TRX 101: The Total Body Workout

Imagine your daily routine: wake up, get dressed, head to work, pick up a few groceries on the way home, eat dinner, then take a stroll in a nearby park while walking your dog in the evening. What is the commonality in all of the aforementioned activities? None of them could have been performed without utilizing your core. It may not feel like you’re engaging your core every time you carry the groceries to your car, or even when you’re bending over to retrieve a fallen item, but the truth of the matter is, all of our daily motions would not be possible without the involvement of the core and all of the muscles comprising it. It is a common misconception to think that the abdominals alone are what the “core” refers to, while in reality, the body’s core includes all of the major muscle groups from the pelvic floor muscles, to the muscles in our back, and even the chest (think diaphragm). All of these muscle groups work harmoniously in our everyday lives, contributing to our flexibility, balance, and stability as we engage in “multi-plane” movements (the acts of twisting, turning, bending, stretching, etc.). A well-developed core is the key to preventing injuries resulting from physical activity, so I’d like to think that maintaining a strong core is imperative in leading a healthy, active lifestyle.

Unfortunately, amidst the diverse array of muscle groups to train, it’s quite difficult (and basically impossible) to find one piece of fitness equipment at the gym which will allow for a whole-body work out. Factor in the time that it takes to jump from machine to machine, and suddenly, the fitness plan that you’ve promised to commit to just became that much more daunting.


The good news is that there is another option to get in that whole-body workout minus the elaborate gym equipment. Utilizing your own body weight and the force of gravity, the TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise) system allows for an entire body workout adjustable to all fitness levels. Originally designed by Ex-Navy Seal Randy Hetrick, TRX Rip and Suspension training aids in the development of flexibility, balance, and core stability, all while providing cardiovascular and strength conditioning (respectively).


There are two notable advantages in opting for a TRX training system, the first being the ease (and speed) at which an individual can switch between exercises. This is especially important for keeping the heart-rate up and ensuring that you get the most out of your workout. The second advantage is that simply by adjusting the placement of your feet during the otherwise same basic movement can greatly alter the intensity of the overall exercise. As such, pro-athletes and fitness novices alike can both benefit from TRX training according to their individual fitness needs. On a side note, I’d also like to add that with TRX training where there are a countless number of different exercises performable, the fitness regime itself remains fresh and exciting; there’s no routine bench-press reps to be had here.


If you’re looking for a progressive training system to spice up your typical gym routine, TRX is a great option to experiment with. Seek out your local TRX certified fitness centres/trainers for more information on how you could customize a routine to achieve your fitness goals.

*As Richmond’s only TRX Suspension and Rip Trainer Qualified fitness studio, headed by Metro Vancouver’s highest-certified TRX Trainers, True Conditioning offers various programs to help you achieve your individual fitness goals. 


Written By: Anna Zhao