How Soldiers at Fort Bragg Benefitted from Training on the TRX Suspension System

An exercise class using the TRX suspension system is held at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.
Members of Team Whiteman stretch at the Total Body Resistance Exercise (TRX) class using the TRX suspension trainers at the fitness center at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, Aug. 8, 2017. (Airman Taylor Phifer/U.S. Air Force photo)

On April 30, Fitness Anywhere Inc. (FAI) went to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for two days to educate the 82nd Airborne Division on suspension training in support of a sale of more than 3,000 TRX Force Training Units to the division's MWR (Morale, Welfare, Recreation).

More than one hundred soldiers and unit fitness leaders from the 82nd Airborne Division were chosen to receive the TRX orientations to get familiarized with the proper set-up and use of the TRX suspension trainers. In turn, these soldiers will train unit members who are preparing to deploy so that they will be able to train overseas effectively.

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Ken Taylor and Joe Martin from FAI conducted four three-hour orientations for the soldiers over two days. They instructed how to perform each of the 22 exercises from the TRX Military Fitness Program, a 12-week integrated program of functional strength and cardiovascular training designed to prepare for the physical demands of military service. This challenging training program is included in the TRX Force Training Kit.

While most traditional fitness products use plate weights, elastic or pulleys for resistance, the TRX suspension trainer instead employs the user's body weight and simple physics to create an unlimited range of resistance and complete range of functional motion across hundreds of exercises.

Basically an industrial-grade harness of soft nylon webbing, the TRX suspension trainer allows users to suspend their bodies safely in a variety of positions and to adjust resistance from 5% to 100% of their body weight. This variability of resistance levels allows users of all abilities to create a total-body workout that delivers strength, flexibility and core stability all at once.

All that is required is an anchor point sturdy enough to support an individual\'s body weight, such as a door, crossbar, jeep, tank or even a tree limb. The TRX travels easily in a mesh bag and weighs less than two pounds. The TRX Force Training Kits equipping the 82nd Airborne Division will enable the soldiers to maintain peak physical condition while deployed in locations that have little or no fitness resources.

FAI's ties to the military are deep, as former Navy SEAL squadron commander and CEO of Fitness Anywhere, Randy Hetrick, created the TRX (Total-body Resistance eXercise) system for maintaining peak physical condition while on deployment in the most remote and resource-deprived parts of the world.

Hetrick's first designs used parachute materials looped over a beam or tree to allow for basic movements such as rows and presses. These early prototypes quickly proliferated as fellow SEALs took them on deployments and began discovering new strength exercises and functional movements, thereby expanding the range of capability to train the entire body.

As Hetrick saw increasing enthusiasm among his friends both in uniform and out, it became clear that this new way of working out was not just a tool for military personnel, but a highly effective athletic training and mainstream fitness solution.

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