Suspension Training by Brian Fernie

Once thought of as just a set of Olympic rings for gymnist, suspension training has seen a huge demand recently especially amongest fighters.

Suspension systems are not new, they are not for the elite, with a bit of practice they can be mastered. There are various types of suspension systems around; my team have been using one format or another since 2005 to great success both with fighters and members.
You are probably asking what is suspension training and who can or how do I use it?

The modern term suspension training is coined from the company Fitness Anywhere who invented the TRX (Randy Hetrick a former US Navy seal is considered the originator of the TRX)however as we mentioned suspension training in the form of rope training and gymnastic rings have been around for 100’s of years.

Suspension training is a form of resistance training that also includes bodyweight exercises where the body is moved through a variety of multi-planar, compound exercises,. The aim is to develop strength, balance, flexibility, and joint stability simultaneously.

Suspension training does require a general level of fitness for anyone wishing to use and progress safely with these systems, as there is pressure placed on stabilizing muscle groups which tend to be ignored by the public in general.
Is suspension training good for fighters, YES! As a fighter suspension training should be incorporated into your training programme on a regular basis. Benefits of this type of training include

1. Improved coordination
2. Improved balance
3. Improved muscular strength
4. Improved muscular endurance10377432_10204787368299065_4004631278981932102_n

5. Improved plyometrics
6. Improved power
7. Increase in energy levels
8. Improved flexibility
9. Improved body composition
10. Improved stability

What more could you ask for from one piece of equipment.
On the market you will find many different variations of suspension systems, the difficulty is in knowing which one is best for your needs.

Price wise there is not much difference between each of them, below is the three main types used at T.O.D Combat
Air Fit Trainer- possibly the best suspension system on the market, the easy to use sling straps allow for various level and body position changes without your hands or feet leaving the slings. The slings allow for kicks, punches, knees, clinches, throws, holds, core work, lateral, rotational movements and much more….. down side needs 10f height clearance for proper use. Suited for all types of user.

War Machine- popularized by crossfit users around the world, the war machine is another great system which allows for a full body functional workout, downside is that you need further attachments for certain types of work such as clinches, throws etc. this system is best suited for intermediate to advanced users.

TRX- another good system this time on a fixed mount whereas the others are on rational mounts. The TRX allows for a full body workout but is limited for stability and rotational usage owing to the fixed mount. The straps limit usage to certain foot sizes, 11 and above may struggle to use the straps, however the newer versions are supposed to have increased strap sizes to allow for bigger feet.


Try out the following basic circuits on each of the systems; ensure an adequate warm up is completed prior to the start of any training.

Air Trainer
Met Con circuit 5 minute round 30 seconds on 15 rest, AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
1. Suspended GI rows
2. Squats
3. Crucifix press up
4. Single leg squat jumps
5. Knee tucks
6. Hamstring curls
7. Skiers
8. Hello dolly’s

Repeat as desired

War Machine

Ton up- 10 reps of each exercise= 100 reps 1 minute rest after the set is complete, then repeat
1. Chest press
2. Chest press with rotation
3. Power thrust
4. Power thrust and rotation
5. Inverted chest press
6. Flutter kicks
7. Suspended Crunch
8. Donkey Kick
9. Hanging climbers
10. Pull Ups (locked mode)

Repeat sets as desired

Tabbatta circuit- 4 minute round, 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest.
1. One leg burpees to jab cross (r)
2. Inverted v sits
3. One leg burpee to jab cross (l)
4. Seesaws
5. Single leg lunge to knee strike (r)
6. Stir the pot
7. Single leg lunge to knee strike (l)
8. Suspended hand clap press ups

Repeat sets as desired



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