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on May 30, 2009
I'm really glad to be writing this review, as I fully believe the Total Trainer is the best home exercise machine on the market, bar none!

I've worked out on plenty of machine and free weight systems, but the glide rail trainer is without question the very best way to get the exercise you need with the minimum of hassle or danger.

With machines and free weights, you're working to move plates or dumbbells against gravity. Most people agree that free weights produce the best results, but just as many people will warn of their dangers. The problem is one of control, or rather, the lack of it in a vulnerable position. More than one person has been injured by a sudden muscle failure during a squat thrust or a bench press. That's why spotters are essential if you're going to use these kinds of weights.

What about the rest of us who don't want the bother and fuss with all that? Are we left to mess with machines with cables and plates?

I saw the first Chuck Norris infomercial many years ago, and thought it was the worst gimmick. C'mon, Chuck. How cool is that? Its too simple. Too basic. Too boring.

Well, fast forward to the present, and I recently saw another Chuck and Cindy infomercial, and y'know what? The point they made is very valid. They're still hawking this thing because they're still using it. Yep. The glide board trainer is something you can stay with for a long time.

So I made the decision to get one. I researched and reviewed, and Googled the heck out of these things, to find out the real scoop. (Like you're doing now, right?) Which unit is the one to get? Well, any glide board trainer is the one to get. You just need to determine which model.

I really like the Bayou Fitness Power Pro Total Trainer, (say that three times quickly.) Why? Its everything the high dollar Total Gym unit has, with even more accessories. This unit is ROCK SOLID, and is actually a light industrial version of the basic model. (Which means it can last for years in a gym with full usage.) That's great for the longevity issue, but how does it work.

Well, I'll tell you. This review is more of a plug for the glide board trainers than necessarily this particular model. Get ANY unit rather than none at all, because they flat out work!

I'm a big guy, (6'2", 375lb,) and I needed a unit large enough and strong enough to handle my size. This Power Pro unit suits that nicely, as it accommodates users up to 6'7", 500lb. That's an enormous difference between the basic glide board units, which typically handle a up to a 285lb, 6' user. The monorail system is not going anywhere, and there are no flexes or instabilities as are sometimes reported on the lesser models.

The attachments are nice, (bicep bar, bicep isolator, ab crunch strap, etc,) and they are really excellent and super well made. But they're really not so necessary. The basic handles attached to the pulleys are all anyone really needs. Switching the pulleys to the glide board itself is a great feature of this unit, and makes for not only excellent variations, but also a ton more resistance.

The concept of these trainers is so simple, you really need to stop and think about it. Manual, simple resistance exercises, (push ups, pull ups, situps, squats, etc.) have been around for centuries, for good reason. They work, and you can do them anywhere. But, what happens if you can't do a full chin up, push up, etc. What do you do then?

Herein is the excellence of the glide board. You are just modifying the total amount of weight you're pulling or pushing. Can you do a full chin up right now? How about 10? Most people can't do even one; and the heavier you are, the more impossible it becomes. Go home and cry? Not with this unit! Just set the angle of the glide board to a certain position, and only a percentage of your weight comes into play. The exercise is the same. The same chin up, push up, etc., but with a limited about of your weight to move. The concept is SUPER, and it really works.

Another aspect of this system I'm really liking is the range of motion you can get on almost every exercise, along with great control and safety. Example: I have bad knees. My right is worse than my left, and my left is reconstructed. I simply can't do a regular squat because there is a vulnerability about half way into the squat. I have to hold onto some if I do one bare. But with the Total Trainer, not only is the amount of weight greatly reduced, I'm in an inclined position, which affords great control and comfort. Better yet, I can grab the pulley handles and completely regulate the descent with my arms. I can literally "spot" myself with this system.

I've done many chest butterflies on a stack weight system, and believe me, they are BORING. The range of travel usually punks out as the plates reach their end of travel. But with the glide board system, your arms are fully engaged as far back as you can go, but you're in control because you can put your feet down on the floor quickly and end the exercise if you need to. You'll never rupture a tendon with this system. The range and control are superior to anything I've ever used before.

How do you do lat pull downs at the gym? Use a stack machine, right? Grab the big, wide bar, sit on some stool, and yank down til it goes behind your head. Where does the exercise end at the top? When the stack reaches the bottom. If you want fully engaged motion, you have to dip down quite a bit, (at least I do,) and then its not very comfortable.

Well, with the Total Trainer, you set the glide board angle, insert the pull-up bar at the top of the unit, move the board up and lie down on it, and then grab the bar and pull yourself up. You're actually doing a modified pull up, (which is what the lat machine is supposed to be duplicating, BTW.) When you let yourself down, you go all the way down until you're hanging there with a full stretch. That's fantastic! No other machine I've ever used gives this much range. You'll really feel the full stretch with this system.

I can do the best butterflies I've ever done with the Total Trainer. The range is total, and the completion of the exercise is not compromised by the limits of the unit, (as you'll often find with butterfly machines.) Also, its very easy to stop at the top of the exercise, and rest a bit, (which is always very satisfying.) I like a 10-12 rep set like anyone, but these days, depending on the resistance level, a 4 rep set is kicking. Two of those, with a minute rest between is excellent training, believe me. Because of this, its easy to work up to more reps and more sets before increasing the resistance.

The leg curl exercise is outstanding. I normally hate leg curls because the hamstring is a very difficult to isolate muscle. Also, most leg curl machines have this really annoying leg pad that rides up your calf through the range of the exercise. But just clip yourself into the foot pedals, set a fairly low resistance, lie fully down, and curl those legs. The motion is very smooth and linear, with no grabs or grasps at the end. The movement is very complete, and you just know you've done an excellent exercise.

Put the pull up bar at the bottom on the unit, and lie down upside down for shoulder push ups. You'll love the motion, resistance, and total feeling.

Want to do more abdominal work? (Who doesn't?) Enjoy full situps? (Most don't.) Well, here's a tip you won't find in the manual. Instead of doing situps with your feet in the foot pedals and the board at an incline, simply turn around and put your feet on the floor, and use the incline to moderate your situp resistance. You'll love it! And you'll do a lot more of them than lying down flat on your back. Start with the glide board in a very steep angle for the least resistance in this position. As your stomach muscles get stronger, move the angle down, until you don't need the modification any longer, and can turn back around and use the foot pedals with the board inclined upwards.

The ab crunch strap is the best I've seen. Marvelous for isolating the abs.

A few quibbles:

You must have the manual to work with this unit. I had an awful time trying switch the pulleys and fold the unit up without the manual. (I bought my unit second hand.) Bayou Fitness seems to be fine company, but for some reason, they don't think its important to have this unit's manual online in a PDF. They offer the dual rail manual online, but the monorail has enough differences to warrant its own manual online. Several well responded but unnecessary emails were sent to Bayou Fitness about this.

Secondly, the foot trays are not a good design at all, as they both swivel up and down and each has its own strap. You have to fuss with getting each foot into the tray, then cinch it down. (This is an exercise on its own!) The single foot strap of the other units works much better. Here's an area where more is not better.

The foot-board, (against which you do squats,) is wider than standard, but mine will bend where the tubes insert into the machine. Its not huge issue, but the board is no longer square to the trainer when this happens. I've taken to flipping it over and using the backside until it evens up, but I think eventually this could fail or break with enough bending back and forth. I haven't seen anyone else comment on this, so it may just be my unit. Watch out for this, though.

The unit is a tank. 122lbs dead weight, and it isn't going anywhere. It folds up for storage and moving, and can be unfolded and in use within seconds. (Try doing that with a weight stack system.)

Please, don't let people fool you. You've got an entire gym's worth of equipment in this excellent system, that you'd otherwise spend many thousands of dollars trying to replicate on your own. Plus, this system is much, much, much better in almost every respect. (You can get plenty ripped with just this unit, believe me. Don't listen to "experts." Watch what you eat, and exercise with this unit daily, and you'll soon have much to show for it.)

That value of this system is phenomenal. New, from the company, is less than $700, which is a steal considering the construction and accessories. $1500 would not be excessive for this excellent unit, and the Total Gym will sell you their equivalent, (with less accessories,) for just that much.

The important choice is not so much which unit to buy, but THAT you buy; because without this excellent exercise machine in your home, you're missing out on exercise that's essential, controlled, safe, and really fun. You will enjoy using this machine for a long time. (Just ask Chuck and Cindy.)
2222 comments64 of 65 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 9, 2010
I've had the Total Trainer Power Pro for about 7 years. I love this thing. I'm not a body builder. I was a long distance runner in high school and college (or at least I thought I was). Now at age 54, 6 ft tall, and 205 lbs, I still run about 25- 35 miles per week but I realized at about age 40 that resistance training made a huge difference in my general fitness that running alone couldn't achieve. I tried one of the multi weight stack multi-station home gyms along with a rower and an ab machine. That collection of stuff allowed a pretty well rounded workout but took up a good deal of floor space in our basement playroom and my wife never liked the clutter. Some of the exercises on the weight stack gym didn't allow what I felt was a full range of motion for me and you were locked into whatever movement the fixed mass of levers and pulleys allowed. So, I looked around for something else and found the Total Trainer. Along the way I looked at the Bowflex. Horrible unnatural resistance and range of motion. Weider Crossbow...same as Bowflex, it felt unnatural and was poorly made as well. And both of those "power rod" machines were still big and not really portable. I thought about free weights and benches but in addition to a clutter of equipment you introduce the safety issue. I work out alone at home almost all the time. It's just not safe to do that with free weights. You really need spotter(s). I looked at the Chuck n Christie Total Gym but the TV machine that also showed up in sporting goods stores was total crap. The institutional models of the Total Gym were supposed to be better but they were pretty expensive and at least the 14000DLX seemed pretty flimsy for the money they were asking. Lastly, the Total Gym units max out at 60% of your body weight.

Then I found the Total Trainer being sold by a company I had never heard of. The price seemed very competitive with all the infomercial stuff I just mentioned or weight stack machines for the home. It weighed 123 lbs. Pretty substantial! It folds up when not in use solving the space and clutter issue. It trumps the Total Gym with 12 adjustments that max out at 72% of your body weight. And I thought gravity would provide a better resistance throughout the full range of motion than anything short of free weights and benches. So how did it work out? Great! I used to dread lifting weights. I used to prefer a 5 mile run with a sprained ankle to lifting weights. But with the Total Trainer I found that I actually enjoyed resistance training for the first time. I do a routine of 20 upper body exercises in two sets of 10 reps each or 400 repetitions in all. I can get through this in about an hour which makes 3 times a week perfectly achievable for me. Moving between exercises takes seconds even if you adjust the resistance. That means you can keep your heart rate up and get a lot done in a little time. The range of motion is great for me and the resistance feels totally natural like free weights. But unlike free weights I can work out alone to the point of failure without fear of killing myself.

As I said I'm not a body builder and I don't want to bulk up. I just want to build a reasonable muscle mass and stay toned and trim. For that, the Total Trainer has plenty of resistance for me. With my body weight (205) + the weight of the glide board (27) + the max weight plates I can add (100), I can rack up 332 lbs total. On the Lat / Chinup / Press bar at the 72% max resistance that's 239 lbs or about 35 lbs more than I weigh. Plenty for me. On the pulley system with the rope and handles, that 332 lbs at max resistance = 40% or about 133 lbs. That's plenty for curls, tricep extensions, butterflys, reverse flys, bench press, pullovers, deadlifts, rowing, etc. And all the stuff you can do with the rope/handles can be varied to isolate muscles in ways you just can't begin to do with weight stacks or even Nautilus machines at the gym. I can get myself really sore all over my upper body with the Total Trainer simply by varying the angle of the pull slightly each time I exercise. As a result I think you work more muscles in more motions than anything I've ever used before. I will do abs, hamstrings, flexors, and quads (squats) from time to time but I really rely on my running to keep my leg muscles in shape.

As far as I know, there is nothing that will let you do more resistance excercises, with a better range of motion, quicker, and safer than a Total Trainer Pro. And after 7 years, the thing is showing zero signs of wear. I've stopped looking for equipment. This is all I need. Highly recommended!

PS - I've actually taken this thing to a beach house on vacation. I really don't hate lifting any more.

Edit 16 Feb 2013: OK, I'm now at year 10 with my Total Trainer. I'm at about 220 lbs (more muscle not fat). So how's it holding up?

1.) The footboard has a slight bend in the tubes where it attaches to the base. I'm using the full 100 lbs of steel plate on level 11 for single leg squats these days. So, after a decade the tubes have a slight bend in them.

2.) The vinyl cover at the top of the glide board has a about a 1 inch rip on each side in the roughly 1.5 inch high vertical area (thickness). That's from me hooking my shoes over the end of the board when doing dead lifts and reverse flys at level 10+ to keep myself from sliding down the board.

3.) One of the little fixtures that hold the bars for adding steel plate broke. The weld where the threaded part that accepts the knurled knob is located failed so that the weight bar would not stay straight. No problem, I just swapped it for one of the fixtures at the top of the board used for the second pulley attachment since I seldom use those. Luckily, the pulley attachment is identical to the weight bar attachment so, all 4 are interchangeable.

4.) The ankle pads used when you have your feet in the foot trays have disintegrated to the point that they really do need to be replaced. Sit ups don't seem to do any damage at all. Hamstring curls are what seem to destroy the pads with lots of pressure and friction.

That's it for wear and tear. For maintenance, I go over all the fasteners with an allen wrench about twice a year because they do loosen up with use over time. That takes maybe 10 minutes. And then, at the same time I lift the glide board off and spray the roller bearings with some graphite lubricant. That's maybe another 10 minutes. I also lubricate the pulleys attached to the rope at the same time.

The rope isn't anywhere near failing. The pulleys all seem fine. The frame and glide rail are rock solid. The pull up bar looks new. And luckily, Bayou Fitness will sell you replacement parts on a piece by piece basis. So, I expect this thing to keep going for another decade with a minimal outlay of cash.

Complaints & Suggestions...........

1.) Find a way to eliminate slipping on the board when using higher levels with lots of steel plate. This is my biggest complaint. From level 10 - 12 it gets progressively harder to stay stuck to the board for say 10 reps. The only thing I've found that works most of the time is to take my shirt off. A tiny bit of sweat makes you stick like glue. However, a lot of sweat acts like grease and you can't stay stuck at all. So, I keep a towel handy to manage the moisture levels. Women may not find topless workouts an acceptable solution. Would an optional removable waist strap work?

2.) Beef up the gauge of the tubing used for the foot board. If the rail can support 450 lbs, the foot board should be able to support that load without bending.

3.) Handles. The pull handles are showing zero wear after 10 years of use. And they are reasonably confortable. But my hands sweat a lot when I work out. So I've taken to wrapping a terry washcloth around the handles to avoid slipping. It also adds some thickness and comfort. But it is annoying to have to constantly position the washcloths on the handles. Maybe a more absorbent / softer material would eliminate the need for the terry cloths albeit at the price of more wear.

Overall, I'm still in love with this product. If it somehow was destroyed tomorrow, I would order another one without hesitation. And then sit by the door waiting for the UPS truck to show up.
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on July 17, 2008
I have owned 2 Total Gyms in the past ----this unit is far superior! (Sorry Chuck!)

Very good quality, many options, works well as a total exercise package or as part of a free weight or cardio workout.

Solid construction, many board settings, larger bench, no wobbling when on the machine, challenging, smooth operation.

~Dollar for Dollar: I would choose Total Trainer Power Pro over Total Gym or BodyRail.
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on June 17, 2011
Please note this is a real story...

Im always skeptical when reading amazon reviews thinking they pay people to write reviews to make sales, so first off let me tell you i didnt even by the machine off of amazon, like you will read below i just so happened to write this review to tell other people about this amazing machine and provide some easy workouts and my opinion about the machine, i make no money writing this review i just wish this company had marketed this machine a lot better because i know it is better than the other similar machines out there

******* Total Gym Power Pro Home Gym Review *********

I have had this machine now for 4 years, i never bought it on amazon but was searching online curious to find out where i could get one if ever i needed another one, this is how paranoid i am of something happening to this baby, i would gladly buy a 2nd model just for backup.

1st of all, if you are looking to be some massive body builder, sorry this isnt the machine for you. Though you could buy some additional free weights and use the incline for that sort of thing.

This total trainer in my mind is for someone who wants to build strength, lose weight, shape up and get fit. I cant describe it but this machine works you completely different in a deeper way than your conventional machines or free weights, personally i feel it is the ultimate strength trainer other than using your own body weight when doing a workout.

Personally i do martial arts so am more focused on a solid workout, im not looking to become some 500 pound gym monkey. The machine gives you a solid build if you use it and if you have a large indoor room, or semi large space in your garage you can combine rope jumping with this machine for an amazing workout.

I think this machine over all gives a much better workout than the machines at your local gym, for one when you use the machine you stabilize your core muscles, you work them all the time with just about every exercise - you core seems to always be engaged.

You can do more with this machine than in a gym for sure!!!!!!

You can go from biceps, to working shoulders to working triceps to working abs in a matter of seconds like 8-10 seconds if you are slow, show me one piece of equipment in your local gym where you can do this.

And if you think the resistance will not be enough, well then you have two options. The machine can take around 500-550 pounds of weight. That is a heck of a lot of weight!!!!!!!!!!

If you weigh around 200-250 pounds that means you can still put another 250 pounds onto this baby, i have hardly seen people lift this weight in a gym, bare in mind im talking 250 pounds on the lowest level, when you put the incline up, now you will be pushing around the 290-330 pounds or 160kgs or something like 25+ stone for those in the uk.

Most of the people (this is a generalization) but most people in a gym do not push more than 130 - 150 pounds not for more than 20 seconds, most people can only do around 12 reps of this, try do this for 30 seconds and see how long you last!

If you looking to lose weight this machine will help, but note this isnt some magical pill incorporate this with a simple diet, a cardio workout combining cardio like rope jumping and then do the workout on the total trainer.

Personally i have seen a massive difference with my chest and stomach on this machine while dropping weight. Try this simple workout, rope jump for around 30-40 seconds straight after rope jumping get on the machine and work on it for another 40 seconds do this for an hour - This will test your fitness and endurance and help you lose weight, im sure if you did this 3-4 times per week for a month that you would see tremendous results.

I have attacked some free weights on the machine as i dont like to have the machine on a angle level, so i use either 25-25 pounds and i see a difference dont forget you should add your own weight to what i mentioned.

Can you get by with only this machine? Im sure you can!

My only annoyance is that i am living in the UK and the houses are tiny so i workout in the summer in my back yard and in the winter - oh well we will have to see this time around, i dont want to put the machine down.

I would simply buy a backup of this machine and am looking for a dealer right now in the uk, it just so happens amazon came up in the search which prompted me to write this review (oh and i couldnt sleep), if i tell you i would be willing to simply stock a second one just in case this one breaks (my paranoia speaking - because i love it so much), that should tell you how good i think this machine is!

Get one today, you wont be sorry! My wife keeps telling me she wants to join a gym and we keep having arguments i say most people go to gym to socialize, with this machine either you work or you dont. I will never buy another gym membership again!! I save like $75 per month in a year thats the cost of this machine but this machine if you treat it well will last 5-8 years at least, im guessing 10 no problem - which then pays for itself, that would be $7,200 savings on gym in 7 years and probably extend your life by keeping you healthy.

P.S if you are looking for guides on what you can do on this machine, i went over to total gym, searched one of their sites, they have a large list of images of what you can do on their machine - i simply copied and pasted all those images into Microsoft word, then printed them out and put it into a binder. I think there are over 45 exercises on that site.

Search in google total gym workout, scroll down the page there are links at the bottom of the page, upon clicking on them you will see the image all you do is copy and paste each one of those.

Though i honestly think this machine is better than the total gyms
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on November 26, 2010
I think the existing reviews give a great description of the machine, so I'm going to comment on what was important to me ... WHY GET THIS PARTICULAR MODEL?

I bought the Power Pro model because it had 100 lbs more total weight capability, the largest squat board, and every accessory I needed...and also because it is a monorail design which is supposedly the smoothest ride. It may be... but in hindsight I think that the DLX model would have been just as good and would have saved me a couple hundred bucks. So if you are on the fence about which model to get, I would recommend the DLX model for strength training, or the Pilates Pro for the extra pilates capability. If $200 is not a big deal to you, then I definitely recommend the Power Pro, but if you are budget conscious as I am, then do not feel you will miss out with the DLX model.

Having said that, you just cannot beat Total Trainer's for quality, durability and stability. Even though I bought the most expensive model, it was still far more reasonable than a Total Gym with equivalent quality and features. I had every attachment I need (and they are fantastic quality) right out of the box. I don't regret purchasing this model because I will have it for a long time, but if I had been more informed before the purchase I may have chosen a less expensive model.
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on November 12, 2012
This is a great machine for a full shoulder range of motion work out. This machine is also great at working out the back. i have a pair of powerblocks u-90 with the superbench. a mean combination with this machine. My main reason for buying this was i needed a better way to work the back. to some degree this machine has worked great. To keep things short ill give the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good
-I seem to look forward to using this machine more then free weights, the movement seems new and entertaining
-assisted or weighted pullups are great. this is a great back machine when it comes to position. rest assured rows and pull ups feel great!
The bad
-i live in a place with limited space and low ceilings. all other machines would not fit in my place. though you need alot of length space for this machine to work.
-this machine will work your back. its great if you want to tone and get a more complete range of motion exercise that is similar to cardio.
- Im a guy that has been in a gym for years. The glide board is silly but fun. There i said it... when im alone in my place with no other guys around, i like the glide board motion.
The bad
-Great for building endurance and back,triceps chest shoulders, quads and gastroc/soleus. Not good for hamstrings, lower back, abs biceps. its odd, the biceps just dont feel right. but man oh man. triceps motion feels great.
-each power bar only allows 50 lbs on each side. effectively only allowing 70 extra pounds to 70 % of your weight. when you do add weight you are limited to smaller weights that are still in the way when getting off an on the machine. I kind of regret buying the max model since a 500 lbs max weight will never be used. trust me ive tried, adding weight blocks to pad never works due to angle of machine.
-when weight is added, this thing makes noise.
-The leg cuffs are useless due to odd placement. all other attachments are useless as well. BUT, the normal handles work so well at most exercises that you really dont need them
-if you lift for increase over all max strength of every muscle group this machine may not be for your. The company video explains the type of training on this machine is different. Its more a mixture of resistance training with cardio. (no breaks, no max fatigue,) its very hard to focus on each muscle group and get the most resistance for each.
-adjusting the level of height (effectively the weight), is a pain. It requires the screwing and unscrewing locking mechanism then pulling it out. a simple pull mechanism would have been great. i prefer using the addition of weight plates over unscrewing the height tower. but i think im spoiled with the powerblocks and typical machines were you just move pins to ajust resistance . also its tough to keep track of exactly how much your lifting. the machine has a number system 1-12. so take your body weight for that day, multiple by .7, then divide by 12 to find your resistance level. Sounds easy enough but annoying after a while.
-folding and unfolding the entire machine is also a pain. ive almost pinched my fingers many times. I also dont trust the machine. it looks like folding and unfolding will wear this thing out quick. So much so i just leave it fully extended out to avoid doing it. which is funny since the machine still broke on my despite my babying it. (more later.)
-This machine forces me to end up compromising on the 10 rep max weight i use. if you follow the video routine you will notice that its very easy to switch from working your biceps to lats, which is great. The problem is that these two muscle groups require a way different amount of resistance. since this thing is such a pain to change resistance midworkout i rarely switch muscle groups. ill set it up and use it for a keep couple of muscle groups with similar resistance level needs. As most you know each muscle group requires a specific level of resistance. you just cant hit the unique 10 rep max for each group with this machine. it takes too much time. I keep my free weights next to it and use those to increase my resistance per set.

The ugly
-two months into ownership the plastic cuff fell of in the tower. essentially every time i adjusted the level the plastic cuff would fall off. As if adjustment of weight was not enough of a pain. I Talked to company about problem with product after three months and there response was "tape it back on"... i am not joking. they said it. Even worse they were aware of this defect. later they offered to replace the plastic cuff. but they first told me i would have to take the whole thing apart first to install the cuff myself. im still convinced the cuff was glued into place. just a bad design.
- amazon sells this thing at a crazy range of prices. imagine my surprise when i bought this for 700 and found it went down to 540 a month later. be careful
-there is nothing on this power pro model that i use that i would not have had on the dlx model. I lift alot so i though i needed the big model. but with the noise and weak power bars weight addition, you cant reach the 500 lbs max on this thing unless you weight 400 lbs. If they just would have built stronger weight expansion bars this machine would have been a beast! ive tried so many ways to add weight onto this machine. it just does not work past 5 10 lbs plates on the botom power bar

This machine is great for working your back as long as your not worried about the exact amount of weight your lift. its better set up for a higher rep, lower weight workout. If you mix it with free weights you can get the best of both worlds by pushing your chest, bicepts and forarms to the max 5 lbs at a time on the free weight. THen switch to this machine to get a general back high rep cardio workout. there is not enough weight on this thing to really max out your squats or back. With that said i love the assisted/weighted pull up position that makes me work every time. just take 70 % of your body weight plus 70 lbs of added weight to get the machines max resistance. For some it may be perfect.
if your lifting style is 3-4 sets with each set increasing in weight and decreasing in reps. (10-7 reps), this machine may not before you. Again, its not good at increasing your max strength but more for toning and endurance. you can mix with free weights to balance this out.
ill update as i use it. but after three months of use im not sure if this will hold up for more then a year.
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on February 14, 2009
Well I needed exercise equipment and I have no space and this folds. So yes a lot of other equipment folds and though I have a lot of stuff in a small space this will just fit and all the extras are included. I have not owned a Total Gym and I am sure they work just fine, if you buy the more expensive models and don't mind paying for extras. One other point I would like to make is that the max user weight for the power pro is 500lbs which is 100lbs more than the top model at the total gym website. I did not have the extra money to spend for a total gym and even if I had after doing the research and comparing what is out there this was the only logical choice. I would like to encourage anyone out there thinking about this or any other type of home gym to take a look at the Bayou fitness page and compare total trainer models to any other brand out there and I think you will find they are the best and most cost effective models out there. One thing that almost put Me off about them was the use of rope vs. plastic coated cable but if you look at their FAQ they explain the reasoning behind this choice and if you have ever owned a home gym that used these cables you know that the protective coat will get old and break away and even before it does it might prove very uncomfortable in some exercises. So do some research for yourself and remember the best warranty is the one you never have to use.

February 17, 2011
Well after having this thing 2 years i am still happy with the purchase as well as every aspect of the product. I do wish a couple of things were slightly different, first i wish there was a proper curl bar with angles & the bicep isolator could be a bit more robust though the only reason this makes any difference at all has to do with my size and for the mass majority of users this will not be an issue. Well you can also buy a better bicep isolator at a sports store. As far as the curl bar goes you only need it if thats the kind of thing you are into as this machine is all you need. The only other advice i have is if you can get outside and walk or my favorite ride a bicycle or whatever because if you are like me everything can become tiresome. If however you have a bad knee or other body part that keeps you from other activities with this type of machine you will be able to do many exercises and with a range of resistance and i suppose this is why this type of machine is used for physical rehabilitation. Oh & by the way if you have not read J.R. Neumiller's review you should as he discovered what i did about doing sit-ups using a declined as opposed to reclined position to ease the strain of sit-ups, at least it works for me. A far as i can tell this is still the best machine for the money and without doing all the research over I am willing to bet any of the total trainer models are the best values in their respective price ranges. I do however have one complaint and this has to do with the implementation of those foot platforms as trying to strap my feet securely in those has proven quite difficult, but as i stated i do my sit-ups in another position it is no big deal and i suppose if i were not in bad enough shape as to require the other position perhaps it would not be a big deal? Happy shopping!
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on March 13, 2010
I bought this top of the line Total Trainer and waited in anticipation for it's arrival. This thing is a monster in size. I live on the 3rd floor, no elevator. Luckily the FedEx dude helped me lug it up. Kudos FedEx. I set it up, noticing how sturdy it seemed. There's alot of meat to this thing. I started using it and instantly noticed a scraping noise, alot of uncomfortable resistance, and a clunking noise/vibration. I thought/hoped it was only some packaging material stuck in the thing. It turned out that the top rail didn't align with the bottom rail. Poor machining of the screw holes where the hinge is attached to connect the top and bottom rail created a poor transition for the glideboard with alot of resistance where the glideboard scraped against the mal-aligned rails. Customer service couldn't help with this particular problem so I had to send it back. $150 dollars shipping!!! Maybe it was a one in a thousand defect. But it was my aggravation. I feel Bayou Fitness should have inspected this better if they did at all considering how noticable it was. I feel they should have paid for return shipping for their poor quality control. I don't feel they helped me to the level they should have. One big disappointment.
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on January 29, 2010
This equipment is fantastic! Very solid look, and feel. The exercises are endless on this equipment, you can get a complete, and intensive workout. I have used free-weights on-and-off for many years but I can say that you can get great results using this alone. The workouts on this have really exceeded my expectations!

The only reason I didn't give the Total Trainer Power Pro the full 5-star rating is due to a minor cosmetic issue that really doesn't affect the operation of the equipment - but this issue was time consuming to figure out not being familiar with the setup; hence the 1-star deduction. The Glide Board shipped with the company logo embroidered upside-down, and because of this it took a couple of hours to figure out that Glide Board needed to be reversed to the position so that the front Glide Board's stationary guide pulley's could be in-line, and attached to the top/front ropes and swivel pulley system. At first it appeared that the Glide Board was missing the guide pulleys since every illustration of the equipment indicated that the Glide Board should be the position with the logo at the top end and facing toward the front (top end) of the equipment. I contacted customer service and made them aware of the situation and asked that they ship out a replacement for the defective Glide Board. The person who was assisting me spoke to a supervisor and she said that the best they could do was credit me for $25.00 because after further investigation they found out all their current stock had been shipped out with this same problem and a corrective part (Glide Board) wasn't available... She went on to say that this particular part were all made and shipped in from China. This explains it!

Overall I am very happy with the equipment. Customer service was responsive even though I would rather been offered the option to have a corrected version of the Glide Board shipped to me instead of the $25 credit I was given. It looks pretty odd with the logo at the bottom end and upside-down but the end result is it doesn't interfere with the operation of the equipment. Hope this review helps someone else who may encounter the same issue.

With all said - I highly recommend the Total Trainer Power Pro for anyone looking to get a great full body workout. It is a nice solid piece of equipment for the money, and only requires a small area of space.
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on March 12, 2012
After weeks of research I decided the glide board type of resistance machine was the best for my needs as I wanted something that could be folded up and stored away when not in use. At the same time I wanted a machine that would allow me to do most, if not all, of the excercises needed for a full body workout.

My final choices were between the Total Gym and the Bayou Fitness machines. I chose Bayou fitness because of the features and quality versus price compared to the Total Gym. While in the Bayou fitness line there were several models that would have met my needs I decided to go with the Bayou Fitness Total Trainer Power Pro model as it was not that much more for a more solid product.

I am very happy with the Total Trainer Power Pro model as the quality of construction and quiet smooth performance are excellent. My son is 6'3" and I am 5'10" and each of us can workout on the machine in comfort.

When I opened the package, to my suprise, packed in the box, was the pilates bar which was not shown to be included with the Power Pro model. Also included was the updated strap for working the abs. There were no defects and everything was in the box as advertised.

I ordered the Total Trainer using my Amazon Prime account and got free 2 day shipping and if I was not satisfied with the product I could have returned it within 30 days with no cost to me. However, the return was not neccessary as the Total Trainer Power Pro is the best excerise product that I have ever purchased and meets or exceeds all my expectations!
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