The Total Gym XLS is a flagship model sold by Total Gym and endorsed by the icon of toughness—Chuck Norris. With a vinyl coated cable of 1000 lb rating and a super smooth pulley system, the Total Gym XLS offers multiple planes of motion and a possibility to perform about 80 different exercises. This implies that Total Gym XLS is a machine designed for multiple goals, be it building strength, endurance, or muscle toning.
The task of deciding the best workout machine can be a tough one but in this review, we will make it easier and help you with all the information necessary for making that decision. We analyzed several features of this product in terms of the range of utility, assembly & storage, muscles engaged, warranty, material strength, and user reviews, so stick with us till the end to know more.
|Pros||Comfortable Padding, Great Strength, Multiple Planes Of Motion, Easy Assembly.|
|Cons||Size, Quicker Outgrowth|
|Price||Click here to check the lowest price for Total Gym XLS Home Gym|
|Final Verdict||Total Gym XLS is a high quality and dynamic machine which can be used by all age, weight, and fitness groups. It uses cables and pulleys that employ your body weight into the exercise and thus reduce the cost of additional weights. The guides that come in the set are very helpful to make optimum use of this Home Gym.|
- Weight: 92.2 lbs
- Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
- Dimensions (Unfolded): 19” W x 90” L x 43” H
- Dimensions (Folded): 19″ W x 51″ L x 9″ H
- Number Of Exercises: Over 80
- Warranty (Frame): Lifetime warranty on the frame.
- Warranty (All Parts): 6 months warranty on all parts.
Why we love the Total Gym XLS Trainer?
Padding – The Glideboard and the head support are equipped with a non-tear vinyl covering which is 1.5” thick. You also have more thickly padded sections towards the ends of the Glideboard to provide yet another layer of comfort. The strap handles are padded too, made of synthetic rubber. The other Total Gym models like the 1100 and 1400 do not come with such amazing padding.
Strength – XLS uses a frame and rail construction to make it really sturdy. It has a 1 ¼” x 2” tubing. Users who have been using the Total Gym have reported that they haven’t encountered any bends or dents till the first four years of moderate to heavy usage. That is the level of strength that comes with the Total Gym products. For a more aesthetic feel, the upper rails are chrome plated and the lower plates are powder coated.
Planes of Motion – With multiple planes of motion, you have the liberty to activate several stabilizer muscles like your abdomen, obliques, hips, etc along with the major muscle groups. This range of motion is not possible in other machines like smith and lever. You can train your upper as well as lower body keeping short intervals between sets or performing supersets.
Easy Assembly – While buying workout equipment, the biggest problem that people face is of assembly. Most of these equipments are so complex to assemble that you have to bring over a professional to your house for this task. In case of The Total Gym XLS, the assembly is so simple that you don’t have to spend more than 5 minutes assembling it to its basic form. The customization for using other accessories is simple too and doesn’t involve nuts and bolts. The package comes with a user manual (which you most probably won’t need) that has a lot of images showing how to assemble all the accessories and the body. The Total Gym XLS comes with several incline settings and when you unbox it, the only thing you have to do is to extend the frame and can change the inclination of the Glideboard according to your needs.
Compact Storage – If you are like most of us and do not have a room which is specially dedicated to your workout and gymming, then it is necessary to know whether the equipment that you’re buying will be storage friendly. In this case, the Total Gym XLS is your best friend. The collapsing of the Total Gym is as easy as its assembly. The rails can be folded against Glideboard and the folded assembly can either be slid under the bed or kept upright behind a door. If you want to make it even more compact, you can simply unmount the squat stand, the Glideboard and lay it atop the frame. The total length becomes 9” after you have folded it. The Glideboard has a locking pin design (like in most inversion boards) which avoids unwanted movements and the risk to catch your fingers in the moving parts. You might be wondering that how would you move this 82 lbs machine from your workout area to the underside of your bed. Fret not, there are wheels at the bottom of the machine to make transporting it a piece of cake.
Price – The regular market price of the Total Gym is $899 but most of the vendors have great discounts running throughout the year and there are user reviews on amazon that claim to have bought it at a jaw-dropping price of $774 (along with the Ab Crunch). Even at that price point, the XLS might seem quite extravagant but after using it for over a year and reading user reviews from across the world, I am confident that it is totally worth it. The machine is built to last a lifetime. Yes! A lifetime! The frame of the machine comes with a lifetime warranty and looking at the strength of the material, I have no doubts about it.
80 Exercises – With the Total Gym XLS, you can perform 80 different exercises. Depending on where you buy it from, the XLS comes with several workout guides, DVDs, meal planning guide, wall chart, training deck, etc which help you a lot in planning your routine and takes away all the confusion out of your workout. These DVDs are most helpful for the people with less experience at using cable gyms like these. You can use these guides to explore the 80 different workouts and experiment with different workout routines. These exercises are great if your target rep range is on the higher end. If you aim to hit the lower range of reps, it would be difficult to generate the required resistance. In such cases, you can purchase weight bars (while not exceeding the 400 lb limit) to increase the resistance.
Additional Accessories – The major reason behind the acceptability of the Total Gym throughout the fitness community is its provision to add multiple accessories. Here’s a list of those accessories that are available in the market.
- Press Up Bars – Chest exercises
- Dip Bars – Triceps, chest, and shoulders exercises
- Weight Bar – Increase the overall resistance beyond your body weight. This feature helps you move to the lower end of the target rep range if your aim is to build strength. (4-6 reps)
- Leg Pull – Quads and Hamstrings exercises
- Wing Attachment – Abdomen exercises
The package already comes with a Wing Attachment, Leg Pull Accessory, and a Ribbed Squat Stand. Other accessories can be bought separately and they support a wide range of workouts. As the bodyweight exercises totally depend upon your weight and the gravity, the only way to level up is by using extra weights. This is when you need the weight bars.
Wide Range Of Utility – The Total Gym XLS Trainer focuses on body weight exercises and thus it is very much essential that it caters to a wide range of body weights. And thankfully so, Total Gym not only supports a wide bodyweight range but also a large age group. The maximum weight capacity of XLS is 400 lb. This capacity is very high for Glideboard style machine and is not seen in most of its competitors. Also, Total Gym can be used by individuals of age 8-80 which means that a single machine can be used by everyone in your family.
The Total Gym XLS offers low impact exercises that can be performed by practically anyone. Be it people recovering from injuries, be it individuals of an older age, heavier weight, or even kids. The Total Gym XLS can be used by everyone and these are some of the essential exercises that can be performed using the XLS –
- Bicep Curls
- Cable Row
- Pull Ups
- Lying Tricep Extensions
- Shoulder Press
- Single Leg Squats
- Hip Adductions
- Leg Curls
- Calf Raises
Warranty – The fact that Total Gym is so confident about their product gives me a peace of mind. When I know that the frame is so strong that the company gives a lifetime warranty on it, rest assured that my money is being spent for something which will last long. That said, the warranty covers just the frame and the “All Parts” warranty is just for 6 months. Also, the warranty is only valid for the first time user, so please bear this in mind while buying a refurbished version.
What Improvements Does Total Gym XLS Need?
Resistance – A body weight machine always uses the weight of your body and the gravity. Although there are several resistance settings, the XLS offers a resistance of 54% of the body weight at its maximum inclination angle. Vigorfit, which is the major competitor of Total Gym XLS, offers a resistance up to 72% of the body weight at maximum angles of inclination. However, even 54% is heavy enough when you’re just beginning with it and it will take you over a year till you hit the plateau. Once there, you can easily increase the resistance by using additional weight bars which can be bought for around $19 and you can add weights accordingly. (maximum weight is 400lbs)
Outgrowth – It isn’t uncommon to hear Total Gym users say that they have outgrown the exercises that Total Gym allows them to do, albeit, after using it diligently for several years. The Human body is peculiar in many ways. If you perform a particular exercise for a long time, then your body automatically adapts to it and the exercise itself becomes easy for you to perform. This is counter-intuitive to what we aim to achieve during a workout. That said, it will take almost 4 years of diligent working out on the Total Gym, trying different variations of all those exercises possible on a Total Gym.
Size – The Total Gym XLS is almost 7 feet long when unfolded. It takes up a fair amount of space on the sides as well. This will create some problems for people with smaller rooms for the workout. Also, if your bed is short in length, you might have a tough time storing the Total Gym underneath it. Also, only the people with a height less than 6’2” can gain the maximum benefit out of this machine. There are other machines like the Vigorfit which support 6’5” of height.
Total Gym XLS is a high quality and dynamic machine that can be used by people with a wide range of age and weight. It is easy to assemble the machine. It uses cables and pulleys that employ your body weight into the exercise and thus reduce the cost of additional weights. The guides that come in the set are very helpful to make optimum use of this Home Gym and make the workouts super interesting. If you are looking for a machine that is packed with specs and yet not overly extravagant, then Total Gym is your best choice. That said, you should find the time window when the discounts are high so you can get it at a cheaper price. Either way, if you can get it below $900 then it’s worth every buck.
The extra accessories that can be purchased with the machine offer a great value addition to your workout. Once you have bought this machine, you will receive several discount coupons that can be used to buy these accessories.