Another workout I've tried recently is Suspension Training, TRX being the most popular one around. Suspension training refers to an approach to fitness training that uses a system of ropes and webbing called a "suspension trainer" to allow the user to work against their own body weight.

So there I was looking up at the ropes hanging from horizontal ceiling poles in the studio, both excited and nervous, as I always am every time I try a new workout. I've already tried circuit training, but suspension training was a first for me that day. To mix the two together just made it seem more "bootcamp". 


 
We were asked by our coach to do different circuits of suspension training for the first fifteen minutes, then another fifteen on other equipments such as the medicine ball, mat, free weights and gym box. Another fifteen minutes were spent on the suspension trainer. 

Atomic push-ups with suspended feet. My favorite!
 
One of the variations in circuit training that day
 
Kettlebell exercises were inserted in between suspension exercises and made the training more dynamic.

I've already devoted a blog post on circuit training here, so let me discuss more about my experience on suspension training.

In the simplest form, Suspension Training refers to a broad body of unique training movements distinguished from traditional exercises in that either the user’s hands or feet are generally supported by a single anchor point while the opposite end of the body is in contact with the ground. Via the unique design of the strap, the desired percentage of body weight is then loaded onto the targeted body zone and animated as an exercise movement. The suspension strap's single-point attachment provides the ideal mix of support and mobility to train strength, endurance, coordination, flexibility, power and core stability all at once across a wide range of resistance. The focus is on body weight-based training and the human body as an integrated system, rather than as a mish mash of individual parts as seen in many traditional isolated training philosophies. 

Pros:
  • It's a total body workout that works out major muscle groups especially the core.
  • It was awkward at first but it took just a few reps to get the hang of it.
  • I like that it's very much like Pilates, only done in a more dynamic and quicker way.
  • It's for everyone. It benefits people from any fitness level.
  • It doesn't only help build muscular strength and endurance but helps improve balance and coordination as well.
  • It's convenient. It can be set-up anywhere and it's easy to store and pack for travels.

This is how we do crunches with the strap! 

Cons:
  • A few good sessions need to be spent with a suspension training coach to learn how to use the suspension strap for different variations of the exercise.
I would recommend suspension training to anyone who's been working out for quite a time now and who would want to add diversity into their routine. Personally, I'm drawn into the idea of suspension training - using your own body weight as your resistance level, depending on how close or far away you are from our anchor point. And by doing so, you are already changing the difficulty of the exercise.