TRX vs Weights: Which is Better for Strength Training?

By Tanya McIntosh
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When it comes to strength training, there are two main options available: TRX suspension training or traditional weightlifting.

Both have their pros and cons, but which one is the best for you? This article will compare TRX vs. weights and help you decide which fits your strength training routine better.

So what is TRX, and how does it help?

TRX is a modern suspension training system that employs straps to boost coordination, strength, and balance, using your body weight as resistance. It also enhances flexibility and core stability, making it ideal for many fitness enthusiasts.

What are the advantages of strength training?

Our body contains various muscle groups required to perform everyday tasks like walking, lifting, and jumping.

However, as we age, these muscle groups become lean, leading to increased body weight and fat.

According to health experts, our body loses muscle mass after 30, and this issue is more evident in inactive people who lose up to 5% of muscle mass every ten years.

In short, strength training can help you in more ways than you can imagine.

  • Strength training increases metabolism, burning more calories to help you maintain weight.
  • It enhances joint flexibility 
  • It helps you manage weight
  • It increases bone density
  • Besides improving joint flexibility, it enables you to develop better balance

Strength training has different types that target specific muscles to aid muscle development.

Muscular hypertrophy, circuit training, and suspension training are popular muscle strength exercises.

To perform these exercises, you can use popular weight equipment, such as free weights, resistance bands, weight machines, or your body weight.

Besides targeting different muscle groups and core strengthening, strength training improves heart health, manages blood sugar levels, and enhances brain health.

You can use traditional weights or TRX tactical equipment stock to perform these exercises.

TRX suspension training

TRX suspension training systems have gained popularity after fitness enthusiasts discovered that suspension straps could provide equivalent results to conventional muscle building.

TRX suspension training targets specific muscles to improve functional strength by targeting core muscles.

Originally, Navy Seals were responsible for bringing suspension training systems into the mainstream. In short, suspension training is an ideal alternative for most exercise equipment used as suspension trainers.

TRX Suspension training works by employing own body weight as resistance to build core strength and burn fat. TRX is the perfect personal trainer that allows you to use your body weight for functional training to build muscle and attain strong core muscles.

TRX suspension trainers employ TRX straps or bands to get maximum results from suspension training. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a TRX suspension trainer.

Pros

  • Improves balance and stability
  • Easy-to-use suspension trainer
  • Enhances heart and brain health
  • TRX training offers more benefits than traditional resistance training
  • Portable suspension training
  • You can perform various exercises to target different muscle groups

Cons

  • Risk of developing sports injuries
  • Not practical for leg exercises

Weights (Dumbbells)

Dumbbells are the most severe exercise equipment in traditional weight lifting used for building muscle.

Unlike a TRX system, dumbbells have a fixed maximum weight that builds endurance, muscles, and strength. The sports science behind dumbbells is straightforward – more weight, more muscle.

Dumbbells offer adjustments, meaning you can add extra weight to enhance your resistance training. While suspension systems offer more exercises, adjustable dumbbells allow you to add heavy weights to get the most out of your resistance training.

In short, dumbbells are the most popular weight equipment for weight training.

Pros

  • Portable exercise equipment
  • Dumbbells allow you to add additional weight
  • You can target specific muscles
  • You can do dumbbell adjusts, allowing you to perform multiple workouts
  • Excellent for weight training

Cons

  • Risk of developing sports injuries
  • Not practical for leg exercises

The main difference between TRX vs. Weights

Both suspension and weight training can help you perform total resistance exercises, but they employ different techniques to target different muscle groups.

As we mentioned earlier, suspension training, like TRX exercises, employs body weight as resistance to target muscles. Likewise, Weight training falls under the traditional resistance training group that uses dumbbells for weight lifting.

In short, both these techniques use different approaches to develop functional strength.

You can incorporate both suspension training and weight lifting to get more results. However, this incorporation may result in extensive exercises, which may not be ideal for beginners.

Here are the main differences between TRX vs. weights:

Muscle groups can be targeted in different ways

Muscle groups can be targeted in different ways

While TRX training and weight lifting are two different things, they can be used together to complement each other.

TRX training is excellent for targeting multiple muscle groups simultaneously, while weightlifting with dumbbells allows you to focus on specific muscles group.

Additionally, weightlifting with dumbbells reduces the risk of injury to other body parts.

However, many professional athletes infuse lifting weights with suspension training to get better results.

Strengthen your core

A strong core enhances balance and flexibility to perform everyday tasks without compromising your back.

In a nutshell, core strengthening is vital for any fitness enthusiast to perform a TRX exercise or for lifting weights.

Your core comprises many vital muscles and body parts essential for various exercises. These body parts include your stomach, glutes, pelvic floor, and back.

Your back is crucial for balance and plays a significant role, especially while performing suspension training using TRX group systems.

So which is more effective to strengthen your core – TRX exercises or weight lifting?

Traditional weight room training using dumbbells may help you perform push-ups, chest press, and weight lifting exercises. However, dumbbells are not ideal for your core muscles as you use them on a flat surface with minimal core resistance.

A suspension trainer like a TRX system is more suitable for strengthening your core and is more effective than traditional resistance training.

TRX training uses your body as resistance that puts immense pressure on your core. This pressure translates to better core strength, and you might get desired results within five to seven weeks.

TRX training strengthens your lower back, core, and abs, expanding your workout capabilities. You can also use TRX training to improve your jumping ability or use a desk to develop a hamstring curl.

In short, TRX training is better than weights to strengthen your core.

Adding Extra Weight

While TRX training may offer more exercises to develop multiple muscles, you cannot add additional weights to up the ante. Since many people love to add extra weight to challenge their abilities, suspension training may not suit your preferences.

Remember that TRX training works with body weight as resistance, eliminating the opportunity to make adjustments. You’ll have to work with your body weight during workouts, which might not be ideal if you’re pushing yourself.

Although a weighted vest may solve your problem, it may lead to added pressure on your body, leading to injuries.

Besides employing weighted vests, you can try different angles while performing suspension training.

However, it doesn’t change the overall weight, meaning you are working with the exact weight despite multiple angles.

Traditional weight training using dumbbells is the perfect solution to this problem as it allows fitness enthusiasts to add customized weights.

However, it would be best to seek professional supervision before working with additional weights to avoid injuries.

In short, dumbbells have the upper hand over TRX setups when you talk about adding additional weight. Nevertheless, ensure that you consider safety while working with extra weights.

Price

TRX and dumbbell price

Affordability and price are the most significant aspects users calculate before opting for a resistance training system.

When you compare TRX vs. weights in terms of pricing, TRX systems outperform weights with their affordable price tag, and TRX systems are more affordable than dumbbells and are more value-oriented products.

TRX systems are more portable than dumbbells, and you can set up your suspension training system anywhere you want. TRX systems also allow you to be versatile and perform various exercises like bench press exercises without purchasing more equipment.

Dumbbells are more expensive than TRX systems as you have to play with multiple weights to get desired results. Additionally, various weights limit portability, meaning you will have to prepare a permanent location to perform your weight lifting exercises.

In short, TRX is a clear winner in the price comparison, adding more value to your exercises without putting a hole in your pocket.

FAQ’s

Is TRX considered strength training?

Besides improving balance and flexibility, TRX is an excellent training method to improve body strength. Additionally, TRX can improve cardiovascular and heart health.

To sum things up, TRX systems can provide better results than traditional resistance training or weight training.

Can you really build muscle with TRX?

Unlike traditional resistance training, TRX programs can increase muscular flexibility, strength, and endurance for everyone. 

TRX training target multiple muscles and help you get better results than weight training and traditional resistance programs. 

In a nutshell, TRX can help you build and strengthen your muscles.

Can TRX replace weights?

TRX can replace weights for your exercises; although traditional weight training like dumbbells allows you to add additional weights, they don’t offer versatility compared to TRX programs.

Additionally, TRX systems are portable, allowing you to perform your exercises anywhere.

Is TRX better than lifting weights?

As we mentioned earlier, TRX targets more muscle areas than weights, strengthening your back, ads, and core. Although weight training using dumbbells allows you to add additional weights, TRX’s benefits are far superior to weight training.

The Bottom Line

Both weight training and suspension training have pros and cons, and picking an ultimate winner for the TRX vs. Weights debate can be tricky.

While dumbbells allow you to add additional weights, TRX provides portability and versatility.

It depends on personal preference and the muscles you wish to target. However, incorporating these techniques will help you get maximum results and is undoubtedly worth considering.

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AUTHOR
Tanya McIntosh

After years of coaching, I can safely say that it's my goal to help you start your lifelong journey towards health and fitness. With a handful of handy guides that will make workouts easier whether at home or in the gym and with special tips for those newbies out there who are just getting started!