John Schriffen checks out a new workout born of actual Navy Seals training.
I really thought I was in pretty good shape. I am, after all, a yoga instructor. I run and box multiple days a week (like real boxing in a ring, not this cardio kickboxing stuff).
But taking the TRX Suspension class at the Washington Sports Club is pretty much ... torture.
Picture this: a big, metal A-frame (i.e. torture device) with these special cords and handles hanging down. The ever-bubbly instructor, Libby Linden Rubin, teaches you how to maneuver the cords to change their length depending on the exercise.
Well, that’s where the torture begins.
I admit, I’m not the most coordinated person, but quickly adjusting those straps is HARD! Why is this so difficult, and I haven’t even started? Why isn’t anyone else in the class having a problem? This does not bode well.
The fact that TRX was born out of actual Navy SEALS training should have been a dead giveaway. Advocates say this type of training helps you build strength, flexibility and balance. That’s because all the exercises involve using your own body weight.
Sometimes you’re working upper body, doing bicep curls or tricep extensions, holding on to the handles as you lean your body back. Other times your hands are on the floor, feet suspended, doing push-ups or even worse, mountain climbers.
Of course, there are lots of variations on squats, lunges and planks. You name it and Libby can work it into TRX; and depending on your fitness level, you can modify the exercises to make them easier or more difficult.
There were times in this workout when I felt like a rock star. At other times -- not so much.
I couldn’t figure out where to put my feet. I fell on my face at least once. There were other times when I couldn’t find stability and I felt a little like Tarzan on a vine.
Two hours after I completed our workout, and I was well on my way to soreness. I knew I was going to feel this in my core, hips and legs and, let’s face it, probably in my upper body, too.
But if that isn’t the sign of a good workout, I don’t know what is...
Lauren Dunn is the medical producer for NBC Washington.