Like many people that live in this city, Kyle Fraser is not a native Houstonian. Unlike many of us, though, it wasn’t the thriving economy that drove him here, but the love of his life, and now wife, Carey. Without getting into details let’s just say that Kyle Fraser doesn’t take his passions lightly. His always-upbeat attitude, skills as a Sports Therapist and love for competition combine in a remarkable way, giving his clients an invigorating TRX experience that keeps them coming back for more.
I myself am relatively new to TRX. I didn’t realize until studying the workout, how core-focused it is. With the two straps, come a world of workouts, targeting muscles in ways that no other workout can. The suspension training develops balance, flexibility, strength and core stability simultaneously. By the very nature of the training, the core becomes the main target for the workout. Whether it be suspended pushups, back extensions, or bicep curls, the core must stay tight throughout the exercise. Using varying degrees of leverage, TRX is almost infinite in its complexity. For a strength workout, the angle of the body can be increased or decreased to work muscles harder for fewer repetitions and for an endurance workout the opposite is possible. I was a skeptic until I saw the results for myself, but I am thoroughly convinced that there is not much that targets for a lean mid-section the way TRX does.
I had a chance to meet up with Kyle to discuss what fuels his fire for training. Below are the highlights of our discussion:
What are the benefits of a TRX program that you wouldn’t see with other workout programs?
The biggest thing that I like about TRX is the body weight part of the entire workout program. Your core has to be turned on at all times in order to maintain proper form and posture. It’s a fast, effective and concise total body workout that really offers variety to keep people engaged and offers challenges to show improvement. The big advantage with suspension training is the ability to train strength and stability throughout the entire range of motion which is often where injuries occur. With small changes in body alignment, I can focus on each client’s specific target areas and work around physical limitations.
Will TRX training lead more towards muscle growth or fat loss?
The TRX program uses reps and/or sets of specific exercises which could help develop greater strength and achieve hypertrophy. For fat loss, the high intensity anaerobic interval training that a TRX program consists of is only one element for fat loss, but it is a piece to the puzzle.
What are common mistakes you see people making?
At the gym it has to be posture. People sacrifice posture and form for more weight or more reps. They don’t understand how essential form is when doing an exercise. Being able to specifically isolate a muscle or muscle group is crucial when doing strength programs.
What advice would you give other people looking to get into stability training?
Do it. When you first start and you’re just balancing, it’s not fun. It’s pretty boring. Don’t progress yourself quicker to get past the boring stuff. Working on posture, form and appropriate isolation of the muscles are much more important. If you’re not doing some form of stability training in your workouts you can be putting yourself at a much higher risk for injury.
What advice would you give to a beginner, just getting into fitness?
Ask questions, seek advice from coaches, and do as much research as possible. Question everything and everybody, politely. I love when people ask questions when I work with them. I welcome it because that shows that the person is internalizing what is going on versus just doing it because the Doctor or I say so. I feel people get scared to ask questions because they don’t want to offend me or even look ignorant themselves. I find that when people ask questions it pushes and motivates me more to be clear and on why and what we are doing
What type of training do you focus on?
My daily training has changed so much throughout the years, but currently I’m doing a lighter weight higher repetition sets workout. I’ve seen positive results in my own fitness when I plateau by using Drop Sets intermittently throughout the workout. Using the TRX Suspension trainer is a great add-in when doing sports specific workouts. Its primary function for me is adding dynamic motion into my already regiment static core stability program.
How did you get involved in personal training?
I’m actually not a personal trainer, but am currently a Sports Therapist. I was a varsity basketball coach for 9 years. I wanted to work with my athletes outside of the basketball season. In order to work with my athletes I had to become a strength coach because it was illegal to coach your own kids outside of the season. I found the loop hole, worked it and actually enjoyed it. I even worked with athletes that I would actually compete against the following school year, probably not to my benefit. Houston and the Sports Therapy position allows me to combine my teaching skills with my love for competition. It was a perfect fit for me at Spine and Sports Therapy.
What are your thoughts on bulking/cutting phases compared to building muscle while burning fat?
I have started calling this the “Northeast Routine”. I have a lot of friends that will do high weight low repetition exercises in the winter and then come summer time the opposite, to shed the excess weight. The winter guys can wear more clothes and the summer it’s beach muscles. I personally don’t do this simply because my body type wouldn’t allow it. I don’t think it’s necessarily bad because some people do see results. I do much more of a consistent workout routine and only change certain variables when I feel like I am experiencing a plateau.
How has your outlook on fitness changed over the years?
Of course when you first start really getting into fitness as a high school/college student it’s all about appearance. Lifting more weight than you should, doing exercises you’re not completely ready for yet and basically everything you read not to do. Becoming more aware of form, posture and workout regimen has helped me drastically tailor my own workouts and be able to isolate and improve upon my current workouts. Endurance exercises and body weight exercises have become a big part of my routine.
Did you participate in fitness activities growing up and what kind?
I was a die-hard basketball player. At 6’5” I never really had any choice. I played basketball all through High School and competed in track my senior year. I became a varsity basketball coach and coached for 9 years.
What motivates you?
Being around competitive people and athletes is always a must in my life. Whether it is in the office or at the gym, competition is a great aspect to have in your life. Also, being able to help people succeed in their goals on a fitness level is exactly why I do what I do.
What quote best describes you?
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”