Total Gym has several models for use as a home gym. There are many offerings that allow different variations of exercises and resistance, but it’s hard to know which one is. So what is the best Total Gym model for your home gym?
The best model from Total Gym is the GTS. It has the most exercises that can be performed with over 250, and ensures you get a full body workout. A simple one press adjustment for resistance levels and ease of use makes the GTS the best choice.
We’ll take you through a review of the offerings from Total Gym home gyms, including the Supreme, XLS, FIT, and GTS. We’ll look at how to set it up for the first time, the features as well as reasons why you should buy a certain model and the differences between them all.
Our Top Choices
1. Total Gym XLS
400 lb Weight Capacity
2. Total Gym Supreme
275lb Weight Capacity
3. Total Gym Fit
450 lb Weight Capacity
4. Total Gym GTS
22 Different Resistance Levels
Let’s dive deeper into the tech specs and uncover what each of these machines have to offer.
The Top 6 Best Total Gym Models in 2022
1. Total Gym XLS
The XLS is an improvement on other Total Gym offerings as you can do squat stands, leg pulls and over 80 other exercises.
The XLS has 6 levels of resistance to give you a full body workout over all the major muscle groups. This means not only do you get strength training and muscle growth, but also cardiovascular endurance building.
On top of this, the Total Gym system allows you to engage in stretching and decompressing your spine and body. This can help with back pain and posture.
The XLS will fit easily in a bedroom or spare room and doesn’t require a large circumference around it to actually perform the exercise. The cable system can be used with overhand or underhand grip to work all different types of muscle groups.
You will get a squat stand platform which has a ribbed texture to help with grip. You’ll also get wing attachments used for situps and other exercises, and two ankle cuffs. The XLS also comes with a color wall chart listing the doable exercises.
You will also get the Total Gym Training Deck, a set of informational cards to help you with your exercises. These are split into muscle groups, and provide all the exercises including information on how to perform them and for how long.
To further help with your fitness goals, there is also an included meal planning guide. This will guide you to eat the best food possible to achieve your goals. You’ll also get access to Total Gym TV to get any extra guidance and training.
Total Gym XLS Bundle
Enjoy an extra 10% Off the XLS! Get a free Ab Crunch Attachment & Challenge DVD included with your purchase.
2. Total Gym Supreme
Best Budget Pick
The Supreme offers over 60 exercises with 12 levels of resistance. It doesn’t require any assembly to get started and easily folds for storage. The unit itself only weighs 56 pounds and so can be easily moved and picked up.
With the Supreme you get the signature AbCrunch accessory as well as several others. This includes the Tri-Grip Shaper Bars, ankle cuffs, and the standard Squat Stand.
The Supreme is one of Total Gym’s entry level models that still offers many of the functions and features of Total Gym’s other offerings.
However keep in mind that the Supreme has an upper weight and height limit. If you’re over 275 pounds or 6 feet, this is not the machine for you.
You’ll get the usual Total Gym package of a selection of workout programs, diet guide, and video workouts so that you can perform exercises in the way they’re designed.
Generally this will mean you’ll get a starters program, pilates program, ab workout program, intermediate program, and 6 minute workout. You will definitely have more than enough information included with your Total Gym purchase to get the most out of it.
On top of that, the Total Gym website features a blog where they update with new exercise variations and other useful information. This includes stretching and mobility exercises, general fitness tips including diet and lifestyle tips, and much more.
Effectively using your home gym starts from before the equipment arrives at your home. The included professionally crafted workout programs are made by personal trainers for exclusive use on Total Gym equipment to make sure you reach your fitness goals.
3. Total Gym FIT
Best Weight Capacity
The FIT comes with all the usual Total Gym fittings. These include the AbCrunch accessory and the Ergonomic Glideboard which has been a feature of Total Gym since the beginning. This Glideboard allows a huge variety of exercises based on your own body weight.
On top of that, you can adjust the height of the FIT to different resistance levels. This is aided with the auto-lock height adjustment system which acts as a safety measure as well as making sure you configure the system in the best way.
The classic Total Gym 2-Piece Wing Attachment allows you to have a wider range of motion on the FIT as well as the Custom Fender System which gives the Glideboard a very smooth ride. This can be used for various back exercises like pull ups.
Total Gym products are known for their sturdy construction and the FIT doesn’t disappoint with an upgraded steel frame and reinforced slide pivot.
A whopping 85 exercises can be performed on the FIT and all are contained within the information provided with the device. You also get access to digital copies of these workouts through the Total Gym streaming service.
In terms of full body workout, the FIT allows you to do a complete workout split over your entire body. Concentrated focus on specific body parts in a systematic fashion is the key to real growth and success in achieving your fitness goals.
The use of cables gives opportunities to train with both the arms and legs, using the included ankle straps.
One of the most underlooked areas of fitness is mobility and stretching. Not only will this help prevent injury but also means you get a symmetrical, even development of your body.
On top of this, if you’re battling through injuries or pain, the FIT has one of the largest ranges of resistance levels so that you can focus on minimal resistance, high rep ranges to help with rehabilitation work of shoulder girdles, the neck, and back.
4. Total Gym GTS
Best Premium Pick
Sometimes referred to as the Heritage GTS, the GTS offers over 250 exercises and variants. This is one of Total Gym’s premier products.
The usual features of the high end Total Gym systems are all here. This means you get the adjustable glideboard, automatic rail locks, an easy assist hydraulic rail lift, multiple center-pulley attachment points, and the double arm-cable load.
The key to the GTS is the glideboard which both promotes optimal spinal alignment and allows for training variations. Support is particularly important when performing transverse movements, which is a rotating or twisting of your upper body.
The hydraulic rail lift is great for two reasons. Not only does it assist with resistance level changes, but also means you will have an easy two-step folding process so that you can store and set up your GTS with minimal fuss.
The double arm-cable load encourages equal development of both halves of your body. By allowing each arm to move independently via having two separate cables, you get more dynamic movement that helps stop overdevelopment of the stronger side of your body.
As an added benefit, you also get increased lower extremity range of movement. This means that you will get the full pump as well as full stretch when performing exercises like squats and other lower body variations.
With the GTS, you’ll get variable resistance that shifts with your own body weight. At the lowest setting this will be 1% of your bodyweight, with the toughest setting scaling up to 62% of your body weight.
Body weight exercises are perfect for quality, long term fitness. As the resistance changes with your body weight, this means you get less injuries from too heavy of a weight, and also are guaranteed to not be stuck with a home gym machine that you outgrow.
The GTS and other Total Gym products offer a unique blend of muscle building and cardiovascular endurance building. This is achieved through aerobic exercises such as rowing, and hypertrophic muscle building exercises like leg presses.
This means that your Total Gym GTS is easy to set up and will be safely locked into the position while you do your workouts. The multiple attachment points allow different exercises and different angles to be utilized to make sure you hit all different parts of the muscle.
This combination of bodybuilding aspects and aerobic activity is the perfect way to work at your goal from both ends; losing weight and gaining muscle.
Further, the GTS allows a warmup set of rowing before your main workout to get increased blood flow and raise the heart rate.Such actions have two massive benefits in that your workout will be more intensive as well as likely preventing injury.
Factors to Consider For Buying a Total Gym
There are pros and cons to every purchase. So it is important to consider your goals around why you want to get a home gym or what makes Total Gym’s offerings a good purchase.
Is It Worth The Cost?
When it comes down to it, a home gym machine is a single piece of workout equipment that allows many different uses and exercises.
Given this flexibility and multiple functions, home gyms can be quite expensive.
Fitness equipment in general will be made out of expensive, durable materials which means that not only are unit production costs going to be more than other consumer goods, but shipping costs are also going to add up.
Total Gym’s products offer a unique way to get around these high costs. The innovative use of body weight resistance rather than weight plates means you’re not forced to pay extra to get the necessary equipment to get a proper workout.
The more expensive the model of Total Gym, the higher the resistance level it can go.
This means more exercises are possible the more expensive a model you get. For example, while you get over 80 exercises via the Total Gym XLS, the GTS boasts over 250 possible exercises. (1)
Total Gym’s offerings work straight out of the box with no assembly required. This means you don’t have to worry about building it wrong or having to store all these additional components like you do with other home gyms.
For example, a home gym like the Total Gym GTS, you get everything you need for a full body workout. This removes the need to purchase several pieces of equipment that you then also need a place to use and store.
Other home gym systems may use weight plates instead of Total Gym’s bodyweight resistance method. This means it is not only expensive to assemble all the weight plates you need but also requires some storage solution to be found when not using them.
Ease Of Use
Total Gym also requires very little steps to change between different configurations. There are many video guides on Youtube from Total Gym themselves showing you how to do this.
Apart from connecting the various attachments or changing the angle of the bench, the Total Gym models are meant for the beginner who does not need to know everything about fitness to use it properly.
Home gyms often have issues in that they allow a wide variety of exercises but they’re not as effective as if they were performed on a specialist machine.
Back workouts are traditionally done with a barbell, chin up bar or dumbbells. The Total Gym offers seated row variants, standing lat pulldowns, chin up variations, and other specialist back exercises in their training videos.
If you’re looking at the Total Gym for general fitness, look to incorporate as many compound lifts as possible. Compound lifts involve multiple muscle groups and is the quickest way to gain muscle and lose weight.
Using the cables and glideboard gives you a huge range of compound exercises involving multiple major muscle groups, as well as progression towards your fitness goals.
Differences Between Each Model
Total Gym was founded in 1974 by Tom Campanaro and so there have been many Total Gym models over the years.
Generally the attachments such as the foot boards, AbCrunch and others are interchangeable between the models.
The big differences are the level of resistance available and length of the system.
For example, the tower of the FIT is much taller. The tower is used to change the level of resistance by increasing or decreasing the incline of the bench. A taller tower allows a much steeper gradient, increasing the resistance.
The tower also has more gradations on it so allows for more fine tuning.
The FIT frame is longer along with an associated longer glideboard. This means you get a better range of movement, which is important to get the most out of exercises.
The XLS also is reported to be an issue if you’re over 6 feet tall. The XLS is too compact to accommodate taller people comfortably and the FIT or GTS is the better option.
Generally the best part about a commercial gym is the large range of equipment. When a company tries to combine all those various machines into a single workout model, often it is missing some major areas that only certain machines can provide.
Total Gym’s products aren’t built around a cage or rack system, which would lead you to think that they’re not great for leg workouts.
However, the Total Gym offerings all have variations of squats and plyometric jumping so that you have a full leg workout. Total Gym also supplies leg cuffs which enable a variety of abductor and adductor targeted workouts, as well as rowing.
Even a small change in the bench’s angle can allow different parts of the muscle head to be exercised. The unique addition of the sliding glideboard allows you to perform many great cardio and muscle building exercises.
At a minimum, you can do rowing, leg presses, and other lower body workouts as well as upper body chest, back, and arm workouts. This means curls, pressing, flys, and other chest exercises.
On top of this, the AbCrunch attachment allows you to leverage the Total Gym to even hit your abdominal muscles to help target fat burning and encourage stretching as well as spinal decompression.
Depending on your workout goals, you may be looking for weight loss or muscle gain. However, increasing your lean muscle will likely help both of these objectives.
To increase the lean muscle mass of your body, increasing your testosterone is one of the best ways to encourage muscle growth. Testosterone is a steroid hormone naturally released by the body.
A leg workout will really activate hormonal activity. Hitting all these muscle groups, part of the largest muscles in the body, with heavy resistance regularly will stimulate hormone production leading to muscle growth.
The Total Gym’s glideboard and footboard allows you to do a style of plyometric jumps, which is perfect for exercise and to get your endocrine system releasing muscle growth hormones in response.
Assembling The Total Gym
The Total Gym comes in a single box. It is packed together with all attachments and requires no assembly apart from unfolding and inserting the attachments.
The process of unfolding and folding your Total Gym is part of the usual storage method to pack your Total Gym away when you’re not using it.
Total Gym FIT Bundle
Enjoy an extra 10% Off the FIT! Get a free Pilates Kit & DVD guide included with your purchase.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Total Gym
Plan out Your Workout Plan
Models such as the Supreme are entry level Total Gym products and are limited in terms of variability and exercises that you can do on them.
While you can do many things on any Total Gym, it is important to first build a workout plan that is aligned with your dream body and fitness goals. Then you should consider what Total Gym you need that will best fit that requirement.
You can watch the workout videos supplied with the Total Gym before purchase to see what the best machine for you is. These can be seen on the Total Gym website.
Maintenance, Repair & Warranty
Gym equipment like home gyms are always going to cost not an insignificant amount of money. The main component of Total Gym equipment is steel, this is heavy which will lead to higher costs for transportation and manufacture.
However, Total Gym’s offerings don’t rely on weight plates or barbells. The damage to home gyms often comes from dropping heavy barbells loaded with weight onto the equipment, causing damage over time.
Total Gym instead uses your own bodyweight and cables to achieve the same level of resistance. In turn, this leads to the Total Gym product being both durable and long lasting.
Reviews of the product reveal that the rollers for the glideboard need replacing after heavy use. This can be easily purchased and installed yourself and seem to be the only part that needs to be monitored for repairs or replacement.
The warranty covers 24 months from original purchase and is not transferable. Total Gym will repair or replace the product due to damage or defects from manufacture.
Measure Out Your Workout Space
Home gyms are great as they are one piece of equipment allowing multiple exercises. All equipment from Total Gym is designed to fit into a small room. You don’t need a large amount of space around the equipment to work out effectively.
Even so, check the listings to find out the dimensions of your desired Total Gym system, and measure your space before ordering. Once folded up, the Total Gym won’t take up more than the space of an average ironing board.
As you can see, there are many different models of the Total Gym Brand with different specs, varying weight bearing capacity, and several different kinds of workout depending on the machine.
All also come in varying price ranges, so you can truly find something within the brand to fit your needs and budget requirements. All models of the Total Gym are actually great investments, so whatever you decide to pick is a great buy that will ensure you can hit your fitness goals.