Stephens City gym builds strength with TRX

Janet Russell, 82, of Stephens City, works out with the functional strength training system with the help of Anytime Fitness manager Sarah Isham in Stephens City. Rich Cooley/Daily

STEPHENS CITY – Janet Russell is an inspiration to many gym goers. At 82, Russell attends Anytime Fitness in Stephen City where she actively participates in the newest gym craze: total resistance exercise suspension training – also known as TRX.

“My cholesterol has always been perfect. Aside from A-fib,” Russell said, using a slang term for irregular heartbeat, “I’m perfectly healthy. I’ve been blessed to be in really good health and I want to stay that way.”

She added, “My doctor said it’s because I’ve continued to remain active.”

Sarah Isham, Anytime Fitness gym manager, said TRX training is not only good for the body, but for overall health.

“TRX suspension training is a total body workout that uses anchored straps to support and leverage the participant’s body weight,” she said. “It works heavily with core muscles and helps individuals build strength through various activities.”

TRX was created by Navy SEAL squadron leader Cmdr. Randy Hetrick to help active military members exercise and remain in shape during deployments. The program uses two straps that can be adjusted per exercise. Exercises include pull-ups, planks, bicycles and rows.

“The benefits of using TRX are more beneficial than we know,” Isham said. “Every person who uses it sees a different change in their body. But the end goal is the same.”

Since the difficulty level can be individualized, Isham said the program is for people of all ages who are looking for strength training, core training or rehab.

“It’s addictive,” Russell said about attending the gym and participating in TRX. “Years ago when I worked as a secretary I would get out and walk five miles a day to stay active. Working out with Sarah not only keeps me active but it keeps me young.”

Depending on her week, Russell said she tries to work out multiple times a week.

“When I’m not doing personal training, I’m using the equipment like the elliptical or the bike.” She admits she’s still learning how to use many of the gym machines, but won’t let them get her down. “I want to learn as much as possible,” she said.

One of the main reasons Russell picked her local Anytime Fitness was because it honored the Silver & Fit program designed for older adults. As a Medicare beneficiary, Russell is able to attend a designated gym that will help her achieve her desired health goals through exercise and healthy habits.

TRX suspension training was introduced to Anytime Fitness in Stephens City at the beginning of the year.

Other programs offered by Anytime Fitness include personal training, yoga, body conditioning classes and synergy 360. Services include 24-hour access, anywhere gym access, wellness programs and the newly acquired quarterly in-body scans.

“The quarterly in-body scans tell people where their real trouble areas are. Forget BMI, this tells you the exact percentage each limb should be,” Isham said. “It’s a useful tool for even those individuals who think they’re physically fit. We all have a little bit to work on.”

Russell said she continues to attend personal training sessions with Isham weekly, where she’ll continue to use TRX to maintain her healthy, active lifestyle.

Isham said TRX is different, “but it’s important to mix things up and keep people active.”