When it comes to strength training, you may just think of traditional weight training. But, there are other forms of strength training that can be just as beneficial or provide better results, depending on your goals.
Suspension training is another form of strength training that has its own benefits. Today, we’ll be comparing TRX suspension training to weight training. We’ll look at advantages, pros and cons, and even pricing. Are you ready? Let’s get started!
What is TRX Suspension Training?
TRX Suspension Training is a method of strength training that uses your body weight as resistance. You are able to adjust your resistance or intensity by simply adjusting your body position to the anchor point–or where your TRX is attached to. Developed by a former Navy Seal, Randy Hetrick created the first TRX Suspension Trainer to help his men stay mission-ready while on deployment.
TRX Suspension training allows for hundreds of strength training exercises to be performed for every muscle group. One of the biggest advantages of using TRX Suspension Training is allowing your muscles to undergo more time under tension during your workout, therefore allowing for muscle overload, muscle mass gain, and strength gain!
Advantages of Strength Training
Strength training has many advantages for helping your body stay strong and healthy! Here are the top benefits that come with strength training:
- Increase in muscle mass and strength
- Helps maintain healthy body composition
- Increase in bone density
- Preventing injuries as you age
- Improved balance and joint mobility
- Improved energy and endurance
- Improved self-confidence
Boosting energy levels with strength training will help carry over into your day-to-day activities. This will allow you to do more things in your day without feeling worn out or exhausted. Weight training has its own benefits as well. Let’s take a look at what makes TRX and weight training different.
TRX vs. Weight Training: The Main Differences
Targeting Different Muscle Groups
One of the many advantages of using the TRX for strength training is that you’ll be utilizing and targeting different muscle groups all at the same time.
Because TRX Suspension training utilizes your body weight as resistance, you will be using your core to stabilize you throughout most exercises. You will be engaging opposing muscles to assist in movements and recruit others to help stabilize your body.
With weight training, you target muscles more specifically and isolate the muscle group with a free weight. There’s also no need to stabilize or engage multiple muscle groups to perform the exercise. By specifically targeting muscle groups with weight training, you can help certain muscle groups stand out more if that's a goal for your workouts.
Weight training can also allow you to target the different areas of a muscle group by simply changing your grip on some exercises. Lastly, weight training can be very beneficial while training around an injury.
However, you should try to do both suspension training and weight training together. It can be constructive to incorporate TRX Suspension training alongside weight training to create a well-balanced workout plan!
Strengthening the Core
Suspension training is all about strengthening the core, as research has proved. You will have to engage and utilize your core in every single movement you do with the TRX Suspension trainer. Whether your hands are on the handles or your feet are in the foot cradles, your core is required to have a higher level of engagement.
The TRX creates a perfect balance between an unstable and stable environment. When performing specific core exercises with your feet in the foot cradles, you will be able to recruit abdominal muscles to help build a rock-solid core!
Using weight training to develop your core largely depends on the size of the weight and the exercise performed. For instance, kettlebell ab workouts largely revolve around keeping your core balanced while moving the weight.
Other weighted ab exercises will require high levels of core tension to brace your spine while moving the weight through the exercise. Therefore, that high level of tension will help build core strength over time. However, you won’t specifically target the core during the movements.
Adding Extra Weight
The ability to add extra weight is where weight training and suspension training differ probably the most.
With weight training, you are able to increase the resistance of the exercise by simply using heavier dumbbells or more plates. This will increase the progressive overload to your muscles, resulting in more mass and strength.
With TRX Suspension Training, your body weight is the only weight you will be using. Yes, you can increase the amount of body weight being used by adjusting the angle of your body to the anchor point, but you won’t be adding “additional” weight to the exercise being performed. Although, you could add more weight to a movement by wearing a weighted vest.
Be conscious of the additional risk that comes with adding weight. If you aren’t ready to lift at that level, you’re putting yourself at risk of injury. Make sure you can comfortably perform at the weight level you’re at before moving up.
Price & Affordability
If you are setting up a home gym or investing in equipment, the price can be a big part of the decision-making process.
For traditional weight training, you will have to buy multiple sizes of a certain weight. For instance, kettlebells, dumbbells, and weight plates will require multiple sizes if you actually want to progress.
The cost of weight will vary depending on where you buy it and if you have to have it shipped to you. The shipping cost of traditional weights could potentially cost you more than the actual weights themselves unless you can get free shipping with a certain amount of weights ordered.
When it comes to TRX Suspension Training, the cost can be very minimal. The investment in a Suspension Trainer is usually all you need to get a wide variety of TRX exercises. The only other thing you would need to invest in is a permanent anchor that you can hang to maximize your movements. Since TRX classes are available on TRX Training Club, you can even workout for free with professional trainers when signing up:
If you are looking to get the most bang for your buck, the TRX Suspension Trainer is the more budget-friendly option for your workouts.
Suspension Training or Weight Training: Which One’s For You?
When choosing which method of strength training is best for you, we have laid out some pros and cons for both weight training and TRX Suspension training. Deciding which is best for you is important to help you stick to your workout plan and achieve your goals.
If you want something cost-effective that you can take with you anywhere, then suspension training is your choice. If you want to isolate specific muscles and increase your PR, then weight training is better for you.
However, you should try to incorporate both suspension training and weight training into your regimen. We challenge you to pair both types of exercises together and watch your strength, stability, and overall health go through the roof.