We try this Navy Seals workout in the name of research
Born in the Navy Seals, TRX Suspension Training bodyweight exercise develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously. It requires the use of the TRX Suspension Trainer, a highly portable performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to enable hundreds of exercises for every fitness goal. The beauty of the TRX is that it can be set up anywhere – at a gym, at home, outside or on the back of a door.
Considering I could not be anything further from a Navy Seal, I was slightly anxious about taking a class, but thankfully my very energetic and encouraging instructor welcomes me with open arms. Soon, I’m being given the TRX lowdown, ‘It’s a specially designed set of straps and handles that connect at a secure point. The TRX enables people to work at a range of fitness levels.’
First I need to warm up. Cindy has me power walking, lightly jogging and running with my knees up while she shows me how to use the TRX by lengthening and shortening the straps as needed. You need to learn how to do this quickly, because once the class starts you change between exercises pretty fast.
We start by pulling on the TRX and walking backwards until the straps are taut, before grabbing the handles for a series of dips. It’s soon taken up a notch, and we’re doing the same movements while pushing one hand back to the floor on the way down and then reaching up towards the tops of the straps as far as we can on the way up. After several reps, my legs start to feel it. In fact, my legs are shaking, I’m sweating, and all I can think about is how much I want to be sitting in Jones the Grocer having a coffee right now.
We continue working on our arms with a series of chest presses and push up-type exercises. These are particularly hard, but I’m encouraged to go at my own pace, and make it harder or easier by changing my position to be closer or further away.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any harder, it’s time to push myself to the limit, and the really difficult exercises begin. First, I’m lying on the floor under the centre from where the TRX is hooked into the roof. I pull myself up and then back down in one fluid motion – and if you think that sounds easy, you’re woefully mistaken. Next up is a side plank, with both feet hooked into the TRX while leaning on one forearm and holding the other vertically in the air. Though I really want to be good at this, I simply can’t raise my hand in the air, so I give up on that part and instead concentrate on balancing. As much as the TRX class has been a really hard workout, I feel proud of myself for giving it a go. The benefits of this type of full-body workout are worth the pain you will feel a few days later. And while I may not be a Seal, I will definitely be back to give it another try.
A number of gyms and fitness centres offer TRX Suspension Training in Dubai. Dhs180 per personal training session with TRX at Fitness Zone in JLT (04 451 0522); Dhs50 per group outdoor class at The Aviation Club, Garhoud (04 282 4122); Dhs45 per member, Dhs55 guest for group classes at Fit Lab, Emirates Golf Club (04 417 9850).
Rip training Described by some as ‘the new TRX’, the Rip trainer was created by the same company and has started cropping up in gyms around Dubai. It has a similar function, but instead uses a cord system that creates a variable, unbalanced load which assists in developing core strength, power, endurance and flexibility, and can be used to complement TRX training for a truly intense workout. New gym Talise Fitness at Jumeirah Emirates Towers houses the equipment. Membership offer until Friday August 31: four months Dhs2.500 (women), Dhs3,000 (men), Dhs5,000 (couples). Jumeirah Emirates Towers (04 319 8660).