Total Gym XLS Review (2021) | Is This Home Trainer Worth It?

Brian Adams – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

Months ago, one of my clients came to me asking what I thought about the Total Gym XLS. 

As Total Gym’s best-selling home gym equipment, they wanted to know if I thought it was worth the purchase. 

While the Total Gym XLS may give you access to over 80 different exercise options and can accommodate nearly any range of body workout ability, it’s not the best product from Total Gym nor is it the best option in the market based on price.

Total Gym XLS

XLS

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Machine Type

  • Bodyweight

Maximum Resistance Level 

  • 6 to 54% of total body weight

Number of Exercises

  • Over 80

Seat Type

  • Glideboard

Maximum User Weight

  • 400 lbs

Dimensions

  • Length – 90 inches
  • Width – 19 inches
  • Height – 43 inches

Workout Space Needed

  • 90 by 20 inches

Exercise Stations

  • Legs
  • Abs
  • Curls
  • Pulldown
  • Rows

Warranty

  • Lifetime frame warranty
  • 6-month parts warranty

Assembly

  • Ships assembled

Accessories

  • Total Gym Workout DVDs
  • Pilates Workout DVD

Maximum User Height

  • 6 feet 2 inches

PROS

  • Relies on your bodyweight for resistance for a fully effective low impact workout
  • Over 80 exercise options
  • It comes with a fully padded patented Glideboard that adds comfort to your workouts
  • The bodyweight resistance offers smooth motion that is gentler on your joints
  • Can support users of up to 400 lbs
  • Comes with helpful workout DVDs and a dietician-approved nutritional program
  • The company offers a $1 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Assembly is not required

CONS

  • The parts warranty only covers six months
  • It can only support user heights of up to 6 feet 2 inches, otherwise, it isn’t comfortable
  • The bodyweight resistance may not be enough for pro lifters
  • It is not effective if you want to use it for bodybuilding or professional strength training since it is meant to cater more toward weight loss and toning or maintaining your body

Summary: The XLS is popular among Total Gym shoppers for many reasons. Mainly because it’s priced under $1000, but also because it gives you over 80 exercise options for the price. This top-selling home gym relies on your bodyweight to customize resistance levels from 6 to 54 percent of your total weight and is ideal for beginners to intermediate users. However, if you want to get more value for your money, the FIT would be a better option for you simply because it’s basically the same unit but upgraded and more compact. Wing attachment that will allow you to engage in more exercises.

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About The Total Gym Company

Total Gym Logotype

Total Gym gained popularity thanks to their investment in infomercials and celebrity endorsers. You may be familiar with Chuck Norris—a famous actor and martial artist, who endorses the brand alongside other celebrities like Christie Brinkley. 

The brand is associated with reliable customer service and their high-value free trial period of 30 days for only $1 to test out their equipment. The company specializes in fun, easy to use, and well-designed fitness equipment designed for a variety of users and home settings. Their customer base consists of mostly positive reviews.

Specifications

Folded Dimensions

  • 19x51x9 inches LWH

Unfolded Dimensions

  • 19x90x43 inches LWH

Price

  • Under $1000

Levels of Resistance

  • Six

Number of Exercises

  • Over 80 workout options

User Weight Capacity

  • 400 lbs

Assembly

  • Not required

Machine Weight

  • 90 lbs

Warranty

  • Lifetime frame
  • 6-month for parts
  • $1 30-day trial

Shipping

  • Free shipping

Accessories

  • Ribbed squat stand
  • Leg pull accessory
  • Two ankle cuffs
  • Exercise chart
  • Total Gym training deck
  • Nutritional program and diet plan

Total Gym XLS Notable Features & Benefits

XLS Total Gym

The XLS is a compact gym that is easily portable & folds away and weights only 90 lbs. It ships assembled and is designed for at-home weight loss workouts as well as body toning exercises. 

Heavy-Duty Frame

The XLS boasts a heavy-duty frame made of 1 ¼ by 2-inch steel tubes. But that doesn’t mean the brand overlooked the aesthetic appeal of the equipment either. It also features chrome-plated upper rails as well as powder-coated lower rails to give it a clean, streamlined finish. The frame is covered by a lifetime warranty and is designed to support up to 400 lbs of user weight plus a rigorous workout session.

The Pulley System and Glideboard

The main components of the XLS are its pulley system and patented Glideboard. Much like its frame, Total Gym utilizes heavy-duty cables with a weight rating of 1000lbs for safety and comfort. The Glideboard on the other hand is the brand’s own patented seat. It’s fully-padded, and adjusting the position of the seat allows you to choose certain levels of resistance.

Multiple Accessories

The XLS comes with an angled board fitted with head support, ankle straps, a squat station, and pulleys. These attachments allow you to target core areas in your body more easily like your hamstrings, back muscles, and quads among other things.

Hassle-Free Use

This machine comes fully assembled so you don’t have to worry about putting it together when it arrives. Plus, it’s also easy to fold away for storage when you’re not using it to save you some floor space. This means you can focus more on training instead of figuring out where certain components are supposed to go or how to make your machine work.

Total Gym Price Reliability and Warranty

The Total Gym XLS is a well-priced beginner unit for under $1000. It’s affordable and offers a good range of features like its foldable design and over 80 exercise varieties

Money Back 30 DaysThe brand is also associated with quality machines and good customer service. This means you’re unlikely to encounter any issues when trying to reach the company regarding any concerns you may have. 

Unfortunately, the parts guarantee on this best home equipment could be better. You only get a standard 6-month w-ty for parts which is significantly lower compared to its competition that offers an average for parts of at least one year. 

On the other hand, the frame is covered by a lifetime warranty. Although you might run into more issues with small parts on the equipment compared to the frame since some customers have complained of small issues with smaller components chipping or breaking. The brand also offers a $1 30-day trial. This means you can try out the XLS for 30 days and only have to pay $1. When the period ends, you can either return the item or buy it.

Total Gym XLS Accessories & Attachments

The XLS comes with an ankle straps, pulleys, and a squat station right out of the box. These attachments allow you to perform the over 80 exercises that the brand claims you can perform on the unit. You’ll also be supplied with workout DVDs that help you figure out what exercises you can do on the XLS. 

Plus a nutritional guide and meal plan to help you reach your fitness goals faster and maintain a healthier lifestyle. You’ll also be able to purchase other attachments to give you access to more exercise options like the press-up and dip bars, leg-pull accessory, and weight bar among others.

Total Gym XLS vs Total Gym Fit?

vs Total Gym Fit

The main advantage the FIT model has over the XLS is that it has better exercise variety. The XLS costs less than $1000 while the FIT costs a little under $1500. However, the small price difference combined with the additional exercise options and updated glideboard design on the FIT makes it a better investment. 

Aside from that, the FIT is also more lightweight—weighing only 66 lbs, and features a sleeker space-saving design. You only need 2 square feet of space to make the FIT work whereas the XLS needs over 7 feet of space.

Total Gym XLS vs Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE

VS Boflex SE Xtreme

The Bowflex 2 SE’s biggest advantage over the Total Gym unit is the resistance. The Xtreme allows for better control over your resistance settings and it utilizes power rod technology that increases in resistance as you exercise (read full review of  Xtreme 2 SE Here)

This makes it more ideal if you’re looking for equipment that offers a more effective resistance training experience.

Total Gym XL7 vs XLS

vs XL7

The XL7 gives you less exercise variety with only 60 exercises to choose from. However, it’s also significantly cheaper than the XLS at under $300. Another thing to consider is that workouts on the XL7 are optimized for time-efficiency. This means you’ll be able to spend only around 10 to 20 minutes on the unit but still feel accomplished afterward.

Best Alternatives

The XLS is a good, lower-end option for any home shopper who’s just starting out and doesn’t need too much exercise variety. It’s well-priced at under $1000 and allows you to perform various exercises that will sculpt and tone your body as well as help you lose weight. 

But it isn’t ideal for pro lifters and trainers who are used to stacked weight equipment. And if you want the best value for your money, you’ll want to look into something else.

Force USA G3

If you’re used to stacking weight machines or if you are used to lifting more than over 200 lbs of weight, the Force G3 would be a better option. The G3 is rated to lift up to 2,000 lbs which makes it ideal for professional bodybuilders or weightlifters. 

It’s also a better option for anyone who wants a more authentic experience at home. It is built to replicate several exercise stations as closely as possible with the exception of the power rack which is technically a half rack.

Total Gym Fit

Total Gym Fit

If you don’t mind spending a few hundred dollars more for an upgraded version of the XLS, the FIT would be a better, more high-value purchase. It offers better exercise variety, and it’s also more compact. 

Think about it this way, the main selling points of the XLS are its exercise variety, compact footprint, and glideboard. The FIT improves upon each of these aspects by offering more than 85 exercise varieties, a 2 square feet workout space requirement, and 66-lb total machine weight which makes it easier to reposition when storing it for another session.

Is Total Gym Fit Worth the Money?

Total Gym claims it’s simple, inexpensive, and quick, but are you getting what you pay for? You have to decide if this home gym will deliver on a simple and reliable routine or is it just another exercise solution that promises the world but does not always deliver. Cost. Getting your own Total Gym is a huge investment. It comes with accessories and training manuals that cost an additional $330. You can also purchase the base piece individually for $99. That total is $696. You could go to the gym for the same full-body workout as the Total Gym base but it will cost you twice as much.

The higher price tag does make it more expensive than some competitors, but it’s not prohibitive. Total Gym makes a variety of equipment. I chose the total gym set since I had nothing else and was pretty convinced it was the best choice. It includes the Total Gym base, a small weight stack, an mat, exercise bikes and the resistance bands. The total gym is somewhat less than 1/3 the weight of other competitors, but that should mean more workout time and less injuries. Total Gym has a big app and website that lets you see your progress as you lift, run, and walk. It also allows you to see your favorite routines and even suggests new ones for you to try.

Is Total Gym Really Effective?

Of course, you’re wondering if Total Gym is actually effective for you. For the average fitness consumer, there’s no way to tell until you try it. But, can it work as a supplement to a fitness program? A total body workout is incredibly effective for fat loss,” says Dave Briones, creator of the Total Gym. “When someone performs a total body workout, the whole body comes out of the workout stronger, more fit, and leaner. A one-hour workout on a Total Gym uses the most minimal resistance on any accessory machine. It gives you a huge bang for your buck.” He adds, “It’s a must-have for people who want to perform a total body workout. In addition to focusing on the entire body, you can get back into shape without being uncomfortable or having to invest thousands of dollars into a gym membership. Here’s how a total body workout works: The WOD (workout of the day) programs you find on the gym floor have been optimized for minimal resistance with less dynamic movements.

Final Words. Is this Total Gym Exercise Machine Worth It?

The Total Gym XLS is a good option if you’re on a strict budget, and don’t really mind having fewer exercise options. It’s lightweight at only a little over 90 lbs and even fold away easily for storage so it’ll save you space when you’re not using it. 

However, if you’re willing to spend a few hundred dollars more, I recommend purchasing the Total Gym FIT instead. Unlike the XLS, the FIT offers a wider variety of options, requires only 2×2 feet of space, and only weighs 66 lbs. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for more professional-grade equipment, you might want to look into the Force USA G3. The machine is equipped with stacking weights and comes as close as any other complete home gym to an authentic gym experience.

#1 Best Alternative

Force USA Monster G3

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