The Total Gym

This Is A Great Piece Of Equipment

PEERtrainer Total Gym Review (are you looking for the Total Gym coupon code page?)

What is the idea behind Total Gym?

Total Gym is a home exercise system that builds on the idea of using your bodyweight and gravity for strength training.  It is very easy to use, and is versatile in terms of the number of different exercises you can do.

Many people are familiar with Total Gym because of the commercials and infomercials with Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley.  The basic idea is that doing strength building exercises using your bodyweight is more than enough to create the muscle and conditioning that you desire.  The core of the Total Gym system is a platform you sit on, and then you hold onto handles that operate on a pulley system to pull your body weight up and down.  You increase intensity by adjusting the degree of incline.

PEERtrainer Shows You How To Use Total Gym

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Is Total Gym Effective?

Our team used Total Gym, and we found it a great form of exercise.  In general, most of the people in our company are big fans of using our own bodyweight for strength training purposes, and Total Gym naturally builds on this style of working out.

It’s very important to bear in mind when you’re beginning any exercise program, however, that you need to have a clear sense from the start of what your goals are.

Are you looking to bulk up and get really big?  Are you looking to build bone density for health and longevity?  Are you looking to strength train for martial arts or other competitive sports activities?  Knowing what you’re specifically looking for will govern what kind of home workout system is best for you. 

Our experience is that Total Gym is probably not the best system to use if you’re looking for a body-builder physique.  If that is your interest, you would probably be better off looking into high quality resistance bands.

Most of us at PEERtrainer are not terribly interested in adding tremendous amounts of body mass, but instead tend to favor overall strength training for a greater day-to-day sense of health and well-being.  For these purposes- overall strength building, flexibility and health and well-being- we have found that the Total Gym system is a very effective home workout system, and works well for my health and fitness goals.

Is Total Gym Easy To Use?

One of the greatest benefits of Total Gym is how easy it is to use.  It comes fully assembled and it takes just minutes to set up.

Once you assemble it, all you have to do is decide what incline you want to begin your workout at off you go.

Another nice factor of Total Gym is that you can begin at a lower incline to warm up or build flexibility.  You can just do long, slow repetitions to get a great stretch and get blood flowing into your muscles.

Sometimes, you may want to do a workout that consists of just these longer, slower exercises.  In this respect, it’s almost like a Pilates workout.  Using some of the exercise variations with Total Gym, you can isolate and focus on your core muscles which makes it even closer to the Pilates approach.  In fact, the Total Gym XLS model comes with a DVD that teaches you how to use Total Gym for doing Pilates.

When you want to build more strength and muscle, all you have to do is increase the incline, and instantly you’re lifting a higher percentage of your bodyweight.  At the highest inclines, you will find that you’re reaching the point of failure quite easily (meaning you can’t do any more repetitions).  This is where muscle gets built and your strength increases. 

Overall, we found Total Gym very easy to use.

Are there any drawbacks to the Total Gym system?

There are no clear drawbacks to Total Gyms that our team could identify.  However, we do think it’s useful to bear in mind that most people are not going to bulk up tremendously by using Total Gym.  Again, if that is your desire, consider a Bodylastics System instead.  We would hate for people to have unrealistic expectations about what Total Gym will do for them.  But if it’s overall health, wellness, flexibility and strength training you’re after, Total Gym should be a great fit for you.

How does Total Gym fit into an overall exercise program?

It’s also important to bear in mind that most people are not going to look like Chuck Norris, Christie Brinkley or any other fitness model by doing Total Gym alone.  To get that toned, ‘ripped’ look requires an overall comprehensive diet and exercise program- and probably with a good supplement regimen to go with it.

Which model is best for me and what are the costs?

Total gym offers three different models for home users.  Here is a brief summary of each which might help you make a decision which one will work best for your needs.

Total Gym 2000

# of Exercises:            Over 40
Cost:                    $599.40 (see below for special coupon)
Maximum weight of user:    250 lbs
Frame warranty:            Lifetime
Warranty on parts:        None
Squat stand:            Not Available
Folds for easy storage?:    Yes

Summary of Total Gym 2000: 

The 2000 model is suitable for the more basic home user who wants to increase their flexibility and do lighter strength training.  It’s not that you can’t add more muscle mass and increase your strength- of course you can- it’s just that the versatility of the other models is not available in this one.  For instance, there are far fewer variations to work out your legs. 

If you’re looking to increase your overall muscle mass for fat burning and to increase your metabolism, it’s a good idea to focus on your legs because they contain the largest muscles in your body.  It’s pretty straightforward math: in general, more muscle = more fat burned and better metabolism. 

That said, there are many other bodyweight exercises (standing squats and lunges for instance) that you can do without any machine whatsoever.  Supplementing your Total Gym 2000 with such exercises might be a great combination.

Total Gym 3000

# of Exercises:            Over 60
Cost:                    $849    (see below for special coupon)
Maximum weight of user:    300 lbs.
Frame warranty:            Lifetime
Warranty on parts:        90 days
Squat stand:            Base Model included
Folds for easy storage?:    Yes

Summary of Total Gym 3000:

The Total Gym 3000 does everything the 2000 model does, but adds significant versatility.  You have the squat platform which gives you great options for working out your legs.  Because of the way the Total Gym system is designed in general (the mobile platform on the metal rails), working your legs out on it is very easy and enjoyable. 

It has a more heavy-duty construction than the 2000.  The component parts are made from higher quality materials and it just “feels” more durable when you’re using it.  There is also additional padding for comfort. 

If you can afford the price increase to pay for the 3000 model versus the 2000 model, it is probably worth it.  It is a very strong, versatile machine that will enable you to work out your entire body.  Through consistent use, you can definitely get in great shape with the Total Gym 3000.

Total Gym XLS

# of Exercises:            Over 80
Cost:                    $1448.05 (see below for special coupon)
Maximum weight of user:    400 lbs.
Frame warranty:            Lifetime
Warranty on parts:        6 months
Squat stand:            Upgraded model included
Folds for easy storage?:    Yes

Summary of Total Gym XLS:

There are two main differences between the 3000 model and the XLS model.  First, the XLS is larger and has even more heavy-duty construction and components.  For instance the squat platform is the ‘upgraded’ model, and many of the components are listed on the Total Gym website as ‘upgraded’ as well.  This may not be enough reason to justify the price jump, but if money isn’t a big concern to you and you want to get the best model available, then there’s no reason not to go for the XLS.

The second difference, and in my mind the better reason to go for the XLS, are the additional “bells and whistles” it comes with.  Visit the Total Gym website to see the full list of features, but for example they include:

➢    Pilates for Total Gym DVD   
➢    Training Deck
➢    Nutritional Program
➢    Pilates Kit
➢    Upgraded Squat Stand
➢    Wing Attachment
➢    Upgraded Pulley System
➢    Upgraded Flexible Nylon Strap Handles
➢    Padded Glideboard
➢    Chrome Package

In short, if you can afford it, the XLS is probably worth the upgrade from the 3000 model.  If you’re more cost conscious, then you can probably get everything you need from the 3000 model.  Any way you decide to go, our experience tells us you won’t be disappointed.  You’ll be getting a fun, easy to use home workout system that will give you many years of benefits.

Try Total Gym® for only $1 – As Seen on TV with Chuck Norris & Christie Brinkley. Over 1 Million Satisfied Customers. FREE Shipping.

Total Gym FAQS

Some more info about the Total Gym based on comments we got from some of our readers...

How Big Is It?

That question depends, of course, on whether we're talking about the Total Gym when it's fully extended or when it's folded up.  At it's biggest, meaning when you have it out and are using it, you need an area that is approximately 7 feet by 5 feet in which to use it comfortably.  You could use it in a more narrow space, but that might limit some of the exercises you can do.  Think in terms of your wing span as the amount of space you need across it which to us it comfortably.

The great thing about Total Gym, however, is that when you're not using it, it really is a space saver.  You truly can fold it up and put it in a closet, under your bed or just make it "go sit in the corner and behave."  Either way, no one can argue with the utility of the design in terms of storage.  It truly is difficult to find another home gym that has the same benefit.  The reason for this goes back to the original concept of the Total Gym in that it is designed to use your bodyweight to create resistance, not a bunch or heavy, burdensome free weights.  As a result, there are far fewer components than other home gym systems such as the Bowflex (no weights, no bars, no stacking tower, etc).  This makes it very easy to store.

Does It Work As Well For Women As For Men?

We tested it out with both men and women from our fitness staff.  We found that they liked it equally.  In other words, there doesn't appear to be any sort of bias that this is more for men than for women.  Total Gym itself appears to be emphasizing this point by bringing Christie Brinkley on as the female counterpart to Chuck Norris. 

What we did find was that some people on our staff preferred other systems over Total Gym, but the dividing line had nothing to do with gender- simply preference.  Bowflex was the main competitor in our compare and contrast (and in this article we compare and contrast between the two systems), and the feedback from staff who preferred the Bowflex system, for what it's worth, was not that they didn't like Total Gym, it was just that they preferred the Bowflex.  In fact, in general most people liked both systems.  Some people just prefer that more 'natural' feeling of using one's own bodyweight (a la Total Gym) and some prefer using a system that provides a more traditional weight resistance feel, such as is provided by the Bowflex.

Does the Total Gym Increase Flexibility?

This is actually another nice benefit of Total Gym.  When using Total Gym properly, you are doing very long full movements.  This builds strength while increasing flexibility.

Can I Do Pilates With Total Gym?

The Total Gym XLS comes with a Pilates Kit and an instructional DVD. We are also checking with the PEERtrainer community to see if you can get a good pilates workout with Total Gym.

Is Total Gym Anything Like Yoga?

While of course Yoga is it's own unique style of exercise for the mind and body, a member of our editorial team who is an avid yoga practitioner remarked that a Total Gym workout gave her a similar feeling to a yoga session in terms of how she used her muscles and how she felt afterwards.  While this seems to be emphasized less by Total Gym, incorporating mindful breathing exercises while you use Total Gym might be a great thing to experiment with to get that mind/body effect.

Is It Good For Cardio?

The Total Gym will actually give you a nice cardio workout, but it depends on how you use it.  If you do a Total Gym workout for where you keep moving for 20 minutes, you will definitely get a cardio workout while you're working out your muscles and increasing your flexibility. 

If you're using Total Gym to do more a certain number of sets of repetitions with rest in between, then you will probably want to think about adding an additional cardio workout.  You might simply finish up a Total Gym session with a jog or walk.  If you have the means, you might want to also consider adding a piece of cardio equipment to your home gym like a Stairmaster, Treadmill, or the Bowflex TreadClimber.

Will I Use My Total Gym For More Than a Week?

This is actually a great question, and when we posed it to our fitness editorial team, they very matter of factly said, "It doesn't really matter what workout system a person is using, if they are going to abandon their workout plan, they are going to abandon it."  This makes sense.  Total Gym makes it very easy to workout.  In fact, they probably do this better than any home gym system we've seen.  It assembles very quickly and requires very little adjustment between exercises.  With the range of exercise bonuses that come with the XLS model (4 instructional DVD's, an exercise wall chart, a nutritional program, pilates attachement, etc) they make the choice to exercise as easy as it can be made. 

That said, for people that are good at the start of something, but not so good at the follow through, they are going to have this problem regardless of what exercise program they decide to use.  This applies whether it's Total Gym, Bowflex, PX90 or just running around the block. 

Is Total Gym Good For Weight Loss?
Is Total Gym Good For Strength Training?
Can You Get A Good Cardio Workout On Total Gym?
What Chest Exercises Can You Do With Total Gym?

If you are considering purchasing one of the Total Gym models, make sure to check our
Total Gym Coupon page to see the latest discounts and offerings.

Community Discussion


Why Do People Really Buy The Total Gym and Do They Actually Use It?

What Is The Best Diet To Follow To Help You Lose Weight On The Total Gym?

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