The first time Peggy Vogt McMahon saw the TRX, she wasn't sure it was for her. “I came across a trainer using the TRX at a gym. It didn't spark my interest initially because she had it anchored incorrectly, and it seemed awkward.” A trainer and group exercise instructor at Feminine Fun Fitness in Monroe, New York, Vogt McMahon, 46, changed her mind after she jumped on the web and saw the TRX being used properly. Always looking to push herself and her trainees, Vogt McMahon jumped at the opportunity to take the Fitness Anywhere Suspension Training Course along with Feminine Fun Fitness' owner. “We went to the class last July and loved it. The training was phenomenal. You go to some classes and can't wait to get out of there. But I was hooked, and we soon started TRX classes at the gym.” Now Feminine Fun Fitness offers a total of eight TRX classes per week, divided into three levels of difficulty.
Vogt McMahon considered herself very fit when she first started Suspension Training on the TRX. But she has seen such a transformation in her fitness from using the TRX that her New Year's resolution is to get faster and stronger using the TRX. “I only started using the TRX last summer, and I've noticed a big difference in my physique. I can see my shoulder muscles and my chest muscles. My core is more cut at the top, my balance is better, and my core strength is unbelievable now. I can tell a difference in the way I look and the way I feel.”
One of the goals Vogt McMahon and Feminine Fun Fitness have is to cultivate a communal atmosphere to empower women through fitness and training. “We don't like to call it a gym. We do facials and massages, have cocktail parties and have a senior program. It's an experience.” To help her charges achieve this goal, Vogt McMahon has developed a strategy for women taking her TRX classes for the first time.
“After class, I tell them I know you felt awkward and shaky, and I ask them to give the TRX at least three classes before they decide it’s not for them. Then they get hooked.” Vogt McMahon knows what they're experiencing and that they will see results if they stick with it, because it's the same journey she went through on the TRX herself. “When I used the TRX in the STC, I couldn't believe how challenging it was to just do one movement for 45 seconds. I was exhausted.”
As she has progressed on the TRX and discovered more and more applications for group training, Vogt McMahon has helped to evolve Feminine Fun Fitness' TRX classes to continue to push her trainees and herself to become more fit. “Women in our TRX classes tend to be in their 40s, but we get everyone from teens up to 80 year olds. I have a woman in my class every Monday and Wednesday who is 70 who has had hip and shoulder problems, but she does the TRX along with the fittest person in the gym. I'm the type of trainer who teaches to the highest level in the room. It's simple to show other people in the class how to regress movements on the TRX to make them easier.” The facility's TRX offerings now include hour-long classes, a teens only class that incorporates the TRX, 30 minute “TRX Express” classes, a men's TRX class offered in the evening twice a week and a diabolical creation Vogt McMahon has created to help make her and her trainees faster and stronger that she calls “TRX Xtreme.”
“My resolution is to get faster and stronger, and that is going to be incorporated in my TRX Xtreme class. The idea is to push forward on the TRX, do more and take it up a notch. I'm very into interval training, and that's how I'm going to become faster. To get stronger, I'll try new things. I try every new exercise that goes up on the Fitness Anywhere blog, all the combination moves, everything.” She has even created a few TRX moves of her own that she's posted to the FAI Forums and the FAI Facebook page.
Ultimately, she hopes achieving her goals with the TRX will help her trainees to do the same. “I'm 46, and I feel like I'm 20. I'm much fitter than I was in my 30s, and I love to inspire women and show them they can do it. I like to spread that passion.”
Andrew Vontz is a journalist and trainer who writes for Fitness Anywhere. He programs functional training for endurance sports and life.