What Makes You Sweat
Buffalo Business First | January 20, 2012
By Tracey Drury | [email protected]
The recent arrival of snow means many workers who enjoy outdoor exercise will be on hiatus until spring. But that shouldn't mean there's no opportunity to work out.
Whether you have a gym membership or just a small space next to your desk in the office, there's a way to get in shape, says Joe Fox, owner of TrainSmart Personal Fitness in Buffalo.
He is one of the region's certified trainers for the TRX system, designed in 2010 by a former Navy Seal as a portable, use-it-anywhere tool. Using body weight suspension training, the system develops strength, balance, flexibility, endurance and core stability.
One recent afternoon, Fox spent an hour training a client in a snug, 376-square-foot fitness center tucked behind the elevator at the Innovation Center on the downtown Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. He says up to seven people can be trained at one time in the space.
A graduate of the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a certified personal trainer for more than 20 years, Fox was drawn to the TRX system after its launch, partly because it focuses on core strength training. Core training is central to the work he does with clients. The system of straps and pulleys is so small and portable that it can be used on the back of an office door or anywhere.
Fox tells his client to lean forward, holding two straps, and to use their body weight as resistance. Shifting ever so slightly, the client winces as his muscles tighten just right. It's a small but effective movement. And that's the point, Fox says.
"The vast majority of people are not interested in having the biggest bicep," he says. "People are interested in having better core endurance, in losing weight, having more energy and feeling better while performing better in their life and careers.
"You're consistently engaging your core and moving your body as one unit," he says. "It's really great for businesspeople or executives who are trying to consistently exercise with limited space and little to no access to fitness equipment."
Though he just began offering personal training at 640 Ellicott St., he has worked with clients from the medical campus for years as former part-owner of Personal Best Personal Fitness at the nearby corner of Washington and Virginia streets.
He's in talks now to offer training at other downtown office buildings and says he hopes to have two more sites open soon.
Even a tiny space will suffice, especially if the TRX system is involved, Fox says.
"We make it fast, easy and affordable for businesses to have on-site training centers with professional instruction," he says.
Anyone can buy the TRX system, but Fox says knowing the right way to use it is key. And that's what he does.
He swears by the principles of Stuart McGill, a Canadian author and professor of spine biomechanics, which stresses spine-neutral exercises and sports medicine education. All four trainers who work for TrainSmart are graduates of the TRX professional education program, including a physical therapist who counts several professional athletes among his clients.
"For not a lot of money, you can make it a state-of-the-art facility and offer quality exercise classes," Fox says. "You can do a lot with a small amount of space."
That holds true for those who want to do something other than the TRX system, as well. TrainSmart focuses on building every individual client from the core up. A few kettle bell weights, a medicine ball and a few resistance bands are plenty to develop a great workout, he says - perfect for clients who would rather learn what to do on their own.
"We do a lot of work simply on the mat, on the ground - an amazing amount of work," Fox says. "Over 90 percent of everything we teach are things people can do on their own and at home with limited space and spending very little money on fitness equipment. That's what we believe the science tells us is the best and most-effective way to train people and get results."