TRX Classes - "Hanging" Around At The Gym

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Have you ever done a TRX class? It's technically "Suspension Training," but I just call it "Hanging From The Ceiling."

My gym in Chicago recently started offering the classes. I stopped in last weekend to try it out and see how I liked it. Hanging From The Ceiling = Fun. And hard.

In that first class, we alternated between doing regular cardio (jumping jacks, burpees, running in place, high knees, etc), and bodyweight exercises where we had our hands or feet attached to the ropes suspended from the ceiling.

The alternating of intense, short bursts of cardio with extremely difficult suspension training kept my heart rate pretty darn high. Polarbear says that I burned 367 calories, which is pretty decent when you consider the fact that half of the workout was strength based (which generally keeps my heart rate in the low 100s). Generally, when I get my Cal Fat that high, I will only have burned like 150-200 calories (and I'm fine with it). So, this was a nice surprise!

Say hi to my Polar Heartrate Monitor! It's white for WOMEN!

Ironically, on the same day I started TRX, I proceeded to go to the circus and watch other, much more skilled people do some REAL hanging from the ceiling. Seriously. Please don't die.

Obviously I'm giving it a positive review, because I got up at 5:30 this morning to go BACK there and get MORE of it. Ugh.

So far, here is the basic run down of the class:

  • 5 minute warm-up. We generally run around the room in a circle, maybe do some skips or kareoke or something like that. Just to get your heart rate up.
  • First TRX set (legs focus), alternating with short cardio bursts, X3. So far, it seems that the first TRX set focuses on lower body - squats with rows are common. We will do two or three exercises on the TRX, then do a minute of cardio, then repeat that cycle two more times.
  • Second TRX set (arms focus), alternating with short cardio bursts, X3. The second TRX set has focused on the upper body, using your lower body to create leverage and then using your biceps, triceps, or shoulders to pull yourself up and lower yourself back down. We did bicep curls and rows today. Then, another cardio minute, and repeat 3 times.
  • OPTIONAL additional TRX sets, alternating with short cardio busts. I think we only had an extra set in here for one of the classes. I'm guessing it depends on time.
  • Last TRX set (abs focus). The third and last TRX set was ab-city. We hooked our legs into the TRX handles and did various planks, plank swings, hovers, etc. I don't think we did an alternation with cardio for these. In my first class, we just alternated with regular floor planks or floor sit-ups. In my second class, we stayed on the TRX the whole time.
  • Cool down and stretch.

Overall, I'm definitely a fan. I can feel that my muscles have gotten a great workout, but I also got some good cardio and heart-work in. It's got a similar feel to Bodypump, but my upper back isn't killing me the way it does after holding the Bodypump bar on my back during class. Thumbs up for relief!

  • Have you ever tried TRX? Any other suspension-related classes? What did you think?

Dear today's TRX instructor,
Thanks for finding a way to make it hard while still not yelling at us or making it too complicated. A gracious fitness instructor is much appreciated when your wake-up call was 5:30 and your mind still hasn't gotten its coffee fuel.

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