After hearing several people talk about a new kind of gym that “transforms your body,” my editor asked me to take a TRX and Kettleball class to write about my personal experience. Honestly, I felt a bit intimidated by the class because I am not used to that kind of exercise. I do yoga and I like to run but I’m used to an easier pace of exercise.
I didn’t know what to expect from the class – something similar to Fit-to-Rip or Crossfit or even harder, and that the intensity of the exercise depended on my own movements. That was how I arrived at the Guiones Wellness Center one Tuesday and took a class with Riccardo Barghini, who is a personal trainer and teaches the TRX and Kettleball class.
The first part of the session began with a suspension TRX machine. That may sound a bit intimidating at first but it can be fun and challenging. There are two adjustable cords that are suspended from the ceiling and support your body weight. First, as in any exercise, you need to stretch your muscles sufficiently. Stretching feels great because you can play with gravity and your body weight.
Moving on to the main routine, we started to do different movements with our arms, legs, glutes and almost every muscle of the body. Gravity and body weight are what create resistance with which to work.
“TRX works your strength, muscular resistance, flexibility and balance. The training is very safe and appropriate for people from 18 to 70 years old,” Barghini said.
In the second part of the workout we worked with the “Kettlebell,” or Russian weight. I could feel my heartbeat speed up and my breathing and posture became more difficult as I started to feel more tired. According to Barghini, it is important to maintain a strong, flexed abdomen during the class to avoid back injuries.
The Kettlebell work requires a lot of technique. Movement should be smooth and always with the right posture. It is important to continually do the routine to see results. My “swing” wasn’t the best, but obviously, practice makes perfect.
“This kind of work strengthens breathing, works the heart a lot, burns fat and makes the body stronger and tougher. If you spend three months in this class, you’ll see that when you come you’ll have a lot more resistance,” promised Barghini.
This training is a great complement for people who do other sports, such as surfing. Barghini’s partner, Tinis Gomar, who also gives classes, told me that, “The warm up that one does here at the beginning serves the surfer well, to stretch their muscles and for their resistance while paddling and leg strength, because surfers don’t develop leg strength but only the upper body.”
In my case, the class helped me with my posture and to determine which are my weak and strong points. On finishing the class my body felt like a single machine working at its highest level. The following day, I felt muscle pain even just brushing my teeth, but I also remembered how good it felt to push my limits and learn about my body. As U.S. Marines General Lewis B Puller said, “Pain is weakness leaving your body.”
Riccardo is a certified personal trainer in Italy and offers group TRX and Kettlebell classes at Guiones Wellness Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. His partner, Tinis Gomar gives classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 2 p.m.