For years, I was a strength training nut. I hated cardio, and hated running even more. Of course, times have changed. I will take a run over pretty much anything. The need for strength training as a runner, though, is vital to remaining injury free. Enter the TRX Suspension Trainer. This lovely little device requires only a little space and a fixed point from which to hang it. It also requires that you leave your ego outside, because it is about to get stomped on.
I am going to get this out of the way right now. This is the hardest strength training regimen I have ever followed. It points out every weak spot in my body, and shows me muscles I never knew I had, (and they were perfectly happy going unnoticed, thank you very much). On the other hand, this is the best thing I could have done for myself.
For much of this year, I have struggled with lack of motivation, apathy, and low-level depression. Although I did not have to be convinced to go for a run, I did not have much desire to cross train. My upper body and core were falling apart, and as a result, my legs and hips had to work harder during my runs. Yes, running requires strong legs, but if you don’t have whole body strength, those strong legs will not do you much good.
Since I transitioned from triathlon to a running focused regimen, I dropped the “built-in” cross training that comes with triathlon. So with the addition of the TRX Suspension Trainer, I found the challenge, portability, and brevity I needed to get some whole body strength back.
The TRX Suspension Trainer does not take a lot of time or space to get in an effective workout. 15-30 minutes five or six days a week feels like a lot! The TRX website and the app offer many features to keep you motivated and training. The website videos and PDFs are valuable tools and the portability and variety of workouts on the app make it a versatile piece of equipment.
As I said, this workout is the hardest thing I have ever done training-wise, and I have tried several different methods of strength training over the years. Each 15 minute workout feels long and challenging. I have noticed that even after several weeks of doing the same routines, they do not seem to be getting easier like it might with traditional strength training. With a traditional program, you add weight to make it more challenging. You do not have to do that with this method. It is always a challenge.
I do not love it, but I love the results. I love what it has done for me physically and mentally. It has given me a balanced body that I have been lacking and I think that balances out my emotional and mental well being, too. In all honesty, when I first tried it, I quickly came up with a name for it: Satan’s Jockstrap. Sorry, it was just the name I thought of at the time, and it just kind of stuck. But overall, it is a valuable implement in my training toolbox, and is just as important as the miles on the road.
I would love to hear what you think, though…Please leave your thoughts in the comments, and thank you for stopping by!