5 Benefits of TRX.

 

How does so much time pass in between blog posts?! I’ve been in Australia for over a week now and coincidentally I don’t have my trx with me, but I’ve been hitting the gym regularly. The trx is a good exercise tool that travels easily, but with $60 checked baggage fees on Air Asia (one way!) I brought very little with me to the land down under… I’ll get back to using it again when I’m settled in Sri Lanka though.

Are you familiar with TRX? It is the yellow and black cable system you see hanging around your gym. The TRX training system was developed by a Navy Seal, Randy Hedrick, as a means to find a way to exercise and stay combat ready that could be used in any environment. He developed this suspension system of training first by using a jiu-jitsu belt and parachute webbing but perfected his system over time.
TRX can be used to get a fast and effective total body workout and according to their site, TRX.com, “the TRX trainer leverages gravity and your body weight to perform hundreds of exercises.” All you need is the TRX and your body weight, you adjust your position in relation to the anchor point to make exercises more difficult or easy if need be.

Benefits of TRX.
My TRX set up at a playground in Battambang, Cambodia.

Here are 5 benefits to training with the TRX suspension system:
1. It provides a total body workout that continuously engages the core. Because many exercises can be done at a fast pace, more calories are burned as well.
2. The TRX system will help you improve mobility and flexibility. You can maximize range of motion by adjusting body position, therefore altering weight “lifted.”
3. You can build muscle without lifting weights. There are many exercises that can be performed and resistance can be increased by adjusting body weight, allowing you to always be able to get in that last repetition.
4. Train anywhere! You can use the TRX system at your gym, or if you have your own, you can take it with you. It can be hung anywhere there is a good anchor point. From a tree in the mountains, or on the monkey bars at the park- wherever inspires you most!
5. Develop your functional strength with the wide variety of movements that can be performed. It will help to improve your overall level of physical fitness and help you in your day to day activities.
Here’s a sample full body TRX workout, but before you begin training, ensure you are familiar with the equipment and performing the exercises. If necessary, enlist the help of a personal trainer before incorporating TRX into your regular routine.

Benefits of TRX.
A sweaty session in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

TRX Full Body Circuit Training

Start with a 5 minute warm up. Walk on the treadmill, go for a light jog, use an exercise bike or elliptical machine, or do a dynamic warm up.
For this training circuit, perform 15 repetitions of each exercise three times unless otherwise noted, all on the TRX. There are 6 circuits total. Do one of each exercise, rest at the end, until you’ve done three sets of all of them.

TRX Sprinter Start (10 each leg); Low Row; Bicep Curls
TRX Squats; Chest Press; Tricep Extensions
Delt Fly, Single Arm Power Pull, Y Fly
Atomic Push-Ups; Mountain Climbers (30 seconds each); Hamstring Curls
Suspended Plank (30 Seconds); Pendulum Swing (10 each side, alternate); Crunch & Curl
Single Leg Squat (10 each side); Lunge (10 each side)

This is a full body workout that will get your heart rate up. Add this, or any other TRX exercises to your normal workout routine to add variety. Not only will it give you something different to do, but it will engage muscles in the body that are not always targeted through standard weight lifting regimens. Engage the core more frequently, build muscle, burn calories, improve balance and flexibility, and enjoy training wherever you want with the TRX suspension training system!

A Good Hostel in Cebu, Philippines 🇵🇭

Fitness, fun, food, and travel… It’s what my blog and my Instagram account (Tiffany_The_Happy_RD) are all about. I don’t always get to fuse all components though but today I can.
I found a hostel on Cebu. Somebody on one of my FB travel groups actually recommended it. I was interested in the “private beach.” Not having to walk somewhere for the main reason you visit an island is a convenience. Nordzee Hostel is located in Boljoon, along the east coast of Cebu. It takes about 3 hours to get there from Cebu City, depending on traffic. The bus ride costs about $2.50 from the South Bus Terminal. The hostel has its own private beach and the selling point for me was one of the Booking.com reviews: “The best western food on the island.” I was sold, looking for a break from rice and noodles these days.

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Welcome!

I checked into my 6 bed dorm with a private balcony and met another traveler. We went down to the restaurant on premises for a late lunch. There were some western style offerings on the menu: chicken salad, pizza, calzone, pasta, and a few other things. Chicken salad it was. Sometimes I’m just so thankful for some raw, fresh chopped vegetables and some lean protein.
I was excited to see some makeshift workout equipment. There was a wooden bench and a homemade rack that held some homemade dumbbells. They, along with a couple of bar bells were made with a simple metal bar with concrete moulds at each one. A smaller one was a water bottle, and the largest appeared to be from a planter. Ingenious and fairly functional.

Homemade Gym equipment
Homemade Gym equipment.

I hooked my TRX up to a tree and ended up working out all three days that I was there.

TRX in paradise!
TRX in paradise!

The hostel also rents snorkel equipment, has a small pool, cushioned beach loungers, a beach side bar, and hammocks, none of which I really used (sadly). Unfortunately, most of my time in Cebu was met with rain, apparently from a typhoon that was headed towards Japan.

Cebu, Philippines during the rain
Cloudy skies and rainy days. Balcony view.

I attempted to visit Kawasan Falls, but by the time I arrived, they were closed due to high water levels. I’d taken the local bus so at least I didn’t spend a lot of money, but it really felt like a waste of a day.

Near Kawasan Falls
The walkway to Kawasan Falls, Just before I was told they were closed.

The other thing to do on Cebu is go swimming with the whale sharks, the biggest shark there is, yet like manta rays, they are very docile and gentle animals. I opted to skip this excursion as I heard it’s quite “unethical,” but I’m regretting it so! I love large see creatures so this was my chance to see them up close and personal. They do get fed, which messes up migratory patterns, but you’re not allowed to swim after or touch them. There are steep fines and you could even end up in jail. So while feeding them isn’t best practice, the sharks are protected to an extent.
Unfortunately, my time in Cebu was short and wet. I didn’t end up doing anything the island is known for but at least I found a hostel with some decent food (although, I will say it was a bit pricey but at least serving sizes were decent). I was able to workout with a beautiful backdrop despite the gloom, and I got to see a lot of the island considering all of the bus rides I took.
If you’re looking for a chill place to stay on Cebu, check out Nordzee. The beds are adequately comfortable, there’s plenty of areas to relax on the property, and you can even get in a workout in a really beautiful setting. And of course, when the weather is nice, you can go swimming and snorkeling in the Bohol Sea. Oh, and they have a Pet turkey and a few chickens that hang out!!

If you go, let me know because I ended up taking my room key with me! 😂

Hotel Fitness Centers

Did you know there are over 1 million luxury hotels in Bangkok?!  I made up that statistic, but it really seems possible, they are everywhere, and that’s not including the cheaper hotels and hostels that cover the city.  I recently read somewhere that Bangkok was the most visited city in the world in 2016 and with all those people coming and going, the staff at large luxury hotels can’t possibly know all their guests, right?  With that in mind, I’ve been experimenting with “crashing” some hotel fitness centers and pools, and it works.

It first started at the Sofitel. Another traveler gave me a day pass to use the amenities on their 10th floor spa area overlooking Lumpini Park. When we arrived, nobody asked for the passes (given by the MOD the night before). I used the fitness area and spent the afternoon by the infinity pool. Not a bad way to spend the day when you can’t walk much! I then went to the Grand Sheraton because I know somebody who stays there. I asked if I could sit by the pool, so he walked me over and I stayed, lounging on a chair under the natural trees, a little oasis in the heart of Bangkok.

Doing what I can when it comes to lifting.

I went back to the Sofitel, feeling “safe” that I still had the guest pass, and again, no questions asked.  I worked out, swam laps, and showered in their immaculate facility with shiny off white marble like floors. Because that visit was a success, I decided to be a little more adventurous. I hit up the JW Marriott, just across from my hostel. I did some recon and was directed to the pool. The staff even opened the doors for me.  I did order a salad so as to not draw any attention to the fact that I was ultimately stealing real estate there. For the price I paid, it’s worth it because you cannot get a one day pass to a fitness center here in the city, much less one with a pool that’s within walking distance to me.

This is how I “paid” for my day at the Marriott- a huge Cobb Salad.

I love the pool and ambiance at the Sofitel, but I have to take a taxi there, so that costs me a few bhat. The fitness center is definitely doable with a variety of machines and free weights, but I have to say, the JW Marriott wins in that regard. It has more equipment than many small gyms and for my purposes, it is very practical.  The pool area is set up to look like a garden and doesn’t offer the views that the Sofitel does, but hey, swimming is swimming and I need it! The Pool at the Sheraton is quite nice too, but I didn’t go to their fitness center, it is on a different floor.

The pool at the Sheraton surrounded by a well manicured garden.

For now, it’s fun crashing hotel fitness centers and pools, and it saves money! If I were to stay in Bangkok longer, however, I’d pay for a gym membership. In the meantime, it is a good tactic to get in some exercise while traveling and I definitely love being able to lift weights! Do you have any stories of sneaking into hotels? Any attempts gone wrong?

Working one leg on the quad extension at the JW Marriott.

Work Flow Fusion

 

The Gym Crew in Kathmandu, Nepal.

I wrote this blog post on December 22, 2016. It’s January 22, 2017. Exactly one month later and I never posted it. How ironic. Now I need to follow up on this topic!

I’ve been on the road for over 5.5 months and I’m not planning on coming home anytime soon. I want to find a way to generate income while I travel and although I’ve done some freelance writing, it doesn’t generate much income. I have a few things in the works, but I have ideas, and hopes… Hopes that the perfect opportunity or something like that will fall into my lap. I feel like I could market myself here in Thailand as someone who works in wellness to the resorts and spas and whatnot, but I don’t want to commit myself to staying put in any one place for too long.

Does this mean to repackage your weights?

I’ve wanted to fuse travel, fitness, and components of a healthy lifestyle into one, but I don’t know how. My blog doesn’t get much traffic (and I don’t keep up with it), people don’t engage much on my FB fitness page, and I don’t have a large enough following on IG to have an impact on that form of social media.

The owner of a small gym in Ulan Batar, Mongolia.

How do I market myself as a traveling RD? How can I appeal to different companies for sponsorship in exchange for social media postings, reviews, and write ups? For example, I’d love to get a free nights stay in a hotel, workout in the fitness facility, and blog about it. There has to be an interest out there and this is just one example. Gym reviews… I’ve worked out all over so far- China, Mongolia, Nepal, Thailand…

Body weight workout in the Gobi Desert.

I met a woman last night at the hotel restaurant. She recognized my American accent and we got to talking. Shortly after I left with another group to go get dinner. When I got back, I wanted to go hangout in my room, but it was pretty early. I stopped by the restaurant, the American couple was still there, but kept walking past. Finally I turned around and joined them. We shared stories and told them why and how I ended up doing what I’m doing. She told me her sister has a website and blog related to fitness. She said large companies like Nike and Adidas pick up the articles and publish them- the contributors get paid. She said she’d connect me. Fitness from all corners of the globe! Just what I want to do! Is this even real? I’d say it sounds too good to be true, or too impossible, but I almost went back to my room so maybe there’s a reason I turned back! I really want to go further with my travel endeavors, not only travel, but do something more with it… Any ideas? Connections? Recommendations? I’ve always had the travel bug and now I do it and feel like

Hitting the weights at Elite Gm, on Ko Samui in Thailand.

I can’t ever give it up!
Help me!