Total Gym FIT Vs XLS – Which One Should You Get?

by: Michael Perry

September 20, 2020

Looking for an at-home gym solution? You probably came across the Total Gym FIT and the Total Gym XLS. Each offers strength-training benefits, but there are also unique differences between the Total Gym FIT Vs XLS.

Home gyms are the best way to continue your exercise routine when the gym is closed. 

This article dives deep into both of these machines to help you determine which one is the best. (Hint: It’s the Total Gym FIT)

Before You Buy a Body Weight Based Home Gym

Body weight-based home gyms use gravity and your body weight to provide workouts. They don’t require additional weights, levers, power rods, or other machinery to provide resistance.

The ideal customer for this type of home gym is strong enough to resist their body weight, has the space for a home gym, and has the discipline to use it frequently.

If this doesn’t sound like you, you’re better off buying a gym membership.

Here are questions to ask yourself if you’re considering this type of home gym: 

  • Am I strong enough to do body weight-based exercises?

The human body is heavy. You should be able to do about ten pullups or a 1-minute plank. Both of these exercises use your body weight to stress your muscles. 

Build strength independently with free weights or specialized gym machines if you can’t do these exercises. Take on body weight-based home gyms once you’ve gotten your strength up.

  • Do I have the space for a machine? 

If you live with roommates and only have space in your room, having such a gym may take up too much space at home to feasibly work. 

  • Do I have the discipline to use it regularly? 

I highly recommend having a regular workout routine that you could then fit either the Total Gym FIT or XLS into. Don’t buy the machine and expect it to change your habits. It will end up becoming a coat hanger. 

Quick Overview — Total Gym FIT Vs XLS

Before diving into how these two products compare, let’s first see what they offer individually. 

Total Gym XLS

Total gym xls

The Total Gym XLS is pricey. It has six levels of resistance and 400 lbs of maximum user weight capacity. You can do over 80 unique exercises on the Total Gym XLS.

The machine arrives fully assembled, so you can jump straight into a workout. The machine has a lifetime warranty on the frame and 6-month warranty on the parts. 

Customers also get free access to Total Gym Basic TV. This allows you to see different types of workouts and uses the Total Gym XLS provides.

We've managed to get our readers 10% discount on the XLS with Free Pilates Kit, Free Pilates DVD, Free Rosalie Brown 3-DVD Set and Fitspiration Guide. Click Here to claim this deal.

  • Comes fully assembled
  • Offers 80 unique exercises
  • Folds into compact size
  • Includes free access to Total Gym Basic TV
  • Pricey
  • May not provide enough resistance once you’ve put on muscle

Total Gym FIT

Total gym fit vs xls

The Total Gym FIT costs a bit more than the XLS. It includes 12 resistance levels. Its weight limit is 450 lbs. You can do over 85 exercises on this machine. 

The Total Gym FIT also comes fully assembled. You get a lifetime warranty on the frame as well as an extended 2-year warranty on parts. 

The company gives you free access to Total Gym Basic TV, where you can get ideas on how to use the Total Gym FIT in new and exciting ways. 

We've got you covered with the same deal for the FIT. Click here for 10% off the FIT and everything included in the XLS deal plus extra 50$ off if you pay in full.

  • Comes fully assembled
  • Includes 85 exercises you can do
  • Warranty on parts extends two years
  • Offers 12 levels of resistance
  • Expensive
  • Not the best for cardio workouts or putting on substantial muscle mass
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The Total Gym FIT Vs XLS - Our Round-Up

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for — describing in detail how these two machines compare to one another. 

Number of Exercises

The Total Gym FIT does five more exercises than the Total Gym XLS. Most of these additional exercises concern core workouts

The FIT accommodates a higher weight limit. You can augment your exercise routine by adding ankle or wrist weights while working out — all without stressing the machine. You could do the same on the XLS model, but you can’t add as much additional weight. 

80 exercises are still a lot, and you can always find effective ways to work out your core using the XLS Total. You could switch between a leg-pull and a squat stand on both machines. 

A leg-pull or squat stand would be slightly harder to do on the Total Gym FIT, but both a leg pull or squat stand would be effective exercises to do on both models. 

If you’re looking for getting the best bang for your buck, though, and getting the best range out of your home gym, the Total Gym FIT is the better choice. 

Muscle Groups You Can Work On

Both the Total Gym XLS and the Total Gym FIT target the back, upper body, lower body, chest, and core. The FIT does a better job at working out the core. thanks to the doubled resistance levels.

These two machines allow you to do compound exercises. This means you can workout two muscle groups at the same time. For example, you can do leg crunches while simultaneously doing sit-ups. Add in the arm resistance bands, and you can target your upper body too. 

Targeting multiple muscle groups raises your heart rate. While neither of these machines touts themselves as cardio equipment, there are ways to boost cardiovascular health on both of these machines.

In short: Both the Total Gym FIT and the XLS target legs, glutes, arms, back, shoulders, and core. Both of these machines can boost cardio if you workout multiple muscle groups. 

Number of Resistance Levels

The Total Gym XLS offers six resistance levels. The Total Gym FIT gives you 12. 

The FIT provides double the levels because the bar in which the machine elevates is longer. The highest resistance setting on the XLS model is half the hardest resistance setting on the FIT. 

Therefore, the Total Gym FIT gives you double the resistance power than the XLS Total.

The added resistance training offers key health benefits. Resistance training benefits joints and ligament health in addition to strengthening muscles compared to traditional gym weights. 

You can also improve mental health with resistance training since you’re releasing endorphins as you exercise. Such exercises also lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

And the resistance training from the FIT would better suit shy or introverted exercisers. You can prolong your fitness journey by having double the resistance strength. This forgoes the need to buy a new home machine or get a gym membership that forces you to interact with other people. 

In short: The Total Gym FIT’s double resistance power heightens your workout ceiling. You can work out with the same machine longer without having to add more weights or get a new machine on the Total Gym FIT.

Number Of Attachments

Both the Total Gym FIT and the XLS give you additional items upon purchase. 

Out of the Total Gym FIT’s box, you get:

  • The fully assembled machine. This includes the workout seat/deck, resistance bar, footrest
  • Extra pulleys
  • Upgraded squat stand
  • Hand bar, or 2 piece wing attachment
  • Ankle/wrist loops
  • Ab crunch attachment
  • User manual depicting the 85 exercises you can do
  • Free subscription to the Total Gym Basic TV

The Total Gym XLS gives you: 

  • The fully assembled machine
  • Extra footrest
  • Pulley and cable system
  • Nylon strap handles, or wing attachment
  • Ribbed squat pad
  • Ab crunch attachment
  • Padded glide board with pillowed head support
  • Free access to Total Gym Basic TV
  • A training deck depicting images of the 80 unique exercises you can perform on the machine

Some of these accessories are more useful than others. For example, I don’t know many people who use their free workout TV subscriptions. 

I still like that Total Gym included them for both of these machines, though, as it’s a way for fitness enthusiasts to add variety and get ideas to their workout routines. 

Providing these attachments indicates that Total Gym considers all types of customers, ranging from casual exercisers to devoted fitness nuts. 


Both of these machines come fully assembled. However, you will have to add any additional attachment you want to use manually. This includes the ab crunch attachment on the FIT. 

The lack of assembly has some negative aspects. It also means that the unit arrives a little bulkier than it could be upon arrival. You could have difficulty carrying it to your door if you, say, live up a couple of flights of stairs in an apartment. 

The lack of assembly is beneficial too. Most prominently, it saves you time. It also reduces the mental friction in which you start exercising. Mental friction is the resistance faced when beginning a task. For example, a student who places their textbook, notes, water, snacks, on their desk the night before reduces their friction for studying in the morning.

The reduced friction removes the excuse to forgo using your Total Gym machine. You can pull it out of the box and get started. 

Foldability and Storage

Both of these machines fold up into a compact rectangle. The Total Gym FIT is a bit bulkier than the XLS model because of the FIT’s longer vertical bar. 

The difference isn’t that noticeable, though. When folded up, the FIT is roughly about 8 feet long, 1.5 feet wide, and 4 feet high. The XLS’s size when folded is about 7.5 feet long, 1.5 feet wide, and about 4 feet tall. Not that noticeable of a size difference. 

You can vertically prop up both machines so that they take up little space in a closet or other storage space. 

In all: Storage isn’t an issue with either the Total Gym FIT or the Total Gym XLS thanks to their foldable compact size. 

User Weight Limit

The Total Gym FIT holds 450 lbs of user weight. The Total Gym XLS holds 400 lbs. 

The weight difference means the Total Gym FIT holds larger bodies. You can also add more ankle, wrist, or other weight attachments on the FIT than the XLS Total without compromising the machine. 

Unit’s Dimensions

The Total Gym FIT’s exact dimensions are: 

  • Unfolded: 18.5″ W x 93” L x 44.5” H
  • Folded: 18.5” W x 50.5” L x 8.5” H

The Total Gym XLS’s exact dimensions are:

  • Unfolded: 19″ W x 90″ L x 43″ H
  • Folded: 19″ W x 51″ L x 9″ H

The FIT is slightly larger than the XLS, but not by much. They would take up roughly the same amount of size in a closet or corner of the room. 

Unit’s Weight

The Total Gym FIT weighs about 90 pounds. The XLS model weighs about 81.6 lbs. 

The FIT’s extra pounds make it able to withstand a slightly larger user weight — 450 lbs. The XLS unit weight decreases the unit weight by 50 lbs, making it able to withstand 400 lbs only. 


Both the Total Gym FIT and the Total Gym XLS offer a lifetime warranty on the frame. 

However, the FIT provides a 2-year warranty on parts whereas the XLS only gives a 6-month warranty. If you plan on using your home gym frequently, the reduced warranty may concern you. 

Finding replacement parts for highly specialized home gyms like the FIT vs XLS could be difficult. If you want to make your initial investment on the machine last, then opting for the more expensive machine with the longer warranty may be worth it.

Benefits Of One Over The Other — Total Gym FIT Vs XLS

The differences aren’t too stark between either Total Gym model. You can still do a variety of exercises on both machines, such as a squat stand, that will improve your strength. You could even exercise multiple muscle groups to get cardio benefits too. 

But there are specific differences between each model that you should know. 

The Total Gym FIT

  • Offers double the resistance power. Once again: the FIT offers 12 levels, whereas the XLS provides only six. 
  • It has more exercises compared to the XLS. 85 on the FIT, compared to 80 you can do on the XLS. So, when comparing the number of exercises you can do on it, the FIT does indeed beat out the XLS.
  • Includes additional attachment. Accessories, like the ab crunch attachment, adds onto the machine easily. It’s an efficient way to strengthen your core or even get a six-pack, if that’s your goal. The other wing attachment certainly doesn’t hurt either. 
  • Extended warranty on parts. The FIT model gives you quadruple the length of warranty on machine parts. The FIT gives you two years, whereas the XLS model only gives you six months. The extended warranty would interest people who don’t want to spend time finding replacements for the machine’s highly specialized parts.

Total Gym XLS

  • It takes up slightly less space than the FIT because it is a little shorter. The size difference isn’t that noticeable. But looking at the raw numbers confirms that the XLS model is indeed smaller than the FIT. The XLS also weighs less than the FIT. 
  • It’s much cheaper than the FIT. The XLS costs less than the FIT. They both provide comparable workouts, so saving a few hundred dollars would interest those who want to build a large home gym on a budget. 

In short: The most significant differences between the total gyms are the price and warranty. Otherwise, you’re getting a pretty comparable exercise experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does The Total Gym Really Work?

Yes. When you use the machines regularly, and as they’re intended to work, both the Total Gym FIT and the XLS would help you strengthen your body. 

The reason for their success lies with how body weight-based home gyms work. People can build muscles doing nothing but burpees, planks, sit-ups, and a host of other body weight-based exercises. Because this type of exercise works, so too does a workout for Total Gym. 

Total Gym augments each exercise by using inclines and pulleys to increase the pressure of gravity your body must push against. The higher the resistance, the greater the results. 

Can the Total Gym Build Muscle?

Yes. The amount of exercises you can do doesn’t change much between the Total Gym XLS vs FIT. Each of these exercises targets different muscle groups. Adding difficulty makes your muscles work harder. When your muscles grow bigger when they’re regularly stressed. 

When you workout consistently on your Total Gym and eat right, you can indeed build muscle on either the Total Gym XLS or Total Gym FIT. 

Can Total Gym Be Used For Pilates?

A Total Gym workout doesn’t translate well to Pilates. Pilates is best done on a yoga mat lying flat on the floor. The nature of the total gym, whether it’s the Total Gym XLS vs FIT, requires it to do at an incline. 

The Total Gym also doesn’t provide enough space to lie flat comfortably. Lying your body flat is another action you must do in Pilates. Thus, the Total Gym is constructed in a way that doesn’t serve Pilates well. 

You could still try to do Pilates on the Total Gym — no one is stopping you. But the machine was designed for strength building and a full body workout, not Pilates. 

Final Thoughts — Total Gym FIT Vs XLS 

After going through this Total Gym FIT Vs XLS round-up, both machines would be worthy investments for at-home strength training. Both target the upper body, lower body, core, back, and glutes. 

Each comes with a subscription to Total Gym Basic TV to see what workouts you can do on your home gym. And they hold around 400 lbs in user weight. Best of all, they both fold into a compact size that can fit easily into a closet. 

In all, the FIT model feels like an upgrade to the XLS. The XLS model can still stand on its own as a worthy exercise machine. 

I’m sure you still have one final, burning question, though. 

Which Total Gym Is The Best [For Me]?

The Total Gym FIT is the best choice. It’s a bit more expensive, but the higher price translates to quality improvements. 

Get the Total Gym FIT if you want to invest in a home gym you plan on using frequently. It will be one you don’t have to maintain often.

The extended warranty also means you have parts covered for two years. You should also get the FIT if you want double the resistance levels for strengthening your body.

Get the XLS if you want to save a little money and plan on using the machine in addition to other at-home gyms.

You’ll wear out parts slower and won’t run into issues with the shorter parts warranty. 

If you want to save a few bucks, though, you can find the XLS here.

About the author

Growing up as the fat kid is what motivated him to take matters to his hands at fifteen, and he has never looked back again since!

When he's not pumping iron at the gym, you'll probably find him hooked to his record player listening to rock classics.

If only he could carry it with him to the gym. Sigh.

On this site, he'll do his best to help you accomplish the same results for yourself.

(We're talking about getting in shape, not trying to carry a record player to your local gym)

Michael Perry