TRX, a new form of fitness invented by a Navy SEALs veteran, can also be practiced in Romania.
TRX, Total Resistance Exercise, is a new form of fitness invented by Randy Hattric, a Navy SEALs veteran. He found that, by simply using a karate belt tied in various ways, he can do all his fitness exercises. He created a new way of keeping in shape with wider appeal. Dumitru Butilca is a fitness coach with a company that has clubs in all major Romanian cities. He introduced TRX in Romania after graduating several training and certification courses:
Dumitru Butilca: “I first saw a little movie about TRX, a few years ago. When I saw it, I told myself: ‘I got to have that’. Someone sent me a TRX from the US. As a personal trainer, fitness and aerobics trainer and technical assistant, you have to be in step with the latest developments, so I told myself that I have to go get certified. As I am a French speaker, the first course was in Paris. Now I hold training courses in Romania.”
Shortly after bringing TRX to Romania, he asked a few of his students if they wanted to join a military training camp, the so-called TRX Bootcamp. It lasts three days, and is held somewhere close to the town of Sacele, in central Romania. Each of the three days there are two training sessions, for a total of 9 hours of running and exercising. Dumitru Butilca told us it is quite a challenge:
Dumitru Butilca: “You have to outdo yourself every time. If you feel good and you are fit all the time, your psyche will follow. When you tell someone: we’ll stay in the mountains three days, they say ‘OK’, but when you tell them two training sessions a day, they start backing off. One session is between 45 minutes to two hours. This is not your classical fitness session. We have car tires, I make them carry them around, we have sandbags, which sometimes we carry all the way to the spot where we train. We never train in the same place twice. If we have to climb a hill, we do so, then hang the TRX on a tree and start, I have some people do TRX, others retraining, others do weights, and others carry car tires. Everyone is working. The type of training changes every day.”
Gabriela Radulici went to the bootcamp for the first time out of curiosity: “I hadn’t been doing my fitness exercises for a long time. I was intrigued by TRX and so I went. I wanted to do whatever those folks hanging from ropes were doing. I loved it. This is a preconceived idea, that it wouldn’t be the place for a woman. Several friends saw the pictures and asked me if I’d gone crazy. They were saying: ‘Have you lost your mind? Carrying car tires around, haven’t you got anything better to do at home? You could had a massage.’ No matter how much I or anyone else explains, until you experience it, it’s hard to understand. The training is liberating, you can’t understand until you do it. From the outside it looks like you’re torturing yourself, but exercising outdoors makes all the difference. There is no mobile phone or computer to distract you, you see the guy next to you and it motivates you. The first and last training sessions are the hardest at the bootcamp.”
The training starts with a physical trial, when the instructor takes notes on the fitness of each “recruit”. The physical test consists of three series of 10 exercises per minute, with two rounds of running, a kilometer and a half each. The same test is administered at the end of the bootcamp.
Things improve dramatically, Dumitru Butilca told us, because he builds his training on two principles: “No one gets left behind”, and “There is no ‘I can’t’”.
Dumitru Butilca: “There is no such thing as ‘I can’t do it’, the only thing there is ‘I don’t want to be able to’. The brain gives up way before the body, it is a scientific fact. We all have that moment when we believe we can’t do it any more. If you overcome that moment, you can work hard for another two hours.”
Between training sessions, the recruits are provided with massage, sauna, hearty meals, with a menu designed by the trainer, but most of all they interact. Friendships are struck, teams get put together, which makes things much easier, as Gabriela told us:
Gabriela Radulici: “When training starts, people start interacting much more, new relationships get created. Even if I may not be able to do something, my team partner encourages me, or the other way around. You stop perceiving training as something difficult, things start coming naturally to you.”
Madalina Leonte, a TRX Bootcamp veteran, told us this is an experience worth having: “The idea is to unplug yourself totally, you literally don’t have time to think about anything. It was worth it, I had an experience which I told about to anyone willing to listen but was reluctant to go. You learn new things, you see new people. This is the most interesting thing, I think. We are 10 people in the heart of the forest for three days, and we can only talk to each other, about ourselves, there is no TV, no mobile phone, not even mobile phone signal. We talk about our problems and what we want our bodies to be able to do, what we could improve in the program. I think it was totally worth it. I would go to the Bootcamp again, I had six months of fitness training at the club. It’s not for just anyone, it’s not for the ladies going to the club with their Vuiton handbags and make up on, who want to do an hour of aerobics. It is for people who realized that they have to change their lifestyle, to reach a balance between body and mind. I think that this kind of training is the best way to achieve that.”
The most important lesson people learn in the Bootcamp, according to trainer Dumitru Butilca is “Yes, it can be done”.