Total Gym XLS – Universal Home Gym for Total Body Workout
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- Total Gym XLS is Total Gym's top-of-the-line home fitness system and is great for ages 8 to 80 - the entire family can get a full body workout on 1 machine. Works with all fitness levels from beginner to advanced.
- Includes Wing Attachment, Leg Pull Accessory, Ribbed Squat Stand, 5 Workout DVDs, Exercise Chart, Training Deck, and Nutritional/Meal Planning Guide.
- A 400 lb. weight capacity and over 80 exercises to work all of your major muscle groups - cardio, strength training, circuit training and stretching, all on one machine.
- No assembly required, universal home gym folds for easy storage.
- Protected by a 6-month warranty on all parts plus a Lifetime Warranty on the frame.
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Discover how easy it is to get fit and stay in shape with the Total Gym XLS home gym! Endorsed by Chuck Norris & Christie Brinkley, the Total Gym XLS comes complete with a total fitness program of workouts and workout tools to take all the guesswork out of getting into shape. With Total Gym's top-of-the-line model you'll receive the highest quality home gym with unbeatable savings. The XLS features: 400 lb. weight capacity for total strength and stability, an upgraded comfort system, pulley and cable system and squat stand, flexible nylon strap handles, padded glideboard with head support, chrome package, wing attachment, and leg pull accessory. The Total Gym XLS also includes 5 workout DVDs, an exercise wall chart, training deck and nutritional program/meal planning guide. Exercise capability: over 80 exercises targeting all muscle groups for cardio, strength training and stretching, all on one exercise machine. No assembly required. Folds for easy storage. Dimensions Unfolded: 19" W x 90" L x 43" H; Dimensions Folded: 19" W x 51" L x 9" H Total Gym XLS recreates and strengthens the way your body executes daily physical activities and stores those functions in your muscle memory. Delivering the optimum functional training experience, the Total Gym universal home gym works multiple muscle groups together and allows you to train more productively. The result is full-body conditioning and extraordinary results at every level - for the beginning exerciser to the elite athlete. The Total Gym brand is trusted by more than 4 million consumers to provide excellence in product design and functionality.
Want to tone your entire body without buying a space-hogging fitness machine? Turn to the Total Gym XLS, a top-of-the-line device that helps you strengthen and sculpt every major muscle group in your body using a single glide board and a few handy attachments. The Total Gym XLS works by making you lift a percentage of your body weight against gravity, creating a smooth and fluid resistance. As your strength and conditioning improve, you increase the total resistance by boosting the incline, thus increasing the body weight lifted in the exercise. The Total Gym XLS not only works your upper body, but also your lower body, abdominals, and even your cardiovascular system. And by reducing body fat and increasing the proportion of lean muscle mass in your body, the strength training effectively turns up the thermostat so that your body burns calories constantly.
The Total Gym XLS offers several upgrades over previous models, helping it set the standard for fitness excellence. The upgrades include a new pulley and cable system, an improved squat stand, and more comfortable padding on the glide board. The device also comes with several handy accessories that add a new dimension to your workout: leg pull accessory that works your quads, hamstrings, and other muscles; flexible nylon strap handles; and a wing attachment for toning various back and arm muscles. Combined, the accessories and glide board support up to 400 pounds, letting users with a variety of body types work on strength and stability.
The Total Gym XLS also comes with a complete line of workouts and workout tools, taking the guesswork out of getting into shape. The workouts and tools include:
The Total Gym XLS, which comes with a leg pull accessory, folds up compactly for storage.
- Start It Up: An introductory Total Gym XLS workout
- 6-8 Minute Workout: 12 work-along workouts for men and women pressed for time
- Smart Training Workout: An efficient workout employing slow, precise movements to target specific muscles
- Body Makeover for Total Gym: High-energy, high-powered workout
- Simple at-a-glance exercise wall chart with 35 exercises
- Total Gym training deck
- Dan Isaacson's nutritional program and meal plan
About Total Gym
Total Gym made its initial mark in rehabilitation centers, where its main focus was aiding people recovering from physical injuries and obstacles. The device is the perfect rehabilitation tool for several reasons: the smooth, gliding motion is easy on the joints; the various height levels accommodate every fitness level; and the padded glide board provides excellent support for the back. After years of success in the rehabilitation field, the product's inventors introduced the product to Chuck Norris 30 years ago. Norris--who calls it his "lean, mean exercise machine"--still uses the Total Gym today as his primary home fitness device. Christie Brinkley has also been a devoted user for more than 10 years, and uses it to stay lean and fit even through two children and a hectic schedule.
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Note: I've updated this review after over five years of ownership (August 2016). Check out the comments too. There is some good advice in them!
First: The Purchase Price
The 'regular' price is almost $2000. A smart consumer will watch the prices on Amazon and on Total Gym's website, because the machine regularly sells for less. Much less. The offers change everyday (and are almost always accompanied by "Offer Ends Today") but generally hover around 50% of the regular price. Wait. Watch the totalgymdirect.com website. The prices sometimes drop to 60% off. Search for discount coupons on the internet. Many can be combined with the sale price, even when they say they cannot. I purchased mine from totalgymdirect.com for $774 with the ab attachment after using a discount code. But later there was a 60% off sale, which combined with the $200 off discount code got the price down to under $600 with the ab attachment. I wish I had waited!
Next: The Qualities of the Machine
Think what you will of Total Gym's pricing and marketing practices. The machine is excellent (but definitely NOT worth $2000!). I loved my 1000 model, and the XLS is better.
The real strengths of the Total Gym lie in its use of real weight (your body weight) rather than bands or rods for resistance. The feel is excellent and the exercises are perhaps more fun because you're moving (my primal brain loves the motion).
The adjustable resistance and configuration of the Total Gym make it possible for a person to undertake exercises they normally would not be able to do: pull ups and 'handstand' push ups with the included wing attachment for example. You can slowly improve and increase the weight over time (and add even more weight with the optional weight bar). I have seen great improvement as a result. The same is true of squats with the included squat board. You can slowly (or rapidly) build up your leg strength from a lower level. Hint: when you need even more resistance, start doing one leg squats with the weight bar on. Killer.
If you're strapped for cash, I wouldn't necessarily purchase the press up bars (you can use the wing attachment) or the dip bars (you can work your triceps in other exercises. Try the inverted military press with the wing attachment.). Of course, dips are a great exercise, and if you can afford the bars, get them.
The weight bar is a necessity when you get beyond the highest setting on the machine (44% of your body weight). You might want to find some spacers to keep the weights from rubbing against the vinyl on the glideboard. Two short pieces of 1 inch inside diameter pvc pipe work well.
The Ab Crunch attachment is a tough call. I saw results from using it quite quickly, but ultimately, to get a really visible six pack, I had to use the Total Gym as a slant board, doing sit ups while holding a 50 lb. free weight. Nothing's ever easy, is it?
Some Exercises the Total Gym Does Not Do Well
The Total Gym is not really a 'total' gym. You would be well advised to purchase a set of dumbbells to use along with the machine. You can use the TG as a bench when you're using them.
Why do I recommend the dumbbells? I find the Total Gym bench press and chest fly exercises too awkward to bother with. The cable/pulley position is not right for these exercises, and regardless of the manufacturer's claim that this awkwardness requires you to use all kinds of extra stabilizer muscles, the fact is, you cannot properly isolate the muscles you're trying to focus on. The dumbells are also much better for bicep and tricep curls. And they're cheap!
Be Aware of the Length of the Machine / Be Careful to Avoid Injury!
Many reviewers have commented on this issue. It's well over 7 feet long unfolded. It will take up a great deal of space in a small room. You will also need a fair amount of space around the sides to allow for your arm movements with the cables during exercises. I leave mine setup, and it takes up most of the space in my exercise room.
CAUTION: be careful if you're going to fold it. It is really easy to get your fingers caught in the wrong places. Even when you think you're safe, that glideboard suddenly moves! I've had a few painful pinches that could have been a lot worse if I hadn't reacted quickly.
CAUTION: if you have long hair, put it in a ponytail! Your long hair WILL get caught in the wheels if you don't put it in an elastic. Guaranteed. ;)
Quality - My Experience So Far (over five years in, as of August 2016).
Not long after I wrote this review, I noticed some very light indentations where the wing attachment presses against the rails. They are not in the roll zone (so the glide board doesn't roll over them) and have never increased in depth, despite the fact that I routinely use the total gym with an additional 145 lbs. on the weight bar (a total of about 330 lbs). Someone else mentioned similar dents in their review (and returned their machine), so I thought that it was worth mentioning that I had a similar, albeit better, experience. I'll update if the dents get worse (as of August 2016, they haven't).
Reviewer "CRT" had trouble with his wheels. Despite piling the weight onto mine, I haven't had that problem yet, so there must have been quality control problems that affect some units and not others. Obviously, your mileage may vary. The bearings in the wheels on my old 1000 model were still good after 8 years, but the surfaces of the wheels were pitted, so I make sure to wipe off the rails of the XLS occasionally to prevent that from happening. If you get pitting, you can feel it. If you need to replace any parts, I've seen nothing but good reviews about Huck Products. I've never used their parts myself though, so check out reviews of their products for yourself.
In 2014, I wrote: "I bought the XLS after using the TG1000 for years, and I still use it daily. I don't regret the purchase at all, and I love the extra accessories. The machine is worth purchasing if you can get it at the reduced prices discussed above. If not, consider a used model or a lesser model."
As of 2016, I've outgrown a lot of the exercises on the total gym. I have a bench and squat rack now, but I never would have gotten to this point if I hadn't had the Total Gym. Also, there are some exercises -- especially cable pulls and crunches -- that I still prefer to do on the total gym, so it has remained quite useful.