Total Gym Review - Pros And Cons Revealed Here » (2022)

The Total Gym is a bodyweight resistance home gym offered in several models with different specs. Unlike regular weight home gyms, it uses the gravity of your own bodyweight to produce resistance through cables.

The Total Gym is a bodyweight resistance home gym offered in several models with different specs. Unlike regular weight home gyms, it uses the gravity of your own bodyweight to produce resistance through cables.

You can increase or decrease resistance by changing the angle of the gliding rail board over which you sit or lie while working out. This simple strategy makes the Total Gym lighter and more compact than normal-weight machines.

But how effective is this gear for fitness, fat loss, or muscle building? This review will uncover the benefits, pros, and cons of this range of machines.

POST CONTENTS

Who Is It Suitable For?

The Total Gym was designed with simplicity coupled with effectiveness in mind. Out the heavy, bulky gym, and in a simple device for total fitness.

This may sound good to those who have limited space at home and want a fitness tool easy to set up, deploy, and store.

Total Gym Review - Pros And Cons Revealed Here » (1)

It may also be attractive to those seeking a better resistance level control that normal bodyweight workouts do not guarantee, as they require a long practice period to master.

The Total Gym also looks good to cable workout lovers. Cable exercises offer numerous benefits comparing to free weights. They are very safe to use, as you do not have to load and offload heavy free weights.

(Video) Total Gym Chrome Handles Review

They also allow for a full range of motion from all conceivable corners and you do not risk getting dangerously stuck under a barbell on failure, as you can simply return the handles to the start position. This means you can train on your own, without a spotter.

As a workout tool, Total Gym is suitable for anyone of any fitness level, but as a pure strength machine, it is more suitable for beginner and intermediate trainees as it lacks the heavy poundage/resistance capabilities of a home gym with weights.

So, if you are a man the Total Gym may or may not be suitable for you depending on your goals, pure muscle building vs fitness with lean muscle and low body fat, but if you are a woman almost certainly will be the right tool for you.

You should also read our BodyBoss 2.0 Portable Gym review or Bowflex HVT review.

Total Gym Review - Pros And Cons Revealed Here » (2)

What Exactly Is The Total Gym?

Total Gym is a unique brand of gravity home gyms first introduced to the market back in 1974 by Tom Campanaro and partners Dale McMurray and Larry Westfall.

The machines were designed for strength, aerobic endurance, and flexibility and are today used for both commercial gyms and private homes.

They all share the same design idea, which consists of a gliding board mounted at an angle on the main post with different heights you can choose from, the higher the angle, the greater the resistance, so as to adjust to all fitness and strength levels.

You resist the gravity of your body sliding down with the board with 2 cables connected to it. By changing the position of your body on the board, you can target all of your muscle groups for a full-body workout.

The cables also offer a full range of motion and a continuous level of resistance through it, without the typical “dead spots” of free weights. This improves the effectiveness of the repetitions and sets, making your muscle fibers work equally from the start to the end of a given movement, also increasing TUT, time under tension.

The concept of the Total Gym is as simple as it is minimalist because the overall weight and size of this fitness device are much less than a free weight station or weight-stack home gym.

However, while the workouts can be very effective, this kind of gravity resistance gym do also come with their own limitations, [more on this later].

(Video) AeroPilates VS Pilates Power Gym Plus, Pilates Power Gym Plus Review & Unboxing Pilates Reformer

In fact, the Total Gym is being endorsed by celebrities Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley for many years and they too swear by its effectiveness, like many regular guys and gals. But how much of it is real and how much is hype?

What Are The Pros Of The Total Gym?

  • The Total Gym offers an easy and compact solution for those who want to improve their level of fitness, moderately building lean muscle while reducing body fat, thus improving BMI or body mass index.
  • It is suitable for all fitness levels and very safe, providing an effective platform for working out at home without the hassle of a gym membership. The compact size and lightweight make the Total Gym ideal for those living in small apartments, but not only.
  • The smooth gliding rails and the cable flexibility are beginners’ proof and well suited to rehabilitation as well. In fact, the Total Gym was originally conceived as a rehab tool that also turned out to be very effective for working out all muscle groups and for general fitness.
  • Also, all exercises are performed by lying or sitting on the glider, relieving strain from your back but engaging your core muscles whenever you do flies for pecs, shoulders, or lats.

The Cons Of Gravity Gyms Like The Total Gym

While the Total Gym is a serious home fitness tool to consider, it is also clear that such gravity-based machines do come with their intrinsic limitations.

  • For example, resistance levels cannot match the fine-tuning offered by free weights or machines. Depending on models, the are 6 to 22 different levels of resistance.
  • For some exercises and muscle groups, this may very well be all you need. Beyond that, even the top resistance level may simply be not enough if you are looking for full-size muscle building.
  • If you are looking for maximum muscle gains and strength, there is no substitute for squats, deadlifts, bench presses, military presses, and chin-ups with good old-fashioned free weights or machines. This is not a bodybuilders’ tool.

However, if you are looking for good strength levels, lean muscle, increased metabolic rate and fat loss, better body composition, and generally a good fitness level or maintenance through the year, then the Total Gym makes very much sense.

The vast selection of cable exercises and resistance levels means that you can get a pretty fit, ripped physique with this machine, which is all that most people want and what the Total Gym was designed for.

You can also get relatively strong, especially if you make clever use of flies rather than multi-joint movements, as long leverage exercises offset the limitations of the maximum resistance level offered.

The resistance levels of the Total Gym are just about right for exercises like lateral, back, and front raises for delts, flies for pecs, and so on. Just do not expect to become a powerlifting champion.

The Total Gym Range

Over the years, Total Gym has produced many different models, each an improvement over their predecessor through their customers’ feedback.

40 years on, these gyms have reached very good levels of manufacturing, usability, comfort, and effectiveness. At the current time, there are 4 different models to choose from the range, different in specs, sophistication, and price. Below a quick breakdown of the main features of each model.

Unlike regular home gyms, no assembly is required and they are ready to use straight out of the box.

Total Gym Supreme

This is the entry-level range. You can do strength training, cardio, and stretching with over 60 exercises, easily switching from one exercise to the next.

Total body workouts can be done in 10 to 20 minutes a day. The Total Gym Supreme comes with the workout tools like the Tri-Grip Shaper Bar and exercise DVDs.

  • 12 Levels of Resistance
  • Over 60 Exercises
  • Gym Weight – 56 lbs
  • 275lb Maximum User Weight
  • Fully Assembled and Ready To Use
  • Includes Total Gym Workout Tools and DVDs
  • Warranty on Frame – 2 years
  • Warranty on Parts – 1 year

Total Gym XLS

The Total Gym XLS is one of the 2 most popular models [the other is the Total Gym FIT].

(Video) Total Gym Foam Roller Review

It offers good value and a better resistance selection, more exercises, and a more sturdy built than the basic Supreme. It also comes with the Total Gym tools and workout videos.

  • 6 Levels of Resistance
  • Over 80 Exercises
  • Gym Weight – 68 lbs
  • 400lb Maximum User Weight
  • Fully Assembled and Ready To Use
  • Includes Total Gym Workout Tools and DVDs
  • Warranty on Frame – Lifetime
  • Warranty on Parts – 6 months

Total Gym FIT

The Total Gym FIT is a big jump in specs, features, and price comparing to the Supreme and XLS.

As usual, it comes with the standard library of Total Gym exercises, Total Gym workouts, and workout tools plus an extra AbCrunch attachment with a DVD.

  • 12 Levels of Resistance
  • Over 85 Exercises
  • Gym Weight – 66 lbs
  • 450lb Maximum User Weight
  • Fully Assembled and Ready To Use
  • Self-locking Height Adjustment
  • Total Gym AbCrunch Accessory with Workout DVD
  • 2-piece Attachment for a wider range of motion
  • Ergonomic Glideboard with Comfort System
  • Extended 2-Year Warranty with Priority Processing
  • 6 DVD Total Gym Workout Library & Workout Tools
  • Warranty on Frame – Lifetime
  • Warranty on Parts – 2 years

Total Gym GTS

The most luxurious model with the most comprehensive specs. This is basically a commercial-grade machine for private homes.

It is very sturdy, weighs 3 times more than the others, you get a lot of raw material for the money, and offers full flexibility for all fitness levels and exercises, including an adjustable squat stand, lat bar, and 6 pulley positions.

Unlike the cheaper models, it has a special hydraulic rail for smoother movement, a 2 step folding system, and automatic rail locks for plyometrics.

  • 22 Levels of Resistance
  • Over 200 Exercises
  • Gym Weight – 180 lbs
  • 650lb Maximum User Weight
  • Free 6-Piece Strength Package
  • Adjustable Squat Stand, LAT Bar with 6 Pulley Positions
  • Hydraulic rail lift
  • Easy two-step folding
  • Automatic rail lock for plyometrics
  • Free Workout DVD and Exercise Chart
  • Warranty on Frame – 5 years
  • Warranty on Parts – Parts & Upholstery: 1 year – Foam and Rubber: 90 Days

The Bottom Line

The Total Gym is, as the name implies, a total fitness tool for the home designed to offer full flexibility in terms of workouts and usability.

Compact in size and weight, the Total Gym disposes of unnecessary iron, barbells, and gear by using a simple but clever bodyweight gravity slide attached to cables, which translates into a full range of movement for all muscle groups over many resistance levels.

This setup makes the Total Gym suitable for anyone who wants to achieve a lean, fit, and muscular body with low fat but not for those who have full bodybuilder’s size and strength in mind.

With these qualities and few limitations, the Total Gym is the ideal tool for men and women who want to improve their fitness and body shape from the comfort of home, reduce their body fat and tone and strengthen their muscles as Chuck Norris does, not Arnold Schwarzenegger.

>>Click Here To Check The Prize Of The Total Gym<<

(Video) Tonal Home Gym Review One year Later Is it Worth It? Final Thoughts 2022

Average rating 4.3 / 5. Vote count: 58

Total Gym Review - Pros And Cons Revealed Here » (4)

Jay Fielding

My name is Jay Fielding. I gained an interest in fitness since I was a child, and eventually developed my passion into a career path. I am now a Certified Personal Trainer with a natural ability to program customized body recomposition and motivate people in achieving their goals, be it gaining muscle or losing fat.

(Video) Force USA G15 Pro 6 Month Updated Review- The "Sweet Spot" of All-In-One Trainers

See all posts by Jay Fielding

FAQs

Is the Total Gym really worth it? ›

A Total Gym workout is enough to challenge almost anybody, but it really excels at forcing your muscles to stabilize your joints as they exert power; if one arm pushes or pulls more than the other, you're going to notice it. Yet at the same time, you don't have to worry about dropping any weights on yourself.

Is Total Gym good for seniors? ›

Cable systems and the Bowflex/Total Gym machines work well with seniors because there are no free weights or plates involved. They are also easy to get on/off and are pretty low impact.

Is Total Gym a good workout machine? ›

It offers exercises for every muscle group, has 10 resistance levels and it's hard to beat the quality of this machine for the price. The Total Gym XLS is my upgrade pick simply because it's hard to beat the quality of this machine.

Is Total Gym good for arthritis? ›

The great thing about the Total Gym is that it's super low impact. Very little stress through the joints, which makes it ideal for folks going through therapy or who have arthritis.

Are Total Gyms made in China? ›

In 1988, Total Gym moved into physical therapy. As of February 2022, most or all of the home equipment line is made in China.

How long does it take to see results from Total Gym? ›

Within three to six months, an individual can see a 25 to 100% improvement in their muscular fitness – providing a regular resistance program is followed. Most of the early gains in strength are the result of the neuromuscular connections learning how to produce movement.

Can I build muscle at 70 years old? ›

Seniors Can Still Bulk Up On Muscle By Pressing Iron Our muscle mass decreases at surprising rates as we get older. But researchers found that people older than 50 can not only maintain but actually increase their muscle mass by lifting weights.

How often should a 70 year old go to the gym? ›

At least 150 minutes a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking. Or they need 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or running. At least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.

How many days a week should you use the Total Gym? ›

The Total Gym has more than 100 exercises to choose from. Use the Total Gym three to four days each week for one to two sets of 15 to 25 reps, if you are a beginner, or one to three sets of 12 to 20 reps if you are an intermediate exerciser.

Does the Total Gym really build muscle? ›

Can you build muscle on a Total Gym / Weider Ultimate Body Works?

What is the actual cost of the Total Gym? ›

The Total Gym is a serious fitness investment. Depending on the model, it can cost anywhere from $1,295 to $4,895 at the time of publication. The Total Gym products are sold to physical therapy clinics, gyms, hospitals, athletic training facilities and many other large corporations.

Is the Total Gym good for your knees? ›

Total Gym Applications for Physical Therapy: Knee - YouTube

How do you stop stiffness in old age? ›

The key is to listen to your body, says Schafer. Ordinary joint soreness can be treated by scaling back on an activity, icing the joint, and taking over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory medications (such as aspirin or ibuprofen) as needed.

Is total fitness going into administration? ›

Total Fitness enters into a CVA, but says 'majority of clubs' will reopen on 12 April. Total Fitness is entering into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), after being hit hard by the pandemic lockdowns.

Which gym is best in the world? ›

The 8 Best Gym Memberships of 2022
  • Best Overall: 24-Hour Fitness.
  • Best Budget Membership: Planet Fitness.
  • Best for Frequent Travelers: Anytime Fitness.
  • Best for Bodybuilders: Gold's Gym.
  • Best for Luxury and Amenities: Equinox.
  • Best for Machines and Muscle Isolation: LA Fitness.
  • Best for Group Classes: Crunch Fitness.
21 Dec 2021

Can I lose weight with Total Gym? ›

If you've chosen the Total Gym as the equipment you'll use to work out and lose weight, you can see results -- but keep in mind that a combination of a calorie-controlled diet, strength training and cardiovascular exercise is the best approach.

Which exercise machine is best for belly fat? ›

  1. Treadmills. Treadmills are one of the best exercise machines to lose belly fat because you're doing cardio on them. ...
  2. Elliptical Trainers. ...
  3. Spin Bikes. ...
  4. Rowing Machines. ...
  5. Stair Climbers. ...
  6. Captain's Chairs. ...
  7. Vibration Plates.

Are squats on the Total Gym effective? ›

Therapeutic Squat Demonstration Using the Total Gym | Pro Physio

How far should a 72 year old walk daily? ›

Generally, older adults in good physical shape walk somewhere between 2,000 and 9,000 steps daily. This translates into walking distances of 1 and 4-1/2 miles respectively.

What foods build muscle in seniors? ›

10 Power Foods that Help Seniors Build Strong Muscles
  • Meat: Rich in protein, animal meat is an ideal dietary option for seniors. ...
  • Fatty Fish: In case one is a non-vegetarian, seniors also have the option of consuming fatty fish, which features a significant amount of protein. ...
  • Tofu: ...
  • Eggs: ...
  • Milk: ...
  • Cheese: ...
  • Beans: ...
  • Nuts:
2 May 2022

How do I get strength at 70? ›

Strength training is the secret to muscle growth for older adults. It's best to do this with light weights and to work slowly. Slow movements with lighter weights force your muscles to work harder. If you don't have a set of weights, you can use your body weight with resistance exercises like push-ups and squats.

What exercises burn belly fat for seniors? ›

Jogging : Both walking and jogging are the most effective belly fat burning exercises. If your muscle strength and endurance permit, you should consider jogging along with or instead of walking. Relatively shorter, slower jogs burn more calories than walking and have a significant impact on your health and weight.

What happens to your body at 65? ›

With age, bones tend to shrink in size and density, weakening them and making them more susceptible to fracture. You might even become a bit shorter. Muscles generally lose strength, endurance and flexibility — factors that can affect your coordination, stability and balance.

What are the four main types of exercise that seniors need to stay healthy? ›

Research has shown that it's important to get all four types of exercise: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.

Can a 70 year old woman tone her body? ›

You can improve your fitness at any age. "The stories in this area are actually very dramatic. Even people 100 years old or older can build muscle strength," says Dr. Edward Phillips, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School.

How fast should a 68 year old walk a mile? ›

The 1-Mile Walking Test
Age20-2960-69
Excellent<13:12<15:06
Good13:12-14:0615:06-16:18
Average14:07-15:0616:19-17:30
Fair15:07-16:3017:31-19:12
1 more row
18 May 2010

How many steps should a 75 year old walk per day? ›

Normative data indicates that 1) healthy older adults average 2,000-9,000 steps/day, and 2) special populations average 1,200-8,800 steps/day.

Is it OK to do a total body workout everyday? ›

While a full-body workout training split has its advantages, it's best not to do it every day. It's important that your muscles have adequate rest and recovery time to prevent overtraining. So, if you prefer a full-body workout training split, keep it to 2-3 workouts per week for the best results.

What exercise burns most calories in 30 minutes? ›

Running/jogging

Running at even a slow pace burns a lot of calories for 30 minutes. On average, running burns between 10.8 to 16 calories per minute and putting it at the top of the list of workouts that burn the most calories.

Is Total Gym good for legs? ›

Legs are comprised of many major muscles including calves, shins and thighs (quadriceps and hamstrings). Total Gym allows you to engage all of these muscles simultaneously with both strength and cardio exercises to gain endurance, increase core stability, build muscle and burn fat.

How long should you workout on a Total Gym? ›

A healthy exercise program doesn't need to exceed 60 minutes and in some cases, it is more ideal to have a 20 – 30 minute routine a few days per week. The key to every successful exercise program is to make it safe, make it efficient, and customize it to your body.

Can you use the Total Gym like a rowing machine? ›

Total Gym ELEVATE Row™ The ELEVATE Row™ is the only rower that emulates a rowing movement on an incline using adjustable bodyweight resistance and produces a full body workout, integrating a strength component into a traditional cardio machine.

Is a total body workout the best? ›

If your goal is to lose weight, build lean muscle mass, or increase your overall physical condition, a full-body workout might be the best choice for you. With a full-body workout, you will enjoy the benefits of both resistance and cardiovascular training.

Is Total Gym good for seniors? ›

Cable systems and the Bowflex/Total Gym machines work well with seniors because there are no free weights or plates involved. They are also easy to get on/off and are pretty low impact.

Does the Total Gym collapse? ›

Storing the Total Gym FIT - YouTube

Which Total Gym is the cheapest? ›

The 1100 is their most affordable model and it still offers over 60 different exercises.
  • The Total Gym 1400.
  • The Total Gym 1600.
  • The Total Gym 1900.
20 Jan 2021

Does the Total Gym really build muscle? ›

Can you build muscle on a Total Gym / Weider Ultimate Body Works?

Can you body build with Total Gym? ›

Whether it's legs, abs, biceps, triceps, chest or shoulders make sure your movements are smooth, slow and controlled. All it takes is the proper technique and The Total Gym can help you build bigger, better and stronger muscles.

Is total body workout the most effective? ›

Full-body movements work far more muscle fibers, which release greater amounts of testosterone, growth hormone, and IGF-1 hormones, which lead to more muscle and less fat. So arguably, total-body workouts can create a better hormonal response.

Can you lose weight with the Total Gym? ›

If you've chosen the Total Gym as the equipment you'll use to work out and lose weight, you can see results -- but keep in mind that a combination of a calorie-controlled diet, strength training and cardiovascular exercise is the best approach.

Is it OK to do a total body workout everyday? ›

While a full-body workout training split has its advantages, it's best not to do it every day. It's important that your muscles have adequate rest and recovery time to prevent overtraining. So, if you prefer a full-body workout training split, keep it to 2-3 workouts per week for the best results.

How many times a week should you do the Total Gym? ›

Use the Total Gym three to four days each week for one to two sets of 15 to 25 reps, if you are a beginner, or one to three sets of 12 to 20 reps if you are an intermediate exerciser.

Are squats effective on the Total Gym? ›

Squats come in all shapes and forms, from body weight squats to barbell squats and kettlebell squats, and hundreds of other variations. However, a great place to start is with your Total Gym! The Total Gym provides a very low impact squat variation that allows you to strengthen your quads, hamstrings and glutes.

Is Total Gym good for legs? ›

Legs are comprised of many major muscles including calves, shins and thighs (quadriceps and hamstrings). Total Gym allows you to engage all of these muscles simultaneously with both strength and cardio exercises to gain endurance, increase core stability, build muscle and burn fat.

Can you use the Total Gym like a rowing machine? ›

Total Gym ELEVATE Row™ The ELEVATE Row™ is the only rower that emulates a rowing movement on an incline using adjustable bodyweight resistance and produces a full body workout, integrating a strength component into a traditional cardio machine.

Is the Total Gym similar to a rowing machine? ›

As far as how it compares to a rowing machine, they're very different. The Total Gym is designed to be a full-body workout with a focus on muscle. Rowing machines, on the other hand, have a higher emphasis on cardio.

What is the number 1 best exercise? ›

1. Walking. Any exercise program should include cardiovascular exercise, which strengthens the heart and burns calories. And walking is something you can do anywhere, anytime, with no equipment other than a good pair of shoes.

Which muscle can you exercise every day? ›

Abs. Abs are probably the most obvious entry on this list. Chances are you're already training your abs every day. If you train your abdominal muscles every day, you should target them by dividing them into sections like upper, lower, middle abs and obliques.

What is the actual cost of the Total Gym? ›

The Total Gym is a serious fitness investment. Depending on the model, it can cost anywhere from $1,295 to $4,895 at the time of publication. The Total Gym products are sold to physical therapy clinics, gyms, hospitals, athletic training facilities and many other large corporations.

What machine at the gym is best for losing belly fat? ›

The treadmill has been shown to burn calories at the highest rate of any cardio exercise machine and running on a treadmill is one of the most effective ways to lose belly fat.

How long should you use the Total Gym? ›

Begin with 2 – 3 days per week, with the duration of your workouts being anywhere from 20 – 40 minutes with the goal of getting to 60 minutes within a month of starting your new exercise program.

Videos

1. How to Enable Resellers - Partner Enablement - Lesson 25
(chanimalvideos)
2. Weider Pro 6900 Home Gym System Review, Unboxing & Assembly
(GOOD REVIEW ONLINE)
3. Is a HOME GYM Still Worth It in 2022? (Pros and Cons)
(REVIVAL Fitness)
4. John Wick: Chapter 4 - Official Teaser Trailer (Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen) | Comic Con 2022
(IGN)
5. Hydrow Wave Rower Review: THE Concept2 Alternative. Seriously!
(Garage Gym Reviews)
6. Ex-Drug Lord Guesses Ex-Undercover Cop Out Of A Lineup
(BuzzFeedVideo)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Last Updated: 11/22/2022

Views: 5986

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Birthday: 1992-08-21

Address: Apt. 237 662 Haag Mills, East Verenaport, MO 57071-5493

Phone: +331850833384

Job: District Real-Estate Architect

Hobby: Skateboarding, Taxidermy, Air sports, Painting, Knife making, Letterboxing, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Saturnina Altenwerth DVM, I am a witty, perfect, combative, beautiful, determined, fancy, determined person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.