Introduction: TRX Clone From 4mm Cord and Broom Handle

TRX is a workout tool made by Fitness Anywhere (youtube search TRX).  With it, you can simulate many weight training exercises, with variable resistance, but the TRX itself weighs almost nothing, and you can use it almost anywhere.  It is really attractive to someone who does not have $30/month to spend on gym memberships!

But a genuine TRX costs about $250 :(

For the rest of us, there is DIY :)

There are a number of TRX clone instructables out there, but mine is the best one.  I mean, this one can be assembled the quickest, and it is one of the cheapest: 20 minutes and $10

But if you wanted to see those other ones anyway, here are some links: Okay, I'm done poo pooing everyone else's thing.  Actually, those are all just fine, but I need to make my case for posting a new one!

Here is the Disclaimer: Small errors on your part may cause the knots in your contraption to fail.  I have done my best to explain them, but if you hurt yourself with your homemade TRX, I am not liable for damages, even if you think you followed my instructions perfectly.  By following these instructions, you agree to take full responsibility for the consequences of building this contraption.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Materials

  • 10m of 4mm climbing accessory cord ($8), with a synthetic core.
  • 2 pieces of broom handle or dowel for the hand holds
  • (optional) 1 stainless steel ring, chain link, or climbing carabiner
Cut your cord into 4.3m, 2.1m, and 3.6m pieces.  The first two are for the handles, and the other is for attaching the TRX to other things.  Melt the ends!  You can do this with thicker cord, but you might need more length for knots.  I do not recommend paracord - the knots do not work well with it, and it is likely not strong enough for this application.

Optionally, file a grove around each end of the handles.  I think the constrictor knot that we use later works best if the grove is all the way around, and not just a dent in one side.

The ring reduces wear on the rope, but it is not necessary if you just want to try this out.

Step 2: Constricter Knot the Handles

Use the 2.1m rope for this step.

The Constrictor Knot is very easy to tie (for other instructions go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constrictor_knot).  

I did not check what happens if you don't do this, but I recommend you tie the two Constrictor knots in opposite directions.  i.e. one starts as a normal "S" and the other starts as a backwards "S".  if you do this right, the two constrictor knots will mirror each other.

Look at the pictures!

Step 3: Finish the Handle With a Bowline!

The Bowline is the most important knot anyone can know.  Do it exactly as shown.  (more on the bowline: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowline)

You can hang a truck off a bowline, and then untie the knot with your hands afterwards (provided the rope does not break!).

Adjust everything so it's nice and even, and you have about 6-10cm of rope protruding from your bowline.

You are done with the first handle!  Repeat this for the 4.3m rope.


Step 4: Assembly

If you are using the optional ring, pass the longer rope through it twice, and bring the ring near to the handle, as shown.

Use a Sheet Bend (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheet_bend) to create the main adjustment of your TRX.  DO IT EXACTLY AS SHOWN AND GET TO KNOW THIS KNOT. (guess what, it's pretty much the same as the Bowline)

The shorter, 2.1m rope makes the loop of the sheet bend, while the longer, 4.3m rope makes the "U" turn.  Leave about 6-10cm of the shorter rope, protruding from the loop.

Step 5: Hang It Up and Test It!

Use the remaining piece of rope to hang your TRX from whatever you thing is sturdy enough.  If you are using a tree branch, please wrap your rope around it a couple of times to reduce chaffing.


I made a short video to demonstrate that it works, but youtube TRX (click), and you will get loads of stuff.  I will show some of the exercises from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmhI_8wlm8I

Comments

author
charmaine_marie made it! (author)2013-10-01

Hmm. I am a complete beginner and came to your instructable since it used sports rope instead of bulky straps, ect. I bought the climbing rope, made my handles from dowels. Hoovered over YouTube to visually watch people tying the knots. I am stuck at the end of your instructable with no clue as to how to tie it up to try it. I will sift through the links you posted of other instructables to see if they spell it out clearer. I will check back in case you have further advice.

author
alejandroerickson made it! (author)alejandroerickson2013-10-02

The wikipedia articles I linked to tend to have nice step by step instructions. I didn't want to make new instructions for the knots because there are good ones out there already. For example this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constrictor_knot

I still use this contraption regularly!

author
charmaine_marie made it! (author)charmaine_marie2013-10-02

I ended up finding the hitch knot page on Wikipedia. Didn't use it much last night since it was close to bedtime, but did some push-ups and pull-ups on it. We have it hanging from a pull-up bar in our hallway that was given to is for our child to hang from. Since children grow fast I wasn't keen on adjusting it to her height so thus began my journey to find a way to allow her to hang safely and have it be adjustable. With a bonus that we could use it too!
Lastly I didn't use the 3 m length rope to tie up and just tied te tail from the 4 m rope. Again, it's from a pull-up bar in our doorway, so not tall at all. Would you advise against this? I do recall from your video you had long tails too…

author
makendo made it! (author)2013-03-19

Nice work Alejandro - I might just have to rig this up... though I will have to get the 5 or 6 mm rope :)

author
alejandroerickson made it! (author)alejandroerickson2013-03-29

Yeah! (nice to hear from you :) ). That reminds me, I think I'll do some TRXing this morning when my fiancée wakes up.

author
ClayOgre made it! (author)2013-03-01

Where does one buy this 4mm climbing accessory cord?

author
alejandroerickson made it! (author)alejandroerickson2013-03-01

Great question. I buy mine at Mountain Equipment Co-op, which is in Canada. Any outdoor store that sells climbing stuff will have 4mm cord. You might even try a hardware store, but be careful. There is lots of rope that is not meant for this kind of load. In general, get rope that comes off a large spool at the store, and has a strength rating that is 3 or 4 times your body weight.