Studio: Brookhaven Fitness Studio
Class: TRX Circuit (they offer many other class from Qigong to Kettlebell to Kickboxing)
Class description from website: Make your body your machine using the TRX suspension trainer and your own body-weight. Build strength, flexibility, muscular endurance and core stability. Developed by Fitness Anywhere, and recently voted the “Best Total Body Tool” by Men’s Health Magazine, the TRX works strength, power, balance, flexibility and can help you stay injury free. Class size is limited.
Phone: (404) 7814-9319
Cost: $20 drop in but they also offer memberships.
What to Bring: Water and a towel. Shoes are not allowed in the exercise area but they provide cubbies for you to store your belongings while in class. Bring gloves if you have sensitive hands or difficulty with your grip.
What to wear: Comfortable workout clothes. Yoga pants, leggings, tank top, t-shirt etc. Shorts are fine, but I always encourage you to wear bike shorts in a fitness class like this because you are on your feet, on your back, in a plank, jumping, running, rowing, and many other things that might lead to an unsolicited peep show.
Class size: Small. There were 6 people including me.
Volume and type of music: Music was loud enough to motivate and the teacher had a mic so you could hear her giving instructions.
Impact: Low to medium impact and you have complete control over the intensity.
Modifications: The instructor, Jenn, offered modifications throughout the class.
Format of Class: We began class at 5:15pm on the dot with a 5 minute dynamic warmup. The rest of the class consisted of several mini circuits made up of 3-4 exercises for a total body workout. Each exercise was done for 20-30 seconds with a short break (less than 5 seconds between. Jenn would demonstrate each exercise as we went along and then she would walk around correcting form or offering modifications. Some of the exercises we did included squat and rows, seated biceps curls, frog crunches (plank position on hands or forearms, feet in TRX straps, and bring knees to the outside of the elbows.) We completed the circuits in 35 minutes and ended class with a 5 minute cool down/stretch utilizing the TRX straps.
What to expect:
- Expect a total body (and when I say total body I mean all of those little muscles you forgot you had) workout.
- Expect a cardio and strength training workout wrapped into 45 minutes.
- Expect to keep moving and exercising for every second of this 45 minute period. Jenn did offer water breaks but we were moving for 99% of the class.
- Expect to be challenged. No matter how strong you are, body weight training while hanging on to two straps suspended from the ceiling cranks up the difficulty level on even the simplest of exercises.
Who should take this class:
- People with a beginner to advanced level of fitness. However, if you don’t want to waste your time and money you should have a general knowledge of basic exercises (e.g. squats, lunges, planks, etc).
- People looking to improve balance, strength, and coordination.
- People looking to strengthen their upper bodies. I have found that the most effective and efficient way to improve upper body strength is through bodyweight exercises and adding the suspension element just increases that efficiency.
- People who don’t like lifting weights, because this is an excellent strength training workout using your body weight and some straps.
- People with a short attention span. You don’t have time to get sick of an exercise because you’ve moved onto the next one in no time.
Professional advice: If you are a new student, arrive 30 minutes early because you will need to fill out paperwork and get a rundown of the basic terminology and exercises that will be used with the TRX straps.
Be aware of your posture and body alignment throughout the class. Because of the instability of the straps it is incredibly important for you to maintain proper alignment of your joints to avoid any unnecessary strain. This is extremely important for people who have shoulder issues.
As with any fitness class you need to keep your blinders on. So many factors affect a TRX workout other than your fitness level such as height, weight, how much you sweat (sweat more and the mat gets a bit slippery), grip strength, etc. Go at your own pace and listen to your body. For every exercise we did, Jenn offered a modification and I was not afraid to apply those modifications!
Thank you to my instructor, Jenn, for an incredible workout and an excellent first suspension-training class!