How I Built This TRX: Randy Hetrick

Full podcast here.

  • What is TRX? TRX is a full-body workout machine. It’s just two straps hanging from an anchor in the ceiling. More than 25,000 gyms have them. 95% of sports teams use them. 

  • Where the idea for TRX came from: We were in a warehouse waiting [for a Navy SEAL mission] with no way to train. I wondered if I tied a knot in my Jiu-Jitsu belt and threw it over a door could I lean back and pull my body up? I found that I could do rows, curls, shoulder fly’s, chest press, chest fly’s, standing planks for my core. I could use it as a balance point for squats and single-leg squats. 

  • TRX wasn’t created to be a business: I just kept tweaking it. I wasn’t thinking about business. I just thought it was cool that I created this nifty tool that people wanted. 

  • When did Randy first think about selling his invention? Coaches at Stanford were asking questions about it. They were telling me how great the TRX straps were. The coaches thought TRX would be great for their athletes. That’s when I started the think I could sell it. 

  • How TRX was initially sold: I went gym to gym and did little demonstrations to their staff of trainers. I had to beg the manager to let me do this. I did 300 to 500 of these. 

  • TRX’s first big breakthrough: Connecting with Drew Brees. He had torn his rotator cuff and was doing rehab. He fell in love with the product. Sports Illustrated did a story on his training on the TRX. All of a sudden all the strength and conditioning coaches and athletes wanted the straps. 

  • The single biggest problem Randy has faced an entrepreneur: Dealing with knockoffs. They found 20 factories in China that were creating counterfeit TRX suspension trainers. 

  • How his training as a Navy SEAL helped him build a business: I learned some skills as a Navy SEAL about how to manage fear and stress. It involves a combination of compartmentalization and action. That’s how I deal with entrepreneurial fear and stress. You put it in a box. Figure out how to take action on it. And then you move forward to your next task at hand. 

  • TRX Revenue: We will do a little more than $50 million in sales this year.