Precision Nutrition Blog

The Infamous TRX Workout – Phase 2

by John Berardi, Ph.D.

Want to give the “Infamous TRX Program” a try? Well, here’s your chance. JB, Alwyn Cosgrove, and Fraser Quelch collaborated to make this program one to remember. Rev that metabolism and get in awesome shape – fast.

The TRX experiment

As many of you know, here at PN we have an ongoing research program called “Precision Nutrition Informal Experiments.” And through this program we get to ask (and answer) some really cool supplement, training, and nutrition questions; questions like the following:

Supplement questions

  • Do greens supplements really help improve your body’s acid/base balance?
  • Can specific enzyme supplements really reduce muscle soreness after a hard workout?
  • Does creatine ethyl ester really promote better strength and size gains than creatine monohydrate?

Training questions

  • When you’ve already got a good strength training program in place, are intervals really better than steady state cardio for losing weight?
  • Do you really get a better workout after doing dynamic stretching vs. static stretching?
  • For a better max effort bench press or deadlift, should you warm up by moving light loads rapidly or heavy loads slowly?

Other questions

  • Does your personality impact your ability to build muscle and gain fat?
  • Does intermittent fasting lead to better body composition changes than simply eating less food?
  • Does cooking your veggies lead to less GI distress than eating them raw?

And recently, with the help of reknowned coaches Alwyn Cosgrove and Fraser Quelch we asked a couple of interesting questions that lead to a brand new Informal Experiment measuring weight loss and performance in 3 different training groups:

Group 1
2days strength training, 2 days steady state cardio

Group 2
2 days strength training, 2 days interval cardio

Group 3
2 days strength training, 2 days TRX conditioning circuits

What’s a TRX?

Before getting further into the experiment, at this point, many of you may be wondering what’s a TRX conditioning circuit. Well, the TRX is a suspension training tool developed by a company called Fitness Anywhere.

Basically the TRX suspension trainer is a special set of straps and handles that allow for portable, body-weight based training that can help build strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability for people of all fitness levels.

Here’s a quick video of the TRX in action.

Truth is, I’m a huge fan of the TRX. It’s great for outdoor workouts when the weather is nice, it’s great for training when you’re on the road, and it’s perfect for home gyms. So, in the end, if you don’t have one, I highly recommend picking one up through the Fitness Anywhere website (link below). It’s well worth the investment.

Ok, back to the study

Now, you’re probably wondering what happened with the study I mentioned above. The one comparing steady state exercise to intervals to TRX circuits. Well, forgive me. I’ve gotta be a bit of a tease today.

You see, the data are still rolling in. And I’m working on the final analysis as you read this. So I don’t have the full study write-up complete yet. However, I promise a complete report will be posted in the next week or two. All the details of what happened and why will be available at that time.

However, I do have something for you today.

You see, over the last 8 weeks or so, I’ve gotten countless emails from folks clamoring to try out what’s now become known as the “Infamous TRX Workout!” So, today I want to share with you the exact program used in our study. This way, even if you weren’t part of the lucky 60 people who got to participate, you can now give the workout a try yourself.

Workout overview

To begin with, you obviously need a TRX suspension trainer to follow along with this program. As you’ll see in the videos below, the metabolic circuits, designed to pump up your metabolic rate and improve your conditioning are done exclusively on the TRX trainer. So here’s how you can get one: TRX Suspension Trainer

With that out of the way, this program is 8 weeks in duration and it’ll require you to exercise 4 days per week. Here’s what your workout split will look like.

Monday
Strength Workout A

Tuesday
TRX Workout A

Thursday
Strength Workout B

Friday
TRX Workout B

Note: You can adjust the workout to better accommodate your own personal schedule. Just be sure to get all 4 workouts done each week.

Finally, the workout is split up into 4 x 2 week phases. I outlined Phase 1 previously (click here for Phase 1).   And in this article today, I’ll outline Phase 2.

TRX Program Phase 2 – Weeks 3 and 4

Phase 2 – Weeks 3 and 4

Strength Workout A

#

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Set Rest

Transition

1

Deadlift

3

6

120 sec

2

Barbell Front Lunge

2 to 3

6 to 8

90 sec

3a

Incline Dumbell Press

3

6 to 8

60 sec

3b

Bent Dumbell Row

3

6 to 8

60 sec

4a

Swiss Ball Crunch

3

10

60 sec

4b

Incline Dumbell Curl

3

10

60 sec

Deadlift

BB Front Lunge

Incline DB Press

Bent DB Row

Swiss Ball Crunch

Incline DB Curl

Phase 2 – Weeks 3 and 4

TRX Metabolic Workout A

#

Exercise

Sets

Reps / Time

Set Rest

Transition Rest

1

Single Leg Squat

Week 3 – 3
Week 4 – 4

30 sec each side

2 min

30 sec

2

Atomic Pushup with Pike

30 sec

30 sec

3

Low Row with tempo

30 sec

30 sec

4

Crossing Balance Lunge

30 sec each side

30 sec

5

Side Plank with Hip Drop

30 sec

0 sec


Phase 2 – Weeks 3 and 4

Strength Workout B

#

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Set Rest

Transition

1

Squat

3

6

120 sec

2

DB Step Up

2 to 3

6 to 8

90 sec

3a

Dumbbell Military Press (semi-supinated grip)

3

6 to 8

60 sec

3b

Close Grip Chins

3

6 to 8

60 sec

4a

Prone Jackknife (feet on stability ball)

3

10

60 sec

4b

Triceps Press Down

3

10

60 sec

Squat

DB Step Up

DB Military Press

Close Grip Chins

Jacknife

Pushdown

Phase 2 – Weeks 3 and 4

TRX Metabolic Workout B

#

Exercise

Sets

Reps / Time

Set Rest

Transition Rest

1

Sprinter’s Start (tempo)

Week 3 – 3
Week 4 – 4

30 sec each side

2 min

30 sec

2

Deep Chest Press (moderate speed)

30 sec

30 sec

3

Single Arm Row (moderate speed)

30 sec each side

30 sec

4

Suspended Lunge (with running arm pattern)

30 sec each side

30 sec

5

Suspended Pendulum with pik

30 sec

0 sec


Ok, there you have it. Phase 1 of the “Infamous TRX Workout”.

Again, to pick up a TRX system for yourself, click here: TRX Suspension Trainer

Your results

Results tracking is a critical part of any workout program.  Without measuring “stuff” it’s tough to know if you’re doing a great job.  So, for all of you interested in giving the TRX workout a try, here’s what you can do:

  1. Click this Informal Experiments link to check out the measures and reporting schedule
  2. Start a results log by measuring your body weight and doing the performance assessments listed
  3. Record your body weight on a weekly basis
  4. Record your workout attendance on a weekly basis
  5. At the end of week 8 record your final body weight and again perform all the performance assessments

Heck, if you want to, you can even send your results in to us at research@precisionnutrition.com.  We’d love to know exactly how you’re doing and how well this training program works for you.

Nutrition program

Of course, every great training program needs a great nutrition program to go along with it.  To this end, we highly recommend following along with the Precision Nutrition principles while cranking out the TRX workout.

If you’ve already got a copy of Precision Nutrition V3, just follow along.   However, you don’t have your copy, click here to pick one up: The Precision Nutrition System – V3

Upcoming phases

Ok, this should hold you over for now.  And when these two weeks are over, come on back here and check out the additional phases, linked to below.  We’ll have them up shortly.

Phase 3 – Weeks 5 and 6
Phase 4 – Weeks 7 and 8

And again, special thanks to Alwyn Cosgrove and Fraser Quelch of Fitness Anywhere for helping put this program together!

Learn more

To learn more about making important improvements to your nutrition and exercise program, check out the following 5-day video courses.

They’re probably better than 90% of the seminars we’ve ever attended on the subjects of exercise and nutrition (and probably better than a few we’ve given ourselves, too).

The best part? They’re totally free.

To check out the free courses, just click one of the links below.