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How to Build Real Strength with a TRX or Jungle Gym XT
Recently I read an article on the TRX website that struck a familiar chord with me. It addressed some of the techniques experienced powerlifting coaches have used to build world-class strength. Part of their program included using a suspension trainer like the TRX.
This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been through a challenging suspension training workout. The TRX is tougher than it looks, and can help you build serious strength.
TRX Powerlifting Training
To build world class strength with the TRX, these powerlifting coaches had their athletes use an extended range of motion that eliminated tension, then as the trainee became accustomed to this, they added external resistance such as a weighted vest or sandbag.
Put it into Action
What this means in practice is best explained by using an example. From a suspended chest press position, bring yourself to the point of maximum tension, where you are about to press up.
Then exhale, relax and let yourself stretch past this max tension point. From there, initiate the chest press. This slight adjustment takes away any stored energy, forcing the muscles to work harder.
This same technique can be used for all angles of pushing exercises, and was even used effectively for the high pull and hamstring curl.
Another good exercise choice for this technique is the row. No matter what angle you use to do a TRX row, exhaling and stretching beyond the point of tension is a simple step that makes the movement harder to execute, and more work for your muscles means more muscle growth and more strength.
Make it Harder
To add external resistance to pushing and pulling exercises, a weighted vest is ideal. Some vests go up to 200 lbs and higher. For the hamstring curl or hip bridge, a carefully placed sandbag adds resistance exactly where you need it.
You might wonder "why not just lift free weights if the TRX gets too easy?" The simple answer is function. Suspension training uses multiple muscle groups and engages the entire core in almost every exercise. Imagine cranking that intensity up with a weighted vest or ankle and wrist weights! The effects will be amazing.
Try this technique today and take your suspension training strength workouts to the next level!
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