San Francisco — Fitness Anywhere is on a pace to instruct more trainers on TRX Suspension Training this year than in the last three years, according to the company. Fitness Anywhere trained more than 1,000 trainers in the first quarter of 2009 compared with 2,500 trainers from 2006 to 2008.

The number of states and countries in which the company has hosted classes also has grown to more than 30 states and 10 countries.

Jon Binder, vice president of sales for Fitness Anywhere, says the company has shipped more than 100,000 TRX Suspension Training units since the product was launched in 2005. Some of the estimated 5,000 clubs that use TRX include Urban Active, Lexington, KY, Crunch, New York, and Western Athletic Clubs, San Francisco.

“The growth has been tremendous, mostly through word of mouth and referral sales,” Binder says. “A key component of that has been through education.”

TRX Suspension Training is a portable training tool consisting of straps with handles that leverages gravity and the user's body weight and develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously in a variety of functional exercises.

The cost for a club to implement TRX into its programming depends on the size of the club and the class, Binder says. For large classes in larger clubs, the cost ranges from $10,000 to $12,000, and a smaller-scale class can cost around $2,000, he says.

One of the appeals of TRX, Binder says, is that it can be used in a larger class and can incorporate both men and women of various skill levels and various ages.

The majority of clubs charge extra for the TRX classes they offer with classes ranging from $10 to $35 per session. TRX is having its greatest impact in the semi-private and small group training formats, Binder says. Clubs that have large group training, involving 12 to 20 people, usually charge at the lower end of the scale, he adds.

Club owners often see a return on investment within a few weeks to a few months, Binder says.

Hockessin Athletic Club (HAC) in Hockessin, DE, began to turn a profit within a month of implementing its TRX small group exercise program, which consists of 15 classes per week at $5 per class for six to seven participants in each class. HAC initially introduced the program to its members by offering a free TRX class with the option of purchasing one of a number of packages at $5 per class.

“To us, success is reaching out to a population we aren't currently reaching out to,” says Rachael Ling, HAC's assistant fitness director. “Based on our surveys, 87 percent of TRX class participants aren't involved in group fitness or personal training at the facility, so TRX classes complement rather than cannibalize other potential revenue streams.”