London Fitness: TRX training

The other week, my Class Pass adventures took me to Transition Zone in Parsons Green for a Power Plates class. The class was good but I did struggle (as per usual) and some of the exercises on the vibrating plate did make me feel a tad nauseous. However, I did really like the studio. When The Flatmate and I turned up for our class, we saw people in the middle of a TRX (total resistance exercise) class. 

TRX involves suspension training. Basically, you have a kind of rope that hangs off a metal bar. At the end of the ropes are two loops, for either your hands or your feet. You then use your own bodyweight to do various exercises. It looked tough but kinda cool so The Flatmate and I signed up for a class. After all, I really need to work on my arm muscles.

Parsons Green is a bit of a hike from Streatham Hill. I mean, if we had a car it would take no time at all but since transport across south London is nicht gut we instead had to get a bus and two tubes. Still we like the studio so it’s worth the trip. We arrived early and hurried in from the freezing cold outside. After we signed in, we seated ourselves at the wooden table at the front of the studio, waiting for our class to start.

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We started to watch a Power Plates class take place and it was weird to see it from this different perspective. I remember the power plate vibrating kinda violently and the exercises being really strenuous but, from a distance, we couldn’t even see the people’s legs vibrating. The plate didn’t look like it was moving at all and the exercises looked pretty mild. If we didn’t know different from experience, we would have thought it was a very straight forward class. Don’t be fooled.

Finally, it was ready for our class to start. There were five of us in total and we were the only newbies. We did some exercises standing where we used the rope to do squats, pull ups and lunges. I found these exercises hard but the guy opposite me was quite stacked and, judging by his face, he was finding them hard too. That made me feel a lot better.

We also did groundwork, which involved putting our feet in the stirrups. That was difficult in itself. When up, it was hard to keep balanced. If you put too much force on one foot, the rope would pull down and the other foot would be pulled up.

Doing these groundwork exercises really made me realise how weak my lower back is. I did know that before but this was really bad. It was fine when I had to do press ups and put my knees on the floor but when I was trying to do a plank on my forearms with my feet up in the rope my lower back just collapsed. Helpfully, after the class, I was able to ask the instructor for some tips and he gave me some exercises I can do at home to strengthen my back and my core generally.

We didn’t spend the whole class doing suspension training. Halfway through we stepped away from the ropes and split into two teams. The first team repeated a series of exercises while the other did squats while lifting a 8kg kettlebell. That doesn’t sound like much but trust me it was heavy, particularly when you’re already tired. When the first team had completed their circuits, the second team could stop and we’d switch.

This is where I really started to struggle. I can’t lift weights and the circuits were exhausting. One exercise involved jumping continuously over a bar on the ground. The bar didn’t look high up at all but I could not stop catching it with my foot.

I think I need to start jogging/interval training again to get my stamina up again. That’s annoying because I was trying to avoid having to do that – I prefer my Class Pass classes as a form of exercise. They are much less boring/not boring at all actually.

All in all it was a very good class but it made me realise that I do need to start doing daily exercise of some form. Obviously doing three classes a week will help with my fitness but doing Class Pass means that often you are doing different things and working different muscles as opposed to focussing on one area. The classes also demand a certain basic level of fitness in themselves if you really want to get the most out of them, which is what I am missing. But I do know what I have to do. I have put some (light) weights on my Christmas list and I WILL start running again (she says unconvincingly, realising how cold it is outside). One way or another, I am going to get fit and actually be able to do the groundwork exercises in the TRX class.

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