Thrive: Watch Out for Day Two

Developed by Navy SEALS, TRX uses gravity and your body weight for a total workout.

photo by john altdorfer

It’s about the time I can feel my arms begin to rubberize when I’m assured that, in all likelihood, I won’t wake up tomorrow feeling too bad. 

“It’s day two you have to watch out for,” says Eddie Pavlick, a certified TRX instructor. “Just drink lots of water and maybe take an ibuprofen.”

It’s clear the Navy SEALS weren’t fooling around when they developed TRX — or Total Body Resistance Exercise — as a quick-and-dirty strengthening program leveraging gravity and one’s own body weight. 

“They wanted something to do on deployment so they designed it around using their parachute straps that they’d hang from trees,” Pavlick says. 

We’re divided into two groups. One group hits the station circuits while the other heads over to the rowing machines for a 14-minute cardio blast. On Pavlick’s cue, we’ll switch sides. 

There are 15 of us in the 7:15 p.m. class, which I’m told fills up as quickly as a 5 a.m. class. Stenciled on the wall in big, orange letters is the word S-W-E-A-T. This apparently is an omen. Within five minutes, we’re all huffing. 

Our stations revolve primarily around the TRX Trainers — i.e. suspended gymnastic rings — where we’ll execute a deadlift to a press, split squat hoisting a matching set of kettlebells, hip hinge to a kick out, single-arm pull side to side, in addition to push-ups and walk backs, burpees with a 20-pound medicine ball and a seated curl to a press. We’re to remain at each station for one minute. 

“Ready…. Set….” Pavlick calls out under the glow of overhead strobe lights and a disco ball, music thumping. 

Relying heavily on core and arm strength, each station takes full advantage of working muscles I always thought I was hitting with my usual gym routine until I can feel them start to revolt. Triceps, biceps, forearms: I can feel them all getting obliterated.    

While I wonder how many TRX’ers have offered prayers to the giant Buddha in the front window as I grunt through my rowing circuit. Pavlick remains a steady source of positive reinforcement, deftly providing an assist to anyone in need.  

“You’ll be able to move tomorrow,” he smiles. “I promise.” 

Verdict: Punishing, but one class leaves you feeling remarkably firm with only minor muscle aches felt a few days after.

California Cycle Path, 3635 California Ave., Brighton Heights;
412/761-1671, First class free, then $15/single class
or $75/month unlimited. Online reservations recommended.

Eat This Month

Kimchi, or fermented vegetables, is a nutritional powerhouse, says Lauri Lang, a registered dietitian-nutritionist. The “Journal of Medicinal Food” cites health benefits of this vegetable probiotic as anticancer and anti-obesity; it also can help reduce cholesterol and boost the immune system. There is no recommended daily serving although one tablespoon to ½ cup is standard. Recipes typically include garlic, ginger and red pepper powder. “Kick scrambled eggs up a notch, try in salads, sandwiches, wraps and stews,” Lang says.

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