Universal Strength Apparatus

Gymnastics rings are nothing new, but the popularity of suspension training has grown in recent years, and many different types of suspension systems have hit the market.

The Universal Strength Apparatus (USA) adds it’s own unique twist on the familiar theme by using a ladder-based suspension system.

Though I love simple bodyweight training, using a suspension trainer is a great way to spice up those workouts with an additional stability component. The good folks over at BodyWeightCulture.com decided to send me a USA so I brought it to Nimble Fitness to try out.

When you’re used to doing pull-ups on a bar, doing them while hanging from straps can be a shock to your muscles. The USA also proved harder for back lever practice when compared to the bar. The extra stability needed to keep the straps from wiggling really forces you go slowly and focus on form – even on basic exercises like Australian pull-ups.

The design of the USA also allows for a staggered grip on pull-ups and push-ups to add another challenge. Additionally, I messed around with a modified iron cross and practiced holding an L-sit while climbing up and down the ladder.

While certainly not a must-have item, the USA is a worthwhile tool for someone looking to mix up their bodyweight training. After all, the most versatile piece of exercise equipment in the world is something that we all have already – the human body.

Watch the video below to see more:

14 thoughts on “Universal Strength Apparatus

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  • By John Ricci -

    Thanks Al, so if you chose this or TRX, which would you use? Assume you have to choose……

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Oh but I don’t have to choose, John! I get to use them both!

      Seriously though, they are both good pieces of equipment and each has its pros and cons.

  • By Trevor -

    I have a TRX and hardly use it. I think I would want to make more use of the TRX before getting this. lol But I think if I didn’t have the TRX, and I was choosing between the two I would go with the USA. Maybe I’ll get it some day.

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Thanks for your input, Trevor. TRX and USA are both nice to have, but neither is a necessity. You can get a great workout with no equipment at all.

      • By Trevor -

        I can agree with that. I would say my favourite piece of equipment is my chin up bar connected to the frame of my bed room door. I just don’t think I could do muscle ups with it without a face plant. lol

  • By Toffeeliz -

    that looks like a nice piece of rainy day for a traceur.

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Haha yeah – it’s definitely nice for a rainy day!

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  • By Ty -

    Even though I have a swingy bar on my PPU I am thinking getting one of these would be smart since it seems to allow more versatile options not limited by a door frame.

  • By Justbreathesunshine -

    Hey there! Do you know where I can still buy these??? thanks!Sunny

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      I’m not sure if they’re still manufacturing these.  Maybe try Craigslist or Ebay. 

  • By Rob White -

    Hey Al, i love my rings, but the climbing stuff you can do on ladder-type apparatus like the USA looks great.

    I love the way you did the modified Iron Cross. Thats such a cool idea. I presume you could start with the USA ladders close to the elbow, and gradually move them out further away from your body as you get stronger. Do you think you could do this with rings?

    Its a real shame that you cant get the USA any more. I wish i had picked this piece of kit up whilst i ghad the chance 🙁

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