TRX TrainStation is hard to find. Of course, if take the wrong left turn on approach as I did (I have 2 left feet), it makes it a lot harder. Nevertheless, if you're looking for a serious fitness challenge, it's worth paying a visit to Downsview park.
TRX is the totally hot suspension training system that uses your own bodyweight to perform strength, endurance and stretching exercises. TRX TrainStation is located on the second level of the National Squash Academy on Carl Hall Road. I arrive for a lunch time class on a Friday and join eight other fitness enthusiasts who have managed to find the somewhat clandestine training facility.
One might be forgiven for thinking that owner and instructor Niki Aron has a background in the Canadian Forces, especially given the location at Downsview Park. She has a command of the room that could rival a military officer and she pushes her recruits to the max. Her music is loud and as aggressive as the workout itself, so those who only like gentle background music should wear ear plugs.
The class is fast-paced and tough, with about a half a minute devoted to each exercise. If you've never used the TRX system before, you may find it a bit awkward to get your limbs in and out of the loops. Make sure Aron knows you're a newbie, ask for help when needed, and take your time. If you don't have a decent base of cardiovascular fitness and strength, get one before you attempt Aron's classes, this is a challenging training program!
Aron put us through a full-body workout that included strength exercises using the TRX, a lot of core work, some more dynamic elements that really got our heart rates up (lunges, jumps, etc.), and some circuit style-training with Bosu Balls, TRX Rip Trainers for some lateral work, and squashy balls we had to throw to the ground and then squat to pick up. Aron finished the class with some stretches using the TRX straps.
The class was unique, and despite the level of difficulty, the time went by quickly. After wiping myself off the floor, I asked if all her classes were like this one. She turned the question over to her regulars who informed me that they are usually tougher and she seemed to be having a particularly "nice" day. So if you want a tough, effective full-body workout that's a bit different than most programs, TRX TrainStation might be worth a look. Just go with the mantra, "I can do anything for 30 seconds."
Photos by Kat Rizza