Suspension Training At Its Best: TRX Duo Trainer
The TRX brand has become synonymous with both suspension training and quality. While there are other brands on the market, TRX is the unrivaled industry leader in suspension training systems. From elite training studios to big box gyms and YMCAs, you’re hard-pressed these days to find a fitness facility anywhere without a TRX.
When people refer to a TRX, they are typically referring their flagship product, the suspension trainer. Scientifically speaking, the TRX strap is “a performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s bodyweight to complete the exercises.” In translation, when someone talks about TRX, they are likely referring to a black and yellow suspension strap with two handles affixed to one anchor point.
Without question, the TRX suspension trainer has been a game changer since its inception in 2005. Granted, the suspension trainer isn’t the only product from TRX. Many coaches and athletes around the fitness industry also know the TRX Rip Trainer well. That said, the bread and butter from the TRX line is most certainly the suspension trainer. While it is unquestionably a must-have tool for bodyweight and suspension workouts, a single anchor point suspension trainer does have its limitations. Specifically, there are certain exercises that can’t be done with it such as pull ups, dips, and muscle ups.
The Duo Trainer gym set up example.
Do It All with the Duo Trainer
Enter the "Duo Trainer," the very latest innovation from TRX. Designed in partnership with Kelly Starrett, the Duo Trainer is essentially the hybrid of ‘Olympic ring training’ coupled with a similar concept to that of the TRX suspension trainer. The device allows for those moves that can’t be done on a regular TRX strap, but in a more manageable fashion than the oft difficult and cumbersome traditional Olympic rings.
While this is a new product from TRX, it's not the only split-anchor suspension trainer on the market. In recent years, other brands such as the Jungle Gym XT have also come to market with similar designs. That said, the important thing isn't necessarily who is first in launching a product, but who perfects it. To that end, certain brands are tried and trusted in the marketplace and recognized as standard bearers in their respective arenas of training. TRX certainly qualifies as such a standard bearer in the arena of suspension training systems.
The Duo Design Kills the Competition
As the market leader in suspension training, it makes sense that TRX threw its hat into Olympic ring training. The strength of the Duo can be summated in one word—stability. I was fortunate enough to receive a system to play with. Here are some of the highlights:
- Split Dual (Infinity) Anchors: The defining feature of the Duo Trainer is the duo anchor point—separate straps that allow for functional hanging movements such as dips and pull ups.
- Easy to adjust straps and length options: One of the things I like most about TRX is the ability to adjust the straps quickly, allowing for a seamless workout experience flowing from one exercise to the next. The TRX Duo Trainer is also available in two lengths, based on the height of your anchor points (8-10' and 10-12'). Like the traditional TRX, the straps are easy to affix and adjust.
- Straight handles and handle length: The first thing that caught my eye was the longer handle length as compared to a traditional TRX. Also unlike Olympic rings, which are circular, the TRX Duo Trainer comes equipped with straight handles so consumers can assume proper alignment for full bodyweight loading while reducing the risk of injury. In short, the handle design makes stabilizing exercises like push ups much easier on the wrists.
- Wooden handles: The finish on the handles is wood which, if you haven’t trained with it before, feels great in your hands. It also looks great.
- Mobile grips: To increase training comfort and ambidexterity, TRX Duo Trainer was designed with mobile grips that are ideal when performing hanging exercises such as pull ups.
- Foot cradles: Similar to the TRX Suspension Trainer, and unlike Olympic rings, the TRX Duo Trainer also comes with foot cradles, providing a wider array of possible exercises.
Spendy, but Worth It
While the TRX Duo trainer isn’t a life-changing innovation, it is still a valid compliment to your workout. The one knock on the TRX Duo Trainer is its price. At a $199.99 price point, the TRX is twice as expensive as the Jungle Gym XT, and some brands offer a similar suspension training platform for as little as $30-50. Despite the high price point, consumers don’t seem to be dissuaded. The product is currently listed as sold out on the TRX site.
I recommend the TRX Duo Trainer because it is well made, nicely designed, and a versatile training tool to add to your arsenal. While the TRX Duo Trainer is expensive, it lives up to the TRX brand reputation for quality and it’s worth the investment—assuming you can find one.
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Ed. note: This article has been updated. The previous version stated that TRX did not invent the suspension trainer, when in fact they did, as evidenced by their US patent.