During the winter months, it is no secret that I like to pull out the weight room workouts from the powerlifting days and get strong -- even add muscle mass. Some people however prefer to stay lean but would like to build some lean muscle mass while getting stronger. For years, I have been a fan of suspension training and usually use it with our high rep calisthenics phases in the spring / summer. This winter, I am adding to the lift cycle and wearing a weight vest with the TRX on some exercises, though there are many that are tough enough without the added weight.
If you do not have access to barbells, or prefer to not use them with a standard powerlifting day (squats, dead lifts, power cleans, even bench press), try this routine: Warmup with a light PT / Jog pyramid: We usually do this on a basketball court, but you can try it with any large room or go outdoors in the yard / driveway, etc.
Run 25m – do 1 pushup / 1 squat Run 25m – do 2 pushups / 2 squats Run 25m – do 3 pushups / 3 squats…. Continue going up the pyramid until 10 pushups / 10 squats. *note you can also do some dynamic stretches in the 25m distance like butt kickers, side steps, high knees, Frankenstein walks, karaoke, or just run… etc. Once you get to level 10, you do not need to repeat in reverse order -- this is just a 5-10 minute warmup that will prepare you for your lifts or other exercises.
Full body Movements with TRX - You will see that these will replicate bending down and lifting something to you working the legs, upper back, core, and arms: Repeat 3 times TRX squat / rows 10 TRX squat / high rows 10 TRX squat / wide rows 10 TRX one legged lunge 10/leg Upper body / Core Exercises - Add in some upper body exercise with core focus and you will see a big difference in the muscles that you did not know you had the following day. Personally, these first two exercises alone have made my back stronger and feel just as I did twenty years ago – probably healthier. Repeat 3 times
Of course, all of these exercises are more difficult when you add a weight vest. That is really the goal of the winter lift cycle -- to reduce the high repetitions of previous phases and rebuild the joints with lower repetition / moderate to heavy weight. In the end, you will build muscle.
Keep up the cardio too - Usually, during the sinter phase, we drop it a notch on the long mile running and resort to more swimming with fins (great leg day) and non-impact cardio options. It is still fine to run, but do not try to peak on your miles during this lift cycle. We typically drop the miles by 50-75 percent and do 10-15 miles a week maximum -- sometimes less. It just depends on your immediate / near future goals.
Good luck. Enjoy adding suspension training into your world of weights and / or calisthenics.