Few mortals are blessed with metabolic luck. We come in all shapes and sizes, which is why, come to think of it, we are such a wonderful species. As the years roll by a once svelte frame, busted by low fat diets and dedicated fasting, can end up looking scrawny and limp. Or, flip the coin, and years of overeating can take their toll resulting in undesirable belly fat and thunder thighs. Most of us tend to blame age for our bodily changes. But, within our genetic confines, it is possible to transform our silhouette, at any age, at any time, with the right exercise.
Three hourly sessions a week, including a warm up and a cool down, are enough to change our appearance and define muscles radically. Traditional cardio, such as running, burns muscle along with the calories. However, push-ups, lifting weights and stretching with bands, core to strength training, are ideal weight bearing exercises for transforming wobbly flesh into firm curves.
A Miracle Worker
Enter suspension training. Since its introduction it has gathered masses of ardent followers who assert that it develops core body strength, balance, as well as joint and muscular stability. The training uses a system of ropes and bands that allow the user to work against their own body weight.
“The wonder of suspension training is that it saves lots of time in delivering the enhancement of the above mentioned issues, which will encourage trainees to keep training due to the fast, global results they will acquire,” says personal trainer George Elie Wardeh, who is also a personal defence trainer, a university teacher, a recovery massage therapist and a published author.
Lebanese Wardeh trains his clients using Total Resistance eXercise (TRX) equipment developed by Randy Hetrick, a former Navy Seal and Stanford MBA graduate, in the US in the 1990s. Hetrick recognised our bodies move in different directions, from side to side, forward and back and rotation. His aim was to create a training system that allows complete freedom to move in any direction to help increase strength.
A System Suitable for All
Suspension training has been up and running for several years and any gym worth its name has the TRX fitness equipment. However, any kind of training, without the proper knowledge or supervision, may cause injury so consulting a trainer is a must. Wardeh trains his clients at home or in the gym, the session lasts around 45 minutes. He adjusts the intensity of the training to suit the client. And, although TRX is used by the military, and can be found in the locker rooms of basketball teams, Olympic-level cyclists, swimmers and runners, he is quick to dispel the tough guy image of suspension training; it can be adapted to suit all ages and sizes and is becoming more popular with women. “TRX is a really good training apparatus, in the end the most important issue is the way you train, which defines the outcome that you will get.”
Advocates claim the beauty of it is that you engage the core stability muscles, which is good news for posture and the back. Plus the training makes you much leaner and stronger in the core muscles and does not bulk you up.
Turn Your Life Around
Some critics warn the instability of suspension straps can predispose people with inadequate core strength to injury. So, while it may be helpful for well-conditioned athletes, it could be precarious for the less fit. Plus some exercises require being suspended upside down, which leads to a rush of blood to the head. But, unless you have a medical situation that prevents you from being suspended upside down, there is no problem in it, and if you do, there are lots of other ways to execute the training. “ Every coin has two sides. This is where the role of the personal trainer comes in, by helping the trainee to improve his or her skills of training to execute the move in the most efficient and least harmful way,” Wardeh says. In a nutshell, suspension training is right on track to delivering a fast, effective total-body workout to men and women in all shapes and sizes.
Getting the Most Favourable Results
For Wardeh, everything is possible with the right dose of dedication. Excuses like: “I have bad genetics” or “I’m too old to get into shape” are a sure way to stall any efforts at success and should be trashed in the bin with that junk food takeaway. Of course, it goes without saying that any exercise regime should be in tandem with a good night’s sleep, plenty of water and a clean protein rich diet. So forget the skinny latte and have a cup of low fat yogurt before you begin your exercise regimen. Give it a go, after two months of training you are bound to see huge results: muscles will pop up from out of nowhere, your thighs will become defined, your back will look as sculptured as an Ancient Greek statue and you can finally kiss those undesirable jelly arms good bye.