I know most cops are gear guys. We’re always looking for that certain gadget or tool that will make our lives easier while making us look cool at the same time. As cops we need to maintain our fitness level to be able to do the job and make it home each day. In that regard, I’ve been field testing a fitness product that satisfies all of the above. It’s called the TRX Suspension Trainer, and the product I’ve been using is the TRX Force Kit: Tactical.
What does TRX stand for? Total Body Resistance Exercise. TRX was invented by a Navy Seal. He needed a way to keep himself and his fellow SEALS in top shape no matter where they were in the world, whether conducting a mission or standing by. Since all of their deployments are covert in nature, the SEALS can’t just walk into a gym for a workout. Thus the TRX was born.
So what is this training system all about? It consists of two adjustable nylon straps with handles and foot cradles attached to each strap. What’s really cool about this simple apparatus is that you can use it anywhere, indoors or out. Simply attach the system to a secure anchor point, e.g., a door, a hook on the wall, a tree or fence—you can hang this trainer anywhere. I’ve attached it to a swing set at the local park and used it for circuit training.
The Force Kit: Tactical comes in an all-weather nylon bag (with cell phone and key pockets) you can wear on a run, (weighs only 1.5 pounds) along with a door anchor and Xtender strap. If you’re like me and run through the woods, just stop and find a suitable tree, hang the strap and start training. To get you started and introduce you to the myriad exercises and stretches available, TRX provides training DVDs and an instructional guide and chart. Once you get the hang of how to use the suspension trainer, you can view a host of videos about TRX training on YouTube if you tire of the ones provided on the DVD. If you are a person who needs structure or direction, the guide includes different phases that focus on flexibility and strength.
I travel frequently around North America teaching classes and doing demos. Therefore, I spend an inordinate amount of time in hotels. Unless you’re staying at a resort, most fitness rooms at hotels are more like closets with a treadmill and a TV mounted on the wall. The TRX has solved my workout problem in that regard. The door anchor simply attaches over the door to my room, no hooks or screws required. I can either do a TRX workout from the guide or make up my own. I’ve also played and followed a YouTube TRX workout on my laptop. Good stuff. What’s worked well for me on the road is to get a run in and then come back to the hotel room for a 15 minute TRX strength workout.
By the way, if you are planning on using your TRX outdoors, don’t worry about getting it dirty or using it in harsh climates. There are no moving parts or pieces that can fail, and the nylon straps and rubber handles clean off easily.
Our job in law enforcement means we have to be tactical athletes. That means we have to be mobile and strong to win the battles the bad guys throw our way. Many of us train one-dimensionally. By that I mean we confine ourselves to running, others swear by weight training, and some like to bike or swim. What’s unique about TRX Suspension Training is that it allows you to do more than 400 exercises that include flexibility, stretches, core strength and balance, while working on your cardio at the same time. Pretty impressive.
The ability to use this trainer anywhere makes it ideal for law enforcement. With TRX you don’t even need to leave your house and the equipment doesn’t take up any space. That’s important for those of you who live in apartments and condos. TRX is simple to use. You can increase the weight or resistance simply by changing body position, which makes this tool great for both beginners and advanced exercisers. And for those of you who love to pump iron, you can still do specific exercises that target chest, triceps, biceps, etc., while working your core at the same time.