Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hanging in there

Back in March, I made a secret purchase.  Because I had to get two of them, one for each of us, it qualified as a 'big purchase' (we consult on anything over $50) so I asked the Mr if I could buy a surprise.  I got a sideways look like he wouldn't give the okay if I didn't drop a hint but I couldn't tell him what it was.  We'd talked about getting it but I wanted to wait for the right time to bust it out.  He agreed and after I made the purchase, I said, "now forget about it."  I might as well have grazed his man bits because he is very antsy and doesn't like secrets and drives himself nuts trying to figure it out.

Thankfully he did forget about it.

I was going to break out my surprise when we got back from vacation but upon our return, I knew our strength wasn't up to par for normal workouts, much less what I had in store.  Well, given all he's put up with on the remodel and my wild emotions, I wanted to reward him so I gave him the surprise Monday night.

Nothing says "thanks for hanging in there with me" more than suspension exercise equipment, right?

Let's peek in the box.

The LifelineUSA XT Jungle Gym (affiliate link) is a form of suspension training.  You've heard of TRX, right?  Well, same concept, different brand and almost half the price!  Believe me when I tell you I did my research before buying these.  Anything where you are leaning forward with nothing to hold you up but two straps with a possibility of face planting...I'm not taking that lightly.  It is rated 4 1/2 stars on Amazon just like the TRX system and that was good enough for me.  I printed off this list of TRX exercises from Greatist and we went down to the basement.  The Mr was nervously excited.  Perhaps this wasn't a traditional "woo hoo" gift but it was something we both wanted to try and now it was time to put our bodies (and faces) to the test.

In the box were two straps, an anchor to strap them over a joist or tree if you want to do it outdoors (no thank you), a DVD and a poster of exercises.

We put the anchor strap over our bare joist...

then slid the strap weights through the anchor and we were ready to go.

Well, I did make sure we got our exercise mat and had it underneath us...THEN we were ready to go.

If we were going to face plant, it was going to be a little softer.

Since we were busy trying to figure it out, I don't have pics of us using it but you can see videos from the company on YouTube here.  (Just a note, they use a bar for their videos so your straps wouldn't be that close for your exercises but they show the closer straps in the DVD included)   You can also check out the competitor's channel for some other exercise suggestions here.  They'll all look prettier doing it than some noobs looking like monkeys swinging in their pens at the zoo.

So what did we think our first time out?

Well, I am sore as hell as I write this!  The Mr was even sore the morning after and he always takes two days to feel the effects of a good strength workout.  From my neck to the shoulders to the back to the inner thighs and heck even the sides of my knees...all of it was sore and we've been doing some good strength training lately!

Does it take faith to use the LifelineUSA XT Jungle Gym (affiliate link) or any kind of suspension training?  Yes.  You have to trust that these two straps are going to hold your weight as you lean forward or pull back at a 60 degree angle without letting loose.  While I can't find a weight limit, if you get the wall mounts, it says that each strap mount is rated to 300 lbs per strap.  So I would say it's probably safe to say that is a good guideline to use, maybe take off 100-200 lbs to be safe?  If it's a big issue, I would email the company to see if they can give you an accurate answer.

I'll be honest, we didn't really follow their DVD.  Neither of us thought it could be used as a 'traditional' workout, more like 'here's some moves you can do.'  So between their suggestions, the ones on the list I printed out and just making stuff up on the spot, we spent an hour on it.  I burned 520 calories which is pretty low for a strength workout for the amount of time but we know a lot of it was laughing or adjusting straps and stuff.  I know we'll get a better routine down pat as we continue to use it but I think this will help work muscles that are forgotten about.  It's easy to take up and down which is a good thing because we had to take them down last night because the A/C guy is coming today and when they're up, it looks like a sex shop back room for the adventurous couple.

Have you done suspension training?  Would you try it?

(This post contains an affiliate link.  Should you choose to buy through it, I'll get a nominal kickback to help the blog stay afloat.)

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  1. I had to do some TRX stuff in physical therapy for my knees and I liked it.
    I might look into these after the move since I am making a home gym (my power rack is being delivered soon!)
    I'll see if I can loop it over the rack because then I can do some of my other physical therapy stuff with it... (I have like a mini PT's office going on already lol)

    1. I can see how it would definitely benefit for physical therapy. I know just the very limited leg moves I did left me limping today because I forgot to have the Mr do a deep tissue massage on me afterward. Thankfully he got to it this morning. Better than paying $40 a pop to the chiro every week. :-) Oh man, you're right, the movers ARE gonna love you! LOL Actually the rack is PERFECT for this. If it's like a Smith machine type thing with the big bar across the top and is rated to hold your body weight in addition to the weight on there then you might be able to slide the straps over the bar. Woot! Obviously research all that stuff first. ;-)

  2. It was an awesome surprise! And what a workout! Ouch! I am glad it is versatile enough to use over the rafter or over a door, a tree, etc. Looks like they would travel well too but I have to admit I don't trust my weight on most doors yet.

    1. Surprise! I'm going to kick your ass and hang you from the rafters! :-D Yeah, there's no way in hell I would use that in any of the homes we rent on vacation. Can you say no return security deposit? "Why is the door frame broken?" But it's nice to know we could use it on a big ol' tree if we rent a cabin somewhere and want to monkey around. Thanks again for massaging my legs this morning so I can walk. I'm Bartyles and James and I thank you for yer support.

  3. I've never tried that kind of workout. That's the kind of thing that get sucked into infomercials for, lust after, and then sigh and move on. I'm not sure that I have a place for the straps either. We finished out basement when we moved in so there are no open joists, and I'm not going to risk my doors either. I'm pretty sure that even if I wanted to do this outside in front of my neighbors my blue spruce isn't the kind of tree they had in mind either.

    1. Well, when you've been doing this as long as we have, free weights gets pretty boring, pretty fast. Even the Total Trainers don't always give us the workout we want. Given we have to switch things up if we ever want to see results again, I think this will work well for us. There are wall mounts you can purchase and as long as you're in a stud, you're good to go. I would never use these over mine or anyone's (hotel, rental, etc) doors. I know these and other systems say you can but I'm not the kind of person comfortable with risking...or bringing down the house! LOL I'd pay to watch you try it on the blue spruce. ;-)

  4. That's nice you and the hubs have a good financial plan ... my hubby has made some HUGE purchases, it's funny how I found out about some of them (after the fact). I am very frugal, I think I wouldn't have dared buy two ... I'd want to just get one and try it before investing in another. I do think it's great how you two work out together though! You do need two if you do that :)


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