In 2001 Apple created their first MP3 player. Some of you may have heard of the iPod – it went on to be a pretty successful product. So much so that any MP3 player is casually referred to as an iPod – no matter who it is made by.
While Steve Jobs spent the 1990s dominating the global gadget/technology market something similar was brewing in the functional fitness world – before we even knew such a thing existed!
From 1988 an innovative young Navy Seal embarked upon a quest for maintaining/developing an elite level of athleticism, with a catch. It needed to be easily transported all over the world. Needed to be used in any environment. It had to be lightweight and portable. Combined with his exceptional sewing skills the solution gradually came to the fore. In 2001 he left the Seals to enroll at the Stanford School of Business. All of the pieces came together and thanks to Randy Hetrick suspension training was born.
For the fitness geeks among us we know that this was not a new idea because it is well documented that the grandfathers of fitness had used suspension training hundreds of years ago. But the industry moved away from functional training methods for the majority of the 20th century, and seeing as all of us were either born, started to exercise or became qualified during that same periodit is understandable for us to be unfamiliar with anything other than the ‘norm’.
Functional training is well and truly back, and thanks to the vision of people like Randy the industry is finally fun and exciting and effective again.
But, and it is a big but, just because TRX was the first suspension training system – does not mean it is the ONLY system to use – in the same way that the iPod is not the only MP3 player you can purchase.
The TRX is a brilliant tool. I bought one on a trip to California in 2008 and was one of the first trainers in the UK to have one. However the fact that it is a single strap system means there are some huge limitations. In recent years there have been some double strap systems introduced into the market, and in my opinion these are a much more versatile piece of equipment.
With the double strap system you can have the straps as close together or as far apart as you like. This means you can constantly adapt the exercises and keep your body on its toes, which gives a good trainer an unlimited number of variations.
The two-strap system does everything that the single strap system can do. But the single strap system cannot do everything the double strap system can do.
In a lot of areas of life less is seen to be more. However when it comes to suspension training systems two straps is definitely better than one.
I know which I prefer, it’s up to you whether you choose the original or the most versatile, just please don't confuse them or refer to EVERY form of suspension training by the name of the original product.