This Navy SEAL-Inspired Home Gym Delivers Huge Gains in a Small Package
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With the launch of the TRX Home2, you can truly bring the Navy SEAL-approved workout system home with you. The TRX Home2 is the ultimate at-home (or outdoor) workout tool. All you need is an anchor that will hold your weight; then you can break a sweat any time, any place. So I took the TRX home to see how it fared in a New York City apartment.
The Good: With the purchase of every TRX Home2 system comes a free 12-month membership to the TRX app’s cache of workouts. It’s relatively easy to set up, and the variety of exercises will keep you motivated for days. If you don’t have a gym membership, this could be your new go-to. With a five-year warranty and a TRX concierge, any help you need with setup or use is at your fingertips.
Who It’s For: Anyone looking for a way to stay active. The TRX Home2 is an efficient way to work every muscle in your body. It forces your body to work harder, thanks to its gravity-based bodyweight training. Since the TRX suspends your body in the air, your core is continuously firing. Pro athletes use it, but the workout is easy to adapt to any fitness level.
Watch Out For: If you’ve never used a TRX system before, I’d recommend checking out the ‘Find a Gym or Coach’ section in the app. While there are videos to accompany every single workout, feet placement and body alignment aren’t a major focus. It can be an intimidating tool to use at home without any human instruction, so to ensure you’re executing each move correctly, I recommend seeking out a coach as a beginner. A trainer can also help with modifications in case you have any injuries. One simple modification is to move closer or farther away from the anchor point.
During the app workouts, I struggled with the time provided to raise and lower the straps. There are three lengths: high, medium and low, but a typical workout has you swapping back and forth between them. Dropping the straps is a breeze, but getting them both back up to the highest point took me a few tries, and often longer than the 15 seconds provided. With time it gets more comfortable, but initially, your 15-minute workout might take 20 minutes with all the pauses to tweak the straps.
Alternatives: The at-home workout market is pretty saturated with DVDs and apps galore. And there are lots of machines that ‘come with’ an app that streams classes. In a similar vein to the TRX Home2, Peloton sells its bike, along with a membership to live and pre-recorded classes ($2,245 for the bike, $39/month subscription). Then there’s Mirror, a video device that looks just like a mirror that you install in your wall to work out ($1495 for the starter pack with fitness bands, HR monitor, wall mount and stand; $39/month subscription). And there’s also Tonal, another at-home workout tool that uses magnetic force to increase the weight you’re lifting ($2995 for the machine; $49/month subscription). It’s hard to find something of quality that’s as affordably priced as the TRX.
Review: I’ve used TRX straps in classes at Equinox, Orangetheory, Flex and Exceed Physical Culture in New York, so I’m familiar with how they work. But the straps have always been already set up for me, and finding a spot to hook them up myself was a little intimidating. It sat in a box for a while next to my bed because I wasn’t quite sure what to anchor it to, which in hindsight is silly — a door is the most accessible starting point.
From start to finish, it took 15 minutes — and that’s including hanging the straps, downloading the app, registering my set and activating my 12-month membership. Right out of the box, I downloaded the TRX app first on my iPad, which looked funny, so I swapped over to my phone and was welcomed by Randy Hetrick, a former Navy SEAL and the founder of TRX. While there is a small pamphlet on how to hang the straps, there aren’t explicit directions in the app or the box. It took me a few tries to figure out what exactly to connect to what. You can either use the suspension anchor or door anchor. I opted for the door anchor, which is no larger than a deck of cards but somehow managed to hold all of my weight.
The pamphlet in the box also includes step-by-step instructions for the seven basic movements that are repeated in a variety of ways throughout each of the workouts: Push, Pull, Plank, Rotate, Hinge, Lunge and Squat. The directions explain exactly where the straps should be, foot placement, how far to bend or lower, and where to keep your gaze. If you dedicate time to walk through the instructions, you’ll feel confident with any move. I breezed over this, simply because I’ve worked out on the TRX before, but for beginners, this is incredibly useful.
If you’ve used TRX before, or use it in a gym setting regularly, you can likely make up your workouts (rows, push-ups, plank holds, etc.). But if you’re looking for ideas, the app is a great way to mix it up. I was never bored of the workouts, thanks to six categories of activity (functional training, flexibility, cycling, high intensity, running and suspension workouts). The app also gives you the ability to schedule workouts, which range from 6 to 50 minutes. I loved that you could select a plan for the month and have the app remind you when it’s time to break a sweat.
Verdict: The TRX workouts are all bodyweight driven, and you can adjust the resistance with a step forward or backward. There’s no limit to how much you can challenge yourself, and thanks to a simple setup and ease of use, there are hardly any downsides. As someone who has been trying to lift weights and build strength more often, this is just the tool I needed. The variety of workouts in the app goes beyond suspension training with access to top trainers and athletes in their respective fields.
What Others Are Saying:
• “The best thing about the TRX is how light it is and the versatility of exercises you can use it for. There are a bunch of different exercises you can use the TRX with [that] you can’t use with any other piece of fitness equipment. Current or past injuries allow the TRX to be a fantastic substitute. With any kind of functional training, you’re treating your body as an entire connected system. This is a more efficient way to train, especially compared to machines when you treat your body as individual pieces.” — Josh Schlottman, Trainer Josh Fitness
• “TRX training is never boring. I was constantly blown away and excited about the endless exercises you can do [with] two simple straps. And while my gym training is usually more legs and stomach than it is arms, the TRX combined them all without me giving it much thought.” — Amy Packham, Huffington Post
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