By Linda Kirkland
When I first heard that navy seal Randy Hetrick invented TRX Suspension Training in 1995 to provide an exercise regime for himself while on military tour, I thought this might not be for my dancer body. I prefer smooth, fluid movement that does not put impact on my joints and is simultaneously challenging and effective in promoting toned, lean muscle. I was pleasantly surprised. Although popular with professional athletes, and all forms of the military, I learned that physical therapists also use TRX for rehabilitation.
While waiting to take the class, not knowing what to expect, I spoke with a professional fitness trainer, a well known TV actress (who shall remain nameless), a business women (returning to fitness after her pregnancy), a yogi, and an out of condition CEO who wanted to get back into shape after gaining a significant amount of weight. What they all shared was the desire to be empowered in their lives by being fit. TRX is a growing culture among fitness enthusiasts who want to have fun while exercising and see results. Think weight lifting meets Pilates. It requires that your mind and body work together.
You probably have not seen anything like this before. A nylon strap is suspended from the ceiling. The strap is divided into two separate parts, each meant for the left and right side of your body. You grip the handle of the left and right straps with your left and right hands and hook the two loops provided to the instep of the corresponding foot. As the strap has no elasticity, you are using your own body weight to create the tension needed to work your muscle. There is no cheating and the instructor knows if your strap is not tight and you are compensating.
We started with a warm-up to wake up the muscles and give the heart rate a boost. Mine stayed at 70-85% of my maximal heat rate for the complete hour. Gladly, the class was aerobic enough to burn off the extra fat and calories I had splurged on the night before.
We moved on to the lower body: legs, butt, abs and lastly upper body targeting biceps, those droopy triceps, shoulders, chest and back. Some of the moves are reminiscent of weight exercises but there are important differences: every part of your body is engaged as you go through the series of exercises. It is fast paced, you are always moving, and there are no breaks to change equipment or weights. I know that squats are great for my glutes, but I had gotten bored and was not exercising my glutes enough to achieve that toned, rounded shape I wanted. I needed something new and that is what I got. Combining a squat with a back row, a compound exercise, I was forced to maintain my body’s stability and balance by using my core and consciously focus on proper body alignment to target specific muscles. It almost felt like a dance class because there is a constant natural body flow. My soreness two days later let me know that some of those exercises hit the intended parts of my body as my butt, hamstrings and stomach were sore, but the soreness felt soooo good.
My instructor Terrell was upbeat, motivating and inspiring. I’ve always believed the instructor’s body is the best example of the results the fitness method can provide. If that is the case, I can clearly see how the system of TRX Suspension Training develops strength, flexible, lean muscle.
The TRX Class was given at Nimble Fitness. This facility is the best-kept secret in Manhattan…but not for long. The three owners Danile Lucas, Keith Paine and Antonio Sini sincerely care about the physical and emotional well being of their clients. For this reason, they have successfully developed a large, loyal following without advertising or requiring yearly membership fees. They encourage people to be self-sufficient and their clientele, new and old, continue to come. Each of the three Nimble Boys have developed, through 15 years of study and experience, their own personal approach to fitness and together they developed a wide spectrum of integrated programming for their clients. What they share is a passionate about fitness and helping people achieve harmony in their lives.
One-on-one-sessions are available, which can mean, working with individuals from recovery to performance to reach peak condition. E ach session contains: anatomy education, detailed explanation of personalized exercise choice, body alignment, and life coaching on nutrition and healthy lifestyle. Nimble Fitness has a modem, interdisciplinary approach to fitness incorporating mind, body and spirit, which really resonated with me.
After my sweaty workout I showered in the ladies dressing room, a clean, white, tranquil space with a large mirror. Better to view my body that I just worked to hard to perfect. Wrapped in a large fluffy white towel (mmm…) and I asked a young woman to share her thoughts about her experience at Nimble. “What I get from Nimble Fitness is having an educated team of professionals to look after my health and well-being. For me that is what makes Nimble a truly life-changing place. They have guided me to a much healthier, calmer way of living.” A glowing recommendation indeed!
It does not surprise me that Nimble Fitness may be the only private gym in Manhattan to provide TRX classes and TRX training for professionals who wish to be certified to teach. Being a New Yorker who prides herself in being in the know, I am impressed when a business keeps striving to invent the trends with knowledge and creativity. The facility has developed TRX classes, combining intervals of kettle bells, indoor cycling and Pilates. Nimble Fitness is filled with a lot of positive energy and it’s a very friendly environment. Whether you are looking for a relaxing yoga session or a heart pounding cardio workout in a spin class, Nimble has it all. Classes and private sessions can be purchased individually or in packages. See the site for more details.
42 East 12th St.
New York, NY