BOOK REVIEW

Title: Complete Guide to TRX® Suspension Training®
Author: Jay Dawes
Publisher: Human Kinetics Australia, ISBN: 9781492533887
Details: Paperback, 224pp
RRP: AU $49.99 OR $39.99 when you use the code HK20 to SAVE 20% at the checkout HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: Human Kinetics has a new Australian distributor, so purchases are now made via a different website than you may previously have visited.

Review by Tony Boutagy, PhD, AEP, AES, ESSAM

The health and fitness industry is a continually evolving and highly progressive one that welcomes new methods and styles of training. Some of these ‘advancements’, after time, do not deliver what they promise and thus are left to perish in the wastelands of training fads... Others, however, flourish and stand the test of time because, quite frankly, they are effective! Suspension training is one of these additions to the fitness industry that is a very worthy inclusion to virtually everyone’s training journey.

The Complete Guide to TRX® Suspension Training® is just that: a comprehensive guidebook to every conceivable way of using suspension training. The twin strengths of the text are in the exhaustive repertoire of exercise variations and the progressions to make the movements easier or harder depending on ability level. This is not to be underappreciated: traditional strength training primarily uses increasing load to induce a stress for adaptation. Suspension training, for the most part, cannot, and therefore relies on exercise complexity to confer additional difficulty and training stress. The sheer scope of exercise variations makes the book a very useful addition to the library of personal trainers and those generally interested in strength training.

The text begins with several chapters outlining the ‘science’ of suspension training. Here, Dawes describes the principles of suspension training, including understanding base of support, angles of pull, pendulums, handles and stance. Then Dawes explains the benefits of suspension training, from a functional perspective to injury rehab and prevention, to portability and affordability. Which outdoor personal trainer does not have a suspension device?! The next chapter discusses optimal set up procedures for suspension units. This is an enormously helpful section of the book, as many people may not be aware of the correct and safe set up.

An appreciated section of the book is the inclusion of an assessment that tests both baseline strength levels to allow for progress retests and also assessment of symmetry.

The bulk of the remainder of the text is devoted to exercise technique, with clear pictures and explanations of each movement. Exercises are classified into beginner, intermediate and advanced for the upper body, lower body and core.

The final chapters of the book explain the theory underpinning effective program design and periodisation and then Dawes offers some sample programs for total body conditioning. The following chapter outlines the principles of prehabilitation and suggested exercises and programs. The text concludes with three chapters covering the science and practice of developing speed, power, flexibility and stability.

Dawes has provided every trainer who uses suspension training with the definitive resource to cover exercise choice and program design for beginner to advanced trainees as well as for those who wish to develop athletic qualities, increase flexibility or promote stability. A very worthy addition to the library of personal trainers.