Unexpected Resistance and HIT training in San Francisco!

Landing in San Francisco, we thought we’d be in for some seriously good food and drinks, I mean these San Franciscans are into health, fitness, innovation, living well and sustainably, in a big way.  We were proved right! On the doorstep of our backyard ‘Yurt’ in North Berkeley (thanks Airbnb) was a Wholefoods store, several coffee shops, a few microbreweries, an array of restaurants doing really good things with food and drinks, and amazingly a North Face outlet store!!! I could have stayed there and been happy strolling around Wholefoods for 5 hours, having lunch at the Mexican, hitting North Face for a few hours before retiring to a microbrewery and back to the Mexican for margarita’s!

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The reason we were in San Francisco, apart from the fact that it’s an amazing city in the States, is that we wanted to visit the ‘Home of TRX’, the source of all our pleasure and pain over the last nine years! We built a business on the back of suspension training and our love affair with TRX has endured.  We’ve never got bored and yes we’ve branched out into other things and supplemented ours and others training with different styles and equipment over the years, but TRX has always been our foundation and our ‘go-to’ tool for strength, balance and core!

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We spent four days at the training centre and managed to take part in 4 classes, with 3 different instructors and also observed two sessions from the sidelines.  Over the years TRX has evolved from a simple piece of gym equipment that can be used indoors or outdoors to achieve a great workout, into a tool that is now being used by sports professionals, PT’s, exercise physiologists and even Victoria Secret models (Bar Rafeal works out on it 4 x per week according to her last interview https://youtu.be/_-nwBzAQhSA)

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To see the TRX bodies working out at the training centre and to take part in so many great classes with very good instructors was fantastic, and what we loved – what we’ve always loved about TRX- is that the classes were so mixed, from 18 year old lean and fit lads to 40- something mums with rock hard abs to 70 year old cycling enthusiasts. Every class was a mixture of 50/50 male and female and each workout had a mixture of ages that ranged from 18 to 70.  For us, that is the really beauty of TRX, it’s for everyone and if you have a good instructor then everyone, regardless of their strength, flexibility and balance, can achieve a great workout using TRX. 

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Did we find the workouts challenging after all our years of TRX?? Well we were walking a bit funny after four days, that’s for sure and we felt muscles we’d not felt for a while, but mostly we did just fine.  We’ve obviously been doing it right and the core knows what to do! Phew! 🙂 What we did love was that each class was different, from TRX Cardio to TRX Fit and Flow, and TRX Sweat to TRX Strength. They use the bars on the ceilings which the TRXs are attached to, to do chin-ups. Kettle bells and sandbags are used to challenge those who find suspended lunges too easy (add some weight) and they have a little sprint track out front on the pavement to add some HIIT at the end of sets! 

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We can’t wait to try the SWEAT session we observed whilst we are in Vancouver and we’ll post the workout and pics once we are done.  It looked a great workout delivered by one of the instructors. 

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I think we love TRX even more now and we’ll definitely be doing it until we are in our 80s (hopefully) and still banging on about it. 

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Whilst in the beautiful San Fran, we did have a day off from TRX headquarters and we hired bikes so that we could cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge over to Sausalito and then back via the city beaches.  It was a full on day of cycling (hilly), but one I’ll never forget for a very long time. The views we saw that day were definitely amazing and jaw-dropping, but it was the cycle back to the train station when the real fun began. We set off down Market Street, which goes on for miles, and hooked up in the bicycle lane with a bunch of young people aged 9 to 19 who were on skateboards. Together we raced between the lights, trying to beat the lights with these guys sneakily grabbing the panier racks at the back of our bikes to hitch rides between the lights.  We were surrounded by this skater gang for around 30 mins flying through the city, with some added resistance every time they grabbed our bikes. 

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We jumped on our train and it was full, so full that we could not move at all and people were crushed together with bikes everywhere (Sunday afternoon at 5pm was a popular time to head home).  We had to change trains halfway and wait 15 mins for the next train, so we made the decision to cycle the rest of the way home, our google maps said 5 or 6 km (easy). The station was underground and once we popped up, we realised our neighbourhood was maybe a bit different than some of the other places we’d been – a few ‘gangsta types’ cruising around.  Anyway, back to google maps which was now saying it was a 10km ride home! After a day spent on the bike doing around 50 to 60km we were tired but we knew it was a straight, flat ride on one road back to North Berkeley.  What we did not envisage was the changing neighbourhoods along the way: anyone seen the WIRE?? It was like being in the ocean and you think you’ve seen a fin! You suddenly walk on water back to shore.  We did the biggest HIIT workout ever – to say we ‘put foot’ is an understatement.  In the fading light, I actually overtook Jack at one point (unheard of on our travels) with my focus on the road ahead and getting to the next neighbourhood, which thankfully was an improvement on the last.  I’m sure we were fine, but you know when you can just sense this is not a great place to be? Especially when you are on rented bikes with ‘Ride and roll’ rental signs all over them and Hawaiian airlines tags hanging off our backpacks! J We enjoyed our cold beers in our Yurt that night. 

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We loved San Fran and after walking, cycling and commuting around the city and surrounding areas for 5 days, it was great to see that the majority of fast food giants don’t feature at all.  You rarely see a Macdonalds and the reason for this is that there are so many amazing food and drink establishments doing things really well on every corner and you’d be crazy to go get fast and mass produced food where profits decide the nutritional value of every gram. It’s an expensive city, an exciting city and it definitely has its share of problems, one of them being the ‘homeless’ population, but we can see why so many people want to live and work in this part of the States. 

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