If you’re like me, you would want to get the best equipment when it comes to training. Some consider getting TRX while others believe the traditional weights are the way to go.
To diffuse the confusion, I have put together an extensive TRX vs Dumbbells guide. Yes, there are various similarities between the two, but the differences cannot altogether be overlooked. So, let’s get started without any further ado.
What are TRX and Dumbbells?
If you’re unfamiliar with the two types of exercise equipment, then I invite you to take a look at the following descriptions of the two.
Herein, you will become thoroughly aware of both TRX and Dumbbells and learn to tell the difference between them. So, the next time someone asks you at the gym which ones you prefer you have a ready answer.
TRX – Total Resistance Exercises
TRX is suspension trainer equipment that has become widely popular amongst gym enthusiasts. Basically, it is just a smart rope that allows you to utilize your body weight as resistance as you push and pull your body in various ways.
TRX Suspension Training is the most sought-after fitness equipment of the past years. Why is it so popular and does it really work?
But does it really work?
Resistance training system was made famous by the NAVY SEALS and there are various studies that have all come to the conclusion that it is a worthy contender if you’re looking for serious exercise equipment.
It is also quite easy to use as you have the ability to adjust your body weight to change the resistance level. TRX is easily one of the best-known trainer brands for suspension training.
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It is difficult to differentiate and choose from the different TRX suspension trainers available. This comparison guide can help you determine which is the right one for you – TRX Home vs TRX PRO vs TRX Tactical.
Everyone knows what dumbbells are. These are essentially the face of weight lifting, the ‘hard iron’ that builds strength, endurance, and muscle. Their mechanism is simpler – the more weight you add, the tougher the exercise.
Unlike suspension training, dumbbells use weights of different sizes to introduce resistance. They are perhaps the most popular weight equipment that people use.
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- Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds; adjusts in 2.5-pound increments up to the first 25 pounds
- Say goodbye to 15 sets of dumbbells cluttering your workout space and rapidly switch from one exercise to the next with a turn of a dial
TRX vs. Dumbbells (weight training) – Face Off!
Now that you have a general idea about the two types of gym equipment, I would like to delve deeper into the features and peg them against each other. Thereafter, through a thorough assessment, each category will have its winner so you can have a clear idea which one to get depending on your needs.
Though a combination of weights and suspension trainer is ideal to target and strengthen every single muscle in your body, it is important to know which equipment does what.
Of course, no one is going to ask you to choose one. But it pays to know the difference so you know which one to use depending on your regimen.
Ways to Target Different Muscle Groups
Both TRX and Dumbbell therefore address different problems. When it comes to targeting different muscle groups, suspension training, or TRX, seems to be better placed as it works to work out a larger set of muscles all at the same time.
Suspension training is geared towards providing a holistic workout that streamlines your muscle development without giving undue importance to any one muscle group.
One of the key TRX’s benefits is that you are able to complete endless number of exercises with a single training tool. TRX Suspension Trainer delivers a total-body workout.
Weight training, or dumbbells, on the other hand, is able to concentrate only on a few muscle groups at a time. If you are looking to target specific muscle groups and want them to pop out, I would recommend you get dumbbells.
Specific weight training also comes in handy if you’re trying to exercise a part of your body without wanting to strain or injure other parts.
Core strengthening exercises are some of the most important exercises for me. A strong core helps you to stay balanced and perform the daily tasks safely without messing up your back. And for that reason, come hell or highwater, I tend not to skip out on them.
What is CORE and what includes
- the stomach
- pelvic floor
If you’re like me, then you would be interested in knowing which one of the two – TRX and Dumbbells – is more effective. Dumbbells tend to work on stable surfaces and this doesn’t help much with the core muscles.
Don’t get me wrong – I love adding weights to my workout. But this is not one area that dumbbells can help with. For core strengthening, suspension training with TRX tends to work better than most exercise equipment available in the market.
TRX allows you to use your body weight as resistance and works to strengthen your abs, core, and lower back. Therefore, our clear winner for core strengthening is TRX.
How to exercise at your desk and avoid lower back pain? Try TRX this office workout. Download a printable TRX workout plan and start today!
Adding Extra Weight
One of the important factors to consider when choosing between TRX and Dumbbells is the maximum weight limit. As you gain strength, it is only fair that one would want to add extra weight to challenge yourself and gain more muscle.
With TRX or resistance training, there is a clear limitation as there is fixed maximum weight that you can work with – your own body weight. Yes, it is true that there are weighted vests that you can add to your equipment stock, but that is what it is essentially – an add-on.
On its own, TRX mechanism doesn’t let you add extra weights (you can change the angle of the exercise and the load will increase, but it may be insufficient). Of course, in that it ensures that you never bite off more than you can chew but I understand that some people prefer a good challenge every once in a while, especially when the testosterone levels are raging.
For that, switching to dumbbells and the classic weight training equipment is the way to go. With them, the sky is the limit. The mechanism of dumbbells is such that it allows you to step up your game as you progress and doesn’t limit you.
But, as we’ve heard countless times before, with great power comes great responsibility. Safety is an important issue that mustn’t be neglected when adding weights.
Now, I want to bring your attention to the economic aspect of the discussion. When looked at from the perspective of your wallet, it is clear the TRX is the clear economic winner by a long shot.
Why do I say so?
With TRX, your body is serving as the resistance and there is not much that the equipment needs to do.
Is it possible to work all the muscles in your body in 30 minutes? Try a training plan, which will help you strengthen your whole body. And moreover, you will enjoy it.
For that reason, it is quite small, handy, portable, and most of all, affordable. You can literally take it anywhere and start exercising whenever you please.
On the other hand, the initial cost of the dumbbell is a deterrent in itself, not to mention the cost of the added weights that one would have to consider as one gain strength.
Features that Stand Out
While the basic idea behind any kind of workout equipment is the same – working against resistance – there are a few features that differentiate TRX and dumbbells. Some of them you could already surmise from what we’ve discussed above but I’ll nevertheless point it out for those who are still in the dark.
What are the differences between TRX training and resistance band training, and which is better? Our detailed comparison shows the advantages of each.
Conclusion – TRX training vs weight lifting
In reality, there is no clear winner. It comes down to preference if you really are in the unenvious position of choosing one. But, if you’re like most people, you would want to have both since both of them provide unique opportunities to work on different parts of your body in different ways.
You should use TRX if:
- You do not want to spend much on gym equipment and want something that can keep you in good shape without requiring additional stuff.
- If you want to work on your body overall and do not want to be confronted with any safety issues while training.
- Want to work on your core muscles and ensure that your back doesn’t give when going about your daily activities.
So, buy TRX today to enhance your core muscles with more training options.
You should use Dumbbells if:
- You know how to take the necessary precautions and are confident enough to work on specific muscle groups.
- Want the ability to add weights as and when you feel like giving yourself a challenge.
Buy Dumbbells today to work on specific muscles.
Andy started writing about muscle building and weight loss to document his own journey. In the past, he fell into some very bad habits and knew things had to change. Currently, Andy runs the HomeGym101 along with the team of dedicated experts – so you know he has the knowledge to help you make the right choice.