As Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners, it’s important to find ways to stay fit while traveling. We’ve all had the experience of returning to our Jiu Jitsu academy after a prolonged absence due to travel, work, or family commitments. Therefore, I’m always searching for ways to exercise while on the road.
I recently purchased the TRX GO Suspension Training Kit and finally had an opportunity to use it on a business trip. I just returned from a trip to Los Angeles, where I had the opportunity to use the TRX GO in my hotel room about every other day. In this review I’ll share a few of my initial thoughts.
When I travel, I often don’t have time to do a proper workout at the hotel gym every day, and my schedule doesn’t always allow me to find a local Jiu Jitsu academy where I can train. Therefore, I’m always searching for a good way to get in a quality workout in limited amount of time. Sometimes just taking the elevator down to the gym and back can eat up 10 minutes, so any workout I can do in my hotel room saves valuable time. I have a routine of bodyweight exercises that I do when I travel, but without a pull-up bar I’m not able to effectively get in pulling exercises, so I was very eager to try TRX.
The TRX suspension training system was created by a former Navy SEAL as a way to get in a full body workout while on deployment in places where there wasn’t access to gym equipment. As the concept caught on, he turned it into a very successful and wildly popular product, which can now be found in gyms around the world and is used by amateur and professional athletes from many disciplines.
The TRX GO Suspension Training Kit is the entry level suspension kit and sells for $99.95 on Amazon. The product arrived neatly boxed and comes with a convenient carrying pouch which I found perfect for travel. Weighing just one pound, I didn’t have to worry about the weight of my suitcase when traveling and the convenient size made the unit extremely easy to pack. I did a lot of research on the various training kits, which range in price from $99.95 to $229.95. I discovered that I chose wisely and that as an occasional exercise tool for travel, the entry level model suited me just fine.
The first time I used the TRX GO Suspension Training Kit in my hotel room it was easy to anchor it in place over the hotel room door. I decided to follow one of the workouts included in the iOS TRX app I downloaded. The workout I did consisted of several circuits in carefully timed sequences and the app provided timing for reps, rest, and for adjusting the TRX trainer to the next exercise.
In general, the workout was more strenuous than what I expected, though I frequently had to interrupt the workout to take time to figure out how to do the next exercise. The app does include videos and instructions for each exercise, but it certainly interrupts the flow if it’s necessary to learn from the videos while trying to get in a workout. Even with this minor setback, I could see great potential in the product.
The next time I went to use the TRX trainer, I tried a different approach. Instead of going through the cycle of 24 exercises in my chosen workout, I decided to create my own workout based on the exercises listed in the materials included with the unit. I chose a push, a pull, a hip hinge, a squat, and something for abs in order to create a full body exercise. Instead of doing each exercise for a specific time period, I focused on a specific type of movement for an appropriate number of sets and reps. I also did the exercises slowly and controlled enough to allow me to focus on proper form.
Although I didn’t get the cardio benefits of following the TRX video, by choosing simpler exercises that I could master quickly and by doing fewer exercises while focusing on proper form, I found the workout to be very beneficial. I would recommend any new TRX user to follow this method. Just focus on doing a few exercises and do them with perfect form rather than try to take on a huge variety of moves that are unfamiliar and new. Eventually, we can work up to doing any of the entire sequences in the TRX online workouts.
On my recent trip, I did go to the hotel gym on alternate days to do some cardio on the treadmill or the elliptical, and on my off days I went to a local Jiu Jitsu academy to train. The end result is that I found that I was able to stay reasonably on top of my fitness even though I was traveling for business. The great advantage of TRX is that you can do any number of different types of workouts, whether for strength, core, conditioning, etc. and all with a single piece of equipment in the privacy of your hotel room.
I found it to be extremely helpful to not have to be concerned with creating a new workout based around the equipment available to me at the hotel gym. When traveling on business, it’s not always possible to devote as much time and energy to our workouts as we would at home, so being able to use familiar equipment is a huge bonus.
I’m very pleased with my new purchase and I highly recommend the TRX GO Suspension Training Kit to anyone with a busy travel schedule. It’s a fantastic way to stay fit with limited time and resources.