How I Stay Fit: Samm Medina Tries TRX and Nuxe
Having made a decision a few years ago that I would not let any lack of skill or fear of embarrassment get in the way of getting fit and being a healthier person, when Shape wanted me to chronicle my exploits and be their proverbial guinea pig, I was ready for the challenge! In my column every month, I’ll be shunning boring workouts and comfort zones to traverse the UAE in search of all the variety and fun that fitness has to offer. This month TRX and Nuxe!
Small TRX Classes = Big Benefits
Now that summer is here and we are slowly being coerced indoors by the heat, this month it was important for me to find an indoor activity that circumvents the yoga-weights-cardio road and land off the beaten track. I found what I was looking for at Tribefit’s TRX suspension training class in the Marina. TRX training takes traditional squats, push-ups, rows and other familiar exercises one step further, using the deceptively simple suspended straps to force the entire body to work hard to maintain balance and effectively execute each move.
With the promise of a high intensity, sweat inducing workout, I headed to the ‘fight club’ area of the gym which boasts the TRX set up together with other functional training tools like ViPRs and kettle bells. Attracting amateurs and gym junkies alike, the very small class size focuses on form - if you can get in. When my friend and I arrived sans booking (a BIG no-no; I’m told bookings normally fill up early in the day) I had to wait it out, wondering why the classes were so damn tiny and hoping that someone’s bad luck in traffic was my chance to pounce. Once I snagged a place in the class, I started to see why numbers were so limited; the trainer kept a hawk eye on technique and was able to make corrections where necessary, lavishing lots of one-to-one time on each of us.
The motto “you get out what you put in” rings especially true over the 45 minute session as incremental shifts in speed or position can turn the difficulty of any exercise up to 11 and challenge even seasoned pros. Just when I was feeling the burn and my body was screaming for a break, I met the atomic pike. Mustering every muscle I had – and some I didn’t even know were there – I contorted myself into position (think push up position, feet in TRX hovering off the ground and hips pointed to the sky). Not only did this evil cousin of the downward dog find my core’s limitations and prove that TRX is the superman of gym equipment but it also gave me a newfound respect for cirque du soleil performers.
The benefits of TRX support and techniques really shone through when my friend with a joint injury joined me in class. She had nothing but praise for it – taking it easy when she needed to without missing out an anything and loving that she could break a sweat without unravelling the healing process.
After the class had wrung all the strength from me and I had abandoned my overly ambitious plan for a second class that night, I could see how this is one of the ultimate core building workouts. Every move had a tightened core as a prerequisite, regardless of speed or range of motion. Despite, or maybe because, my abs and glutes burned for days afterward, I’ve since gone back for more and am already seeing improvements in my strength and balance.
What any new comer to these functional workouts will come to love is that unlike isolated muscle exercises, it forces you to become more than the sum of your parts, working entire muscle groups together in unison and mimicking the actions that are not just exercises, but natural functions of your body, which means a more meaningful workout – every time.
The Nuxe Factor
Evoking the sentiment and old world charm of days before on-the-go-solutions jammed into easy-squeeze-bottles, the Nuxe collection of creams and oils takes you back to the one step concept that originally defined beauty routines of past generations. I tried the night cream which had a thick texture so you won’t need to waste your entire supply to keep waking up fresh and feeling rested. I also tried the all purpose oil, which turned out to be surprisingly adaptable – something I love in a world of super-specialised products. Though it was a little too oily for my hair, after a sun kissed and salt soaked morning of kayaking, my dry skin was shouting for some attention and this oil certainly quenched it, leaving a great glow without too much shine. A word of warning - I would be careful about contact with delicate clothes or furniture directly after applying. Saving my favourite for last, I’m predicting the 40ml anti-fatigue moisturising tube is going to be my new favourite refresher and a big part of my arsenal against jet lag this summer.