If you live in a small home or an apartment, finding a dedicated space to set up your home gym is almost impossible for you.
But, don’t worry. You can still exercise from the comfort of your home using some compact, foldable, and versatile equipment such as foldable treadmills, ellipticals, spin bikes, adjustable dumbbells, adjustable kettlebells, resistance bands and loop bands, doorway pullup bars, and cable pulley systems that you can hang on them, etc.
A major problem with these equipment is that most of them do not really provide a full-body workout. That’s where the Total Gym XLS comes in. It is a highly-versatile home gym equipment that you can use to exercise almost all major muscle groups of your body. It can help you improve your strength and endurance.
It isn’t something that can replace barbells or elliptical machines or lat machines. But, if you don’t have enough space to accommodate too many things, the Total Gym XLS can be a good option for you.
Please note that it is suitable only for people who need something to stay active and fit. If you have some serious fitness goals, this machine isn’t going to help you much.
Quick Review Summary
Total Gym XLS provides bodyweight workouts that can help you target all major muscle groups of your body. It has a compact footprint. Plus, it can be folded for storage. Stability and durability havn’t been an issue. But, it is suitable only for people who aren’t very active and fit. No matter what the manufacturer claims, if you have been exercising seriously for the past few years, you will outgrow this machine sooner than expected.
- Provides a full body workout
- Smooth and non-jerky motion helps keep the joints safe
- Suitable for compact spaces and apartments
- Not enough resistance to challenge people who are already in a good shape
Now on to our full review.
Total Gym XLS made its debut about two decades ago. Initially, it was used in rehab centers but, soon, the manufacturer realized its USP and started marketing it as a total home workout solution. To make it sound even more convincing, the manufacturer got it endorsed by Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley. Chuck Norris even claimed that it is its primary at-home workout machine.
Naturally, a lot of people got inspired and started buying it. Since then, it is doing fairly well in the market, so we thought we should review it for you, just in case you are still wondering if it is worth its high price tag.
Noteworthy features and specs of Total Gym XLS
- Dimensions: 90” length X 19” width X 43” height when in use. When folded, it occupies 22” X 22” of vertical space.
- Weight- 83 lbs
- Weight capacity- up to 400lbs
- Frame is made of 1 ¼” X 2” chrome plated steel tubing
- Exercise types- bodyweight with resistance
- Provides 6 levels of resistance which amounts for 6% to 54% of your bodyweight
- Arrives fully assembled and folds for storage
- Warranty- lifetime on frame and 6 months on parts
- You get 24X7 access to Total Gym TV so you can stream the workouts and practise in real time
Provides a full body workout
That's obvious from its name.
Total Body XLS is equipped to provide you more than 80 different types of exercises, targeting almost every major muscle group of your body.
In your order, you will get a CD labeled ‘Start-it-up’. This CD contains 12 short workout videos that will help you understand how you can use this machine. You also get workout cards, DVDs, online access to tutorials, so there is absolutely no guesswork.
Basically, it has an angled board with head support, a squat stand, a wing attachment, a leg pull accessory, ankle straps, and a pulley system. You can buy an ab crunch attachment, dip bars, weight bars, etc. separately depending on the model you are planning to buy.
Easy to use with almost no learning curve
It is easy to operate even by senior citizens and people who are recovering from injuries. You don’t have to worry about bad posture or improper form, or imbalance or stability issues. Just like smith machines, the Total Gym XLS is designed to take care of these issues and keep you safe during your workouts. Perfect for people who aren’t trained enough to exercise alone.
It has a patented, adequately-padded glideboard that glides up and down the track with the help of concealed pulleys. You need to sit or lay on it. All the exercises you can do using this home gym equipment involves pushing or pulling yourself on the glideboard using your bodyweight and the cable straps.
You can adjust the resistance of the glideboard track as needed. As mentioned above, the resistance varies between 6 to 26 degrees, which could be 6 to 54 percent of your body weight.
Plus, it folds and unfolds effortlessly, so you won’t mind doing it every day!
Total Gym XLS is gentle on joints
That’s another reason why it is a top-rated home gym equipment.
Numerous buyers have agreed that the gliding motion of the pulleys is very smooth with no jerks or hitches that could bother you or impact your joints and muscles. Plus, it works only using your bodyweight, which further decreases the chances of getting injured just like what happens during weight training.
Highly recommended for people suffering from mobility issues, balance issues, and other issues that limit the types of exercises they can do.
It is not quite portable
That’s the major complaint that the buyers have.
Unlike treadmills, rowing machines, and spin bikes, the Total Gym XLS doesn’t come with transportation wheels. Plus, it weighs about 80lbs. Unless you are really strong, you won’t be able to move it around the house. If you want to move it , you will have to drag it, which could damage the floor.
Basically, it is foldable but not portable. You will have to keep it in the same room where you want to use it.
Total Gym XLS has a poor warranty period
As we mentioned above, the parts are covered by just a 6 months warranty, which is not very impressive for an almost $1000 product.
Warranty period speaks volumes about the quality and build of a product. It also speaks about the amount of confidence a brand has on its products. Even barbells come with at least 2 years warranty and you throw them!
We had expected a better warranty from Total Gym XLS. However, numerous buyers have confirmed that this is a very sturdy machine and, with decent use, it could last for a good number of years. It has a very supportive customer service desk, so you won’t encounter any issues when trying to reach them.
It is expensive but, if it works for you, go for it
Total Gym XLS costs about $900 without any additional accessories. That’s a lot of money considering that all it has is a glideboard, a frame, and some cables. There are no weights or expensive rollers, etc.
Plus, it is only meant for casual exercises. There is not enough resistance to challenge people who are already in good shape.
If you are an active person and have a bit of commitment towards your fitness goals, you can do most of the exercises by yourself without this equipment and with the help of some really inexpensive products such as loop bands and resistance bands. They provide almost as much resistance as you can expect from the Total Gym XLS machine.
You can buy a doorway pullup bar and add a cable pulley system to it to add more variety to your bodyweight workouts. You can even buy Flybird adjustable dumbbells or something similar and Titan Fitness or Peakform adjustable kettlebell to do some weight training.
But again, if you do not want to buy too many inexpensive equipment, you can go ahead and buy this. It comes with instruction videos so you don’t have to keep guessing what to do next.
We are giving this a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0.
Total Gym XLS is a good investment for people who do not have enough space to buy too many home gym products. It works as expected but you will either outgrow it or get bored of it in a couple of years. Nevertheless, if you use it regularly, you will probably be able to get maximum ROI from it by then.
Trying to lose excess weight? You should try a fat burner and a protein supplement. Contrary to the popular myths, they are quite effective and do not have any side effects. You just need to find the genuine ones.
Do check out our article on ‘Should I Use A Fat Burner Supplement Along With Exercise for Losing Weight?’ for more details. If you are looking for a 100% additive-free, growth hormone-free protein supplement, we highly recommend Naked Nutrition Protein Powders.
That’s it for this article. If you have any query or suggestion, please email us or leave a comment.