Friday, June 12, 2009

The Infamous TRX Workout Phase 4: This Time It's For Real

I did TRX Metabolic Circuit A for the first time yesterday. Almost 24 hours ago, in fact. And only now can I bring myself to speak of it, which tells you something right there.

In a perfect world, here's how the workout would have gone:

Single leg jump squats, 45 sec. each leg
Atomic pushup matrix, 45 sec.
Elevated low row, 45 sec.
Crossover balance jump lunge, 45 sec each leg
Side plank with hip drop and reach through, 45 sec each side

No rest between exercises, 2 min. rest between circuits, 3 circuits total.

In practice, there's really no way to keep working continuously for 6 minutes straight. Even if you're pretty good with the TRX you inevitably are going to need a few seconds to shorten up the straps for the rows and get your feet in the cradles for the side planks. The idea here is simply to try to keep that transition time to the absolute minimum.

(Note: if you need to take time out to vomit at any point, that's going to add to your transition time as well. Just sayin' :))

Here's what I thought of the workout:

This was brutal. No two ways about it. I'm pretty tough, don't especially fear plyometrics, and can handle a good bit of pain. But 45 seconds straight of single leg jump squats was frankly too much for me. I did my best, then transitioned to regular single leg squats to finish out the work period.

I also had to modify the atomic pushup matrix a bit. In a perfect world this would have consisted of an oblique jackknife to the right, a pushup, an oblique jackknife to the left, a pushup, and then a jackknife to the center and a pushup--and that's all one rep. The suggested modification is to leave out some of the pushups, and that's what I ended up doing. The other possibility would have been to slow down my tempo, but I chose not to do that because I think it would've made the workout less "metabolic"

The suggested modification for the elevated low rows is to do them without the feet elevated, and I did some of that as well. Again, I was choosing to keep up my tempo rather than stick with the most difficult version of the exercise; if this had been a strength workout I would've chosen differently.

With the jump lunges I ran into the same problem as with the jump squats, but you knew that.

The side planks were tragic, but they always are. I think my hip drops were a quarter-inch max ... and I may be giving myself too much credit! Also, for some reason when I'm changing sides my feet always seem to get twisted up in the cradles so I can't just move seamlessly from one side to the other. It only takes a second or two to get myself straightened out again, but it definitely adds to the general feeling of physical incompetence that I'm usually experiencing at this point in the workout.

Oh, and the two minutes between circuits went very fast indeed. After the first time through I really did not want to do it again, but of course I did. And after two times through I only had one more to go, so what the hell.

I wish I'd thought to wear my heart rate monitor because I definitely felt as though I was sucking wind at various points in the workout. Lactic acid buildup during the jump squats and jump lunges was an issue as well.

Can't wait to do it again next week. Okay, that's a filthy lie.

Workout B promises to be even worse. Can you say, "suspended burpees"?