We get it, there seems to be an endless number of fitness programs out there, all preaching they have the best-kept secret of how to make you lose weight and build muscle fast.

There are so many different varieties of exercise routines that customers can often feel paralyzed with inaction before they even begin. We see the question all the time, what is the main difference between all of these programs, and which one is best for me?

In this article, we start slow and easy and talk about two popular programs that carry a lot of merits: the TRX suspension training systems and Crossfit training.

We will break down the goals and techniques of each training system, as well as who will benefit the most from using them.  But before we look at the differences, let’s look at how these two programs are similar.

TRX and Crossfit: Functional Fitness

You may have heard this term before, and thought to yourself- that has a ring to it. Well, the alliteration certainly has that effect, but more so the definition of functional training is the most attractive to active people.

Functional fitness is a genre of exercise that focuses on training the body to be more effective at everyday living. Instead of using excessive weight training to build giant forearms that lack direct benefit to your day-to-day life, functional fitness exercises focus on using various muscle groups at the same time to build stability, improve balance and train strength that will help in everyday activities.

Both TRX and Crossfit are considered functional fitness programs, and for this reason, are often thought to complement each other. More often than not, high-intensity programs such as calisthenics or Crossfit are supplemented with TRX training in order to further amplify the desired results and build flexibility.

How are they different?

Now we will look at the specifics of each of these programs so give our readers a better understanding of the desired results, and the techniques used to achieve them.

TRX Suspension Training

The TRX exercise program was invented in 1997 by Randy Hetrick, a US NAVY Seal  Commander who used a Jiu-Jitsu belt and some extra parachute webbing to create suspension programs he and his fellow soldiers would be able to use anywhere.

Over the next 20 years, the TRX system has evolved into a mainstream fitness program in which customers with varied goals are able to achieve them at their own pace, using minimal equipment.

The main selling points of the TRX systems are minimalism, portability, versatility and durability. Each system is creatively engineered with specific goals in mind, but they all revolve around these 4 main concepts. As the system continues to grow, products geared towards certain niches continue to be released, while at the same time the mainstream foundation continues to grow.

The TRX systems such as the TRX Home2 provide customers with everything they need to create an effective (and mobile) home gym, using only a few straps and handles hanging from door supports or wall mounts.

While the goal is functional fitness, TRX has a strong focus on flexibility and core strength and making these workouts accessible from everywhere.

In recent years, athletes from all sports have added TRX to their training repertoire, often using suspension training as a way of targeting specific muscles and increasing rotational mobility.

TRX can be done from home, in a park or in a hotel room, and it is easy to do alone.


Founded by Greg Glassman in 2000, Crossfit is an exercise program that incorporates high-intensity interval training, weight lifting and calithenics into a competitive program sure to drive results. Like TRX, Crossfit defines itself as functional fitness, though the business model and equipment necessities are vastly different.

Gyms and centers around the world are encouraged to become Crossfit affiliate centers, where they pay an annual fee in return for program training and product support. The more affiliate centers there are, the bigger the program becomes.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the TRX and Crossfit programs is the amount of equipment used in Crossfit centers vs in your home gym.

Crossfit makes use of kettlebells, jumping ropes, Olympic lighting equipment, resistance bands (like TRX), and many other types of disciplines that may be available.

The heart and soul of the Crossfit program is the community.

For all members around the world, there is a workout of the day (WOD) provided 7 days a week, and an opportunity to discuss these workouts online in forums. Many affiliate Crossfit centers will use these WODs, or come up with their own routines fitting within the curriculum. With such a fast-growing movement, there are opportunities for members to get involved in diet plans, nutrition regimens, or events in their local area.

While TRX focuses on the mobility of a personal gym and independent programs, Crossfit provides an international community to help with accountability and motivation. While both focus on functional fitness, Crossfit uses a large variety of equipment and a blend of different types of training to create high-intensity daily workouts.

Which program is best for you?

To determine which system is best for you, it is necessary to look at your fitness goals and what may be available to you.

Both TRX and Crossfit can be adapted to all levels of training, making both perfect for beginners.

For those who want to maintain an exercise routine while on the road, the mobility of the TRX system could provide peace of mind that you will never have to miss a workout.

For those who are stable in one place and are looking to join a community of athletes that will provide motivation and accountability, signing up to a local Crossfit center or joining the online community might be an attractive option.

As with everything, the best option is normally to keep your options open. Many Crossfit programs now incorporate suspension training into their routines. For those who travel, keeping an eye out for local Crossfit centers while having your TRX as a backup could be a way of ensuring you keep your routine going.


Both the TRX and Crossfit programs focus on functional fitness and have proven very successful as exercise movements.

They can complement each other when feasible, and practiced separately when not.

TRX has a strong focus on core strength and balance, resistance training and mobility. Crossfit uses significantly more equipment and focuses on creating a community of people to work out together.

We encourage you to try both, see what is more conducive to your lifestyle and start your journey to extreme functional fitness.