As the seasons change and weather cools, it can be difficult to muster the energy to leave home and head to the gym. Good news! Fithaus gives Ferndalehaus residents 24-hour access to Pelton equipment, treadmills, ellipticals, free weights and more. Want to focus on building strength? Don’t let our TRX system scare your away from a fantastic workout.

The modern-day gym floor is littered with hulking, intricate, alien-looking contraptions that can confuse and/or intimidate even the most diligent Pumping Iron–type wannabes. (Take the Skillmill treadmill, for starters—a curved monstrosity that somehow doesn’t even have a motor.) Then there’s the TRX suspension trainer, a labyrinthine collection of straps, pulleys, handles, and carabiners that looks more like something a stuntman would use to dangle off a building than it does an honest-to-God piece of workout equipment.

In actuality, the TRX—short for total-body resistance exercise—is a training tool that uses your body weight to put a new flourish on some of the big-name exercises you’re already tackling in the weight room. (Think inverted rows, jump squats, and push-ups, among many other things.) Its “handles” can be used to anchor hands or feet, which allows for a ton of single-leg exercises that are hard to replicate using traditional dumbbells and barbells. By incorporating balance into the weightlifting equation, TRX forces you to engage your midsection and back throughout every movement. It is, in other words, hard as hell.

The device was created almost by accident by one Randy Hetrick, a Navy SEAL who was trying to get in some fitness while deployed using only jujitsu belts and some spare parachute webbing. This early, rudimentary TRX caught on quickly with friends and colleagues. Hetrick completed a post-deployment stint at Stanford business school, and after a whole lot of prototypes, a version made of high-quality nylon is in gyms everywhere. (Worth noting: Although plenty of competing TRX-style suspension trainers are on the market, you’ll likely see the signature yellow-and-black straps in most training facilities.)

“Everyone with every body type can use it,” says Miguel Vargas, the company’s training and development manager. “We say that anyone from Homer Simpson to Superman can benefit from training on it.”

Science agrees: One 12-week German study showed the apparatus can help increase balance and improve core strength. Research funded by the American Council on Exercise shows that incorporating TRX training into an eight-week fitness program can significantly decrease waist circumference, body-fat percentage, and both resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Next time the weight-room floor is too crowded for your tastes, take TRX for a spin using this circuit, courtesy of Eric Salvador, a TRX-certified trainer at Fhitting Room in New York City. Do each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds’ rest. Repeat the circuit three times.

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