Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Suspension Training-Where to Use your TRX or Jungle Gym XT

If you have finally taken made the commitment and added a suspension trainer to your workout equipment arsenal, good for you! If not, that’s okay, keep reading and you may yet decide a suspension training workout is worthy of your time. One of the key benefits of suspension trainers like the Jungle Gym XT and TRX (or a length of rope and some handles) is portability.

Take the trainer with you wherever you like and set up in seconds for a great workout, right? The store bought trainers even come with door anchors or ceiling mount fixtures for a permanent anchor. But how well can you really work it with your Jungle Gym anchored to a closed hotel door? How about if you are stuck in a building where you wouldn’t hang your robe on the door, much less suspend your body weight from it? Can these tools even be brought on the airplane?

Great Workouts Anywhere in the World

Beijing has been installing outdoor gyms for the public since 1998, and they are up to over 4,000. Located throughout the city in parks and other common area, the colorful equipment is free to use and suitable for any fitness level
Is a TRX or Jungle Gym really fitness anywhere? To answer this, we will take a look at three different scenarios. The big city hotel scenario; the camping/expedition trip and the office.

The BIG City
Guests in a big (or small) city hotel almost anywhere in the world will usually have access to some type of gym. Some, like the J.W. Marriot resort in the Phoenix area, have a good selection of dumbbells, stability balls and cardio equipment with ample room to workout. Others are still stuck in the stone ages. In either case, there is an advantage to being able to warm up and workout without setting foot in the gym, but don’t neglect checking it out; if there is a handy power rack to attach your suspension trainer to, it would be good to know.

If it doesn’t make sense to worry over where to hang your Jungle Gym when you can use thedoor anchor, consider this: The presence of the door will restrict the number and intensity of the exercises one can perform. To get flat on suspended pushups, horizontal on rows, or in an ideal position for plank reach-unders, it is best if there is open space beneath the anchorpoint.

To solve this problem, try this; assuming the hotel stairwell is accessible, find the bottom level. Ever noticed how there are always a maze of pipes and beams at some point in a stairwell? Find a solid one and anchor the Jungle Gym. You can also try anchoring to the stair handrails, either inside or outside if it is practical. Door anchors do allow the user to perform a challenging workout, but for a change of scenery or an added challenge, look outside the room.

I’m Outdoors Y’Know
Unless you are going climbing outdoors, having the TRX along will be a nice perk. Even if you are a climber, suspension training is a great cool down and perfect way to execute supported stretches. The beauty of living outdoors for a few days (in the wild, not your backyard,) is there are an endless number of places to anchor a suspension trainer.

Even hiking through the desert there will be a selection of mesquite trees and boulders. Searching for a solid one suitable to hang some nylon webbing and straps from should not be difficult. If all else fails, anchor to the luggage racks on the top of the car/truck; or how about the door? Yep, the door anchor will work there too. Be creative and you will be glad you packed the extra two pounds of equipment.


Australian Beach Culture

 The world famous Bondi Beach didn't open to the public until the government stepped in around 1882. Starting in 1906, the city had electric tram service to the beach, which continued until 1961. Then, as now, parking lots were packed with cars despite the tram service. The visit is well worth searching for parking, however. Bondi beach boasts beautiful sand and surf, trendy rows of shops and of course, awesome outdoor workout facilities.

Stuck in the Office
More and more people are realizing the benefits of getting out of the office chair and exercising during their work day. Even if it is only to do a brisk walk during the lunch hour, the benefits are worth the light sweat you build up. Get a group going and you can all be sweaty together! When you own a suspension trainer, you don’t have to settle for a walk or basic calisthenics, though. Like any modern building that has stairwells and a parking garage, there are many places to anchor.

Follow the guidelines above to find an anchor point in the stairwell, or look outside for a suitable spot. I used to work in a single story building with low ceilings and nothing but a carport outside. The steel beams of the carport turned out to be perfect for anchoring suspension straps from. I was able to do my workouts in the shaded outdoors.

Consider areas close by the office, as well. How about a fence? Is there a high loading dock with a stair rail that is always empty on your lunch hour? Have fun with it, and bring a towel to dry off before you go back to work.


The Famous Muscle Beach

Established in 1934, the original Muscle Beach was located in Santa Monica. It was closed in 1959 due to maintenance issues, but was restored and remains a popular destination for people who want to experience the 'flying rings' or just hit the chinup and parallel bars. The Venice Beach location has become the mecca of outdoor bodybuilding. It was established in 1951 and is still a top attraction today.


It is hard to imagine a scenario where suspension training is not a viable mode of exercise. Considering the low price tag and light weight, you won't even know it's there; until it is time to use it.

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