With soo many workout tools available in the current market it’s okay to get confused between two or more equipment. TRX and resistance bands are the minimalistic approach to personal fitness and their workouts are not confined within the gym only.
Many people are buying TRX and resistance bands for the home workout or to train while on vacation. Still, most people are not aware of the basic difference between both tools.
What’s the basic difference between Resistance band vs TRX: Both the workout tools have their own unique quality but the major difference is their anchor points, resistance bands require two anchor points while TRX requires only a single anchor point. While the TRX is more about improving full-body strength & functional ability, resistance bands are a better option to achieve superior muscle pump and isolation training. Additionally, training with resistance bands might require a level of expertise but you get a systematic workout guide with the purchase of TRX suspension trainer.
Let’s get to know about both the equipment in detail before we move ahead to discuss the differences.
What is TRX suspension training
TRX stands for Total Resistance eXercise. Although rope training has been around since the 1800s but the first version of TRX was created while on the war deployment in 1997. It was developed by former Navy SEAL Squadron Commander Randy Hetrick creates the first version of TRX using only a jiu-jitsu belt and parachute webbing.
The idea behind the creation of TRX suspension training was to develop a travel-friendly workout tool that can be used to target the full body.
TRX is not just a travel-friendly fitness option but it is also quite affordable, safe, and versatile fitness equipment that can be used in many different ways.
TRX put you in a position to execute 7 fundamental functional movements that are required to maintain strength and body conditioning. 7 fundamental movements are:
Remember, this tool is developed by a navy seal to improve the body’s ability to basic functional movements. If you are looking for improved muscle definition or muscle pump then this might not be the best option for you.
Little about Resistance bands
For decades, resistance bands have been used by physiotherapists and sports therapists to improve recovery time but in recent years resistance bands market has grown exponentially because of greater empathy towards personal fitness.
There is a wide variety of resistance bands available in the market and I will try to cover them all in a separate article.
There is a resistance band for pullup-assist, a band for muscle building, bands that are designed to dominate the lower body, etc. In other words, resistance bands are not confined to physical therapies, they have entered general fitness as well.
Resistance band vs TRX training
|Attribute||Resistance Band||TRX Suspension Trainer|
|Anchor point||Not Available||Available|
|Linear variable resistance||Applicable||Not applicable|
|Progressive Resistance||Far better||Limited|
|Portability||Highly portable||Highly portable|
|Purpose||Strength and hypertrophy||Full body strengthening|
|Core strength||Not very helpful||Best choice|
|Calorie burning||Limited||Better calorie burning|
|Muscle building||Very effective||Good for overall strength and performance|
|Risk Factor||Can be risky for senior citizens||Lesser chance|
|Training Guide||Not available||Available|
TRX training and resistance band training has different mechanism, they both assist in muscle strengthening in their own distinct way. Let’s get to know the basic differences between both.
Resistance is what makes us stronger; higher resistance is always linked to greater strength and hypertrophy.
As specified earlier resistance bands are available in a wide variety, you can have a resistance band with resistance from 10 pounds to 200 pounds.
The vast variety of resistance levels is the primary factor that made these bands all-time favorites of seniors to powerlifters.
No matter what your requirements are, there is a resistance band manufactured specifically for your requirements.
There are resistance bands available for injury recovery, improved agility, bodybuilding, assisted pullups, lower body workouts, powerlifting, etc.
TRX works on the concept of bodyweight training, you use your own weight to create resistance.
Just like any other bodyweight exercise, TRX provides you a platform to train all the major muscles without needing any extra equipment.
Not an expert in TRX suspension training? No problem, the creators of TRX offer a Personalized App and Streaming Workouts.
2. Anchor point
Anchor points define the limits of the range of motion. Anchor points make the workout safe and effective.
Gym machines have anchor points and that’s the reason they are considered safer than free-weights
Most of the resistance bands do not come with anchor points and you need to hold them by yourself. Although, custom anchors are now available on Amazon as a separate entity.
The unavailability of anchor points gives you the ability to train in a flexible manner with a better range of motion.
TRX comes with inbuilt anchor points that need to be attached at a stable hook.
These anchor points make the TRX workout a safer option than a resistance band but they also restrict the range of motion of the workout.
Additionally, these stable anchor points make it easier to target the core and lower body.
3. Linear variable resistance
Linear variable resistance can dramatically change the way you workout and it has the potential to improve muscle contraction, muscle pump, and hypertrophy.
What is the linear variable resistance? It means that the load progressively increases as the range of motion increases.
In simple terms, resistance is minimum at the resting position and maximum while peak contraction.
Linear variable resistance (LVR) is the top benefit of resistance band training. More you stretch = greater the amount of resistance you experience
A 2015 study (1) conducted on Effects Of Variable Resistance Training On Maximal Strength” demonstrated encouraging results of variable resistance training on strength and size development.
How to Add Exercise Bands to Free Weights by Jim Stoppani
On the other hand, TRX does not work on the concept of linear variable resistance. Resistance remains the same during the workout.
Does cost bother you or do you prefer to have a high quality tool that lasts long? Let’s find out the cost difference.
Resistance bands are available at a wide variety of prices. Their price starts from $10 to $80.
TRX bundle is a little more expensive than resistance bands, it will cost you about $150.
But the TRX system is built to last long, you can expect it to last for a decade without any problem. On the other hand, resistance bands can snap at any point in time (depending on the quality provided by the manufacturer).
5. Progressive resistance
Progressive overload is one of the most important aspects of muscle building. It’s a method in which the resistance is gradually increased to promote adaptation and muscle growth.
As we specified earlier, resistance bands are available with a large variety of capacity, you can choose from the resistance of 10lbs to 200lbs.
Most of the manufacturers are offering a set of resistance bands with different resistance levels which makes them an effective tool for progressive overload.
Additionally, you can also combine multiple resistance bands to create higher resistance levels.
On the other hand, you can also change the resistance levels with TRX by changing the body position.
But progressive overload with TRX bands has its own limitations because it works on body weight. For extra resistance, you can wear a weighted vest.
Originally, the TRX system was created to be a portable and effective workout solution, it was never developed to replace the conventional weight. If you are on a vacation or suffering from muscle injury then TRX can be a great companion to retain the muscle mass.
6. Mobility and portability
Both the exercise tools were originally developed with the primary intention of mobility in mind. A few decades back, working out while on vacation or outdoors was no less than a hassle. Carrying a set of barbells and plates was never an option.
You can surely carry a resistance band in a backpack and it takes minimum space. You can workout in a hotel room or outdoor.
TRX is also easy to carry but you might find it difficult to find a good anchor point.
Most of the hotel rooms do not facilitate a good anchor point, I also found TRX to be difficult to work out outdoors when there is an absence of an anchor point.
There has to be a purpose behind every purchase. No product is good or bad, it all depends on the purpose of purchase.
Knowing your purpose of purchase is the most important part, it helps in making a wiser decision.
Types of purpose might be:
- Muscle building and hypertrophy
- Quick workout
- Calorie burning
- Physical therapy
Although, resistance bands and TRX system seem quite similar to many people but they target different purposes. Let’s have a look at the purpose of both.
What is the primary purpose of the resistance band?
- Muscle hypertrophy and pump
- Physical therapy
Most of the people buy, because its portable and cheap. These bands are a great solution to muscle warm-up and get the blood flowing to the target area before you get ready for heavy lifts.
Heavy resistance bands are also very effective in strength development through progressive overload.
What should be your primary purpose before buying TRX system?
If you are looking for a portable solution that can help you target full body with some compound movements, and core strengthening movements.
TRX promotes functional movements that help in overall performance improvements longer run.
Don’t forget, it was developed by a navy seal whose primary purpose was not to achieve greater hypertrophy but to strength train body for improved performance.
TRX is also a safer option which is more suitable for higher age groups.
8. Core stabilization and strengthening
Core strengthening doesn’t just make you look good but also plays a very important role in overall performance.
Core muscles are engaged in almost every functional movement, whether you walk, run, lift, push, pull, rotate. In one word, a stronger core leads to superior performance.
Common resistance bands exercises does not support core workouts like planking, lower abdominal workout which makes them harder to achieve core stabilization.
On the other hand, TRX is highly effective in achieving a stronger core.
There are many different exercises that you can do on the TRX system for core strengthening and stabilization. This is the top reason why many professional yogi and gymnasts love work workout with TRX.
Because of its ability to target core muscle groups, it’s often suggested to elderlies.
9. Calorie burning
Are you someone who is looking for better calorie-burning option while you develop better strength, here is how both the tools can affect.
Resistance bands are built for muscle isolation and hypertrophy, they are not the most effective solution for calorie burning. Basic resistance band workouts won’t help you burn tons of energy.
But, if you are into powerlifting or HIIT training with the help of a resistance band then you can surely burn some insane amount of calories.
TRX helps you burn more calories than resistance band training.
Reason? TRX works majorly on compound movements that engages bigger muscle groups and results in more energy consumption.
10. Muscle building
Muscle building is the only priority of many people, let’s find which system can help you pack new muscle mass.
If used properly, bands can definitely help in building some serious muscle mass. Resistance bands help in building new muscle mass in many different ways-
- Muscle activation – these bands assist in better muscle isolation which leads to superior development.
- Hypertrophy – better muscle activation leads to superior muscle pump and hypertrophy.
- Variable resistance – variable resistance helps in better contraction.
- Strength – including resistance band for compound movements like bench-presses, squats, deadlifts can take your strength to a different level. More strength = more muscles.
You won’t see many bodybuilders to use this system for muscle building.
As specified easier, TRX system lacks progressive overload which makes its a bit difficult to pack new muscle after certain levels.
This system will definitely help you achieve superior performance in every sport but won’t be the most effective solution for bodybuilders.
11. Lower Risk
Does injury risk concern you? Then let’s find out the best exercise solution for your needs.
Resistance bands are good and risk-free if used under expert supervision and guidance.
But because of the availability of a wide range of resistance bands, it can be difficult to find the right band for your requirements. Choosing the wrong band might lead to injury.
TRX system is far more safer than the resistance bands.
A stable anchor point provides a safer platform to workout. Most of the TRX movements are easier on the joints while assisting in strength development.
12. Professional training guide
A professional training guide can facilitate a strong foundation of your fitness journey.
You can find thousands of self-taught resistance bands experts but most of them lack professional expertise.
Creators of TRX has also created a professional training program to help you follow a common workout program that has been developed scientifically.
Quality of the product is at the top priority before we buy any product right? Let’s find out what these products have to offer.
Hundreds of sports equipment manufacturers have launched resistance bands, which has resulted in a difference in price and quality.
While some resistance bands perform really well, others won’t last for more than a few weeks.
TRX is developed with a standard quality measure that makes it a more reliable option to choose from.
Final verdict- whats better choice?
So who is a winner? Our article on resistance band vs TRX was not about finding the best option, it was about educating you about the best option for your needs.
Find your purpose of the purchase, whether you are looking for core strengthening or muscle development, both the products have their own set of pros and cons, you need to select the best according to your requirements.
Thanks for reading. Questions welcomed in the comments as always.