Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Infamous TRX Workout--Phase 2

Here's a quick overview of Phase 2: basically, the strength workouts are the same as in Phase 1, while the TRX conditioning workouts are somewhat more challenging both in terms of exercise selection and duration of rest periods. Basically, harder exercises and less rest.

Today I did TRX Conditioning Workout A. The exercises are a progression of the ones introduced during Phase 1:

single leg squats, 30 sec. each side
atomic pushups with a full pike instead of a jackknife, 30 sec.
deep rows. 30 sec.
crossover instead of regular balance lunges, 30 sec. each side
suspended side planks with hip dip, 30 sec. each side.

The prescribed rest periods were 30 seconds between exercises, 2 minutes between circuits. The circuit is meant to be repeated 3 times in Week 1 and 4 times in Week 2.

Here are my thoughts about the workout:

I found the atomic pushups with full pike to be very challenging but doable. The crossover balance lunges were a nice variation but not significantly more difficult than doing regular balance lunges where the leg goes straight back. (Note: if you have trouble picturing a crossover balance lunge, just think of an old-fashioned curtsey where the back leg crosses behind. It helps if you pretend you're at a debutante ball, wearing a big white dress and long gloves :)). The suspended side planks with hip dips were simply vile, and nothing helped with those.

I ended up taking about the full 30 seconds rest allowed between exercises, but found a minute's rest to be plenty between circuits. I'm not Superwoman or anything, but I'm quite familiar with metabolic resistance training and I've developed a certain amount of specific fitness for this sort of thing. It's the SAID principle at work. Give your body a reason to change, and it changes :)

For more details and a video demonstration of the exercises, go to John Berardi's blog on the Precision Nutrition website:

Three times through the circuit took me about 20 minutes, so I had a little time left for some kettlebell fun. I did 2-handed swings with 14kg, 10 sets of 20, and cleans with 8 kg, 10 sets of 10 each side, alternating exercises. Since I had 20 minutes in which to do 20 sets, I started each set at the top of the minute, then rested in whatever time I had left. My cadence was quite consistent throughout: the 20 swings took about 30 seconds and the 10 cleans each side took just over 40. I was pleased that my wrist stayed straight and strong on every clean, but there still was some clankage as opposed to a nice smooth swivel.

Then it was off to work to annoy some clients, and after that an hour and a half of ballet.

It occurs to me that while lots of people use the TRX, and lots train with kettlebells, and lots dance en pointe. there probably are not too terribly many people who do all three. On the same day.

I've got more pointe tomorrow, so I guess I should wait until Friday to deadlift :)