Sancho using his TRX Suspension Trainer at home

STORIES THAT MOVE YOU: Why Lift Weights If You Cannot Lift Yourself?

"When I reach 60, I want to be a really good and fit 60. If you are using the TRX or you’re using calisthenics with your own body weight, you're activating everything."

Reading STORIES THAT MOVE YOU: Why Lift Weights If You Cannot Lift Yourself? 5 minutes

Sancho is the kind of person you hope to randomly meet at a party: funny, easy-going, and endlessly surprising. By day, the 55-year-old is an architect in the Philippines, but he also has a side-hustle as a DJ.

“People like my taste in music because I'm one of the few DJs here that play the old school stuff. My generation is the Eighties; we're Gen Xers. But I'm someone who can play Seventies and even up to Sixties,” he says.

Maybe next, he’ll add “influencer” to his bio: After purchasing a TRX Suspension Trainer™ last fall, Sancho began posting his TRX workouts on social media to document his progress—and inspired his friends to copy him in the process.

Sancho’s not your typical Instagram fitness bro. As he explains it, “With the DJing comes the lifestyle.” He’s been known to have a few beers, and—until last year—a smoking habit. But living through a pandemic amplified those bad habits. He gained about 20 pounds and was smoking more throughout the day. It was time for a change.

Working out wasn’t a foreign concept for Sancho—he’s always been naturally athletic and played sports—but, in the past, his approach to fitness was more reactive than prescriptive: rounds of exercise following bouts of excess. He’s been blessed with good health and good genes, so he never had a doctor nudging him toward a routine—which makes it all the more impressive that he not only adopted a training plan, but actually stuck with it.

“I needed a change of lifestyle,” he says. “The pandemic was really very humbling. Just the few months that you're inactive; I can really deteriorate very quickly, not like before. Maybe my metabolism is slowing down now that I'm older.”

The Suspension Trainer made sense for Sancho because he likes bodyweight exercise, and he has limited space in his home for bulky machines or weights.

“I was looking for something a level up from my own bodyweight, but gear that I can use here in my small space. When I saw how convenient the TRX was, and I saw how difficult it could be, I said, ‘Yeah, I'll try to focus on that first.’”

Sancho’s not looking for overnight results or a drastic lifestyle change; he just wants to tone up and avoid injuries—and the Suspension Trainer helps him do that. Using the Suspension Trainer to support his weight, he can do moves like pull-ups and pistol squats at increasingly difficult levels. And while he may turn to weights in the future, Sancho sees the benefits of mastering bodyweight exercise first. 

“Why lift weights if you cannot lift yourself? If you cannot push up—if you're having a hard time pushing yourself up 20 times—why would you do a bench press? If you are using the TRX or you’re using calisthenics with your own body weight, you're activating everything.”

Embarking on a new training program can be daunting, but Sancho found it easy to learn the basics of Suspension Training through TRX Training Club’s On Demand classes. 

“For someone not fit and going to jump on the fitness bandwagon, the TRX could be intimidating if nobody's showing them,” he says. “In On Demand they explain it. TRX Start and TRX beginner exercises—all of those were really hard for me at the start. But [Louis] Lopez—his instructions were very clear. I was able to pick it up right away and understand how it could work.”

Now, months into a fitness routine, Sancho makes time for at least three TRX sessions a week. He says it’s easy because he keeps his Suspension Trainer set up next to his workspace. “I could easily roll out my mat and then do some stretches if I'm spending too much time behind the computer, and my shoulder is hurting or my back is hurting. The TRX will be there. It's like an accessory to my office, or, vice versa, the office is an accessory to my TRX.”

Even on his days off, Sancho likes to fire up a recovery class to address ongoing shoulder pain. 

“I like Keith Johnson's corrective shoulder exercises. I have clicky shoulders now and it's still clicky, but it's functioning better.”

Almost anyone working out regularly has a fitness goal in mind, and Sancho is no exception. But, instead of chasing a number on the scale or six-pack abs, he’s looking to build strength, mobility, and flexibility for the long run.

“I don't want to be a big buff guy… It wasn't my goal to have the biggest triceps and biceps and arms; it's not like that. My goal is functional movement. I want to be flexible at the same time, but I also want to be able to pick up the pen that I drop without saying, ‘Ughhhh.’ When I reach 60, I want to be a really good and fit 60.”