Straps for a Workout Slug

by Ben Carter

When it comes to working out, I'm basically the laziest. I know some people who won't work out unless they have the accountability of having paid for a gym membership and a personal trainer. Others are out there on the trails riding bikes, getting their sneakers muddy.

Hakuna matata, friends. Whatever works for you.

But, for old boy, if "working out" means any more than "stumbling down to my basement in the morning with a cup of coffee and a podcast queued up", I'm just not going to do it. Which is why Santa nailed it a few years ago when the TRX straps showed up under the tree.

For those of you not familiar with TRX straps, here is a picture of mine hanging in my basement.

For those of you not familiar with TRX straps, here is a picture of mine hanging in my basement.

TRX straps are basically black and yellow nylon straps that hang from either a door or a ceiling. They have some hand grips at their ends that easily adjust to various lengths.

For a long time, I was just sort of doing the exercises that came on the cards with the TRX straps. Eventually, that got pretty boring. Recently, I found an app—Virtual Trainer Suspension—that provides over a hundred easy, medium, or hard exercises to do with TRX straps. So, three days a week (hopefully), I go downstairs and discover muscles I didn't know I had. Which is not a coming of age euphemism. Rather, it's a way to say, "Wow, there are a LOT of exercises one can do with TRX straps." Legs, back, arms, core: if there are muscles there, TRX has a way for you to exercise them. 

The app usefully provides videos of each exercise from a couple different camera angles. The killer feature though, is the ability to drag exercises into custom workout routines. Then, you can pick how you want to do those exercises. Are you going to do all of the tricep curls in three consecutive reps or do you want to do the whole cycle of exercises and come back to triceps at the beginning of the next cycle? Do you want to do a certain number of reps or do each exercise for a set amount of time?

For me, having this kind of structure in my workout prevents the second form of laziness from creeping into my workout. To remind you, I'm basically the laziest about going to work out. And, even once I'm working out, I'm also the laziest. I'm pretty sure there are internet videos out there of me wandering around the downtown Louisville YMCA very lackadaisically flying a few butterflies and pressing some benches.

Rather than flopping around the Y for an hour, the Virtual Trainer Suspension app keeps me on a schedule and tells me at the beginning of the workout—based on the time I'm going to do each exercise and the time I've decided to rest between each exercise—"Okay, bro, your workout is going to take 26 minutes and 40 seconds." "Okay, I'm in for less than half an hour," I think.

I'm sure there are all sorts of accessories one can buy to trick out ones TRX straps, but the only one I would suggest buying is the wall mount. I have mine, as pictured above, bolted to a floor joist.

For a long piece of black and yellow nylon that has little obvious crossover use as a sex toy, the TRX straps are not cheap. But, for those of us who live in a reality where there needs to be almost zero activation energy required to go get some exercise, the TRX straps are the best, most versatile, in-home option for lazybones like me.

I guess this is a lifestyle blog now, so stay tuned for my DIY solution to building a desk for your stationary bike (on which I am typing right now.)