Randy Hetrick is the creator of the Suspension Trainer®–perhaps the most prolific piece of exercise equipment in history–and the founder of TRX, one of the world’s leading training brands.

Over the past three decades Randy built a record of unique accomplishments including: collegiate athlete, 14-year Navy SEAL Officer, bootstrap entrepreneur, multi-patented inventor, and growth company CEO whose company earned multiple placements on the rosters of the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies and Outside Magazine Best Places to Work.

He earned a bachelor’s from the University of Southern California; a master’s from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey; and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he is a contributing lecturer on entrepreneurship, branding and leadership. Randy has recently added television to his resume as host of Spike TV’s reality series “Sweat Inc.”

  • The fitness of a Navy Seal
  • The importance of training stabilizer muscles
  • What is suspension training and how can it help you?
  • Why being sedentary is your enemy
  • How to slow the aging process

0:00take back your health now episode two
0:05you’re listening to the take back your
0:07health now podcast the show that
0:10interviews the top doctors athletes
0:12trainers and entrepreneurs to help you
0:15find the holy grail of health now here’s
0:17your host dr. dan Margolin hello this is
0:27doctor Dan Margolin with the next
0:29episode of take back your health now
0:31where we pull out all the stops in
0:33search of the holy grail of help
0:35today’s guest is Randy Hetrick he is the
0:38creator of the Suspension Trainer
0:39perhaps the most prolific piece of
0:42exercise equipment in the history and
0:44the founder of TRX one of the world’s
0:46leading training brands over the past
0:49three decades Randy built a record of
0:51unique accomplishments including
0:52collegiate athlete 14-year Navy SEAL
0:55officer bootstrap entrepreneur multipad
0:59inventor and growth company’s CEO who’s
1:02company earned multiple placements on
1:04the rosters of the inc 500 fastest
1:06growing companies and outside magazine’s
1:08best places to work
1:10Randy man welcome to the show sir thank
1:12you for having me dr. Gann my pleasure
1:15awesome so ready let me ask the question
1:17how did how do you think the Navy set
1:20you on a path for fitness
1:22oh well I mean hey you know being a Navy
1:27SEAL or most of the other Special Ops
1:29guys fall in the same category you’re
1:31sort of a professional athlete in
1:33uniform you know you usually get there
1:35because you grew up in athletics and you
1:38stay there because you love you know you
1:41love doing hard things in the physical
1:42realm so that was kind of a natural fit
1:45for me
1:46sure what was it means question what was
1:48it like when you first
1:49you went in for to become a Navy SEAL
1:51like the training and stuff like that
1:52was it
1:53even though you’re in good shape it was
1:54a sort of surprising how difficult it
1:56was are you prepared for it or well I
1:59mean I did the best that I could to
2:01prepare for it i’ve been at my grown-up
2:04is as a an athlete I was a wrestler
2:07I and then in college I was a rower so I
2:10had a pretty good background in a
2:13miserable sports require a lot of you
2:17know a lot of fortitude not a lot of
2:19crowd approval so I suppose I was
2:21prepared in that respect but man that
2:24the one thing that that the seal
2:26selection process is great for is
2:28they’re getting they’re gonna they’re
2:30gonna put it on you no matter who you
2:32are or what you show up within the way
2:34of the physical talent and and I
2:37certainly got my money’s worth
2:38I bet you did let me ask you where did
2:41this idea of the Suspension Trainer come
2:43from like how did you get involved with
2:44that how did you come up with it
2:46well we were you know in the middle of
2:48the nineties we were deploying a lot to
2:51a lot of different places and it was
2:54easy to stand shaped back in you know we
2:58were back in the states had a
3:00world-class gym and I’m you know a
3:03couple hours of data to train at least
3:06but then when you deploy abroad there
3:08weren’t any of those assets and so I was
3:12on a a operation over in Southeast Asia
3:16actually looking at the underway ship
3:20mission you know that and counter-piracy
3:22mission where you gotta climb the side
3:25of them afraid or with a bunch of weight
3:26on your back and I and just by
3:30happenstance I had I had taken off and
3:34had my jiu-jitsu belt accidentally
3:36stuffed in my bag and I ended up just
3:37coming up with an idea to tie a knot in
3:39the end of it throw it over a door in
3:41this little warehouse and lean back
3:43against gravity and start lifting my
3:45body to train the climate muscles and it
3:49and so I you know I thought well that’s
3:51interesting and I made a couple
3:52modifications and discovered that while
3:55women this is really interesting is
3:57crazy will harness that I’ve created and
3:59you know one thing led to another and i
4:01knew how to sew because all old seals
4:04learn how to learn how to sew when you
4:06first get into the community so that you
4:07can modify your gear and that and i
4:10ended up just tinkering away and
4:12creating something that the guys that
4:14was pretty cool so what like what you
4:16know when you’re looking at other types
4:17of workouts where you’re lifting weights
4:18and things like that has had
4:20this difference does it affect the
4:21muscles of the structured differently
4:23well there’s there’s some really
4:24interesting things about suspension
4:26training you know working against
4:29gravity is is is a basic human condition
4:33right it doesn’t matter doesn’t matter
4:35what you do or whether you’re a pro
4:37athlete or whether you’re you know just
4:39coming off a hip surgery the the idea of
4:42integrating balance and strength and
4:45being able to move your body through
4:47space and control it with a strong core
4:49and strong stabilizers you know in your
4:51hips and your knees your ankles that
4:54that’s a pretty broad need and it turns
4:57out that the suspension trainer does
5:00that for you it lets users of all
5:02different levels and abilities you know
5:04some people use this use the straps as a
5:06stabilizer literally almost as much as
5:09an assist to do things like a body waste
5:12bodyweight squat and then other people
5:14use it for a completely different reason
5:16because you can you can create some
5:18environments that are really really
5:19challenging for the higher-end athlete
5:21and for you know for somebody who’s
5:24coming off of surgery or maybe get a
5:27little older and struggling with balance
5:29it can provide a safety net so it’s a
5:31pretty unique pretty unique tool you
5:34know use funny you’re mentioning core i
5:36was i was in a car accident about a year
5:38ago and I got hit from behind not that
5:40hard but it really look shook my backup
5:43and i realized at that point that I’m
5:45not the part of the problem wasn’t the
5:47car accident it wasn’t i hadn’t
5:48necessarily strengthen my core as much
5:50as it could be
5:51I’ve always sort of lifted weights but
5:53I’ve never done it more balanced she was
5:55always more like upper body and stuff
5:57i’ve never used your products but I
5:58could see just in these discussing it it
6:01makes sense right would it would seem
6:03like it would strengthen all the muscles
6:04at the at the same time to get
6:06bodybuilders and and people that are
6:08normally lifting weights a great deal
6:10using your product global back when I
6:12first brought it to market the answer
6:13was no you know people are created
6:16creatures of habit and so so i would
6:18first show it to weightlifters they
6:20would look at it and sort of you know
6:22squint at me and say like do you see me
6:24here with all this muscle mass I lift
6:25heavy but but then i would i would say
6:29all right tough guy came here for a
6:30minute night and I put them on it and
6:32the things that’s really unique and it
6:34does trouble began that you that you
6:35that you’re not a TRX yet we’re gonna
6:37fix that I it it really focuses on the
6:43stabilizers so because it’s not on a
6:47track and it’s not on a hinge their
6:49result there’s a lot you know the straps
6:51will move anyway that your body will
6:53move and by manipulating your angle with
6:56relation to the ground you can apply
6:59relatively more of your weight onto the
7:01straps which you have to lift as
7:03resistance or relatively less and it’s
7:05very easy to adjust just by moving your
7:07your foot position so it’s an
7:10interesting would now we have a big fall
7:13way with powerlifting and bodybuilders
7:15because they’ve realized that a lot of
7:17what they’re doing works too big
7:19prime muscles right the packs or maybe
7:21the quads but they tend to lack strength
7:26and stability through the joints and
7:28that’s something that that that
7:30suspension training does really really
7:32well when you don’t mean it’s it’s one
7:34of the things that I just was wondering
7:36to like as you age right there’s certain
7:38muscles that will tend to be I guess
7:40atrophied from lack of use and stuff
7:42like that
7:43what do you find this as people age
7:44they’re running into mostly in terms of
7:46their health in terms of their workouts
7:48those kind of things probably the
7:49biggest well I mean the number-one enemy
7:52of longevity and function is you know
7:56becoming sedentary if you don’t keep
7:59moving you lose the ability to move and
8:03it’s a it’s a very interesting thing I’m
8:04sure that you see this in your practice
8:06right when someone has a but maybe at an
8:11overuse injury or they enjoy their their
8:13foot and then in healing they become
8:16inactive and then that just causes
8:18further act atrophy and more inactivity
8:23and it’s this it’s this vicious spiral
8:25and generally what we see in from aging
8:28athletes through you know regular folks
8:31hip mobility decreases and the the
8:35postural muscles that stand you up right
8:38from the base of your skull down to the
8:40tip of your tail bone those tend to
8:42so you end up seeing people whose
8:46dance gets narrower and narrower is age
8:48and then they start to stoop and those
8:50things are simply from lack of
8:54performing the movements that you
8:57performed as a kid and then through
8:59young adulthood and all the way up you
9:02know his lifestyle changes as you age
9:04there’s less and less reason to do a lot
9:06of that stuff and then if you mix in an
9:09injury you know along the way or some
9:11kind of a health crisis that takes you
9:13out of the game for a while it can
9:15become this self-fulfilling prophecy so
9:17we we really like the fact that you know
9:20the suspect stranger you can use it
9:21anywhere you hooking up your your fence
9:23in the backyard or throw through the
9:25door anchor over a door in your house
9:26and you’re in business you start doing
9:29some of those movements to mobilize the
9:31hips to strengthen the low back to
9:33mid-back strengthen the upper shoulders
9:35and neck and I you can really turn
9:37somebody around pretty quickly so you
9:39know you saying what I have sort of
9:41noticed then I see this in some patients
9:43are you get some patients in here that
9:45are seven years older 60 years old and
9:47they look 70 or 60 years old and then
9:49every once in a while you get that
9:51person that comes in and you’re like
9:53there’s no way that they’re the age that
9:54short says you know what I mean
9:56and so what you’re saying I guess is
9:58that you don’t necessarily have to age
10:00the way a lot of people want you to
10:02believe that you do it’s really the
10:04attention that you start putting on
10:05yourself is that I’m a huge believer in
10:07that day and I i think that you know I
10:09mean look at this note there’s no
10:10denying that there are certain factors
10:13that change with age but those factors
10:17can be significantly slow the aging
10:21process through activity and good diet
10:23and you know it truly is the case that
10:26it if if you you know you don’t use it
10:29you lose it and conversely if you’re
10:32using your body and keeping your machine
10:35and intact
10:36I’m the the degradation to your function
10:39is actually slowed massively and I i
10:41just turned 51 this year and while I
10:45can’t you know I can perform at the
10:48level that I could as a 28 30 year old
10:51wow I just do it day after day after day
10:53after day right that’s the Rights
10:56Alliance will have to make
10:56accommodations and I had it and I have
10:58to warm
10:59up and make sure because some of the
11:01elasticity and my tissues is declined a
11:03bit so so i have to take a little more
11:05time to warm up have to make sure that
11:07I’ve done my active mobility stuff
11:09before i start doing power work or speed
11:11work but but but once I’m warm you know
11:16I can perform or less the level that i
11:18did as a 28 29 year-old that’s simply
11:20because I never stopped you know effort
11:23right I’m overriding that’s also like a
11:26mindset you know I meet so many people i
11:28mean i remember meeting a guy in his
11:30twenties when I was in my twenties and I
11:32said how’s things going and he said ah
11:34I’m getting old man he was probably 24
11:36that and i’m sure you don’t think I’ve
11:38made it slick so you meet some people
11:40that are just old when they’re young and
11:42you meet some people that are that are
11:43young with their old so it’s just what
11:46what what do you think like gave you
11:48that mindset like your parents are like
11:50just growing up and you always have you
11:52always liked sort of fun aging or well I
11:54I think I’m i think i’m fortunate should
11:57knock on wood right because you never
11:58know what’s around the next bend but but
12:00i have my maternal grandmother just
12:03turned 203 and and she was working
12:08driving to work in her eighties until
12:11she got macular degeneration and that
12:13was what that was what took her off the
12:15road but she was a she was the dancer an
12:18aphid you know ballroom dancer her whole
12:24life and it really showed I mean she was
12:28fully vital into well into her nineties
12:30and that was a big lesson for me you
12:33know and ironically that you know she’s
12:35still kicking along pretty well but when
12:38she got macular that changed her ability
12:42to move right on independence and that
12:46really was the first time in my entire
12:49life’s recollection that my grandmother
12:51started to seem you know hold it and and
12:56so that was for me a big lesson in Stan
12:59active and making sure that you know you
13:01moved to the bitter end
13:03you know we have something someone my
13:05grandmother remember her see my
13:06great-grandmother she passed away but
13:08she was also about a hundred and five
13:09and i remember her dancing at her
13:11underneath birthday party so pretty cool
13:14actually have relatives that that that
13:15kind of longevity you know so you and I
13:17have no excuse
13:18we got no excuse my friend let me add so
13:21as to talk to me about the amount of
13:23time somebody let’s say in their
13:25twenties thirties and on should work out
13:27on a daily basis to maintain would it be
13:29half hour day out like is that a silly
13:32question is there a standard or what
13:34well i mean the the common in a
13:37recommendation is 30 manage five days a
13:39week right that’s that’s sort of you
13:42know what you hear out of the industry
13:43and and out of I think some of the the
13:46Presidential Fitness Test and I i think
13:50that generally speaking
13:52mar I my experience is that if you you
13:56kind of have a few different ways you
13:58can go you can be one of the folks who
14:00who likes a lifestyle exercise like
14:03maybe walking or jogging biking I’m and
14:07if you’re getting after that a half hour
14:10a day I at some you know concerted level
14:14of effort i think you’re you’re putting
14:16yourself in the top you know half
14:18percent of of Americans well and that it
14:21should be more or less efficient as long
14:24as you’re doing some some variety of
14:27exercise because one of the mistakes
14:29that people make is that you know if you
14:32said hey Obama runner and all you do is
14:34run well you develop some repetitive you
14:38know first of all you you’re really
14:39training only on the sagittal plane of
14:41motion for the most part out in front of
14:44you and over time you can develop them
14:46some significant imbalances in the way
14:48that your body is equipped so you know
14:52if you if you take a couple of different
14:54exercise exercise modalities you do a
14:57little bit of resistance training and
14:59could be your own body weight but you’re
15:01doing calisthenics and then you mix that
15:04with a cardiovascular you know activity
15:08like power walking or or running or
15:11biking and you just do it you know
15:14between two and four days a week
15:17consistently weekend and week out you’re
15:20in pretty good shape and let you know
15:22there’s a problem in this country of
15:24and things like that you think that’s
15:26simply because people are not working
15:28out enough you think that might be the
15:29diet might be involved as well or what
15:32do you think of one moves well there’s
15:33that there’s that there’s a saying that
15:34you can’t out train a bad diet right so
15:37this is slow
15:39there’s there’s no question that diet
15:42has a huge impact not only on one
15:46performance but on on you know function
15:48and longevity and then probably the
15:50single biggest threat to you know the
15:54american population from an obesity
15:56standpoint is soda
15:59I’m you know you get and and believe me
16:02I i like it i like my little mini
16:04coca-cola now and then but it is the
16:07problem with with sodas is that they
16:10deliver such high concentration of empty
16:14calories and sugar in a you know in a in
16:17a tiny format and you don’t realize that
16:20in a date in a day if you start to
16:22develop a soda habit you know you can
16:24put down three four five sodas and a day
16:27right without thinking twice about it
16:29and that’s a whole days worth of food
16:32calories right and yes so it without any
16:37nutrition you know nutritional component
16:39to go with him so I think that’s one of
16:41the big areas that people ought to
16:43really be mindful of and alcohol as well
16:47right loaded with calories so you gotta
16:49go to be mindful you shouldn’t have more
16:50than you know one or two glasses a day
16:52of whatever your beverages at most and
16:57and then you know other than that I
16:59don’t think it’s a big mystery it’s you
17:01know go longer on lean meats and things
17:04that are green and shorter on things
17:07that are white right that’s that’s
17:09generally that ya know the rule of thumb
17:11that I try to use what I’m uh whatever
17:13i’m i’m deciding that I’m gonna cut a
17:16little do you know-know you know I
17:18remember years ago running into a
17:20trainer and he said to me then you have
17:21a choice you know you can either eat
17:23right and work out and spend the time
17:25doing that or you can spend the time in
17:27the doctor’s office your choice as you
17:29get older I thought that’s pretty true
17:30you know and I’ve really seen that to be
17:32the truth and I’ve seen patients come in
17:34that are just you
17:36overweight and you start to talk to them
17:38about their habits eating and drinking
17:40and you find out that diet sodas or not
17:43something that they consider is wrong
17:44they actually consider that as a healthy
17:47option you know and I guess we both know
17:49that doesn’t work yeah diet diet soda I
17:51mean you’re you know you’re you’re just
17:54shifting one devil for another it’s it’s
17:56diet soda is not a not a good substitute
17:58for for healthy beverage you know really
18:02the healthiest one ball of water right
18:05yeah if if you actually can get yourself
18:07to drink your your six to eight eight
18:10ounces of advanced classes a day you can
18:14solve so many so many of life’s problems
18:16with with water and none of us you know
18:19i’m a i’m a coffee guys so III have a I
18:23have a that’s where my sweet tooth is
18:24coffee and you know it’s it’s a there’s
18:28nothing wrong with coffee
18:30except that if you find that
18:32substituting for water than your
18:34operating any you know under hydrated
18:36state all the time and that’s not good
18:39for your body so that’s one of the
18:40things that I try to focus on more as
18:42making sure that I that I at least match
18:44my coffee and take 21 with some water
18:48that’s the one thing my wife is always
18:50yelling at me about it’s not drinking
18:51enough water going on
18:53so let me answer it so if we’re looking
18:54to optimize our health like what would
18:56be the thing that we should pay the most
18:58attention to like what would you say
18:59would be the holy grail of health the
19:02one thing if you would the one thing is
19:05movement and I really do believe that
19:09and and I i use that term deliberately
19:12because i’m not going to tell you that
19:15it has to be any particular kind of
19:17movement because if I do you know I can
19:20i can give you my thoughts on on how
19:22people should be moving but that what’s
19:24more important is that they are moving
19:25and so if if you’re saying it is walking
19:29fantastic get out and do it
19:32get out and do it if you want to get on
19:33your bike it doesn’t matter you just
19:35have to make sure that on a daily basis
19:37you’re getting up and moving your body
19:39and you know to the extent that you want
19:42to go a level deeper make sure that
19:44you’re doing things that stretch your
19:47range of motion
19:48you know do
19:49some some stretching that keeps your
19:52hips mobile don’t allow your mobility to
19:55become constrained over time through
19:58lack of practice you know I i look at
20:01movement as a little bit like brushing
20:03your teeth right you don’t brush your
20:05teeth so that your teeth get big and
20:08haha your tea so they don’t run out
20:10fallout of your mouth right right and
20:13movement is no different
20:15you gotta brush those joints and sinews
20:18and tendons and muscles on the daily
20:20basis with movement in order to keep
20:23them supple and functional awesome
20:25awesome i got this is a great interview
20:27let me ask you a couple more questions
20:28and we’re starting to wind down but what
20:30is your favorite health resource to
20:32recommend to the audience now that’s an
20:34interesting question I you mean in terms
20:38of the of reference material
20:41yeah just anything that you think that
20:42would be important to to refuse a
20:44reference well I think it I think the
20:46popular fitness magazines are are decent
20:49i think they tend to focus too much on
20:51vanity rather than function the American
20:54Council on exercise their website
20:57doesn’t great stuff
20:58TRX training dot-com we talk about some
21:01we talking off a lot about movement and
21:04and how to maintain a you know strength
21:06and function
21:08I’m you know the beauty
21:11dan of the wired universe is that
21:13there’s this suit search bar and Google
21:16right and i and type in something you
21:19want to know and damned if you don’t get
21:20you know ten pretty-pretty authoritative
21:23answers so I you know I have to think
21:27you stumped me a little bit with that
21:28one because i kinda consumed from a lot
21:30of different a lot of different vehicles
21:34but you know I a men’s health
21:38I’ve been reading men’s health since I
21:39was 18 years old and I still find
21:42something and they’re interesting every
21:44time i crack that thing open
21:45well you know there is there’s so many
21:46different resources and stuff like that
21:48so I think what you’re saying to is like
21:50just really look at a broad area of
21:52knowledge to start to really learn about
21:54different areas and then take what you
21:56need away from that and I think people
21:58going to take away a lot from this show
21:59because i think it’s it’s awesome and it
22:01definitely puts us on the right
22:02track to find the holy grail of health
22:05let me ask you
22:06so what working people find out more
22:08about where they be able to to learn a
22:10little bit more about to get in touch
22:11with you
22:12well so we know our website is TRX
22:16training dot-com I and then we’re on we
22:20have we have a great very active social
22:23presence on Facebook at TRX training is
22:26to I’m your external computer the same
22:30I’m and then personally I I’m i have my
22:33stuff at Randy Hetrick
22:35I’m but it’s we love it when people get
22:39on we have about a million really active
22:41social followers on our on our social
22:44platforms and we have great great
22:46discussions and debates and lots of
22:49interesting stuff so please do come and
22:52check us out and i think that you know
22:55we we talk about making your body your
22:56machine and i’ll leave you with that
22:59thought damn it it’s it’s a it’s a great
23:02way to to think about your health
23:03because lot more a lot of people pay a
23:05lot more attention to their cars and the
23:08maintenance of their cars and they do
23:09their own body which is crazy right to
23:10get the oil change
23:12they keep them looking good to keep them
23:13clean and that and then they don’t they
23:16don’t give the same courtesy there to
23:18their own left you know human body so
23:21you know what I tell people make your
23:23body your machine that’s what we mean do
23:24do what it takes on a daily basis to
23:27keep your machine running well and it
23:28will serve you
23:29long into your life hopefully to the
23:32very last day
23:34randy Hetrick thank you so much sir for
23:36being on the show I want people to go
23:38out and check out your device the TRX
23:40and what a great interview I thank you
23:42so much sir yes sir
23:44pleasure talking to you thanks for doing
23:46what you do to help people
23:48this episode is sponsored by New Jersey
23:50Foot and Ankle Center in Oradell New
23:52Jersey remember when you have a foot
23:55problem you’ve got a foot doctor in the
23:57family weekend and evening appointments
24:00are available call us at 2012 619 445
24:05once again that’s 2012 619 445 thanks
24:11for listening
24:12check out the show notes over at dr.
24:14and speaks dot-com if you’re loving the
24:16show head over to iTunes and leave us a
24:18review and we’ll catch you next time
24:23voice-overs for this episode were
24:26provided by Randy Ramos jr. to see and
24:29hear more of his work visit Randy Ramos
24:32jr. dot-com

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