Total Gym Home Fitness Machine Review

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.






18 thoughts on “Total Gym Home Fitness Machine Review

  1. Hi!
    This Total Gym sounds amazing! I didn’t know you could do 250 different exercises with this only equipment, that’s very impressive. Is the total gym also efficient for fat loss or do you use it only to get stronger? thanks for sharing this article!

    have a great day

    1. If you want to lose weight a great way to do so is through strength training as it helps to boost your metabolism. The TG can be used for cardio fitness as well so it will also help you burn calories to enhance weight loss. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Hi, Janet! The Total Gym sounds ideal. I like that you mention how quiet it is. That is a necessary factor if you are using it at home in the early morning.
    I agree that when you buy a product and have to buy the accessories differently, you will end up paying more than it would cost to buy a product with everything.
    Thanks for this review, I have learned a lot by reading it.

    1. Thanks Luna! I’ve enjoyed using all of the different accessories it came with. I also have a treadmill, that makes the entire house hum when in use, so not the best option for an early morning workout!

  3. Very informative post about the TG! I like that it easily stores under a bed or couch. Definitely one of the main selling points is that it doesn’t take up much space.

    If I was someone who didn’t need to get out to a gym, out of my house to work out, I would be interested in this product. But I’m that person who needs to get out of his house to get the workout done.

    Great post though; informative, easy to read, and you speak to your reader directly.

    1. Thanks for your feedback Robert. Yes, there is something to be said for getting out of the house as well. Some days that is necessary, some days it just doesn’t fit in schedule.

  4. This sounds amazing, the perfect alternative to the gym for mums who are stuck at home in the evenings with little ones, I will have no excuses not to exercise now!

  5. Hey interesting review! I like the fact that even though this home gym equipment is small and compact you can still achieve a full body workout with it. I definitely need to get more toned and with me living in a small house where I am conscious of making too much noise this definitely is right up my street! Thanks!

    1. Yes, I found it to be really a good fit for my tiny house. Much better than a treadmill or other equipment that isn’t able to be able to fold up & store away. Your neighbors won’t be bothered one bit by any noise either. Thanks for your comment!

  6. The Total Gym is truly something to be admired. I couldn’t imagine all that excess gym equipment in my house. The Total Gym allows me to be creative and target exactly what muscle groups i want to.

    I used to be really into bodybuilding and i would spent hours in the gym. When i kids were born i had no choice but to search for something more practical.

    I enjoy my body a whole lot more now and there is far less pain throughout my body, you know, the kind from beating up your body.

    I dont have to worry about where to store because it folds up nicely and i can place it out of the way so the kids don’t turn into a playground haha. I’ve been a proud owner of the Total Gym XLS for almost 4 years now.

  7. This is a great fitness machine. We can do a lot of exercise in just one machine. It seems like easy to set up and fold it back. So this machine can use for increased strength and energy? Is there a guidance may be like book or DVD? Thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks for the comment Henryan, and Good Questions! Yes, increasing your strength will generally lead to increased energy levels. and Yes, now when you purchase a Total Gym you get support documents to teach you how to use it.

  8. Yes, I agree with the other commenters. Your Total Gym home fitness review breaks the info down into nice sections for me to read. I found it really helpful and thanks for the warning about having children mess around with it. I shall have to make sure they stay clear of it if I am to purchase it.
    Thank you

    1. Thanks Simon, those little things aren’t always top of mind when making an equipment purchase. My TG has lasted for years, I didn’t have children when I bought it & now my oldest is almost 15!! Something to be aware of even if you’re single!

  9. I am retired from the Army and this sounds like a great alternative to going to the gym, as really like to stay in shape. I love the fact you can do so many exercises with it.

    Also the size of it when folded if very impressive. Even in a small apartment you can own such an impressive piece of equipment. I am definitely giving this one a hard look. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes Nathaniel, the size and compact-ability are a huge benefit to the Total Gym. I hope you get one and enjoy the benefits for many years. By the way, Thanks for your Service to America!

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