The TRX can play a pivotal role for newer clients lacking strength and athletes coming back from injury. With the TRX Suspension Trainer, you’re able to un-load certain exercises, which allows the client/athlete to progress gradually. Doing so builds strength and confidence in the process.
I’ve often found my new clients to be:
1. Afraid of the gym
2. Out of shape and weak
3. Lacking confidence
The last thing these clients need is a personal trainer throwing weight on their back and setting them up to fail. If they aren’t physically or mentally ready for certain exercises, that’s ok! Simply scale it down and build them up. I love showing my newer clients how much fun training can be with the right exercises performed at an appropriate level of difficulty. The following is a list of my top TRX “Building Block” exercises I like to incorporate with my new clients:
1. TRX Low Row 3-4 reps x 10 sets
2. TRX Squat 3-4 reps x 10 sets
3. TRX Elevated Step-Up 3-4 reps x10 sets
4. TRX Chest Press 3-4 reps x 10 sets
5. TRX Side Lunge 3-4 reps x 10 sets
6. TRX Y-Fly 3-4 reps x 10 sets
Staying in the 3-4 reps of 10 sets range ensures a good amount of volume, which will give your clients plenty of practice with the exercise. The more sets your client completes, the stronger they’ll become. And with improved strength, you will notice a distinct increase in confidence. As their strength and confidence grows, your clients will start to view the gym as a place where goals can be accomplished, rather than a place where failure is inevitable.
Similar to working with new clients, injured athletes need positive reinforcement by experiencing success in the weight room. This is possible by progressing gradually and using the TRX to un-load specific exercises. I like to incorporate isometric and eccentric principles in these exercises to expedite strength levels and body awareness. This is a list of my TRX “Back at It” exercises:
1. TRX Squat and TRX Single Leg Squat with a 5-0-1 eccentric tempo (5 seconds on the descent, 0 sec hold, and 1 second return to start position), progress to wearing a weight vest 3 reps x 5 sets
2. TRX Squat Jumps with Isometric 2 count hold upon landing 3 reps x 5 sets
3. TRX Speed Skaters with Isometric 2 count hold upon landing 3 reps x 5 sets
4. TRX Low Row with Isometric 2 count hold at contraction point, progress to wearing a weight vest 3 reps x 5 sets
5. TRX Step-ups with a 1-0-5 eccentric tempo, progress to wearing a weight vest 3 reps x 5 sets
6. TRX Seated Pull-Up with Isometric 2 count hold at contraction point, progress to wearing a weight vest 3 reps x 5 sets
We want to keep the volume on the lower end of the spectrum here since the exercises are using eccentric and isometric principles which will be more demanding on the athlete’s body. As the athlete becomes stronger and more confident with these exercises, you can then adjust the sets and reps, thereby increasing the overall volume.
My intention for these exercises is to help build up your athletes and clients, as well as put a smile on their face for the fun workout you just put them through!
About Coach Thom -
Scott Thom recently completed his second season with the Washington State University men’s basketball program as the team’s strength and conditioning coach/player development. He served in the same capacity at California the previous four years. Prior to joining the staff at California, Scott coached basketball and taught physical education for seven years at Vintage High School in Napa, Calif. Scott received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Chico State in 2002, a teaching credential in physical education from Sonoma State, and a masters in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University. He is certified through both CSCS and USAW. Scott writes articles for STACK and Harbinger Fitness.