The Total Gym XL is the most popular model of these relatively new home exercisers. Comparable in price to Bowflex, these machines offer a new variation on strength training, yet not necessarily an improvement.
By now we’ve all seen the Chuck Norris Total Gym commercials, and it looks like a relatively easy, low impact way to get into shape.
Rather than the “bending rod resistance” of other machines, the Total Gym Platinum, XL and other models use a cable and pulley system. To use these machines, you adjust the incline of the sliding bench to change resistance (10-50% of bodyweight) and pull the grips to slide up and down.
Total Gym Platinum is the lower end model, available on QVC and other shopping channels, and retails at about $200. It claims to offer 60+ exercises, with a wing attachment, leg pulley, and squat stand, along with a handy exercise flip shot and 52-minute instructional video.
At the upper end of the line is the Total Gym XL, which is the model you see in the Chuck Norris Total Gym commercials. It improves upon other models with a longer, wider glide board with more padding, an extra workout video, additional ankle cuff, upgraded height adjustment, larger squat, water bottle holder and new chrome detailing, plus it can support 400lbs (300 on other models).
The Total Gym XL retails at about $1400-$1900, comparable to equally-equipped Bowflex models. There is also a brand new motorized version called the Electra that will set you back $2400.
**2017 UPDATE** The XL was replaced by the XLS. It is essentially the same model, so everything here still applies. It is a new and improved version, so we recommend it as a top choice as well. Special pricing is now available. Check the official site by following the links above or below.
Besides the low-end Total Gym Platinum, the other models are a bit more expensive, starting with the Total Gym 2000 at $399 and working your way up the product line.
It claims to duplicate health club workouts, but we believe that although it doesn’t offer quite the workout you can get in a gym, it is effective enough with the convenience it offers. The movements are smooth, and it can certainly get you into shape, but for anyone who’s used to working out, it will take some getting used to and will offer a different kind of workout.
If you’re going to spend the of money, you’re best off with the higher end Total Gym, such as the XLS or at least the 3000. According to our Total Gym reviews, the advantage we can see with these machines is that they are much lighter than weight-stack units, and therefore more portable.
Through our reviews, we discovered that resistance trainers such as the Total Gym XL and Total Gym Platinum, although they don’t offer the same high-quality workout as weight-based machines, they can truly get you into shape with regular use, targeting all of the muscle groups effectively.
The motion of a Total Gym is smoother than Bowflex and Weider’s Crossbow, although it does not provide the uniform resistance of a weight-stack machine. For anyone who has been in a gym before, these machines take some serious getting used to. Yet once you get comfortable with the motion, you’ll see that it still does provide as effective a workout.
Our Total Gym review revealed that the main advantage the Total Gym 2000 and other units have metal weights is that they are lighter and easier to move around. For those who do not want the bulk, a metal weight machine is not the best choice in home gym equipment…so a Total Gym makes sense.
If you are interested in our top recommended home gyms they offer a nice selection of home gym equipment at the lowest prices.
If you have had experience with Total Gym XL or any other models please drop us a line and let us know what your experiences have been. We will certainly add your comments to our Total Gym reviews.
5 Bodybuilding Nutrition Secrets Every Athlete Absolutely Needs to Know
10 things to look for in your first fixed gear bike
5 Amazing Ways to Build a Cheap Home Gym
7 Sports that will Torch All your Calories
6 Quick Fixes For Your Post-Workout Sore Muscles