If you’re in the market for a home gym or if you’ve just watched your fair share of day-time or late-night television, you’ve probably heard about the Total Gym. It’s difficult to sort through all the different home exercise machines, as they all have their own somewhat-complicated designs. Are you wondering “does the Total Gym work?” Read on to find out.
Total Gym Machines
Total Gym has several different exercise machines available, including:
- Total Gym XLS
- Total Gym FIT
- Total Gym Supreme
- Total Gym GTS
- Total Gym Force
All these machines have the same basic design of a glideboard positioned on a metal track. You move the glideboard along the track using cables that have handles attached, and you can adjust the angle of the track to increase or decrease the resistance of the exercise. You can read more about these Total Gym reviews here in detail.
For example, to perform bicep curls, you would:
- Sit on the glideboard facing either the top or bottom of the track
- Grab a handle in each hand
- Curl your arms while holding the handles, which will move the glideboard up the track
- Uncurl your arms and return to the starting position for one repetition
The difference between the machines are the levels of resistance available, the maximum user weight, and the number of exercises you can perform. The XLS has six levels of resistance, a maximum user weight of 400 pounds, and over 80 exercises. On the higher end of the spectrum, the Total Gym GTS has 22 levels of resistance, a maximum user weight of 650 pounds, and over 200 exercises. The different number of exercises is due to the attachments and design of each machine.
Does the Total Gym Work?
Total Gym can work for many different things.
Here is how the fundamentals of you workout will be:
Total Gym advertisements point out the machine’s ability to exercise your entire body within a short period of time, and in that regard, the machine is successful. The cable-and-glideboard system is great for stimulating multiple muscle groups and for providing a constant level of resistance throughout each exercise. You can transition between exercises quickly and easily, making the machine useful for circuit training.
Online Total Gym reviews have been very positive, and people seem to be very happy with the product. It can indeed work well if you stay with it and do not give up
Who Should Get It?
The ideal Total Gym user is anyone who wants a simple, effective workout routine that they can perform from home. A guidebook full of exercises comes with every Total Gym, which is helpful for beginners.
You don’t need a huge workout room, because it folds up when not in use and even during use it doesn’t take up too much space. It’s also one of the quieter exercise machines available, and makes far less noise than the clanging of a barbell.
You can only get so much resistance with the home gym, so it’s not the right choice if you’re training for a bodybuilding competition. However, if you’re trying to stay fit without revolving your life around your workouts, the Total Gym is a convenient home workout option.
What Makes the Total Gym a Good Home Gym?
The Total Gym works very well as a home gym because of its ease of use and size. You’re able to exercise every muscle group with minimal adjustments (often just setting the angle of the glideboard track). Performing exercises on the Total Gym is intuitive, and the guidebook breaks down the proper form.
The option to fold up your Total Gym when you’re not using it is something few home gyms offer, and makes this machine great for saving space.
Reviewers of the Total Gym online have also been very pleased with it.
Total Gym for Weight Loss
You can use the Total Gym to lose weight, but keep in mind that your diet is the most important factor when it comes to losing weight. You have to burn more calories than you consume to consistently lose weight.
If you’re currently eating enough calories to maintain your weight and you begin using the Total Gym, you’ll lose weight because you’re burning calories when you use it.
The Total Gym provides resistance training, which isn’t as effective for burning calories as cardio training. However, the muscle you build from resistance training burns more calories, so in the long-term, your body will burn more calories by building muscle mass through the Total Gym.
- Wide Range of Exercises: Each machine has a variety of exercises for the entire body, keeping workout routines fresh and interesting.
- Switching Between Exercises: You can transition from exercise to exercise easily on the Total Gym, often without getting off the glideboard.
- Ease of Use: Learning how to use the home gym machine doesn’t take long and there’s a very low risk of injury, especially compared to other workout options.
- Storage: You don’t need much space to store it.
- Lack of Heavy Resistance: The Total Gym really only has one downside, and that’s the lack of resistance. Since you’re on a glideboard, the only resistance is a percentage of your bodyweight, with the percentage determined by the angle of the glideboard track. Reviews of the Total Gym often mention this as a problem for users who want to perform heavy lifting.
Total Gym does offer an accessory with certain machines that allows you to add resistance using weight plates. This is helpful, but you still won’t be able to get the same level of resistance that you would with a barbell.
There are ways to increase the difficulty of your workout without adding weight. You can obviously perform more advanced exercises. Another option is playing with exercise tempo. Slowing down your movement on each repetition is an excellent way to make an exercise much harder, and it works very well on the Total Gym.
The Total Gym is a well-made and effective home gym machine. Consider your own goals before buying to make sure it will work for you. If you’re going to compete in a bodybuilding or powerlifting competition, you will probably need to use free weights. If you want to get in shape through quick, convenient workouts, that’s where the Total Gym shines. It is a machine anyone can use.