Equinox | TRX Max with Gerren Liles | Review

class reviews

Wednesday is usually my rest day, and often the only one I’ll take all week. But with Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow and some poor eating decisions since my wedding, I decided to set the alarm for 5:30 am and brave the rain to get to Equinox East 53rd St. for TRX Max. After an hour (20 minutes of which was spent with some extra caffeine), I didn’t regret it. TRX Max is a heart-pounding, sweat-inducing workout that will get you deceptively sore after only approximately 24 minutes of work.

Drinking coffee before TRX max

I really needed that extra coffee to get through this class…


Quality of TRX Max: 9

I understand that TRX Max classes can be taught differently depending on the instructor, so I’ll qualify this post with the fact that I took Gerren Liles‘ 7:15 am class on Wednesday at Equinox East 53rd St.

TRX Max is a circuit training class. Divided into six stations with two alternating movements, students spend four minutes at each station. In Gerren’s class, “TRX Max” is a little bit of a misnomer — we only used the TRX at one station. Today’s workout looked something like the below:

Station 1
  1. A team rope pull, where we sat in boat pose and passed along rope back and forth
  2. A move where we started on our knees, stood up and did a tuck jump
Station 2
  1. A ladder of pulsing squats with a medicine ball, followed by a twist to the right and to the left
  2. A push-up followed by a leg lift on either side
Station 3

This one actually wasn’t split into two sections; rather, we did the below ladder for the full four minutes:

  1. Deadlifts
  2. Lunges
  3. Burpees
Station 4
  1. A rope was knotted around an anchor. We moved the rope around the anchor in both directions. This was much harder than it looked.
  2. Forearm Plank
Station 5
  1. Curtsy lunges off of a platform using the TRX for stabilization. Since I did something weird to my knee at spinning, I modified this one by just doing regular curtsy lunges (Thanks, Gerren!)
  2. Beginning on our knees, we hinged backwards at the hips while hugging a sand bell
Station 6
  1. Overheard triceps presses with a resistance band (since we sat on steps, the difficulty of this one could be adjusted by moving the band further up or down)
  2. Crunches to the side and up in boat pose, with a sand bell resting on the legs

One aspect of Gerren’s style that I appreciate is his use of compound movements. I felt like every single muscle got a workout. The emphasis on core strengthening (especially as complementary to these other movements) was also helpful. Too often, I lift weights or do cardios without focusing on the fundamentals, like making sure that my back and core are strong enough to maintain my routine. The strategic placement of plyometric movements in this class also left me sweating and feeling like I’d done a job well-done.

Size of Class: Medium/Large

Since it’s the day before Thanksgiving, I’ll assume that people were away, but this class is typically capped at 36 students. Today, we had about four or five at each station, with no partner work.

Difficulty: Medium/Hard

This is one of those classes that’s challenging, but modifiable for each individual student. You’ll work as hard as you choose, and the barrier to entry is relatively low.

Studio Quality: 8.5

I’ve reviewed Equinox E. 53rd before — it’s a good studio. Check it out here.

The Bottom Line

TRX Max is an effective circuit training workout. If you’re fortunate enough to have access to Gerren’s class, don’t miss out!


  • There will be burpees. If you can’t jump for whatever reason, make sure that you are aware of the proper modifications.

If you like Functional training, check out how you can build a full schedule with A Week Of Functional Training At Equinox.

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