It’s been almost a year of working here (March! Be sure to come by and wish me a Happy Workversary) and maybe because the New Year Spirit got to me (New Year, New Me, ammirite?) or maybe because I sign up for things before I fully think them through, I decided that it was high time that I tried some of the classes at WSF. So, in order to motivate/force myself, I decided I would attend a class every day for a week, starting with:
I have the membership, I have the means, but did I have the motivation? Because this was the most dubious of my claims I decided to recruit some friends from school to attend my very first TRX Class with me.
We arrived a few minutes early to warm up (and talk) and hopped on the elliptical. Once Stefania and the rest of the class arrived the first step was for Stefania to show us how to use the straps (spoiler alert: this MAY be the hardest part of TRX – it certainly was the part that required the most explaining and assistance, minus one part when Stefania had to save me from the strap).
Once basic strap literacy was in place we began some of the movements – unlike what I expected (hard-core, tear-inducing PAIN) we began with a warm up and stretch, and because of the range of exercises available we were able to stretch into some hard-to-reach areas, hip-flexors, shoulders and arms, glutes. What was also nice was that Stefania showed us how to modify between being more or less intense by changing the angle that we stood in relation to the cage (vertical = less intense, horizontal = more intense).
This exercise, helped get the back leg calf, the glutes, and the shoulders stretched/warmed up. While Stefania counted or timed she also walked around and gave positioning tips; My biggest sin was lifting my heel for most of the exercises.
Stefania taught us a few upper body and core movements before moving on to lower body. This included some movements that had us put our feet into the straps and target lower body, glutes and thighs. You can see the dubious expressions on the faces of my friends (who hopefully are still my friends after this) as they watch Stefania demonstrate.
However, Once everyone was in the rig it was easy to see why TRX makes an effective exercise; by modifying the height or angle of my body I was able to intensify or relax the movements. Stefania had us do some planking as well, but not before going over core integrity and helping us feel supported in the movement, including accommodations for different people. This was, I thought, a really cool part of TRX. I tore my Achilles tendon last summer and have had very sensitive knees most of my life, making it hard for me to do many squat exercises. Having the support from the TRX helped me shift some of the lifting power into my upper body and ease into the movement in a way that didn’t make my knees hate me. Another girl, who had a shoulder injury from an car accident last year modified her movements using the stable arms of the TRX instead of the straps for some exercises.
After Stefania had taught us some basics we did a circuit incorporating the moves we had learned – it was a manageable pace with some challenging moves (I may or may not have reduced the intensity of my squats and rows as the class went) and over all I got the impression that the more I attended and the less I needed to be taught the straps and moves the more I would get from each class.
With Monday under my belt (and certainly feeling Monday in my shoulder and back muscles) we packed it in and had a steam. I certainly felt it more the next day, and my friends agreed it had been a good workout and had been able to be adjusted to our various fitness levels (from ‘gym every day girl’ to ‘I forgot to work out last year’) so generally a success.
If you haven’t tried TRX yet we run Monday night at 5pm and Wednesday lunchtime at 12:10pm, come check it out and maybe I’ll see you there!