Today I have a head-to-head showdown between two complete bodyweight training systems. One in the ever-popular TRX system and the other is a somewhat unknown, fairly new product, the Monkii Bars 2.
I am really excited to compare the two because so many people keep asking for my opinion on the best suspension training system out there. My pick has always been the TRX system. There is nothing else out there that could compare to it. Everybody else was simply mimicking it.
Flash forward here a couple years to today, a new system has come about that I think not only rivals it, but in many ways surpasses that of the TRX system. It is the Monkii Bars 2. Let me first highlight a number of features they have in common.
Similarities between the Monkii Bars 2 and the TRX
- They’re both very well made hence you are assured of the straps and the handles not breaking.
- They are both portable.
- They also have similar price points.
So the TRX system, this is the home basic system that I’m using, is about $150 and then the Monkii Bars Adventure Kit is a little bit over $150, but it does come with more things with it.
The TRX System
I’m only going to talk briefly about the TRX system, mainly because it’s been out for a while.
- It is great for diverse suspension training.
- It is comfortable to use.
- It is designed to be of high quality.
- It is simple to set up hence does not consume much time.
- It truly shines when it’s suspended against a pull-up bar or a door hence ideal for a gym setting.
- It has a form grip that feels comfortable to the hands.
Disadvantages of the TRX System
- Not designed for as far as doing things like dips and pull ups.
- One requires to have a pull up bar or a door that they can attach it to for you to suspend it against and then use it in that manner.
- Not possible to use it like you would use rings.
- They don’t take chalk well hence are bound to fill up with sweat and get nasty pretty quickly.
- They are permanently attached, so they hit you in the face and they just get in the way.
Monkii Bars 2
I’ve used the first Monkii Bars and actually done DIYs for the first version. Monkii Bars was great, but it kind of lacked a lot of things that you’d like to see. Monkii Bars 2 has taken the problems from Monkii Bars 1, taken the features of TRX and kind of just put them on steroids. As far as portability goes, it blows TRX out of the water. As far as changing things, it blows Monkii Bars 1 out of the water.
One of my favorite features about Monkii Bars 2 is the adjustable straps. With TRX, you only have one attachment point. So, throwing this over a slanted bar or tree is not possible. With Monkii Bars, the presence of straps that are similar to gymnastic straps, you can adjust them each accordingly so you can make up for those discrepancies in the height of the bar or the branch.
Advantages of Monkii Bars 2
- It truly is a versatile system.
- It combines the great portability with very high quality. One can run with them in their hands.
- Has grips are made out of billet grade aluminum, hence very high quality.
- They then have a powder coat finish, similar to what you would see on a pull-up bar, so they do take chalk really well.
- They also have one of the best presentations that I’ve seen out of any piece of fitness gear.
- It has a great presentation, with everything having a spot. It really does appeal to the OCD side of me.
- They have removable foot straps. So if you want to do ab movements, you can just slip them through the Monkii Bar and do your ab movements or do suspended push-ups.
When you roll it out and you see the Monkii Bars at the bottom, the straps all put in there neatly and velcroed down and you can fold it up, put it in your suitcase. I haven’t seen a piece of equipment that relates to this in anything I’ve reviewed or anything I’ve seen. This is truly something that you’d see in a different industry, but I’m glad that they brought this kind of quality and craftsmanship to the fitness space.
An Interesting Way in which I would use the Monkii Bars 2
It is worth noting that the Monkii Bars has a door unit. I don’t use this lot, but if I traveled I would. You could simply throw it over a door. They have extra straps that suspend down. You can actually put your phone in the system to watch workouts and then you can just go to town. It’s got so much versatility with using them against a pull up bar or a tree and you can also use it against your door. There’s just a lot to it.
I’ve used the Monkii Bars for dips, for pull ups, for using it like a suspension system. I think they’re really great for pull ups and dips. They feel very similar to rings. You can do muscle-ups on them, they do work in that manner and I also use them to sled drag. So you can put them out in front of you and do something like a West Side barbell sled drag or run with them. They’re really strong and you can use them in so many situations. They’re just so much more versatile than the TRX system. .
So, click up in the top right to check out Monkii Bars 2 on Kickstarter. I truly think it’s a great system. I think it out-performs the TRX in many areas and it’s something that I’m definitely going to use in my training arsenal, especially when I travel and when I want to do work outs outside.