TRX Training Review: Still the Apex of At-Home Workout Equipment?

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by  Savarone Ammann | Last Updated: 

Working out at home sounds convenient, until you’ve only banged out one miserable set of push-ups and now you’re licking your lips and fantasizing about blending up a creamy protein shake and plopping limply back down on the couch.

The truth is that you don’t need a gym to rip through a killer workout. But, you will need a dash of discipline and some minimal equipment. By the end of this review, you’ll know whether TRX® is up to your at-home fitness needs.

Suspend your disbelief
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: TRX®

TRX®

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Bottom line: TRX® is using bodyweight more intelligently than any other brand out there and delivering huge value for the price. With new additions to their gear repertoire, at-home fitness enthusiasts can pick from a range of simple, effective tools to supercharge their home workouts.

Ratings:

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The Adult Man Image/IconQuality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/IconValue for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/IconInstructions/Workout App The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/IconCustomer Service The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon

Pros:

  • Versatile gear that offers hundreds of lean muscle-building movements
  • Uses bodyweight more intelligently than any other brand
  • Every item is built with durable, lasting materials
  • Packs and stores away easily
  • Applicable to seasoned or new fitness enthusiasts

Cons:

  • Access to the training app is an added cost
  • The BANDIT™ might not offer challenging resistance for some guys
  • The TRX® XD™ KEVLAR® WEIGHT VEST is a bit pricey for it’s category

A few years back, I noticed my buddy was looking more chiseled and defined than before.

When he told me he had only been doing bodyweight movements and Navy-Seal-type workouts, it reminded me that you can get into shape with much less than what you think you need.

Your bodyweight is a magic tool and one you carry around with you everywhere. If you’re smart about how you utilize it, you can target major muscle groups effectively without a chunky dumbbell or plate in sight.

TRX® is the veteran darling of at-home fitness gear. I picked up a few of their top new products, including their beloved suspension trainer, to see if I could get pumped up at home and forgo the caked-in-sweat gym mats and decidedly rusting dumbbells at the local iron paradise.  

What Is TRX?

TRX straps up close

TRX® was founded back in 2004 in San Francisco, CA by a guy named Randy Hetrick, an ex-Navy Seal officer who is credited with more than 30 patents and the invention of the TRX® suspension trainer.

Since its creation, the TRX® SUSPENSION TRAINER has made its way into homes and gyms and into the hands of civilians and fitness trainers alike. It’s simplicity, compact design, and versatile capabilities have cemented it’s status as an esteemed fitness product.

As a brand, TRX® still sells various versions of their suspension trainers. But in recent years, they’ve handsomely expanded their gear locker to include things like: resistance bands, dumbbells, battle ropes, and weighted bags and vests.

TRX® Suspension Training

You can supercharge your at-home workouts with TRX® gear. The suspension bands allow for a lot more versatility in your body-weight workout, which can be a huge relief if you've been working out without a gym for a while.

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Things to Consider Before Buying At-home Training Equipment From TRX

Man doing triceps TRX

If you’ve gone to local gyms or fitness studios in the past decade, you’ve probably seen yellow and black TRX® suspension trainers dangling from machines and pull up bars. Trainers love them.

And if they’re good enough for the trainer charging $75 per hour down the street, then they’re good enough for your at-home fitness needs. TRX® offers a slew of products and programs that serve up versatile, well-rounded workouts you can complete using just a corner of your bedroom.

All of the products I reviewed—save for the beastly 20lb weighted vest—pack and store away beautifully so you don’t have the eyesore of a tower pull up dip station murdering the aesthetic of your otherwise chic living room vibe.

If you want to maintain your level of fitness or get back into the game, TRX® has something for you. Read on to see what each product is best for and which one might serve you best.

TRX Training Review

First, I’m going to give you a detailed lowdown on the TRX® PRO4 SYSTEM, the flagship suspension trainer from TRX®.

Then, I’ll cover the TRX® XD™ KEVLAR® WEIGHT VEST, a tactical 20lb addition to any workout. Finally, I tried out the BANDIT™, TRX’s brand spanking new product, a resistance band set with comfortable handles.

PRO4 SYSTEM

Model does back on TRX

The PRO4 SYSTEM is TRX’s top-of-the-line suspension trainer. This is the one pro trainers, athletes, and olympians use.

The PRO4 SYSTEM can be hung from a horizontal bar at a gym, from a large tree branch outside, or more commonly fitted to the top of a closed door for us fellas getting our workout in from home. 

Features + Hanging It Up

The PRO4 SYSTEM comes with a locking carabiner at the top that holds over 700lbs, adjusters so you can change the height of the straps, thick rubber handle grips, and adjustable foot cradles. It also comes with a door anchor, a suspension anchor and extender, and a small mesh carrying bag.

I’m a medium-to-larger sized dude standing at 6 feet and weighing about 185lbs. When I slung the door anchor over my somewhat dingy bedroom door and clicked it shut, I was, admittedly, pretty nervous to lean forward, putting all my weight into the chest press movement on the first few sets.

TRX PRO4 SYSTEM set

“Did I hang this up right?” and “is the top of my door going to snap off?” were a few initial thoughts that rushed through my head. The TRX® packaging says, rather vaguely, “hook the TRX Door Anchor over the door as close to the hinge side as possible.” 

So, I consulted a 1-minute tutorial video online to make sure I had this set up properly. Aside from getting close to the hinges, the key is to pick as sturdy of a door as you have access to, set up on the side of the door that opens away from you, and make sure to lock the door so no one opens it while you’re halfway through a gruesome set of off-the-ground planks. 

Though, no one online had any issues with their doors or straps breaking, so you can trust the design and payload of these straps once you hook them up right.

One thing to note, TRX® also sells special mounts if you want to hang your straps from the ceiling or a beam in your home.

What It Feels Like

Like many gym goers, I love heaving heavy dumbbells overhead and hearing the soft, metal-on-metal clatter of placing a heavy barbell back on the rack after pushing out a loaded set.

But on the flip side of this brutish delight, is the simplicity of utilizing gravity and your own bodyweight to achieve a near equal test of muscle, strength, and balance.

It’s considerably rewarding to wear out your muscles using only your own body, a few straps, and the ruthlessly consistent force of gravity pulling against you. And like lugging around metal at the gym, your form needs to be impeccable and your efforts intentional to do these movements correctly and feel the burn.

video screenshot

Using the 7-day trial that came with the PRO4 SYSTEM, I fired up the TRX® app to run through a couple of on-demand workouts. The “Upper Body Strong” with trainer Keith Johnson and the “Build Your Core Base” with trainer Jay B. were both easy-to-follow yet comprehensive workouts. One lasted 11 minutes, the other 21 minutes.

Right now, you can get unlimited access to the app, which includes live classes, on-demand workout videos, and discounts on TRX® products for $14.99 per month. Or, if you only want access to the on-demand workouts videos, you can pay $5.99 per month or a flat rate of $49.99 per year.

The Movements

For the lower body, I like the suspended split squat, in which one of your feet is looped into the foot cradle behind you and you do a single-leg squat on your other leg. 

For the upper body, it’s difficult to pick a favorite—there are plenty that I use on a regular basis. I’ve been loving the chest fly. This is a slow-burning, controlled movement that will push your chest muscles to fatigue.

Since you’re only using your own body weight, you don’t have to question if you picked up too heavy of dumbbells that might put you at risk for faulty form or injury.

I’m also a fan of simple bicep curls using the PRO4 SYSTEM. The amount of burn I felt in my biceps was really surprising.

Model doing abs on TRX

For core, my favorite is the suspended oblique crunch, in which your feet are suspended behind you in the foot cradles and you’re holding yourself up on your hands, sort of like a plank with your feet in the air. Holding your feet together, you squeeze your knees up to one side of your body and repeat on the other side.

For cardio, I found the jumping squats and lunge jumps to be most effective in revving up my heart rate. Both of these movements involve standing upright, holding the handles in each hand, and leaning back into each move.

Man outdoors using TRX

Fitness influencer Alex Crockford has a fast-paced video revealing his 25 favorite TRX® movements and all the ones I mentioned above are in here. If you want to write out your own set and need inspiration for moves to include, this is a handy resource to reference.

Is It Worth It?

The PRO4 SYSTEM is durably constructed, easy to pack away in a drawer when not in use, and offers hundreds of variations of lean muscle-building movements from the upper body to the lower body to cardio and core. 

It’s by far the most versatile and effective at-home workout device in this price range that I’ve ever encountered. It’s portability makes it especially appealing considering you can hang it from a door, a bar, or a tree outside to get some fresh air while you work out. This thing would be an ideal workout tool to use while traveling.

Model hanging up TRX straps

At $234, you aren’t buying a generic, flimsy strap easily picked up from a local sporting goods shop. It’s a pro-grade piece of home fitness gear with a reasonable price tag. At this price, I think TRX delivers huge value. 

If you forget about the PRO4 SYSTEM and bang out a couple sets of chest presses a few times per week, it won’t be worth it. 

But if you’re willing to dive into the movements and block off time, even 15 or 20 minutes per day to pick a muscle and burn it out, this thing will last you decades and be the simplest, most accessible tool you’ll ever find to tone up your entire body.

TRX® PRO4 SYSTEM

The PRO4 SYSTEM is TRX’s top-of-the-line suspension trainer. This is the one pro trainers, athletes, and olympians use.

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KEVLAR™ WEIGHT VEST

Model running in TRX KEVLAR WEIGHT VEST

Gents, get ready to strap up and feel like you’re entering a turbulent battlefield. I won’t lie, throwing on this 20lb KEVLAR™ WEIGHT VEST made me feel a little tougher than usual and subconsciously flipped the little switch in my brain to let me know: it’s time to workout.

Materials

Closer resembling a military accessory than a piece of workout gear, the KEVLAR™ WEIGHT VEST is made of DuPont™ Kevlar®, Dupont being the specific manufacturer that produces this version of Kevlar.

Kevlar is a staple material used in various applications, including ballistic body armor, and is heralded for its impressive strength-to-weight ratio. Kevlar fibers are heat resistant and provide a tensile strength that is 10x stronger than steel on an equal weight basis.

TRX KEVLAR WEIGHT VEST

TLDR: Kevlar ain’t no joke and it’s used in ballistic body armor. So yeah, it’ll stand up to your evening run.

The shoulders of the vest are made of seat belt-like straps that are snugly held down with velcro. The waist is secured by two large velcro flaps that fold over one another and can be adjusted to fit various waist lines.

Functionality and Customizability

Once you get this on, it won’t slip or slide an inch, no matter how sweaty you get. And let’s face it guys, if you don’t look like you just got caught in a monsoon after your workout, should you really be wearing a weight vest in the first place?

The KEVLAR™ WEIGHT VEST comes in either 20lb or 40lb pre-weighted options. On the inside, you will find three rows of thin, small weights which can be removed in 1lb increments for the 20lb version or 2lb increments for the 40lb version.

Model doing push up in TRX weight vest

Having this customizability is beneficial. You might want all 20lbs for a HIIT circuit or weight session, but only 10lbs if you’re about to embark on a long, arduous hike.

The KEVLAR™ WEIGHT VEST really only adds resistance to your torso, so in theory, as long as you’re comfortable and not sacrificing form or damaging your body, you could wear this through any type of workout. 

This vest would work especially well to notch up the intensity of a TRX® suspension band workout, which already utilizes your bodyweight and gravity to kick your tail. Adding this vest will simply challenge your muscles to move a body that weighs 20lbs more than you do.

Bottom Line

Like most of TRX®’s products, this vest is remarkably well made, but also not cheap. $219 is a lot to spend simply to add extra weight to your workouts. Though, I’m confident this vest wouldn’t fall apart over time, even after the most grueling workouts. The Kevlar is ballistically tough, as is the velcro and general construction of the piece.

TRX KEVLAR WEIGHT VEST 20lb

Beyond TRX®-specific workouts, I wore this vest on a 4-mile hike and while doing stadium sprints at the local college football field, and it added a noticeable boost to the cardio and overall difficulty of both workouts. Plus, when you shed this thing off, you feel like you could take Usain Bolt for his money.

If you like to complete a range of workouts and want to easily add intensity to any or all of them, this would be a stellar item to add to your repertoire. Be prepared to have all your friends ask you to borrow it, though. 

TRX® XD™ KEVLAR™ Weight Vest

Once you get this on, it won’t slip or slide an inch, no matter how sweaty you get. And let’s face it guys, if you don’t look like you just got caught in a monsoon after your workout, should you really be wearing a weight vest in the first place?

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BANDIT

TRX BANDIT set

The BANDIT is a resistance band set and a newer release from TRX®. The standard set comes with 2 handles, 2 green bands (5-15lbs), and 2 blue bands (15-30lbs). The biggest selling point here is the ability to hold onto a handle instead of a typical resistance band which can dig into your hands and create discomfort while working out.

Materials 

The handles are composed of firm plastic wrapped with quality rubber grips, the same as the PRO4 SYSTEM suspension trainer. There’s a slat that runs the length of the handle where one or multiple resistance bands can be slipped into.

The bands are constructed of durable but highly stretchy latex which can be used at halfway stretched or full stretched to provide different levels of resistances.

Versatility & Uses

Model using BANDIT

Because you can load up one or multiple bands, you can move through a wider range of resistances. For instance, the blue band by itself only goes up to 30lbs when fully stretched, which may not be enough resistance for a lot of guys who have already been working out and developing various muscle groups. 

But, if you combine the green and the blue band, now you have up to 45lbs when full stretched. Similarly, you could combine both blue bands to get 60lbs of resistance when fully stretched.

At first, the bands felt comically light when I loaded one up and did a simple bicep curl, high-row, or chest press. But if you load them up accordingly and rep out a few sets, you’ll feel the burn. 

This product feels slightly geared more toward women, both in the marketing and the resistance of the bands, though, that’s not to say most guys wouldn’t get an effective workout while using these.

TRX® points out that while their resistance bands work the very best with the handles, you can also use other types of resistance bands, so long as they fit into the slats in the handles. Of all of TRX®’s lean muscle-building products, the BANDIT packs down the smallest and could easily be tossed into a backpack or small gym duffel and taken just about anywhere.

Model using TRX BANDIT

For most of the movements, the bands will be wrapped underfoot and held down by the weight of your foot stepping down on it. Though, there are countless variations in which you can wrap the band around your foot, or use something like a pole, a basketball hoop, or the leg of a table. The BANDIT can be used in numerous settings, making it a truly portable workout device.

One issue I noticed is that while you can combine bands to workout the upper body, the BANDIT may not offer enough resistance to be a lower body challenge for some guys. This was most apparent in the squat, lunge, and deadlift.

Bottom Line

Overall, the BANDIT is a lightweight, highly portable, resistance band set that is effective for toning upper body muscles. The stretchy bands are extremely versatile in that they can be placed under or wrapped around the foot, but also easily secured around a pole, table leg, or other stable surfaces. 

At $49.95, the price is very fair. One drawback could be the lack of heavier resistances that might not be challenging enough for some guy’s preferred lower body leg movements.  


What do Other Reviewers Say About TRX®? 

Model holding TRX straps

Since TRX®’s suspension trainers have been on the market for years, there’s no shortage of reviews online about them. Many guys praised the simplicity of a piece of equipment that hangs from a door frame but still allows you to crush your muscles and core.

One consistent comment I saw was that some guys purchased the home system and wished they bought the pro system, which has thick rubber grips as compared to the flimsier foam ones on the home version. 

From the TRX® website to Amazon to Google, the reviews on the actual equipment were stellar all around. A few guys didn’t like that they had to pay a small added monthly cost to get access to the app and training content. 

My Thoughts Overall On TRX Training

What I Like

  • TRX® is a time-tested brand that’s loved by athletes, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts alike.

  • The materials used in each piece of equipment are durable and long-lasting.

  • The PRO4 SYSTEM offers a true, full-body workout without taking up any space in your home.

  • The KEVLAR™ WEIGHT VEST can easily withstand any workout you drag it through.

  • The app is a cohesive online resource of live and on-demand workouts that are well-shot and simple to follow.

What I Don’t Like

  • Paying for access to the app can be a tough added cost to swallow on top of purchasing the actual equipment. 

  • The BANDIT doesn’t offer enough resistance for stronger guys.

  • The KEVLAR™ WEIGHT VEST has a steep price for a workout vest.

Who is TRX for?

TRX® is so versatile that it doesn’t feel like going out on a limb to say that their products are for every guy who wants to get a good workout at home. 

The PRO4 SYSTEM is approachable for anyone, whether you’ve made fitness a consistent habit, are just getting back into a rhythm, or are starting out completely anew. For an effective tool that can get you into great shape, this is well worth the price of both the suspension trainer and access to the app. 

The app, though coming with added costs, provides you access to straightforward on-demand content that you can pause, rewind, and take at your own pace. Not to mention live classes if you pay for the unlimited version. 

Yet, for the more advanced at-home fitness gurus, you can easily write up your own plan selecting several of the hundreds of movement variations possible with the TRX® suspension trainer, and knock out sweaty and intense sessions on your own that will grow lean muscle and hit your cardio goals.

The Verdict

Push-up and sit-up routines become stale and monotonous in a couple of minutes. Yet, you also don’t have an entire room laying around in your overpriced apartment to set-up a full home gym like some MTV Cribs celeb.

Finding serious at-home fitness equipment that packs away effortlessly is not an easy task. If you’re spending your hard-earned moolah, you want a piece of equipment that is effective, one that you will actually use on a regular basis, and one that won’t murder the aesthetic of the room or take up more space than an oversized LoveSac.

TRX® has proved to the entire fitness industry that their suspension trainers are serious pieces of equipment that, with the help of gravity and your own bodyweight, are powerful tools in building lean muscle and getting your heart rate pumping. The best choice is the PRO4 SYSTEM.

By adding new products like kettlebells, weight vests, and resistance bands, TRX® continues to offer a broad lineup of at-home equipment that you can easily understand and get onboard with.

While the BANDIT feels limited in it’s resistance capabilities for stronger guys, and the KEVLAR™ WEIGHT VEST is a bit pricey compared to other vests, like all the products under TRX®’s label, these will both perform well and hold up for ages.  

You could carve out an hour and a half every day and sign up for a local gym membership to get back into shape. 

Yet, there’s something both self-sustaining and appealing about only needing a door in your own home, some straps, and a dose of motivation to make it happen. There are few, if any, at-home systems that offer this many functional movements in one, compact piece of gear.

TRX® Suspension Training

You can supercharge your at-home workouts with TRX® gear. The suspension bands allow for a lot more versatility in your body-weight workout, which can be a huge relief if you've been working out without a gym for a while.

Shop TRX®
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

Is TRX Training Effective?

Yes, TRX® suspension training is an effective method for building lean muscle, burning fat, and revving up your cardio time using only minimal gear and your bodyweight.

Can you get ripped using TRX?

You can build a lean, chiseled physique using the hundreds of movements delivered by the TRX® suspension trainer and other simple pieces of equipment. The TRX® suspension trainer targets multiple muscle groups which will challenge your strength and incorporate cardio into your workouts.

Should I do TRX every day?

You can absolutely use your TRX® every day, targeting different upper body, lower body, core, and cardio movements. Because a TRX® session may only be 10-30 minutes and uses your bodyweight, it’s a great way to prevent common gym injuries and maintain a healthy state of fitness.

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TRX® PRO4 SYSTEM
The pro version of the original system
TRX® PRO4 SYSTEM
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TRX® BANDIT™
Resistance training at its most portable
TRX® BANDIT™
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