Who Invented TRX Suspension Training? History and Facts

Who invented TRX suspension training? And how did it become so popular?

The story might surprise you:

Read on and discover how former Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick had to be creative to maintain his fitness while in the field…

Who Invented TRX Suspension Training: The Inventor, Randy Hetrick

The TRX suspension trainer was created by Randy Hetrick while he was an active Navy SEAL looking for a way to maintain his fitness and training in less than optimal conditions.

While in the field, there are limits to both available equipment and to which exercises can be done. Well: By using parts from a parachute, a jiu-jitsu belt, and a good portion of creativity – the TRX suspension system was born. Well done, Randy!

Created in 1997, the system has developed massively over the years. It now includes an online academy and online training for instructors worldwide as well.     

Moving on:

In 2001, Randy left the military and, with a family at home to support, decided to go to college and earn a degree. At 36 years old, with a wife and a son at home, this next step played a big part in the development of the TRX Suspension Training System:

It was here that his invention was shared, and financing began to build the product as we know it now. In a business class for entrepreneurs, his prototype was demonstrated. From demonstrating his prototype, he was led to private funding for the development of the product and the system behind it.

As time went on, more and more people were able to try the invention out – and supply feedback leading to further improvements. 

The Growth

While being adaptable to fit many needs and to work for a wide range of people, TRX has gained a growth of popularity and increased training of both instructors and users alike.

No wonder the brand recently was placed at the top of my best suspension trainer for the money reviews! The simple invention has continued to grow over the years and helps people worldwide find a workout that fits their needs.

To put it all in perspective:

Over 49 different versions were created on the path to finding the right product, the right material, and the best configuration. The input was sought from not only Navy SEAL members – but also from professional athletes, trainers, and regular users. The importance of having feedback from many different sources was accepted and embraced, so the final product could benefit many and suit the needs of a wide range of people.

In 2004, Hetrick started selling the “Travel X” via the newly started Travelfit Inc. His office? The back of his ride in San Francisco!

In 2005 the first training program for instructors was launched and allowed trainers everywhere to grow their offerings and include TRX Training in their locations.

In 2006 it was launched into the international market, and the popularity grew from there:

Soon after, in 2007, a program was created for military training and launched in the Marine Corps. 

Following this worldwide growth, the milestone of one million users was reached in 2009, and new partnerships were formed.

How about that?

To accommodate the growth, a San Francisco TRX training center was created in 2010. The training center allowed trainers from around the country – and even around the world, to attend in-person training on using the equipment and sharing it with others.

Having trainers ready and properly educated on how to use the system allowed the growth to continue, leading to increased access around the globe.

The product quickly gained ground and grew in popularity not only among military members, but also athletes, trainers, and even people at the very start of their fitness journey. It became massively popular around the world, and as it grew in presence in the gyms and training facilities, a transition was made to include online training.

Online training is now available to both trainers and students alike. Since it was launched in 2013, the online academy continues to grow daily in popularity. The ability to work out at home with online training and equipment that fits in any home – makes it a popular choice for loads of different people.

Who doesn’t want to own a piece of exercise equipment being super-accessible – without the need to travel to a gym to obtain your necessary workout?

A Sneak Peek to Some of The Benefits of TRX Training

Sorry, 265 words cannot summarize all of the benefits of TRX. If you want the complete list, read my article dedicated to the benefits of suspension training resistance exercise.

Now, over to the sneak peek:

The system is created to be easily used in several different circumstances. It is portable and able to work the entire body at once – saving both time and money. With the TRX, your body is worked from the core out and helps to increase flexibility, balance, overall strength, and core strength. There are hundreds of different TRX exercises, and every exercise is designed to use your body weight as resistance:

The stronger you get, the more muscle you develop, the heavier your body becomes – therefore increasing the load during your resistance exercise.

Pretty genius, or what?

Without a strong core, your body will struggle to quickly bring itself back to balance when on something as simple as an uneven surface. While most exercise methods address your core in one way or another, suspension training is a head-on way to increase balance and core strength.

Your core IS FORCED to be engaged to maintain balance and complete the exercises. This increases not only core strength – but also your arms, legs, and all other parts of your body. 

As the difficulty increases along with your growing ability to use the straps, it becomes an engaging and challenging workout for everyone – whether you are a beginner or a self-proclaimed expert. This will create an ongoing workout that continues through the years without becoming boring or outdated and allows for growth at any speed.

And you know what?

The continued use of the TRX system is said to bring improved metabolic results – allowing your body to burn more fat in less time, assisting both with weight loss and muscle gain. By engaging in suspension training, lean muscle growth is seen – while your muscle strength improved drastically. 


While the system is safe for most, there are, as with any workout, a few situations that TRX is not ideal for, and extra care should be taken:

Anyone who has low core strength or lacks stability in their core is at increased risk of injury due to movements within the straps. If you have sustained an injury to your back or joints, you may not be a good fit for a suspension trainer either.

Neglecting this advice may lead to further injury, and it can possibly slow healing that has been occurring. For these reasons, it is crucial to seek a knowledgeable trainer, to begin with.

“Some analysts worry that the instability of suspension straps could possibly result in injury, especially for those with a history of joint or back injuries, or inadequate core strength”

Reference: wikipedia.org – TRX System

Transitioning to working out alone should ONLY be done when necessary skills and progress have occurred – and no injuries are present. All exercise systems and programs will inflict some risk of injury, and proper usage should be learned before beginning. If you’ve got any health concerns, a doctor should be consulted before engaging in any kind of new exercise type.

Final Words: From Idea to TRX Suspension Trainer

Many years have gone by since Randy Hetrick’s idea’ was slowly put into life. Although the TRX, as we know it today, has been around for several years, the system slowly evolves based on user experiences and market needs.

TRX produces everything from the lightweight “TRX GO” model – to the more robust commercial grade pro models. Either which one you use, you can rest assured you will have a fantastic workout.

  • At the office
  • At home
  • In the hotel room
  • Outdoors
  • In the gym (My guess is they even have a suspension system at your local training facility)
  • In the middle of the jungle

I other words: Fitness anywhere, for anyone.

I hope this summary clarified the questions you might have about the invention of the TRX. If you want to learn about other kinds of home exercise equipment – feel free to visit my strength building page, LOADED with tips, hacks, and exciting fitness stuff!

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