Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Is Universal Strength Apparatus a Suspension Trainer?

***See below for an important update on this product!

If you follow suspension training at all, or workout with a trx or jungle gym xt, you have probably heard of the USA. 

The USA? Right, it stands for Universal Strength Apparatus.
It is essentially two narrow rope ladders with stiff handle rungs that allow you to do many of the same suspension training exercises as a trx or jungle gym. 

The USA does have certain advantages however, the most notable of which is adjustment. 

Because there are rungs the entire length of the suspension apparatus, there is no need to stop and adjust it to change the difficulty level or switch to another exercise.

This means exercises are easily scaled to the trainee's level as well.

This design also allows users to do suspended plyometrics, such as plyometric pushups hopping from one rung to the next, something you can't do with a trx suspension trainer or jungle gym xt.

Multiple rungs also make for quick adjustments to perform assisted pullups, as long as you don't mind having the excess ladders on either side of the arms.

Another distinct advantage related to the fixed rungs is climbing. Performing a vertical climb on the universal strength apparatus is a tough challenge when you don't use your feet.

Like other suspension training equipment, the USA is portable and light. It does have one more advantage over the competition, and that is price, always less than a hundred bucks. Check out the deal below:

UPDATE!! It would appear that the Universal Strength Apparatus is off the market as of early 2012. There is no telling if or when it will be available again, at least from Amazon. But the market never leaves a gap for long! Turns out the sport of climbing gives us a nice substitute in the Metolius 8 Step Ladder Aider.

For about the same price as the Universal Strength Apparatus, the Metolius ladders look and perform as well or better. They are designed as serious technical climbing aids, and can take any punishment your workout can provide. Plus, they come in three different colors; red, yellow or an assorted mix.

Here are the specifications for the Metolius Ladder:

-Each ladder has 8 steps.
-Nylon webbing is 1" wide.
-Steps are stiffened with Biothane to keep them open.
-For anchoring, the clip-in point is reinforced. Full strength grab loop.
-74 inches long, steps are 9 inches across.
-Super light at 11.5 oz.

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