Welcome to the Toybox
Plenty of you Gymbox-ers out there have heard us trainers refer to the myriad “toys” we have in our facility, hence why we call it the Toybox. You’ve likely used plenty of these pieces of equipment too, either in a class or during a training session. While you may have felt the burn squatting, running, or jumping with any of these toys, do you know the benefits they have to offer? Or why we trainers might choose one piece of equipment over the other? Maybe not. So I thought I’d do a little round up this week here on our blog and give you a more in-depth look at a few of the Gymbox toys.
First up, the kettlebell. Kettlebells are those cast iron balls you see in the gym with handles attached. At Gymbox we have them in different sizes, colours, weights, and ones measured in pounds as well as kilograms. Kettlebells have been extremely popular training tools for a number of years now, and for good reason. Kettebells differ from dumbbells or barbells in that they place the centre of gravity 6-8 inches outside of your grip. This forces your body to deal with a constantly shifting centre of gravity, which mimics more readily movements performed both in sports and daily life. Kettlebells also have the added benefit of training many systems at once: you can simultaneously work on balance and stability, strength, and your cardio-respiratory fitness. That’s efficiency right there! Not to mention training with kettlebells is highly functional. You’re essentially throwing a weight around, moving through different planes of motion and also using a broad range of motion throughout the entire body. It’s challenging, fun, and quick – the perfect trifecta for a great workout. In case you haven’t already tried it, we have a whole class dedicated to kettlebell training Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. Check it out!
Next up, we have the TRX Suspension Training system. The TRX are essentially two handles each at the end of an adjustable nylon strap, attached to an anchor of some kind (usually the ceiling or a high bar, or there is an attachment to hang one over the top edge of a closed door). TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise, and just as the name implies, offers a great full body workout. The TRX system also has the advantage of being an excellent tool to use across a broad spectrum of ability. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gym veteran, the TRX can be adjusted to create a demanding workout. Since the TRX are anchored only at one point and the handles move freely in space, it’s your body’s job while using them to direct and perform the exercise with good form. This means that your stabilizer (code: core) muscles are always fired up and working. The TRX is also an excellent piece of equipment to take with you when you travel. It weighs less than two pounds and can be easily set up outdoors or in a hotel room. Just like the kettlebells, so too does the TRX have it’s very own class here at Gymbox Mondays at 5p.m. and Wednesdays at 6 p.m.
“… I thought I’d do a little round up this week here on our blog and give you a more in-depth look at a few of the Gymbox toys.”
Lastly, I wanted to take a moment to discuss the two types of rowers you can find here at Gymbox. We now offer both air rowers and water rowers, and while they both move your body through the same motion, there are some subtle differences between the two. Most noticeably, each is powered by a different type of resistance. The water rowers have a horizontal tank filled with water, while air rowers have a vertical flywheel or fan. With water rowers, the resistance naturally increases as you increase the pace of rowing, meaning you adjust intensity simply by altering your effort. With air rowers, you can adjust the line of pull on a scale from 1-10 as seen on the flywheel encasement. You do have to pause for moment in order to make this adjustment should you decide to alter it mid-workout, but it can be doe quickly and easily. Arguments in favour of water rowers say they mimic a real-life rowing experience, while the benefit of air rowers is that they have a slightly longer main rail (advantageous for those who are taller than average). Both offer great full-body workouts and are low impact on your joints, so choose according to your personal preference.
Now that you know a little bit more about the benefits of some of the toys here at Gymbox, you can experiment more with them in your own workouts and appreciate their full benefits when using them in classes. This is just a first round up of the many pieces of equipment you’ll find at our gym, check back in the future to learn more about some of our other fun toys like the plyo boxes, sled, and sandbags. In the meantime, remember you can always ask one of our in house trainers to give you a quick demo on the proper use of any of the equipment in the gym. Switching up the equipment you use in your workouts not only creates a new challenge for your body, but keeps your workouts fun and interesting, too!