I used to be a member of my local gym. I actually had my membership for a long while. However, because of my work schedule, and family life, more often than not, I didn’t get to go to the gym.
And when I did it usually was packed. That was my fault though because I do often find myself going during times when there is a lot of foot traffic in the gym.
Workouts I Could Do at Home
After it was pointed out to me by my wife that I was ‘wasting’ my money on the gym since I wasn’t using it enough, I looked around for different ways to stay in shape. I use the term staying in shape loosely since you wouldn’t guess that a ‘worked out’ if you passed by me in the street.
I thought about getting some workout equipment to use at home but that was quickly vetoed by my wife. Her argument was the gym was always there and I didn’t go and use it, what made me think I was going to use a treadmill or exercise bike. In the end, her conditions were, it had to be inexpensive enough that if I didn’t use it much it would still be okay. The other condition was if it were to be used at home, it shouldn’t become obtrusive or ‘act as home furniture’, because exercise equipment isn’t home furniture.
After a long time thinking, my solution was suspension straps. They were light, compact, cheap relative to weights and other equipment. I could use them inside or outside the house and detach them after the workout.
The Suspension Revolution Training Program
Now that I knew what equipment I was going to use, I needed an effective program. I wanted something that would help me with the basics, after all I was a beginner. But it was essential that it had the ability to scale upwards to more advanced training, since that was the only was I was going to get in better shape.
The Suspension Revolution system by Dan Long is what I ended choosing. In full it’s a 20 week program divided into 3 levels. If you’re like me with no background on suspension training, you start at the beginner level. This lasts 4 weeks.
Then there’s the intermediate program which spans another 4 weeks. Finally, you graduate to the advanced program which goes for a full 12 weeks. In each of the programs, the exercises get more difficult which allows the body to adapt and grow.
A Closer Look at the Program
- The beginner program takes you through the basics. I took my time understanding the different movements and was happy that I did. A few of the exercises were simple, but others took a bit more effort since you had to balance yourself. I did feel a lot of little muscles work that I didn’t know I had.
- The next step up is the Intermediate Suspension Revolution training program. The exercises here change and get more difficult. Some exercises make modifications to those learned in the beginner module. The reason the exercises here get more difficult is to force your body to adapt to harder stimulus otherwise you hit a plateau and stop development.
- By the time you get to the advanced module, you’ll be a lot stronger and have more coordination. I did. This final module of the suspension training program turns up the fat loss. It get rid of the extra layers of fat so the muscles developed in the first 2 modules can be seen.
- The program does not require weights and can be done almost anywhere. All you need are a set of suspension straps, which are much cheaper than purchasing entire weight sets or machines.
- You can workout anytime at home. All you need is to anchor the strap onto a secure post or beam and you’ll be able to perform the exercises.
- Suspension training doesn’t get you bulky. This is great for athletes, as well as men and women who want to be able to get fit and strong without fear of getting bulky. It also lets you become more flexible, and improves balance.
- The one thing I realized is that you get to work different muscles. I had been working with weights for a few years on and off. I can say that you feel a lot more muscles working using suspension straps.
- It is more functional than lifting weights. For athletes and regular individuals who aren’t looking to join body building competitions or lifting competitions using exercises that incorporate balance and coordination make them more applicable to real life movement.
- The program puts a lot less stress on lower back compared to lifting barbells or using weight machines.
- The exercises in the program are shown step by step making them easy to follow.
- The programs are divided making them shorter if you aren’t a fan of long training routines. Dividing them up also lets beginners start with the basics and fundamentals. The progressive difficulty allows for continuous muscle development as you move to higher levels.
- If you’re looking for an easy workout plan that will get you in fit shape, this is not it. This one takes work, dedication and consistency. It isn’t the shortest of programs when you start from the very beginning to the very end, at 20 weeks. Though you could break up the 3 levels into mini-programs.
- I would have loved to see more explanations on the different exercises. Information like which body parts does this work and similar things like that.
- You need to be careful and focus on the exercises. Unlike using the weight machines in the gym where the safeties let you make mistakes, you can slip or pull something if get careless or don’t go through the instructions carefully specially when starting out.
Overall, having done the program from beginning to end, my take is it is something that’s designed for those looking for an alternative or complement to weight training. It lets you work different muscles that you otherwise wouldn’t. The program lets you get in shape, get stronger and lose fat. You end up with a more flexible, balanced physique that’s lean. No bulk here.
Do keep in mind that if you’re used to weights, the straps take time to get accustomed to. They can be tricky when starting out. You also need to follow and trust the program for it to work. In the end, the results from the program come only from the work you put into it.