Suspension training is all the rage these days.
With the novel way in which it lets you use your body weight, this method of training has a bit of something for everyone.
Whether you are an experienced athlete, a more casual fitness enthusiast, or a complete beginner, you can’t go wrong with getting a suspension training kit, TRX or otherwise.
Where you can go wrong however, is getting the most out of your suspension training kit.
Sure, the rig isn’t exactly complicated to set up, but when it comes to the subtleties of working out (like correct form, speed of execution, etc.), it’s easy to make a mistake without even being aware of it.
Now, mistakes are perfectly normal and expected, but if not corrected in time, they will reduce the effectiveness of your workouts by a good chunk.
This is why it’s often a good idea to invest in a training manual or two.
They may seem like a waste, but given that you’re already investing both time and money into a specific method of workout, ensuring that you’re doing it properly is only reasonable. Today we will, in no particular order, list five TRX training books that we’ve found to be a cut above the rest.
As the name says, this is a book for absolute beginners, both regarding fitness level and familiarity with suspension training. If you’re just starting out and aren’t the sort of person to comb the web for instructions, you may want to dip a toe with Suspension Training for Beginners.
The book does have a bit of a bad rap as it feels clipped (more on that later), but it’s not bad at all.
It is logically laid-out, structured in a way that’s easy to follow, and features solid (if basic) content.
It will teach you how to set your workout goals, proper technique, and how to go about increasing resistance. The content wisely stresses the importance of building a strong foundation before proceeding to more difficult challenges.
This is all topped off with a six-week workout program meant to bring you from a complete novice to an intermediate level.
And from then on, you’ll be ready to really tackle suspension training, either on your own or with the help of another instruction book.
2. Suspension Fitness: The Easy Way to Improve Functional Strength, Overall Fitness, Endurance and Health
From the same author, we have this long-titled tome.
It is much more comprehensive than Suspension Fitness for Beginners, and there is in fact a fair bit of overlap.
This ultimately makes Suspension Fitness an overall better purchase for anyone with a desire to make suspension training a bigger and more long-lasting part of their life.
Indeed, the new content goes over and beyond basic instructions, delving into a variety of uses for suspension training kits.
There are chapters on improving cardiovascular health, gaining muscle and strength, and even improving bone density.
A lot of space is dedicated to stretching, which takes up two whole chapters (instructions on how to stretch with a suspension training kit, plus a library of stretches).
There are also a couple of focused strength training programs, one for running and another for cycling.
Aside from full exercise programs, the book features what it calls a toolbox, which is a set of guidelines for structuring your own workouts. Not bad at all, and very much worth the investment.
If there is a downside, it’s limited to the ebook version. Namely, some of the pictured instructions may be a bit difficult to make out from the screen of your phone or tablet. If your vision isn’t exactly 20/20, you may want to get a paperback.
The “Complete” in the title is not misleading.
This book starts from the ground up. If you want it, you can read up on the history behind the development of suspension training programs, but if that isn’t the case, there’s more than enough of everything else you might need.
Everything is illustrated, from the set-up process to the way the suspension kit works, to the exercises themselves.
The instructions are as clear as they can be. It will be very difficult for you to misunderstand anything from this book.
The ease and quality of presentation however, doesn’t make this a training book for everyone.
Those easily bored and in search of a more to-the-point approach would probably prefer something more laconic. If you want the whole package though, feel free to get it.
If the Complete Guide seems too, ahem—complete, here’s a more focused book.
This one focuses exclusively on the body and the process you need to put it through in order to attain a strong, lean, and mean physique.
Some have bashed it for being a bit no-frills, but Suspended Bodyweight Training is great at what it sets out to do. Aside from some initial bits on human anatomy, workout routines and specific exercises make up the entirety of the book.
It is all structured in a way that is easy to read and navigate, with even chapters dedicated to workouts meant to help you at specific sports, such as baseball, basketball, boxing, and the like.
And it’s all topped off with a long chapter on stretches; a staple of any good workout, but pushed to the next level via the use of suspension bands.
Yet another training book with a “Complete” in its title? Say it isn’t so!
Surprisingly or not, this one also lives up to its name, at least the first part. Though it’s supposedly geared specifically for the TRX product, it’ll serve you well with suspension trainers of most other brands.
While it goes over everything a good training manual should (the set-up, routines, individual exercises, etc.), this book does one thing better than every other on this list: it’s fully ebook optimized, so you can keep it on your phone or tablet and easily navigate to any part that interests you at any given time.
While the ebook is convenient, it’s certainly not cheap. This is easily the most expensive book on the list, at about 28 dollars for the Kindle edition. That’s right, the paperback is actually cheaper. If that’s not a problem for you though, then by all means get it.
Fitness enthusiast, suspension training addict. Ditched the gym 5 years ago, never looked back. Passionate about teaching how to build muscle and loose weight using only the force of gravity and your own bodyweight.