TRX training looks both mad and exciting. The trapeze-like design reminds me of a children’s playground, filled with bumble-bee coloured straps to swing around on. The idea is that you suspend yourself from these straps and do a range of exercises designed to improve your strength, balance and flexibility.
Simple? Maybe. I’ve only ever used TRX straps as part of a circuits class before, so I’m keen to find out whether an entire hour of bodyweight challenges are varied enough for those – like myself – used to fitness classes that rely on more than just one piece of equipment.
Dr Frances H Mikuriya, founder and director of the brand new TRX fitness studio on Kensington High Street, Body Machine (and also the TRX master trainer taking my class), is full of peppy energy – despite the fact she’s come directly from teaching a spin class. “Everyone grab a rope,” she says, signalling at the yellow and black TRX straps hanging from the ceiling. “We’re going to do a quick warm up.”
We start with a series of tricep presses, where you basically have to trust gravity and lean forwards, creating a long angle with your body. You then extend your arms in front of you, then bend them to a 90-degree angle, before pushing yourself back to the starting position.
From there, things only get harder. Lunges, jumping squats and bicep curls all make an appearance. She even gets us to try a one-legged squat – where you basically balance on one leg and keep the other straight out in front of you as you use the TRX handles for support and lower yourself as close to the ground as possible, without falling over. It’s fast-paced, and the only time we break to catch our breath is when Dr Mikuriya pauses to explain the next exercise. It doesn’t take long for the lactic acid to start building (and burning) in my quads.