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Total gym vs TRX

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Mar 25, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Total gym vs TRX

Total gym vs TRX

This is a comparison of the total gym and TRX. Total gym is more suited for beginners while TRX is more suited for intermediates. The setup for a total gym is easier than for TRX.

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Overview of the Total gym 

The total gym puts you on a bench which is attached to two pulleys and can slide back and forward. This sliding bench is attached to a little tower. The tower is the anchor and also helps to determine the resistance at which you train. The steeper the incline, the harder the workout. 
Depending on the model attachments you get the total gym is also enabled for squats and more exercises. You work the arms by doing pulley work while the legs can be worked with squats at an incline. After use, the total gym can be folded up and stored under a bed or in a closet. 
With pulley and sliding bench arrangement you can simulate many of the machines which you will find at a commercial gym. The total gym will not be a replacement for a cardio machine or free weights for athletes but can keep you fit if you are older or rehabilitating from injury. 

Pros of the to total gym 

The pros of the total gym are: 
  • Low footprint 
  • Low injury risk 
  • Versatile 
One pro of the total gym is that it has a relatively low footprint and can be stored away easily. If you live in a small apartment, the total gym will not take up an entire room of your already limited space all day. Just fold it up and put it next o the ironing board or under the bed. 
For an exercise machine that forms muscle and tones, the injury risk is very low. You can sit or lie on the bench depending on how comfortable you feel. There are no weights that can fall on you. The machine itself is also not too intimidating. A big bonus is that you can even use the total gym if your hips, knees or rest of your legs are not well enough for walking. 
The pulley mechanism makes this a versatile machine to be used in many directions and combinations. This way you can get a full-body workout out of this one machine. 

Cons of the total gym 

The cons of the total gym are: 
  • Low impact 
  • Prone to failure 
  • Hard for prolonged cardio 
Overall the total gym is pretty low impact as it only uses your body weight. This is more than enough to get in shape, but if you want to set world records and pack on muscle you will also need some free weights and proper runs outdoors or on a treadmill. Of you are in the senior citizen target group of the total gym that is probably not of interest but for commercial and home gym owners might want to consider this. A rogue echo bike is roughly the same price as a total gym. 
The pulleys and the sliding bench can break and it is usually hard to fix them yourself. They are also quite noisy after a good time of use. Combined with that the construction is light and foldable you get the benefit of mobility at the loss of stability. The total gym is still top of the line but more prone to error than a stationary machine. 
If your main goal is weight loss one of the best ways to get your goal is to do cardiovascular exercises for 20 minutes. If your joints are aching swimming might also be an option. On the total gym, you might be hard-pressed to do the same thing for 20 minutes. 

Alternatives to the total gym

Alternatives to the total gym are: 
The Rogue echo bike leaves out the impact of a treadmill while still being cardiovascular. If you can still cycle and mainly want to lose weight and stay fit this is your choice. It won't do as much for toning as the total gym. 
Kettlebells will take up less space and work as cardio and strength training. If you are still very to moderately fit they are a great option as they are better faster cheaper than the total gym in my opinion. 
The disadvantage is that they are quite hard to use. If you have some coordination problems or can’t take big swing movements you might want to opt for something which produces less g force. 
If you like the great outdoors and have your hips and legs in check a good pair of runners will do great things for you. Fresh air, meeting some people and staying fit. Go with this option if you are still mobile and do not want to stay at home. 

Overview of TRX 

TRX is the brand leader in the realm of suspension exercises. The workout principle is to hang two handles form the ceiling so that you can do exercises against gravity. 
TRX come in different length and price classes. The easy way to think about it is the more you spend the better the handles, sturdier the material and quicker to adjust the TRX for your personal needs. 
One big advantage of the TRX is the free-swinging movements when you put your feet into the slings. These are very effective and work a large area of muscle. 

Pros of TRX 

The pros of the TRX are: 
  • Easy to set up 
  • Versatility 
  • Challenging workout 
TRX is easy to set up asking as long as you have an anchor. Given this, you can have a great workout In no time. 
With the TRX suspension, you can do a while accolade of exercises. This is what it makes a popular tool for class workouts in commercial gyms. You can easily set up an entire room for a class and unhook the setup in a minute of everyone clears away their own TRX. 
Compared to other machines or resistance bands you get a very challenging workout. Especially athletes who raise their eyebrow at bodyweight exercises might want to reconsider around TRX. 

Cons of TRX

The cons of TRX are 
  • Reliable anchor needed 
  • Not for beginners 
  • Hard to overload 
One of the biggest cons for home gym use is to find the right anchor. The best set up for a TRX anchor is on a high ceiling. You usually do not have that at home so you will set up lower. This usually leads to having to use a longer strip of the TRX. So while the TRX itself is easy to store and setup Amit actually takes up quite a bit of space when you start mich g around. 
To use the TRX you need mobility in the hips and legs. Not everyone who wants to work out at home is that fit. Exercises for which you put your feet in the slings need a lot of core stability and balance. Otherwise, you land flat on your face. This makes TRX not the best choice for beginners for a full-body workout. Especially unsupervised.
If you are all about strength and muscle growth you want to overload your exercises. There is a limit to that with TRX bands especially for the meatheads out there. 

Alternatives to TRX 

Alternatives to the TRX are the 
  • Jungle gym 
  • Resistance bands 

Total gym vs TRX 

TRX is more challenging and provides more versatility than the total gym, but it is less secure. The total gym is more suited for people who have trouble with their hips and legs and still want to stay fit. You also do not need to drill anything into the ceiling to use the total gym.

Topics: Total gym