I've been on the TRX Suspension Trainer for three and a half years, and my work for TRX has given me the privilege of picking the brains of our company's founder, our top trainers, TRX directors of programming and education, elite athletes who use the TRX and trainers and facility operators who use the TRX around the country.
Even with everything I’ve learned about TRX Suspension Training and my 20 years of training experience, I walked away from the TRX Suspension Training Course (STC) last Sunday with loads of useful information that I'm already applying to improve my own training and that of my trainees.
The STC begins with a review of the basics of the mechanics of setting up and using the TRX and then covers the physics of Suspension Training. These are all ideas that I understand and have been putting into action for several years now, but the excellent instruction from TRX Professor Chris Frankel gave me the ability to describe the set-up and use of the TRX and the principles of Suspension Training more clearly, concisely and precisely than I had been able to prior to taking the course. And this was just the first two hours of the class. I learned a tremendous amount from my fellow 25 participants and got a window into how they train their clients and themselves on the TRX.
A diverse group that included a former pro baseball player, personal trainers, a retired power lifter and members of the Coast Guard among many others, they inspired me, gave me new ideas and provided feedback on my TRX movements that I found to be immediately beneficial. Frankel and Brian Bettendorf, director of FAI’s rehabilitation segment and our assistant instructor, provided numerous useful cues including tips on activating the lats in their entirety that made a notable difference in my execution of every movement on the TRX. Tips about properly initiating lateral lunges also yielded immediate improvements in my technique and corrected a problem I didn't even know I had. I also learned techniques for using the TRX to warm up, prepare for Oly lifting and numerous methods for progressing and regressing movements and intensity.
The highlight of the course for me was getting to revisit all of the basic TRX movements at the hands of a TRX Master Trainer. I learned multiple cue points for all of the basic TRX movements that positively transformed the efficacy of my own TRX movements, and I got to spend time reinforcing and mastering the cue points as I coached different partners on different exercises throughout the day. I have long been an advocate of staying totally focused during training time and paying attention to every aspect of each movement, but like everyone else, sometimes I just stumble into training and start banging out movements. The course was a great reminder to cut that trash training out and to really buckle down and focus on the small details that help yield the greatest results.
The greatest impediment to evolving your training knowledge is thinking you know it all. Personally, I never think that I know enough and constantly seek out the latest training and health research and techniques and test them out on myself and the athletes I work with. Whether you're a trainer, an enthusiast, an elite athlete, new to Suspension Training or just want to know more about getting the most out of your time on the TRX, I highly encourage you to take the STC. Whatever level of familiarity you have with the TRX, you'll walk away from the course with a comprehensive understanding of Suspension Training and the skills you need to put these principles into practice in your own training and for your clients. I'm glad that I finally made time to take the STC. My only regret about taking the course is I wish I'd done it sooner.
To find an upcoming STC in your area, click here. Already taken the class? What did YOU learn from the experience?
At the time of writing, Andrew Vontz was a journalist and trainer who wrote for TRX. He is now the Sr. Content Writer for TRX.