Have you been struggling to find free time to go to the gym? Have you been looking for a way to get great gym-quality workouts from home? If you have, you’ve probably found that home gym setups can be very pricy and require a ton of different pieces of equipment. Many of them also need a lot of space – something most home gyms can not spare. If you are serious about getting in shape and looking for a convenient all-in-one at home piece of equipment, then the total gym may be the perfect piece of equipment for you. With a total gym, you can train all of your muscle groups in the comfort of your home. This can all be done without sacrificing space or paying an exorbitant amount of money to get the results you want.

Total gyms are the perfect tool to help you train all of the muscle groups you need. The machine is an all-in-one convenient package that helps you skip those time-consuming gym trips. They have been seen on TV ads and at fitness outlets all over the world and have grown in popularity for good reason, but what exactly are they? How do they work and why should you invest in one? In this total gym review, we will help you better understand the versatility of total gyms and how to best choose the right model for your preferences.

Why Invest in a Total Gym?

Fitness Woman Promoting Total GymAt first glance, the total gym may just seem like a simple rowing machine, but if you look closer, you will find one of the most versatile and easy to use home fitness machines on the market. It is able to target any muscle in the body more fully and easily than a majority of its competitors.

The total gym is also known as a glideboard gym because of the seat that glides on top of an inclined rail. You control the seat by pushing or pulling on the attached grips while sitting on top of it. The resistance you feel when working out with the glideboard is controlled by the incline of the rails, your body weight, and any additional resistance you set.

The variety of workout styles you can perform on a total gym is why it has gained so much notoriety over the years. Pilates, stretching, strength training, and ab circuits are just a few examples of ways you can put the total gym to great use. These machines can get you one of the most challenging workouts you have ever experienced.

You may recognize the total gym from its famous and long-running TV ads featuring Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley. This is one of the reasons it has gained so much attention over the years. The total gym continues to sell to customers ranging from at home fitness enthusiasts to gyms and medical facilities. They achieve this not just because of these celebrities, but because of how well it works. When it was originally designed, it was made with the aim of making the first “functional exercise” machine. It was one of the first of its kind that encouraged natural body movements of all kinds performed with body weight resistance. This idea has snowballed from originally being a simple model geared for physical therapists to now offering multiple options for consumers like you to find their ideal at home gym (1).

What Makes the Total Gym the Ideal At-Home Setup?

Couple Using Total Gym For WorkoutThe Total Gym is not only a space-saver, but there are also over 50 workouts you can perform with it. Some of the best reasons to make the switch to a total gym include:

  • Functional Workouts

One of the most beneficial aspects of the total gym is that it encourages natural body movements. It accomplishes this by utilizing your body weight as the resistance. The action of performing these functional movements without using weights actually helps to reduce the stress on joints. It also helps get you a more well rounded and complete full body workout as well. The total gym provides all of the benefits of functional workouts that have been proven to increase flexibility, improve joint health, and also improve muscle memory and coordination more than lifting with weights alone (2). As you use your total gym, you will notice that your everyday coordination and day-to-day activities will become much easier.

The Total Gym can support all kinds of workouts you would normally do in a gym – check out our guides to better chest and back workouts for some tips on switching up your routine and incorporating them with your new Total Gym.

  • Ideal for Circuit Training

Since the total gym is so versatile, your options for designing your own personalized circuit training routine are virtually limitless. Since you can effortlessly switch between workouts, you can quickly transition between workouts and keep your heart rate up without worrying about having to rack weights over and over again. Performing circuit training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routines in succession with minimal rest has been shown to help burn fat more effectively and get you toned quicker than typical weight training (3).

  • Safety

Using a total gym is much healthier for your joints and muscles than lifting free weights. The total gym glide bar workouts encourage and make it much easier to keep great form. This is because of the fact you are using your own body weight. The unique motion helps to keep your joints strong and your coordination and muscle memory sharp.

Total gym is one of the most effective ways to help grow muscle and core strength all in one machine. Also, you can increase the resistance on many of the models if you really want a challenge. The Total Gym can perform higher output strength training as a much safer at home alternative to heavy free weight exercises without the need for a spotter.

Choosing the Best Total Gym For You

At this point, it is pretty clear that using a total gym is a great option. It can help you get in the best shape of your life without the need for a gym membership or potentially harmful free weight lifting routines.  With all of this in mind, which total gym is right for you? While this really just depends on your preferences, there are a variety of versions of the total gym. Each of these is suited for different fitness goals and budgets. The main difference between the different models comes down to the size and weight capacity of the machine.   in addition to some cool extra features and attachments, some newer models offer over others.

The Total Gym Brand

Total gym was first established in the 1990s by a sports medicine company called EFI. They had the original intention to sell an all-in-one fitness machine to physical therapists and rehabilitation clinics. With the advent of their famous infomercial models, the company has become known as one of the most reliable and high-quality home gym suppliers in the world. With the motto “Be Happy Be Healthy”, it is clear that total gym’s intentions are pure. They continue to strive to provide fitness enthusiasts of all ages with a way to get in great shape conveniently from the comfort of their own home.

Some of the best total gym options include:

1. Total Gym FIT: Biggest Bang For Your Buck

Total Gym Fit for Health and FitnessThe Total Gym FIT model is the newest total gym and has all of the features that users have come to know and love with some welcome new additions that enhance your workout experience. This new model is more space and size efficient but has not sacrificed any quality or durability. It features twice the weight resistance options for those who are looking for a bigger challenge from your workout routine. In addition, the new FIT model has also included a new wing attachment that gives you even more workout options and a wider range of motion to target muscles like the deltoids and upper pectorals.


  • Twice the resistance levels of previous models (400lb weight capacity).
  • Improved ergonomic chair for better comfort.
  • 2-Piece wing attachment for a wider range of motion for push and pull workouts.
  • Auto-lock height adjustment for easier transition between workouts
  • Upgraded reinforced steel for increased durability.
  • Free Ab Crunch attachment and workout DVD.

Bottom Line:

The total gym FIT is a bonus-packed and upgraded version of the original total gym model. With up to 400lbs of resistance, you can be sure you will be challenged and get great workouts for years to come. One of the most important things to look for is the quality of the seat and glide rails. This model has made sure that these pieces of the machine are highly durable and comfortable to use. The size and dimensions of the FIT model are much more tailored to the needs of home gym owners. It is not quite as big as some of the other more heavy-duty models that total gym offers.

The FIT model is perfect for anyone looking to invest in one of the most famous and widely regarded home gyms on the market with plenty of new upgrades that will make your total gym experience even more enjoyable.

2. Total Gym XLS: The Universal Home Gym

The total gym XLS model is described as the company’s top of the line home fitness machine. This model is a little more heavy duty than all of the other models. There are more features that make it a unique Total Gym option. It is also slightly larger, has a uniquely designed pulley system, and features a taller rack that the rail sits on. This allows for enhanced slope increases for even more challenging exercises and stronger resistance. The XLS model is very well made and is built to last with a very comfortable seat and smooth gliding rails and handles more of a weight capacity than most other home gyms are able to offer. The XLS is the perfect at home fitness machine capable of providing a challenging full body workout to both newcomers and fitness buffs alike.


  • 400lb weight capacity
  • Upgraded pulley and cable system
  • Flexible nylon strap handles
  • Ribbed squat stand
  • Padded glideboard with neck and head support

Bottom Line

The total gym XLS is a great example of the care and craftsmanship that goes into the total gym products. The XLS reviews are consistently positive across the board. Users report the machine to be very easy to use and mention how well built and durable it is. The XLS model really sets the standard for the company’s products. It demonstrates how much they care about giving their customers a well-built, fun to use, and effective product. With attachments that allow you to perform workouts such as squats, high rows, incline press, bicep curls, and more, the total gym XLS is a perfect choice for those who want to get the most out of their home gym.  

3. Total Gym 1400: Get More From Your Total Gym

Total Gym 1400 for Health and FitnessAs we have seen, it is hard to go wrong when searching for a new total gym. This is because of the great care they are all built with. With the 1400 model, the folks at Total Gym have demonstrated that they are willing to go above and beyond to provide users with the top of the line home fitness equipment. The team has also made it very affordable in the process. This model is described as being more durable and able to perform exercises more smoothly and without any shaking or instability. It is designed to be easily stored and is made from hard and lasting steel frames. One great bonus of the total gym 1400 is that it comes fully assembled right out of the box so you do not have to worry about constructing the machine properly.


  • Supports users up to 250 lbs
  • Over 60 targeted workouts
  • Comes with squat stand, dip bars, leg pulley
  • Measures 56”x19”x10” when folded
  • Includes nutrition and exercise guides

Bottom Line

The Total Gym 1400 is one of the Total Gym’s most well-built and affordable models. It comes in a more convenient and affordable package than most other options. It offers a great variety of exercises that can give you a complete full body workout. Not many home gym machines can offer a gym-quality workout from home. While the 1400 is slightly smaller than some of the other variations of the total gym, it does not sacrifice any durability. The 1400 adjusts effortlessly between different heights and attaching the various add ons takes only a few seconds. While this total gym does not handle as much of a user weight limit as models such as the XL and XLS, its more affordable price tag and convenient setup are sure to satisfy the needs of anyone looking for a new home gym.

4. Total Gym X Force: Heavy Duty and Affordable

Total Gym X Force for Health and FitnessWhen looking for a new home gym, your main priority should be to find a durable and well-built machine. It should comfortably support your weight and offer plenty of challenging workouts. Exercising with the Total Gym Force is seamless. This is because of its strong frame, smooth glidebar, and a durable padded seat construction. It also has a heavier weight limit than other total gym models in the same price range. The X Force is perfect for adding definition and cutting stubborn fat from the comfort of your own home. It allows you to perform a staggering 60 body weight supported exercises.


  • 350lb weight limit
  • Arrives fully assembled
  • Includes ab crunch, dip bar, pull bar, leg press, and wide wing attachments
  • Most affordably priced at this weight limit

Bottom Line

The Total Gym X Force is a powerhouse of a home gym. It allows you to perform over 60 exercises all in one convenient package. This has made the machine a favorite among home gym owners. The machine arrives fully assembled and is easily folded and stored when you are not using it. The machine is even shipped to you fully assembled. The most important aspects of the machine are built extremely well in this model. This is something Total Gym products are famous for. When you use the X Force, the smooth glide of the seat and the multiple difficulty levels will help you target the muscles you want without causing any excess stress to vulnerable joints in the process. With a variety of great extras including a diet and exercise guide, the X Force is a great choice at a very competitive price point.

5. Total Gym XL: The Original Powerhouse

Total Gym XL For Health and FitnessThe Total Gym XL is the original version of the upgraded models of the total gym. It is the sister product to the XLS and has some similar features. It has a great price point and sports a larger squat stand that helps make it easier for you to keep perfect form when doing leg press exercises. The XL is capable of performing about 70 total exercises with the included attachments. With a few extra upgrades for a little extra money, you can get over 80 workouts. The XL is a little more affordable than the XLS, and is the same size and build quality. The main difference in the XL is that it comes at a more affordable price point than the XLS, but does not offer the same amount of workouts out of the box.


  • 350lb weight limit
  • Includes wing attachment, dip bar, EZ bar, leg pulley, and ab crunch attachments
  • Cell phone holder
  • 15 different resistance levels

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for a heavy duty home gym at an affordable price, the total gym XL is a perfect option. The lower priced Total Gym models do not sacrifice any of the build integrity they are known for. It also includes plenty of workouts and resistance levels to keep you challenged for years to come. User reviews on the XL are very positive and showcase how well-built and easy to use the product is. Not only do they mention how fun and its many workout options are, but they love how the look and durability make it perfect for any home gym. The XL is a heavy duty powerhouse that will give you access to your own personal home gym at a fraction of the cost of similar models.

Choosing The Right Total Gym For You

Now that you have seen reviews on various Total Gym models, you can make a better-informed decision on which one of these machines is perfect for you. We have created a checklist of the most critical points you should consider before making your choice. There are two main points to keep in mind when shopping for a new Total Gym, and these include:

Fitness Goals

All of the total gym models are able to provide you with challenging full body workouts. It can tone and build muscle and is capable of heavy-duty workouts. For example, the XLS and FIT Total Gym models can support up to 400 lbs of weight and have multiple resistance levels. The 1400 only supports up to 250lbs. When browsing through the selections, be aware of the weight limit of the machine. In addition, also look out for the number of resistance levels the machine offers. This will help you better plan out your fitness goals and make sure the machine you choose supports your workouts for years to come.


Keeping your budget in mind is necessary to make sure you get the perfect machine without breaking the bank. Total gyms can vary in price from the $300 range to over $800, with the more advanced models including extra features, attachments, and sporting a reinforced design to support a larger weight limit.

The XLS model is the priciest model in our list, but with this price comes the most modern and well-built Total Gym ever created. The most cost-efficient model is the XL – the earlier version of the XLS. It is about half the price of the XLS, extremely well built, and comes with all of the latest accessories.

Why Should You Buy a Total Gym?

Total Gyms are the total full-body workout package and are one of the world’s most popular and widely used home gyms for a reason. They offer every workout you could do at a gym all in a convenient at-home package that easily folds up for convenient storage. The resistance levels of the total gym range from easy to very difficult. This makes it perfect for either cardio or muscle building purposes. Millions of people across the world have gotten in the best shape of their lives from the comfort of their own homes using a Total Gym, and you can too. Keep in mind your budget and fitness goals when picking out your favorite Total Gym. Whichever model you pick, you can be confident that it will come fully assembled and help you stay in shape for many years to come.