It is SO EASY to come up with excuses as to why not to exercise. Having a gym or club membership can be costly, workout gear is expensive, class times aren’t convenient, I don’t have the time to drive to and from a class, it’s too cold out, it’s too hot out, it’s raining, I’m tired. This list can go on forever! It is much more difficult to make yourself just get to it. When I first began attempting to get fit I was a master at excuses. Then I saw a Total Gym Home Fitness Machine infomercial!!!! I hadn’t had a TV for seven years and the concept of an infomercial was completely new to me. Frankly, it spoke directly to me, I thought it addressed my every need! I was sold, and I’ve never regretted it.
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT A TOTAL GYM?
A Total Gym uses your own body weight, plus an incline bench to produce the resistance during your workout. This is great because you are already used to toting your own body weight around so using the fully reclined position on the Total Gym is a really nice starting place. It is rather unlikely that you will injure yourself pulling your own body weight. Shortly after I purchased my Total Gym I saw an infomercial about a Bowflex. I immediately started second guessing my purchase decision. I mean, it looked so cool and easy to use. However, upon further investigation my decision was reinforced. The Bowflex starts out with a lot more resistance than my 105lbs provides on the Total Gym. I wanted to get more toned, but I didn’t want to overdo it or work too hard. The TG required just the right amount of effort from me and my goals at the time. I was not looking to become a ripped body builder, I just wanted to firm up some of the more squishy areas.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ON A TOTAL GYM?
One of the many amazing things about the total gym is the wide variety of exercises you can perform as well as the muscle groups that can be targeted. There are exercises to focus on biceps, triceps, lats, abs, shoulders, calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and hip ab and adducters. And there are a variety for each muscle group so you don’t have to get bored doing the same ones over and over. In addition to toning, you can get a cardio workout as well. All you need to do is increase the pace at which you perform some of the exercises and your heart rate will increase. Since there are about 250 different exercises that can be done on a the equipment it is not easy to get bored. The flip chart that comes with it gives detailed instructions on how to perform each exercise; and also lays out multi exercise routines that you can do to either get a total body workout or to target a particular muscle group.
WHERE CAN I USE MY TOTAL GYM?
This is the absolute best part of the Total Gym, in my personal opinion. I had a tiny house at the time I purchased mine, it was 3 bedrooms and 1 bath in only 800 square feet on two floors. As you can imagine all the rooms were really small. I was able to put my home gym in my living room, situated in front of the TV, because it is so easy to fold up and slide under my sofa! When folded it is only about 9 inches thick. Many of the other home fitness machines on the market require a lot of space and are permanent fixtures. I couldn’t have that in my tiny home so the TG was perfect for me.
HOW MUCH NOISE DOES THE TOTAL GYM MAKE?
One of the other great things about a Total Gym is how quiet it is. The gentle gliding sound of the pulleys and the rollers on the track is almost soothing. You won’t wake the entire household if you’re getting in an early morning workout. One of my favorite things to do was to get on it in the wee hours of the morning, still in my PJs, half asleep, and do an inner thigh workout with the ankle straps. It was a gentle way to wake up and slowly raise my heart rate; the slow gliding motion was almost meditative, so a great way to start my day. Other days I could get a quick workout in between work and night school without disturbing my husband who was sleeping due to working the night shift.
WHICH TOTAL GYM IS RIGHT FOR ME?
There are now several different “levels” of Total Gym, each level a bit more expensive than the previous. When I purchased mine (in 2000) there weren’t as many options. I did choose, however, to go with the most expensive one available at the time, which cost $800, as it came with the most accessories; allowing the widest variety of exercises. Mine is called the Total Gym XL I know that money is always a serious consideration when purchasing new equipment, but I do recommend going with the highest model you can afford. Ultimately you’ll have so much fun with it that you will want to add on the accessories you didn’t get in the first place anyway, which will cause you to end up paying more for them individually than if you purchase it as a package from the start. I can attest to the fact that it will reliably work for years. Because there are no electrical parts there is very little that can break on it. I have never needed to have anything repaired or replaced due to use. My elderly cat did urinate on my exercise flip chart at one point, so I had to purchase a new one at a cost of about $20, but that was years after owning it. This was obviously not the fault of the manufacturer! All of the accessories that came with it have continued to work just like the day I unpacked it. This has not been a machine that ended up being a clothing collector in the corner. It’s fun, easy to use and versatile. Plus, Chuck Norris uses it! Hey, if it’s good enough for Chuck, it’s good enough for me!
A NOTE OF CAUTION
One thing to be aware of; if you have small children they will want to play on your Total Gym. It is very easy for a tiny person to get their fingers pinched either in the pulleys or the rollers. Always use caution when using it around your kids, or leaving it set up. It is best to fold up and store when not in use, for safety’s sake.