Once thought to be a passing fad, TRX suspension training systems have proven their worth and continue to be one of the most popular fitness equipment options for facilities and fitness participants of all kinds. Born out of a need to minimize space and maximize functionality for a single person workout, the TRX or “Total Body Resistance Exercise” training options have evolved into a full system of fitness options and advancements that you can now find in hotels, schools, multi-family communities, municipal and corporate fitness centers, fire stations and pretty much anywhere where space, functionality and diverse group fitness needs are an issue (and where high-end cardio equipment and technology integration isn’t possible).
“TRX can help turn almost any type of space into a multi-functional fitness training space, using wall bays, corner units, and innovative bridge options,” said Lisa Miceli Standage, an expert fitness design consultant with Advanced Exercise. “You can transform precious square footage into fitness area designs that integrate storage and are aesthetically more appealing to end users. I have clients of all types who we are building custom configurations for, designing the unit to fit their specific needs.”
Beyond the modular functionality and the “workout anywhere” ingenuity that led to the creation of TRX’s suspension training model, there are four key reasons why TRX equipment has sustained immense popularity in the fitness arena.
1. TRX equipment is an efficient and effective use of space in a fitness facility
A single TRX Training Zone can be used for hundreds of different exercises for single users, which is a popular option for hotels or community fitness centers where floor space in the fitness center is limited. “With the storage options that TRX offers, we can combine a number of functional fitness equipment options in just 4’ of space,” continued Miceli Standage. “Some facilities only need one Training Zone space, and others want to accommodate group fitness training and we can create free-standing options that include storage possibilities. It all depends on the space available, and the end-users who will be training with the equipment.”
Common functional fitness equipment accessories like medicine balls, kettle bells, bands, mats, rollers and more can be cleanly and easily organized within (and on) the TRX steel infrastructure. It’s easy to see what equipment is available and, thanks to floor graphic options and signage, how to effectively use it to exercise appropriately and safely.
Gone are the days when equipment pieces are scattered on the floor or thrown haphazardly throughout the space. TRX has made storage solutions part of the foundation of the suspension training units, allowing facilities to maximize their space and the fitness options available therein.
2. Diverse, total body workout for multiple fitness levels
Since TRX uses body weight and gravity as resistance, the exercises it supports are proportional and customizable to body type, fitness level, age, and pretty much any other factor you can think of. Many of the exercises rely on (and help build) core strength, while also addressing balance, flexibility, coordination and joint stability. Extreme athletes who believe TRX isn’t tough enough, have been proven wrong. Those new to fitness might think it’s too complicated, and they’ve been proven wrong as well. In fact, the American Council on Exercise commissioned a small study of 21 to 71 year old men and women to look at the long-term results of TRX training.
The study found that “long-term adherence to a suspension training program is likely to decrease your likelihood of cardiovascular disease.” No surprise there, as pretty much any workout regimen can make the same claim. What’s striking is the age range – 21 to 71 – of those who can effectively use TRX to advance their health.
3. Multi-functional equipment allows for a wide range of exercise options
“Anything where you’re forced to handle your bodyweight in space is beneficial in enhancing one’s functional capability, including balance and core stability” says Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D. and ACE Chief Science Officer, who commented on the functional fitness benefits of TRX, and how customizable the exercises can be for either individuals or groups. “It does allow you a lot of variety in terms of changing the intensity of the exercise,” he added.
Multiple sources agree that TRX’s multi-faceted options are key: “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 a 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.” (True Conditioning blog, March 14, 2017)
4. It’s fun and engaging to “play” with
Hearkening back to playground swings or riverside rope swings that could be used sitting, standing, jumping, or twisting, there’s something fun and youthful about suspension training that many fans really enjoy. “It’s like tug of war with yourself,” said Aaron Strand, a 46-year old marathoner, ex-marine and TRX enthusiast. “I was never a gymnast, but TRX lets you simulate the still rings if you want. It’s all about balance, stability and controlled strength. I never thought I could get such a great workout from some steel-anchored straps.”
Since it’s all about body weight and positioning, users can create their own level of intensity, keeping it light if that’s what you need. 81-year-old Jan admits that she uses TRX “to see how far I can safely lean back or forward under my own weight. I use suspension exercises to help me with my balance, which isn’t what it used to be. It’s much more fun than plain arm curls or knee-dips.”
Though bikes, treadmills and advanced technology cardio options are still the stalwart anchors of many fitness centers, when space efficiency and functionality are priorities, the suspension training options offered by TRX continue to be a top request. If you’re considering integrating a TRX option into your fitness facility, the design experts at Advanced Exercise can help.
About Advanced Exercise
Founded in 1986, Advanced Exercise is a leading fitness equipment and facility design resource, representing more than 30 equipment brands to bring clients the best new or used equipment solutions to maximize the use of available space and meet the needs of a diverse community of fitness amenity end users. For more information on fitness equipment and facility design services, visit www.advancedexercise.com or call 800-520-1112 to connect with one of Advanced Exercise’s experts.