Suspension trainers are a classic for a reason. They are useful for muscle developing workouts and bodyweight training, the reason why they are common equipment you’ll find in a gym.
Due to their portability and small size, suspension trainers let you do a full-body resistance workout – in the beach, a hotel room, in a park, or your home gym!
However, there are many different brands of suspension trainers available in the fitness market today. What’s more challenging in picking the right fitness gear is that most of these products are suitable for use both outdoors and indoors and are easy to transport too!
After considering the cost, unique features, materials, price range, and good reviews online, I believe both Monkii Bars and TRX are worthy of your attention compared to other suspension trainers.
So, if you want to know more about these portable workout devices, read on this in-depth comparison of the Monkii Bars 2 Adventure Kit vs. TRX suspension weight training tools!
Suspension Trainer Showdown: Monkii Bars 2 vs TRX
Monkii Bars 2
The Monkii Bars 2 is a portable suspension training tool that allows you to do bodyweight training at home, in your office, or just pretty much anywhere. What’s only required is there’s a stable thing (such as a door) that is high enough for the straps to hold on to.
With its travel-friendly size, the Monkii Bars 2 is also designed with fitness enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers in mind. This suspension system even fits in the palm of your hand and allows you to turn any light post or tree branches into a gym. How cool is that!
Even though both Monkii bars and TRX suspension training systems work by using your body weight for resistance, I believe the Monkii bars are completely different.
In terms of portability, for instance, the webbing of Monkii bars 2 or other Monkii models like Pocket Monkii, Tactical Kit, and UltraLight Kit are thin but durable enough to provide you with a more efficient workout.
It is basically machined by multi-generational craftsmen and, for added protection, is powder-coated. I’m referring to the powder-coated aluminum grips. Monkii ensures that they do not use cheap plastic parts.
For a perfect feel and smooth operation, Monkii features a patented cam buckle, which is drop-forced (shaping metal and increasing strength) and anodized. So, it may be small in size, but it is unbelievably durable.
The Pocket Monkii: A Kickstarter Monkii Model
Another variant from the Monkiis suspension trainers that you may also want to check out is the Pocket Monkii.
The Pocket Monkii is the smallest Monkii model and should be a staple for anyone who travels frequently. At first glance, you may not be impressed with the Pocket Monkii but its construction is quality. From its name alone, you can even fit the equipment in your pocket. And when you roll it out, you automatically see the Pocket Monkii name at the bottom.
- Versatile; you can use them by attaching them to a tree or a pull-up bar
- Comes with a carry bag and a door mount
- Easy to mount and dismount
- The handle position allows you to avoid tearing your arms during push-ups and pull-ups
- Can be used for offset training by setting bars at different heights
- Monkii replaces any straps or lines that break down for free
- Well-thought-out packaging
- Very few users find the straps thin enough that they would snap from tension. Probably because of its 250 lb. weight limit
TRX Pull-Up Bar
The TRX Suspension Training System works just like Monkii bars and is also ideal for people of all fitness levels. It allows you to do beginner to advanced workouts both indoors and outdoors.
This all-in-one suspension training system was even popular way before the release of Monkii Bars and still is up to date. Depending on your grip position, the TRX suspension training system can help modify your workout to target your rotator cuff muscles, abs, forearms, pecs, biceps, deltoids, traps, and lats!
The TRX pull-up bar package also includes a training strap, foot cradles and handles, suspension anchor, door anchor, mesh travel pouch, and a workout guide.
And when it comes to design, Monkii bars are available in 6 different colors while the TRX suspension training system is only available in one color combination: black and yellow. In both aesthetics and features,
What’s better about this suspension training tool is that when you’re done exercising, you can just easily shove it away and you won’t have to neatly wrap back the strap and put it in its carrying bag.
- Effortless setup (single anchor point)
- With a locking loop to maximize workout without risk of slipping
- Foot straps are easy to adjust
- Nylon is durable
- Engages and challenges your core
- Great alternative for weights
- Does not take too much space
- Helps you improve upper body strength and core
- Great for pull-ups and dips
- Not affordable compared to other suspension trainers
- Extra cost to access the app after the free-trial period
Are they worth it?
Both suspension trainers blow their competitors away. The bars and straps they used are durable and quick and easy to set up too!
I find both products worth buying, especially now that we have limited access to gyms or fitness facilities, considering the pandemic.
In-Depth Comparison: Monkii Bars vs TRX Suspension Training System
|Suspension Strap Length||16 feet||N/A|
Workouts and Exercises
In this suspension trainer showdown, we’ll also discuss the common workouts and exercises you can perform with these two systems.
- incline press-ups
To perform this exercise, you’ll need a good working capacity with an incline plank position. This is a good workout because it creates a good rotational force throughout your body because only one foot is bound within the Monkii bars or TRX foot strap. This is great to improve your upper body strength and core. The secondary muscles you’re working on in this exercise are your hands and legs.
- tricep dips
Tricep dips help stabilize your shoulder joint and the main muscle on your upper chest. To perform this workout using a suspension system, stand between the two handles and grasp the bars on each side of your torso. Hold that position firmly and then lift your feet from the floor.
Push your body up until your arms are straight. Once you feel a slight stretch in your shoulders, lower your body and then repeat the workout. To emphasize your triceps, you may want to position your body more upright. To decrease the level of difficulty, you can position your TRX or Monkii handles in a way that your legs can assist with the dip.
- body saw with crunch
This exercise allows you to make your core burn. The secondary muscles worked are the shoulders and rectus femoris. To begin, anchor the straps effectively and adjust them to mid-calf length. Your beginning form should be in a suspended forearm plank position, hands flat, elbows underneath your shoulders, and feet in the Monkii bars or TRX loops.
Although suspension trainers do not support a full pull-up, you can still do several pull-up variations. First, make sure to adjust the height of the straps in a way that you can sit beneath the suspension training system.
Next, reach the handles with your outstretched arms. As you take the grip for pull-ups, make sure to use your arms and back so you can pull your body upwards. The goal is to get your upper chest at the same level as the grip or handles.
- mountain climber
Suspension system mountain climber exercise is great for exploding training, working your core stability and shoulder muscles, quadriceps, and rectus femoris. I recommend you to use the Monkii bars or TRX straps in the lowest point (probably just a few inches above the ground).
Then, you place your feet in the straps facing down. Once you are in a strong plank position, move further away from the anchor point. Then, alternate a chest-to-knee movement as you focus on pulling with your abdominal muscles.
Other suspension exercises you can do include squats, lunges, ab roll-outs, planks, and chest-press. For next-level suspension training, you may want to try out duo negative press, a static “L” hold, duo negative dip, L pull-up, or exercising from knees to elbow.
Who is it Best for?
The Monkii bars (including Pocket Monkii and Monkii product lines) and TRX suspension trainers are best for travelers, adventurers, multi-taskers, fitness enthusiasts, and athletes who prefer compact gym equipment that they can carry with them on the go.
Both the Monkii bars suspension trainer and TRX can be used in boot camps or homes for bodyweight workouts. If you are a personal trainer, this may be the system for you too!
What Do People Say About it?
An Amazon customer from the United States gave the Monkii bars 2 a 5-star rating. He highlighted that the Monkii bars suspension trainer “work[s] as advertised. These things give an amazing workout.
Another praised the build quality of the Monkii bars suspension trainer, saying “The finish of the wood is top-notch and feels good to grab and grip. I had thought they would’ve been too slippery to do exercises like muscle-ups, but I’ve been doing them without any added difficulty!”
The TRX suspension trainer gained positive reviews too, in terms of a range of motion, sturdiness, stability, versatility, and portability. An online buyer wrote, “I am all about effective workouts that don’t take too much of my time however bring results. This product is good for strength training at home, on vacation, or at the office.”
getfitover40 shared on YouTube, “What’s the difference between the Monkii bars over the TRX and human trainer systems? Well, the Monkii bars are designed to be ultra-portable, compact, and super easy to take with you outside of the gym.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use them in a gym or even as a home gym system, but they’re made to be super portable. [On the other hand,] the TRX [is] a little bulkier. [Also, the Monkii bars use] a nice heavy-duty material.”
Of course, the TRX suspension trainer is also worth considering. AJ Faith & Fitness reviewed on YouTube that his purchase of the TRX “came with a suspension trainer, a door anchor, mesh carry bag, a branded wristband, a poster, and one-year free-access to the TRX app…
The TRX Home 2 is a full-body workout solution with a compact footprint. When not in use, you can store it away in its carry bag or just simply hang it on a wall!”
One Reddit user shared that he’s been using Monkii bars for a while. “Your body weight can then be supported by the combination of the door and the door frame. I do this all the time at home, and it works great.
However, I found a common problem. At home, I put the Monkii Bars over doors that open away from me. That is, when the door is fully shut and I have the Monkii Bars hanging over the top of the door, the door is held in place by the door frame.”
In another Reddit thread that talks about the exercises that can be done with TRX but not with resistance bands, one participant answered, “Basically, anything you can do with gymnastic rings you can do on a TRX. So there’s a huge amount of strength work you could never do with resistance bands.”
Final Verdict: Which One Should You Buy?
While both suspension trainers are gym equipment that you can carry anywhere, even when you travel, I would choose the Monkii bars suspension trainer over the other. I considered the Monkii bars’ value for money, features, and aesthetics to come up with this choice!
The Monkii bars adventure kit is the current popular darling among travelers who want to stay fit and fitness enthusiasts because it is more compact and its webbing is thin but durable enough. I also like that Monkii bars are made from the highest quality materials and are versatile enough that you can take off the foot straps or won’t use the anchor.
Still, I can’t deny that both Monkii bars and TRX can add a ton of varieties to your workouts and you can even use them anywhere. They are of similar price points,
If you like this article, you might want to read our other reviews at ExpertFitness.org.