Trial therapy: TRX class
What does it involve?
The TRX class at Pure Fitness, Two IFC, is an hour of instruction on the TRX suspension system, which is attached to the walls of the climbing area in the gym, a section slightly removed from the room with all the machines and weights.
What is TRX?
TRX equipment was created by a US Navy Seal who wanted to develop exercises for those spending long periods in cramped conditions that do not require much space or heavy, non-portable equipment. The TRX is a long, flat, sturdy rubber band with reinforced loops at the end into which you place your feet, arms or hands, depending on the exercise. It's long enough to hang over a door frame and at Pure it's attached to the walls, so there's no fear of it slipping or coming loose. There are several on each wall, so class sizes are relatively small, enabling the trainer to offer specific advice to students of all levels. TRX bands are available in some exercise equipment stores, and can also be used outside the gym, but it's important to know how to secure them properly first.
What was it like?
Before we started, my posture was examined to determine those areas that needed improvement. Using a mat on the floor, trainer David Menhennett guided me through various exercises that forced me to use my core, align my spine, keep my neck in certain positions and use the correct muscles for each exercise. Some exercises required me to be on my hands, arms straight and facing down, while the tops of my feet were suspended in TRX loops. With others I had to lean forward with only my hands in the loops and move my arms from back to front, while being guided by Menhennett's counting. He spent time demonstrating the proper technique for holding the bands and getting out of them (it's not as easy as it sounds), and he also specified how long each exercise should be. It's easy to see how they work after he has shown you once or twice, but initial instruction is necessary for most.
What are the benefits?
Menhennett says too many people fail to include stability in their workouts (core and joint stabilisation), balance, flexibility, postural awareness and co-ordination. He says weights machines rarely help with these important areas. He says TRX is new and differs from machines in that you get ample instruction and it works all muscle groups without weights.
Was it hard?
It isn't a walk in the park, but, if it's your first time, Menhennett will help you get into the swing of it before moving on to more advanced techniques. It's a great adjunct to other training and something you can mix into a weekly routine for variety. It definitely works the areas you want to tone as each exercise is targeted to specific muscle groups.
Where is it?
Pure Fitness, Two IFC, 8 Finance Street, Central, tel: 3555 1811