Challenge Yourself with this Total Body TRX Workout

Whether you’re new to the gym scene or a seasoned vet, you’ve likely seen the TRX hanging around the gym and wondered, “What in the world is that thing?” or “I know what it is, but can I really get a great workout with it?” You’re in luck, because this blog answers both questions.

The TRX Suspension Trainer was created by Navy SEAL squadron commander Randy Hetrick while on deployment. Using a jiu jitsu belt and parachute webbing, he created a way to get a total body workout using minimal equipment that would be easy to move around and travel with.

Suspension trainer exercises are even better than bodyweight exercises because they support a variety of back exercises that are difficult to do without equipment. And it adds an element of instability that challenges every muscle—especially the core. Even better: Most exercises on the TRX are easily modifiable for all levels of fitness.

Now that you know what it is and why it’s awesome, go ahead and give it a try! The total body workout below will get you started. For the Overhead Raise, One Leg Wide Row, Fly, Curl, Modified French Press, and Side Bend, you can modify it and make things a little easier by moving your feet farther away from the wall or TRX anchor. To make these exercises more challenging, move your feet closer. For all exercises, remember to keep your core engaged to help maintain good form.

After you complete this workout, you’ll have a new piece of equipment and eight new exercises in your fitness arsenal, not to mention you can show off your skills when the next newbie drops in. Spread the TRX love!

Total Body TRX Workout

Reps: 15 | Circuits: 3 | Rest: 60 seconds between circuits

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Foot Up Split Squat

One Foot Split Squat

1 – Stand upright with one foot looped in the handle and your arms by your sides.

2 – Drop your body down toward the floor, bending at your hips and knees and leaning your torso slightly forward.

3 – Push off your front foot to return to the start position.

  • Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Push-Up

TRX Push-up

1 – Place your hands on floor in front of you and your feet in the handles behind you, with your elbows bent and your chest nearly touching the floor.

2 – Push up until your arms are straight, keeping your hips in line with your shoulders.

• Lower back to where your chest nearly touches the floor and repeat.

Overhead Raise

TRX Overhead Raise

1 – Lean back holding the handles with your arms fully extended, your feet flat, and your palms facing down.

2 – Pull the handles overhead with your arms straight and hands close together.

One Leg Wide Row

TRX One leg row

1 – Stand on one leg and lean back, holding the handles with your arms fully extended, your foot flat, and your palms facing down.

2 – Pull your chest up to the handles, bending your elbows.

• Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Fly

TRX Fly

1 – Lean your body forward with your hands in the handles, arms straight out to the sides at shoulder height, and your legs straight out on your toes.

2 – Pull the handles together in front until they meet over your chest.

• Keep your arms straight throughout.

Curl

TRX Curl

1 – Lean back holding the handles with your arms fully extended, your feet flat, and your palms facing up.

2 – Pull your body up to the handles, bending your elbows and curling your hands toward your shoulders.

Modified French Press

Modified TRX French Press

1 – Lean to one side holding the handles overhead with your arms straight.

2 – Arch your torso over to one side and reach your arms to this side.

3 – Pull your body back up to the start position.

  • Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Side Bend

TRX Side Bend

1 – Lean to one side holding the handles overhead, with your arms straight.

2 – Arch your torso over to one side and reach your arms to this side.

3 – Pull your body back up to the start position.

Download This Workout

Find more workouts like this in the Anytime Fitness App.

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How to Properly Use Supersets to Your Advantage

If you’ve spent any amount of time looking for workout inspiration or attending personal or group training sessions, chances are you’ve run across the term “superset.” While supersets are common, it’s still hard for many to grasp what they are and how best to integrate them into a workout. So, here’s some help!

Supersetting is rather simple: Perform two exercises, back-to-back, with little to no rest in between. An example would be doing a set of biceps curls and then triceps dips right afterward. For the time-crunched gym goer, supersets are regarded as the holy grail of workout constructs. Any type of training that promises better results in half the time is a win for most!

Designing supersets, however, gets a bit more complicated. See, the exercises you choose to perform back-to-back will either work for you or against you. Sequence the right exercises together and you’ll burn more calories and increase performance. Choose the wrong pairing and it can bring on injuries and potentially impede your progress. Let’s break it down and make supersets super simple. There are three types.

Antagonist Supersets: Pairing exercises together that involve opposing muscle groups.

  • Ex. Biceps curls, followed by triceps curls
  • Ex. Leg extensions, followed by hamstring curls or deadlifts

Antagonist supersets allow one muscle group to rest while another gets to work. This should enable you to lift at the same “level” (weight/reps) as you would if completing multiple sets of one exercise with adequate rest in between each set—which saves time and increases caloric expenditure.

Agonist Supersets: Pairing exercises together that involve the same muscle groups.

  • Ex. Chest presses, followed by push-ups
  • Ex. Pull-ups, followed by biceps curls

Agonist supersets are sometimes referred to as compound sets and are the most physically demanding types of supersets. They allow you to increase your volume of training (how much you can accomplish in the same amount of time) and intensity (in less time), and incorporate more muscles in the same workout.

A “pre-fatigue superset” falls under the agonist heading. Instead of choosing two exercises that target the same general muscle group, you begin with an exercise for one of the smaller muscle groups that assists in the second exercise you’ll be performing. In theory, for example, when you wear out one of the muscles that assist in the chest press, the chest will have to work harder, and will then have a bigger “reaction” to the chest press.

  • Ex. Triceps kickback, followed by chest presses
  • Ex. Biceps curl, followed by seated rows

Unrelated Supersets: Pairing exercises together that are not connected.

If you pair exercises that are unrelated, you still receive the benefit of accomplishing more sets and reps in a shorter amount of time, and also will have little-to-no loss of strength when moving between exercises.

  • Ex. Lunges, followed by pull-ups
  • Ex. Squats, followed by push-ups

Common Superset Mistakes

Beware of the following mistakes that might affect your health and results.

Pairing Core with Other Exercises – Your core is responsible for stabilizing and helping you lift. When you are continually taxing your core in between sets of heavy lifting, you run the risk of eliminating an integral source of support. Better to save the core work for the end of the workout or another day if you’re using supersets to maximize your gains!

Performing Successive Compressive Moves – A compressive move is anything that compresses your spine, such as goblet squats or barbell lunges. Compressive moves aren’t bad, necessarily. But you do want to work in non-compressive exercise to counterbalance these common exercises. Examples include anything that fixes your arms in place and allows your feet to move, such as triceps dips, pull-ups, glute bridges, or any suspension exercises (e.g. TRX exercises).

Ultimately, supersets are a great way to maximize your time in the gym. And, with a little bit of forethought, they can help you keep your muscles guessing, break through plateaus, and avoid burnout or boredom. Ask a personal trainer for more advice if you’re still unsure how to build your own supersets.

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3 Great Moves for the Cable Rope

The cable rope attachment is extremely versatile. So much so, I have several trainer friends who carry their own in their gym bag in case wherever we’re going to lift doesn’t have one! Beyond the pushdown, curl, and pull, you can use it for variations in leg exercises, core movements, and upper body training. Let’s master these moves first though! Watch and read on for instruction.

3 Great Cable Rope Moves

Triceps Pushdown

Your triceps muscles consist of three heads, or points of origin: the medial, lateral, and long head. The most efficient way to train all three is using a full range of motion—just as you would with any other muscle group. And the trick to getting all three heads involved in the Triceps Pushdown is tilting your torso forward at a 30- to 40-degree angle, instead of standing straight up.

  1. Start off standing in front of a cable machine, attaching a rope to the high pulley and grabbing the attachment with an overhand grip.
  2. Keeping your abs drawn in, back straight, and elbows in at your sides, push the rope down toward your thighs.
  3. As you push down, split the rope apart at the bottom and isolate the tricep muscle.
  4. Hold this position for a count and return back up to the starting position.

Hammer Curl

Your biceps consist of two heads, and hammer curls help build both the brachialis and brachioradialis in a way other curl variations simply do not. Attach the rope on the end of the cable machine so it gives you room to move, but assists your controlled motion. Working the brachialis is particularly important if you’re looking to beef up your guns. It will also build strength in the upper body for doing daily activities like picking up children, doing household chores, and lifting grocery bags!

Face Pull

Face pulls might be the most underutilized exercise out there. They serve as both an awesome muscle-building exercise and a highly effective movement for improving shoulder health and posture. They’re great for building rear delts, traps, rhomboids, and rotator cuff muscles. And they are one of the very best exercises for treating and preventing internal rotation of the shoulder joint—a.k.a. rounded shoulders. Face pulls will help to rotate your shoulders back into the proper position for better posture and decreased injury risk.

  1. Grab the rope attachment and set it at upper chest height
  2. Rather than gripping the rope from the top with your palms facing down like most people do, instead, grip it from underneath with a neutral hammer-style grip
  3. Keep your chest up, shoulders back and retract your shoulder blades
  4. Pull the rope back towards your face while at the same time imagining that you’re trying to pull the rope apart
  5. Pause in the fully contracted position and focus on squeezing your rear delts and upper back before returning to the starting position

Ready? Get out there and give the cable rope a try. Your muscles won’t be disappointed!

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Bodyweight Strength Training Plan You Can Accomplish Anywhere

This is an interesting time of year. As the new year approaches and getting healthier is top of mind for many, the holidays ramp up and it’s harder and harder to get to the gym and stick to a routine. Many skip workouts, but also increase calorie intake. That’s why this fitness plan is here! We don’t want you to get off track. Let’s focus on a simple strength training plan that you can do anywhere, anytime, so you can push through the holiday season and into 2018 stronger than ever.

This progressive, four-week plan can be found in the Anytime Fitness mobile app, under the workouts tab (Plans > Beginner > Strength > No Equipment). Even though it’s labeled “beginner,” it’s great for any person of any fitness level. There are three workouts a week, with a recommended day of active rest in between.

During week one, you’ll start at a moderate intensity. The exercises will mainly target the muscles that surround your knees, hips, and shoulder joints. These unilateral exercises will help you increase your muscular strength by using your bodyweight alone. As you progress into weeks two through four, you’ll notice that the workouts start to utilize supersets, which will allow you to work more muscle groups at once, and make even more progress.

Even though this is just a bodyweight strength training plan, you will feel muscles being used that you might not typically feel from a free weight or resistance machine exercise. Trust me, when you do the lateral lunges, you will feel it the next day! So, let’s get going with workout one. There’s no reason to wait!

4 Weeks to a Stronger You

Bodyweight Strength – Week 1, Day 1

3 sets, 10 reps, 60 secs between reps

Download Workout 1


Bodyweight Strength – Week 1, Day 2

3 sets, 10 reps, 60 secs between reps

Download Workout 2


Bodyweight Strength – Week 1, Day 3

3 sets, 10 reps, 60 secs between reps

Download Workout 3


Visit the Anytime Fitness App for Weeks 2-4.

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