Leslie E. Smith1, Joanna Snow1, Jennifer S. Fargo1, Christina A. Buchanan1, Lance C. Dalleck1
1High Altitude Exercise Physiology Program, Western State Colorado University, Gunnison, CO, USA
Aim: The purposes of this study were (a) to quantify the acute cardiovascular and metabolic responses to TRX Suspension Training, and (b) to determine the effectiveness of an 8-week TRX Suspension Training program at improving cardiorespiratory, muscular, neuromotor, and flexibility fitness and positively modifying cardiometabolic risk factors. Methods: Sixteen women and men (mean ± SD: age, height, weight, percentage body fat, and VO2max = 40.1 ± 13.5 years, 165.3 ± 8.2 cm, 64.2 ± 11.9 kg, 23.0 ± 5.0 %, and 41.2 ± 7.3 mL/kg/min, respectively) completed both a maximal graded exercise test and a single 60-min TRX Suspension Training class on non-consecutive days. Cardiovascular and metabolic data were collected via a portable calorimetric measurement system. Additionally, participants completed an 8-wk TRX Suspension Training program (60-min sessions performed 3 times/wk). Cardiometabolic risk factors and muscular, neuromotor, and flexibility fitness were measured at baseline and post-program. Results: Overall heart rate for a 60-min TRX Suspension Training class was 131.3 ± 10.8 beats/min, which corresponded to 59.9 ± 10.2% HRR. Exercise intensity in METs was 5.8 ± 1.0, which equated to 45.9 ± 8.6% VO2R. Total energy expenditure for a TRX Suspension Training class was 398.1 ± 114.1 kcal/class. After 8-wk of TRX Suspension Training there were significant (p < 0.05) improvements in the following cardiometabolic risk factors and muscular fitness parameters: waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, body fat, one-repetition maximum for leg press and bench press, curl ups, and pushups. Conclusions: Findings from the present study support the activity of TRX Suspension Training as a feasible alternative to traditional exercise modalities for adults that elicits metabolic responses within the accepted moderate-intensity range. Moreover, regular participation in TRX Suspension Training improves muscular fitness and positively modifies several major cardiovascular disease risk factors including reductions in waist circumference, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and body fat.