Saturday, February 15, 2020

Why I Keep Loving TRX

I've loved TRX since the first day I tried it. I like that the straps provide support for body weight exercises and that level of difficulty is easily changed in most exercises by changing your position to the anchor point. I also like how it focuses on core strength even when you're not doing abdominal-exclusive exercises.

Body-Weight Rows at 34 Weeks
So when I decided to do some more strength training, I thought TRX would be the perfect option. I signed up for a six-week class at the Y.

I was very visibly pregnant at 29 weeks when I started, and I worried that an instructor would feel uncomfortable with me being in an exercise class that is atypical for pregnant women. I imagined the instructor would either tell me I couldn't participate or treat me much differently than the other participants, like I was injured or disabled.

But my worries were totally unfounded. When I arrived to the class, the instructor introduced herself and asked if I had any physical limitations she should know about (which she asked all participants). I pointed out the obviousthat I was pregnantbut explained that I have been doing TRX on and off for years and was confident I could do everything except possibly direct abdominal work like crunches. I assured her I knew modifications but would be open to her suggestions, too.

And she was great and I looked forward to the class every week, even when I was exhausted after work. She gave modification options to everyone for all exercises, so we all could pick and choose what worked best for us that day. She offered alternative abdominal exercises for me, like holding plank rather than doing mountain climbers. And she was warm and encouraging to all participants equally. I felt liked I belonged there and not like I was a burden on the instructor or other participants.

Body-Weight Rows at 34 Weeks
In past TRX classes, I would always try the most challenge variation to each exercise, added in the extra plyo, pushed myself to get my feet closer to the anchor point. So that was mentally challenging to accept that my body wasn't up for squat jumps or more horizontal rows.

It was also a bit mentally challenging to look at my new body shape in the mirror for the whole 45-minute class. Yes, I have a very pregnant belly, which is to be expected, and, yes, my breasts grew over three cup sizes, which was definitely not expected. But in the past 8 months, I've also lost a lot of muscle and put on some fat, which has changed my body shape.

And I am not saying this because I feel bad about my body or have body image issues. I am actually quite impressed with what my body has done and achieved in these past 8 months. I appreciate my body and I appreciated that I could keep up in class that helped me to build physical and mental strength and resilience.

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