I have the best home gym set up I've ever had. It consists of a few dumbbells, medicine ball, a couple kettlebells, treadmill, Gazelle, and my beloved Total Gym. The kettlebells, Gazelle and Total Gym are the ones I actually use. The others kind of take up space. If you've ever used a kettlebell, you know why I have one. They're fun. The same goes for the Gazelle and the Total Gym.
Last week, I did a product review on the Gazelle, so this week I'm doing the Total Gym. The Total Gym XLS is simply awesome. They made significant improvements from the original model. The padded glide board now has head support, the squat stand is brilliant, and the accessories are more than just the leg cables. Now it comes with an entire Pilates kit, 5 DVD's, training cards, poster, and Dan Isaacson's nutritional program and meal plan.
1) Start It Up: An introductory Total Gym XLS workout
2) 6-8 Minute Workout: 12 work-along workouts for men and women pressed for time
3) Smart Training Workout: An efficient workout employing slow, precise movements to target specific muscles
4) Pilates for Total Gym
5) Body Makeover for Total Gym: High-energy, high-powered workout
Let's take a look at a few particulars.
Price: $689.98 plus FREE Shipping. (As of July 23, 2013. Amazon's prices on their products changes frequently, so that's where it is today.)
Savings: $1,258.02 (65%)
The Total Gym XLS Trainer is one tough machine, but like with any piece of equipment, you have to take care of it by following the instructions in the manual. In consumer comments, some felt that the cables wore out quickly, and others disagreed. Personally, I've never had any problems with mine. The frame is sturdy, with a good weld on the joints. The leather covered glide board is tough. Just make sure you give it a good clean now and again, because just like with any leather it can dry on you.
On the humorous side, if you have a cat, when you go to put your Total Gym away, make sure the glide board is facing the wall. As far as they're concerned - it's a nice looking scratching post. Also, hide the foam attachments (leg pull, etc). Mine is now covered in duck tape. (Thank you, Jeff the Cat.)
Brilliant performance. Those, like myself, love the smooth glide, and being able to workout without having to lose time changing weights. Some folks think working out using just your bodyweight for resistance is not enough. The Total Gym XLS takes those folks into consideration and offers a weight bar attachment you can pick up so you can add your free-weights to it.
In the old days, I used to mock stuff that said you could get a great workout in 6 - 8 minutes. Of course, back then, it was a lie. It's not with the Total Gym. In 6 - 8 minutes, you get a good, fast aerobic workout, and your muscles will feel the burn. So, if you're short on time, you can still give yourself a good go before leaving for work.
WHO THIS PRODUCT IS SUITABLE FOR:
The Total Gym XLS if versatile. It doesn't matter your age or fitness level, you can use it. I first bought mine after a series of strokes. It was too dangerous for me to use even light dumbbells because I could easily lose my grip and drop them on the floor - meaning my feet. When I found out the Total Gym was first used in rehabilitation centers - I picked one up. It was exciting because I was able to do exercises I could have never done with regular weights, and made faster improvement as a result.
A word of warning though. It might be for anyone over age 12, but there are some precautions you have to keep in mind. You don't want little ones around the machine when you're working out. It would be very easy for a small child to grab the bar and accidentally get their fingers ran over when you're gliding up and down. So, you have to use common sense. It's not a toy for kids to play on.
Otherwise, if you really want to get in great shape and have fun doing it - you want to get the Total Gym XLS.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
I'm pulling straight from amazon for this one. It explains it perfectly.
"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.
(It)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."
Admittedly, since I own one, I'm very biased when it comes to the Total Gym. I honestly don't think it can be beat. For me, it's a fun machine, an easy way to tone up, build muscle, and get a great aerobic workout by not having to stop between exercises.
Check out the video below for a great video review, and then click here to buy it at amazon.