How to Make a TRX Style Trainer for Under 80 Bucks

Really quickly let me say (and I state this in the video) that I really like TRX Trainers and if you can get one, that’s great. However, cost is an issue for a lot of people, especially right now. I already reviewed other suspension training systems and showed you one homemade version along with an alternate version called the Freestyle Trainer. However, some people still wanted to know if they could easily and cheaply (literally) turn their Freestyle Trainer into a carabiner TRX style system. The following is my solution to this problem.

Link to YouTube Video

Below are links where you can get everything you need. If you want to save a little money in shipping costs, I would check to see what your local outdoor store or rock climbing facilities have available. I literally biked up the street, picked up the materials, and put it together in three minutes tops.

Step 1 – Put together your Freestyle Trainer as directed, leaving off the “S” rings at the end.
Step 2 – Attach each strap end loop to carabiner #1 and slide to bottom corner.
Step 3 – Attach carabiner #1 to the bottom loop of the daisy chain.
Step 4 – Attach carabiner #2 to the top loop of the daisy chain.
Step 5 – On a pull-up bar (beam, tree, playground equipment, etc.) wrap the daisy chain strap around the bar/limb and connect to one of the loops on the other side.

You are now ready to train.

Again, if you can find the last two items locally, you will probably save some cash.

Freestyle Trainer
Daisy Chain


  1. Alice
    June 12, 2010 at 6:49 am

    I just bought a Freestyle Trainer yesterday for the challenge. This is very cool, I am going to swing by my local sport store after work.

  2. Matthew
    June 12, 2010 at 9:17 am


    This is exactly the set-up I have. I bought the freestyle trainer and thought it needed something else…

    The climbing gear was perfect. Have been using this for a few weeks now and it works great. I wasn’t sure about the freestyle vs. the TRX, but I have grown to like it over time.

  3. Fitfinch
    June 12, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I was trying to figure out how to do this. Much simpler than what I was thinking. How much weight can it support?

    • Leigh Peele
      June 12, 2010 at 3:41 pm

      From the Black Diamond site the Daisy Chain individual loops can take 700 lbf. The main loops are 1000+. IMO it is as sturdy if not sturdier. It has a doublestich in the loops as well versus the single.

  4. Syra
    June 12, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Do we have to use the screw on carabiner? Great idea regardless, thanks for sharing.

    • Leigh Peele
      June 12, 2010 at 3:42 pm

      No, as I said in the video you don’t have to use it. It’s just my preference.

  5. Perry
    June 12, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Dude I have been trying to figure out the best way to get mine even on a tree in my back yard. The limb isn’t straight so I am always going though hell adjusting. Thanks Leigh.

    Oh and for anyone tripping over the excess cords, I just attached this to both of my back straps the inserted the excess back though the slot, it works pretty well.

  6. sue
    June 12, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I made one myself from the other video you showed. You can just buy 1 carabiner and 1 lashing strap and you can get the same result instead of using the daisy chain. Use the carabiner as the loop for all three straps, close the new lashing strap around the pullup bar. You can get both at home depot for under $10. If anyone makes their own from scratch I suggest skipping the foot straps and just using the handles as feet straps. If your really lazy you can just buy 2 lashing straps, 2 pvc pipes, close the loops individually, and you have a suspension systems that’s really similar to the freestyle trainer without tying any knots.

    • Perry
      June 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm

      I think the point is people didn’t want to go through all that trouble though. You are saying “If really lazy you can do these 10 steps” but what Leigh is showing is how to do it with really really easy material and using an already made trainer.


      I like the freestyle trainer as is anyway but altering it like this made it a breeze. It took me 2 mins max. I am getting ready to test it out. I will keep you updated!
      Thanks Again!

  7. Niel
    June 12, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    How’s it compare with the DIY version from last time?

    • Leigh Peele
      June 12, 2010 at 3:53 pm

      1. The quality of the material is better, especially the handles. There is a degree of “you get what you pay for.” Spend an extra 30-40 bucks and I think it makes a difference. This set up is rock solid where as the homemade ones I have played with are a little thin and lack a certain quality to them.

      2. It is super super simple to put together. Just order the freestyle trainer, while that is coming go and get your daisy chain/carabiners, and put it together when it arrives. This is also for people who find the other homemade video intimidating. I think it is a good between. Some people really need simple, simple, simple instructions. So this is for them.

  8. Alex
    June 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Great idea. Now what can we use as a door anchor for one of these?

    • Leigh Peele
      June 12, 2010 at 4:28 pm

      Well you can always order a TRX door anchor but I will see what I can come up with.

  9. Holly M
    June 13, 2010 at 1:17 am

    I bought it today. I will let you know what I think.

  10. Karen (kfit500)
    June 13, 2010 at 11:31 am

    So timely, I’m considering making my own, but may go this route. Leigh, can you compare the difference between having a two-attachment point system (Freestyle Trainer) vs a one-attachment point system (TRX). How does it affect the actual exercises? Does the fact that one has the straps coming straight down and one has the straps at an angle make any difference? Or is it just about setup–one-point attachment is faster.

  11. carlos
    June 13, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    hey leigh great video. my question is if I could attach the freestyle trainer to a vertical object like a pole or tree trunk using these modifications. also, please show us a soon as possible when you finish testing it. thanks

  12. Debby
    June 14, 2010 at 10:48 am

    That is cool. Thanks for taking the time to do the video for us, Leigh.

    I can’t wait to see the training program! I like variety in my workouts – does that make me a program jumper? Hmmm (I’m happy where I am – just aiming to keep the ole body fit and healthy). 🙂

  13. cassondra crosby
    June 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Hi Leigh,
    Just bought the freestyle trainer today and I do think I will be making some modifications as you suggested.

    I also am thinking about buying the pull up bar. I can’t do one pull up so maybe that will be some of the incentive.

    Thanks again for the tips!!! You Rock!

  14. Billy S.
    July 10, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Leigh, I love you. I was going to order the FreeStyle Trainer tonight and was doing some last-minute research before the purchase and found this link. I’ve already looked at a carabiner I like at my local Outdoor store.
    I’m thinking of just looping the FST straps without the S-clips around the doorway bar and then using the carabiner to connect them. Don’t know how well it will work, but will write a follow-up comment once I have all the components here.

  15. Dennis T.
    November 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Very interested in the TRX but not its price tag. I watch your video on making the system for under $80 out of Black Diamond climbing gear. great idea. My question is do you have to order the freestyle system first for $70 and then buy the Black Diamond pieces and add those to the freestyle trainer? I got lost I think on your video you were putting it together and at the end the hand grips/foot grips are all done and pro looking. Whats the total cost of ALL pieces needed to make a TRX knockoff?? thanks

  16. The Best of 2010 | Leigh Peele
    December 28, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    […] 9. How To Make A TRX Trainer For Under 80 Bucks […]

  17. Ronnie
    January 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I made my own system and it works well. I have it set up in my garage. However, my dog has come up to it twice now and peed on it! He never peesin the house and I have no clue why he doesn’t like it. I bought a TRX for my daughter for Christmas and she loves it. I am thinking of buying another system but the TRX is pricey… this is a great alternative…and perhaps my dog won’t pee on it!

  18. Bryan
    February 25, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I need help putting my trx style trainer together. It sits down too low. I have it set up until you actually loop it around the pull up bar. When I choose a loop, the trainer sits down too low.

  19. Jeff Wiersema
    April 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Does it matter what side the printed numbers are on?” My setup instructions told me to start with the printed side running through the loops on the spring-loaded lock. But, when I do that, it makes my final step have to be with the numbers on the side of the lock with teeth.

  20. Mark
    August 22, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Leigh –

    Great video! This is probably a dumb question, but curious as to what the difference is between the TRX System and a Freestyle Trainer? Thanks!

    • Leigh
      August 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      Freestyle trainer is a separated system, meaning that when it comes as is, it is two separate lines. Think Olympic rings. It provides a different training reaction. In some senses, it is a very small difference. In others, it can be quite larger. The video, shows you how to make it a connected system like the TRX. IN the picture, see the black part in the middle? The two handles/straps are one piece. The freestyle is two full separate lines.

  21. […] How To Make A TRX Style Trainer For Under 80 Bucks […]

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