle and burn fat.

As you incorporate more physical activity into your daily life, always remember; you can't out train a bad diet. Period.

In addition to a consistent training program, you will lose the most amount of fat by following a nutrient rich diet that supports muscle building, and hormone balance.

With that being said here are our top 6 tips to get you beach ready just in time for summer:

1. Avoid processed foods

An essential part of any diet to help you lose fat, while promoting optimal health and energy is to completely rid your diet of all processed foods.  Processed foods are an all around bad choice, as they lack nutrition, and often contain unwanted chemicals, dyes and artificial additives. 

2. Eat vegetables with every meal

Just like your mother and grandmothers told you, vegetable pack a punch of healthy vitamins and minerals, are rich in fibre and cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, kale and cauliflower help to detoxify the body and eliminate excess estrogen. This is one reason why vegetables are refereed to as as “cancer fighting” foods. If your goal is fat loss, fruits and vegetables also have a lower calorie density and can help regulate overall food intake.

10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day is ideal. Aim to eat at least two servings of fruits/and or vegetables per meal.

3. Eat high quality protein dense foods with every meal

In order to achieve optimal health, body composition and performance, a diet rich in high quality protein is important. A diet high in protein will help you preserve and build lean muscle mass, while keeping you feeling satisfied. 

Aim for a serving a protein dense food with each meal. A portion size of protein is visually about the size of the palm of your hand. Women should get one portion or protein per meal and men should aim for two.

When possible choose organic, high quality protein meats. Focus on eating wild fish, grass fed beef and wild meats. Or opt for other protein dense foods like low fat cottage cheese, greek yogurt, eggs, and beans and legumes. 

4. Eat healthy fats

About 30% of your diet should come from fat. Aim for balance between saturated (Animal fats in eggs, dairy, cheese etc), monounsaturated (from extra vrigin olive oil, some nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios and avocados) and polyunsaturated fats (from walnuts, flax seed, chia seeds, and fish oil/supplements) in order to optimize health and body composition. 

Aim to eliminate all trans and hydrogenated fats from your diet which impair insulin receptors in cells, slow metabolism and lead to high levels of LDL cholesterol in the body which increases your risk of heart disease. These fats are primarily found in processed an fast foods. 

5. Eat majority of starchy carbs after exercise

If you’ve got fat to lose, focus on eating a diet rich in vegetables, protein, and low glycemic fruits such as berries and oranges. By reducing higher glycemic and starchy carbs from your diet, many people can improve their carb tolerance and insulin sensitive for better body composition including more muscle which leads to improved metabolism and less fat.

Should you want to eat breads, pastas, rice and sugary foods, try to focus more on unprocessed varieties, and wait to eat those foods after exercise once your carbohydrate tolerance is improved. 

*Simple rule of thumb: no exercise, no carbohydrates (other than fruits or vegetables of course).

6. Drink plenty of water!

Stay hydrated by drinking half your body weight in ounces per day and limit beverages to water, coffee and tea. Avoid or completely eliminate sugary drinks from your diet like juice, soda, alcohol and sports drinks. 

Alcohol reduction or elimination is key to fat loss, as it halts training recovery, slows your metabolism, and provides excess calories. Instead aim to drink more green tea and coffee as they are rich in antioxidants and have been shown to boost insulin sensitivity and resting metabolic rate.

Written by: Sophie Manfred, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach

References:

Precision Nutrition, The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Science

 

 

Fat Loss Tip #2: Eat Slowly and Stop at 80% Full

Many of us eat to quickly. How many times have you come home famished after to work to down your dinner plate in less than 5 minutes? Or mindlessly eaten a whole bag of chips in front of the TV?

Regardless of whether you choose lower of higher quality foods, this type of behaviour will present challenges to your overall health, leanness and performance.

This why eating slowly is the most important habit we teach in helping clients get the body they want by coaching them on how to slow down and to listen to their hunger and appetite cues.

As you can see this habit does not focus on what people eat, but how they eat. For starters, it takes the body 20 minutes to realize it’s full. That being said if we eat to quickly, we’re likely to eat far too much in that time period before our brain says “I’m content”, you can stop eating now”.

An excellent goal is to strive for 15-20 minutes per meal. This can be an ambitious task for most, so start by focusing on slowing down just a little by adding one or two minutes and eating without distractions. By focusing on eating slowly, it gives our body time to provide important information to the GI tract, gives our satiety hormones time to kick in and helps helps with digestion.

Here are 6 tips to help you eat slowly:

  1. Put your fork down between bites.
  2. Relax. Breathe. Take a few extra moments before you pick the fork up again.
  3. Set a timer if needed — start with 10-15 minutes per meal as a basic goal. Work up to 20 or even 30.
  4. Chew a few more times than you think you need to.
  5. Enjoy and savour each bite. If you’re eating something delicious, take pleasure in it. Notice smells, flavours, and textures.
  6. Eat mindfully without distractions such as TV, smartphones, or the computer. 

Besides for helping clients at True Conditioning eat less by slowing down, the next step is to teach them how to gauge their fullness by eating until 80% full. 

This can be described as “eating until no longer hungry” instead of “eating until” full, which may be a new territory for most people. 

When it comes to fat loss, this technique will help you eat less in order to lose fat without having to rely on external measures such as calorie counting, “points,” or eating strict portions, which will help lose and keep weight off for life. 

So the next time you sit down for a meal, tune in and listen to your hunger and appetite cues, and stop at the right time before having to loosen your belt.

Written by Sophie Manfredi

Reference: Precision Nutrition, The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition

On the Road: How to keep up with your fitness and nutrition while away from home by Susanne Milner

I love to travel and consider it a hobby of sorts.  I travel for pleasure and for work. Since I changed jobs last year, I’ve been traveling more for work.  For most of us, work travel is a reality which has its perks but can also take us away from our regular diet and fitness regimes.

While it is challenging to maintain your diet while on the road, there are strategies that can help you to maintain your weight loss and even help you drop pounds while on the road. My first test of maintaining my diet while on the road came this October for a work trip to the Toronto area.   I consulted with my trainer, Sophie, who gave me some excellent tips and I’ve developed some of my own. Here they all are:

     1. Hotel Choice

Sometimes you’ll be able to choose your own hotel and if this is the case, having a kitchenette and a fridge in your room are both good tools for staying on track.    A fridge allows you to stock certain items like greek yogurt, which makes for a healthy, protein-filled snack or quick breakfast. A fridge also provides a way to take those  leftovers from your dinner out into the office for lunch the next day.    If you are lucky enough to have a kitchenette and can pick up some groceries, then you can prepare meals much like you would at home.

2. Breakfast Buffet

OK, so, maybe you didn’t prepare breakfast and you are indulging in the hotel’s breakfast buffet.  No worries, here’s how to tackle it like a champ. Stick to your fruit and veggies and your proteins here.  Most breakfast buffets have fruit salad, yogurt, granola, eggs, breakfast meats and peanut butter.   Skip out on the carbs found at the cereal and waffle bars and yes, those fluffy pancakes.  If you start your day with good carbs and proteins, that should hold you until lunchtime or at the very least break time.

3. Snacks

Packing healthy snacks is another essential element to maintaining your weight loss.  You’ll most likely be tempted to grab something at the airport or on the plane but save some loonies and some calories by planning ahead.  Dry goods like beef jerky, protein bars, nuts and even some dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage can stave off hunger and keep cravings at bay.  

4. Fitness Centres

Most hotels are equipped with swimming pools and fitness centres.  Take a look at your hotel website or call ahead to find out what equipment is available. Consult with your trainer to see if you can alter your current training program to fit in with the equipment available.  Making the extra 30 minutes to an hour to fit in your regular workout will give you even more energy for your busy days on the road.

5. Trials/Drop-Ins at Local Gyms

Many gyms offer trials, day-rates or even group buying deals so you can access some great fitness classes while you are away from home.  I was able to try a gym near one of my hotels for three days and on another trip, I went directly to a fitness studio I found through Groupon.  By going to them directly, I received an even better trial deal through the owners.  Since I prefer group glasses to a solo gym workout, this is my usual method of keeping up with my workouts while on the road.

6. Walking

If you can plan your days out in advance or wake-up earlier, you’ll find you can fit in at least one 30 minute-walk while on the road.   If you are travelling in an urban centre and have the time, skip the public transit, park your rental car and walk to your meetings and appointments instead.  You’ll see more of the city this way and before you know it, you've increased your daily activity level.

If all of the above fails, get back on track when return home and don’t be too discouraged if you weren't able to keep up your regular routine.  It’s just a blip and you’re still making positive changes in your life!   Happy travels.

By Guest Blogger and True Conditioning Client, Susanne Milner

5 Tips for Staying on Track with Your Fitness Goals

Committing to a fitness regime is always easier said than done. Between work, social life, and the odd unforeseen circumstance that may arise now and again, there just never seems to be enough time in a day to fit in a great workout too. Unfortunately, when it comes to your personal fitness goals – whether they are weight loss or health related, giving a half-hearted effort just won’t do. The only way to see, feel, and maintain any tangible results from your workouts is to be consistent. If consistency just isn’t your forte, here are five tips to help you stay on top of your exercise plans.

1) Eliminate the source of any excuse before it disrupts your exercise plans.

Are you too rushed in the morning to properly pack your gym bag? If so, organize it the night before. Do you think that extra cup of coffee will prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep? If you know it will, then don’t drink it. While it’s easy to rationalize skipping a workout in the heat of the moment, it’s a lot harder to make any excuses if there’s absolutely no reason to be making one fom the beginning!

2) Integrate exercise into your everyday life, and don’t treat it as an isolated task.

There’s no reason why your daily workout needs to be treated any differently than your work, the act of eating, or even sleeping. The moment you start viewing exercise as an integral part of your day, is the moment you’ll actually start to miss it if a workout is skipped. 

3) Spice up your exercise routine.

Don’t feel the need to confine your workouts to one type or place! In fact, there’s no faster way to get bored with your fitness regime than to always stick to the same activities. Incorporate a variety of physical activities into your exercise plan – a TRX class on Monday and Wednesdays, hit the gym on Tuesday and Thursdays, yoga on Fridays, and an outdoor hike on Saturdays, and suddenly, you’ll find that your routine no longer seems…well, routine.

4) Enlist the help of friends and partners to keep you accountable.

It’s a lot harder to back out of your fitness plans when another party is involved. Not only will you be letting yourself down, you also risk letting down your partner. This is exactly why signing up for classes, or hitting the gym with a friend is the best way to ensure that both of you actually follow through with the pre-scheduled workout!

5) At the end of the day, treat the idea of “staying fit and active” as a lifestyle choice.

The moment you decide to make leading a healthy and active life a priority, you’re in it for the long haul. Staying on top of your personal fitness isn’t just a short term commitment – it’s absolutely a lifestyle. Although you may still observe results from sporadic periods of consistent exercise, reaping any major health benefits require a lifelong dedication. 

 

Written by AZ