One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is: how often should I train using the TRX Suspension Trainer? Here, TRX Head of Human Performance Chris Frankel explains how regular TRX use can ensure your training program is varied, effective and efficient, whether your goal is to add mass, get ripped, lose weight, get strong, build endurance or cross train for your sport of choice: triathlon, skiing, cycling.
How many times per week you use the TRX is only one part of a systematic approach to training. The most basic or most sophisticated programs all start with foundational principles described by the acronym F.I.T.T., which stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type. Frequency is how many times per week you train (which is your question). But how often you train is related to how hard you workout, which is Intensity. And how hard you workout determines how long you train, which is the Time component. One thing you have already answered, and it is a great answer, is the Type of exercise: TRX Training.
First and foremost, proper nutrition and recovery are requirements for increasing lean mass and decreasing body fat. For most people looking to gain some muscle and cut some fat for an athletic, defined physique, working out three to six times per week will provide the necessary training stimulus. If you are new to exercise or just getting back into shape, start out training three days a week, for 40 to 60 minutes each session, with at least one day of recovery in between. As your fitness improves, increase the intensity of your exercise sessions by working at a steeper body angle, with less stability or a combination of the two. You should also add another day of training to your routine as you progress.
There are some general guidelines you can use to increase strength, burn fat and improve your overall performance and durability. Some of your workouts each week should be strength based, with steep body angles and slower tempos for increased time under tension. You can alternate upper body with lower body or push with pull exercises. Some of your workouts each week should incorporate high intensity, powerful movements at faster tempos to tax your cardiovascular and muscular endurance. Some of your workouts can be a combination of strength and power, where you alternate a slow, strength exercise is with a faster, more powerful exercise.
A sample week may look like this:
Power + Strength
Strength + Power
Proper warm up and cool down, including mobility and flexibility work, is a must. Adding interval work is another way to improve fitness and burn fat. If you work hard, do not miss a workout and do not sacrifice form for reps, you will soon “make your body your machine.”