When Diane Calver stumbled upon the TRX, she had no idea she'd just opened the door to becoming a Suspension Training innovator who would develop a new array of movements for dancers.
Calver, an ACE-certified trainer with certifications in a variety of modalities including spinning and cardio kickboxing, watched some of the videos on TRXtraining.com and was intrigued enough to sign up for a Suspension Training Course. She walked away from the STC in August 2009 impressed.
“Before the class, I didn't really know what it was or what it did. I discovered it was an incredibly effective head-to-toe tool with a core focus you could use for conditioning or strength training.” The gym where she trained clients didn't have TRX classes, so she bought 12 TRXs with the intention of teaching group classes for adults in the studio space at Dance Enthusiasm in Salem, Massachusetts where she also worked as the strength, conditioning and flexibility trainer for the 50 members of her daughter's competitive dance team (ranging in age from six to 17 years old).
When Calver set up the TRXs at Dance Enthusiasm, she planned to give free group classes for a month to build interest. But her daughter and the other members of the Dance Enthusiasm competition squad changed her plans. “When I hung the TRXs up, the kids' eyeballs popped out of their heads.” Without prompting, they were on the TRXs doing assisted backbends, splits and running leaps. “There were girls who couldn't do the splits who were able to do it with the assistance of the TRX and gravity.” In short order, the girls came up with an array of TRX movements that Calver had never seen - all highly functional movements that directly correlated to the dance movements the girls performed in their routines.
Calver incorporated the TRX into the girls' training twice per week, using many of the functional dance movements the girls came up with in addition to staple TRX movements for strength and conditioning like TRX Rows, TRX Squats and TRX Lunges. “Before I started working with them, they had no core strength, no upper body strength. Teenage girls do not want to sweat and mess up their hair and makeup. But when they trained on the TRX, they didn't want to stop even when I said it was time to take a break.” Calver programmed the dance squad’s workouts to eight counts in rhythm with music. “The TRX has helped them build strength, flexibility and conditioning, which has made them better competitors.”
Meanwhile, Calver launched her TRX group training practice for adults in the same space in January. “I gave free demo classes for a month straight. I thought I'd get more women than men, but it has turned out to be more guys.” Four months later, she has five packed classes for adults at the Dance Enthusiasm space every week. She offers an all women's class, two hybrid Spinning/TRX classes, a full body class and an advanced body blast class. She has photos of the girls from the dance team on the TRX hanging in the training space. “The average person can't do what these kids can.”
Calver has been incredibly pleased with the success of her TRX group training practice. “If other dance studios have the availability and space to do this, I'm sure they would have success working with dancers on the TRX.”