Monday, September 09, 2013

Stroops + CrossCore = Training Bliss!

The longer you've trained with me, the more fitness tools you've seen.  I'm a firm believer in rotating the challenges we place on the body on a periodic basis, because it's beneficial for you.  Once your body gets "used" to a movement or a piece of equipment, it gets more efficient and the move becomes less challenging.  That's when I change something, such as:

(a) the duration of the activity
(b) the angle of approach to the activity (on CrossCore, steeper is harder for the same exercise)
(c) the speed of the activity
(d) the body position of the activity, to challenge your balance
(e) the order of the exercises
(f) the equipment

No class is ever the same.  On the flip side, I try not to change too much between sessions so that the learning curve prevents you from getting a good workout.  There's a balance between throwing the kitchen sink at you and giving your body several new challenges in each session.  

In late August, I attended training conducted by Stroops and purchased two of their SFP kits.  Their SFP (Stroops Functional Performance) kits are this:  cuffs that go around the ankles, wrists, biceps, and thighs, that are then attached to elastic bands.  You can hook up anywhere from two to eight cuffs at a time, and anywhere from one to eight bands at a time.

Why would you do this?!?

Well, the CrossCore (one of my top two favorite pieces of equipment, ever, the second being ViPR) has a different type of resistance than the Stroops equipment, which make them complementary.  With the CrossCore, the ropes are static so the amount of tension on an exercise is constant.  An elastic band like the Stroops fabric-covered "slastics" changes tension as you move deeper into the exercise.  And, the springy properties of the slastics allow for some smooth movements that aren't possible with the CrossCore.

Notice the cuffs that attach to our trainers' wrists and ankles.  I don't have enough right now for our entire small-group class, but I will be purchasing more within the next week to ten days so we can incorporate the training into our sessions.

You will sweat underneath the cuffs.  A lot.  They're neoprene, kind of like wet-suit material.

Options for my clients:

(a)   Use my cuffs, which I allow to dry between sessions.
(b)   Wear sweat-collecting wrist-bands and high socks, and use my cuffs.  This way, you have a washable barrier (the wrist band) between someone else's previous sweat and your skin.
(c)   Purchase your own cuffs  You need at least two, but four is better so you don't have to move them back and forth from wrists to ankles to wrists to ankles.  They are $12 each, plus shipping.  I'll figure out the shipping once I figure out how many cuffs I'm buying and then will divide the shipping between purchasers.

Is it worth buying your own cuffs?  Consider this. We will be using this equipment a week on, a week off, a week on, a week off, for at least the next 6 months and probably longer.  I envision this fitness tool integrating into our class in a similar manner to the way we rotate in the Havyks and the ViPRs.  You are not required to purchase anything.  You are free to use my equipment.  But if you prefer not to share equipment that gets sweaty, I'm providing you with options.  You can facebook me, or email me.

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