Do you find it hard going to the gym every other day?
How would like to have your own home gym?
Would that make you workout more often?
How would your life change if you had you're own home gym machine right there in front of you every day?
Well, unfortunately, it's not so much up to the machine as much as It's up to you.
And, if you're not that willing to go to the gym, what makes you think you'll workout in your own home?
But, if you are willing to put in the work, in this Total Gym XLS review, we'll check whether this all in one home gym got what it takes to help you get in shape.
Total Gym XLS Home Gym Review Summary
Easy To Use
Overall, the XLS is good at what it does, and that is providing a bodyweight workout station at home.
And the fact that you can do over 80 different exercises on this machine might mean things can't go wrong.
Unless, of course, you're after getting super buffed and muscular.
So, if you're after turning into the next Schwarzenegger, I suggest you look elsewhere.
However, It can help you improve your fitness level, build muscle and physique, and even to lose weight.
If you're in for it, the next things that might turn you off are its price and the fact that It's not that easy to store away, even though you can fold it.
Overall, the XLS is more than a decent platform for your home workouts.
It is a versatile, durable, and easy to use home gym that you can benefit from using.
That is if you'll actually use it, and not as a coat rack.
Total Gym XLS - A Lean, Mean, Exercise Machine?
Most basically put, the perk of the total gym xls is that it's an all one home gym machine.
You'll be able to work your entire body with more than 80 exercises and on 6 different incline based resistance levels.
And I guess that one of the more cool things about this machine is that, almost anyone can use it.
No matter what your fitness level is, even if you've never worked-out before in your life, you'll find that working out on the XLS is really easy.
But more on that later.
For now, I just gotta say that the concept sounds amazing. I mean think about it, your own full home gym, and in one not that big machine that even folds for easy storing.
How cool is that?
Well, not that much, because the reality, unfortunately, is a bit different.
Don't get me wrong, you can work your whole body, you can do more than 80
exercises, and it does folds (not that easily), but the total gym is not really a total gym in the sense of traditional gym.
How Does The Total Gym XLS Work?
I won't get into the physiology of muscle growth since I want to keep this review as simple as possible, so I will assume that you know how muscles grow.
The XLS uses your body's weight as the resistance that applies the tension on your muscles, which in turn triggers the muscle growth.
Total Gym took the concept of bodyweight training to the next level.
They packed it in one machine that allows you to switch easily and quickly between exercises.
In fact, switching between exercises is so fast and easy that, in most cases, you don't need to get off the machine.
You can literally complete a full-body workout in 30 to 60 minutes on this thing, depending on the intensity of your workout.
You can pretty much target every muscle group in your body.
And If you're more into isolated exercises split into days, you could finish your workout in 10 to 20 minutes. Not ideal, but it's an option.
Finally, you set the resistance difficulty by adjusting the incline of the glide board.
The steeper the angle of it, the harder the workout, It's that simple. It's up to you and your fitness level.
But, even if you're a complete beginner, you'll no issue finding your sweet spot.
Who Should Use The Total Gym XLS?
This might be a good time to point out that the total gym started its life as a rehabilitation machine designed to help people who were recovering from physical injuries.
And as such it will be a good choice for you if you recovering from injury, or if you're not allowed to do weightlifting for any reason.
The fact that you can do different exercises on this thing without putting much pressure on your joints can help with your recovery process.
Furthermore , if you want to improve your fitness and build up a stronger core and muscles, and all in the comfort of your own home, then it also make sense to choose the XLS.
On the other hand, lets not forget that the Total Gym uses the resistance of your body weight, but is it better than free weights?
Well, that's really up to you.
You should ask yourself "What Is My Goal?"
If your goal is to get in shape, tone up and build a stronger core and muscles, then the XLS might be the answer.
Just remember that using the XLS won't get you pumped like a conventional gym equipment would.
Our Total Gym XLS review
The XLS is a well built piece of fitness equipment, which means it's very sturdy and solid.
This thing weighs almost 70 pounds.
Despite that, it's rather easy to move around, you should just be extra careful when you're folding/unfolding it, because your fingers might get jammed.
And believe me, it hurts.
Furthermore, it can support max weight of up to 400 lbs, which is great for one big reason.
- Shy overweight users can use this at home to jump start their fitness journey up to a point they will feel more secured.
As for noise, the XLS is rather quite, and I can say that it's definitely quieter than other home gyms I had my hands on.
The noise level from this thing is barely noticeable.
Total Gym XLS Vs FIT
Total Gym XLS
Total Gym fIT
# of exercises
does it fold?
# of resistance levels
user weight capacity
# of attachments
easy start guides?
5 DVD's included
6 DVD's Included
life time on frame, 6 months on parts
Life Time On Frame, 2 years On Parts
Looking at the table above it's clear that the FIT is the better model, well at least on paper.
However, it also costs almost double than the XLS.
The question you should ask yourself is, do the extras i'll get with the FIT worth the extra amount it costs?
If you'll ask me, the answer is pretty straight forward, No.
Especially if you're thinking about upgrading from the XLS to the FIT.
Having said that, If budget is something that doesn't concern you, then go for the FIT.
It has over 85 exercises you can do on it, an extra instructional DVD, twice the resistance, higher weight capacity (If that's a factor for you) and 2 years warranty on parts.
All and all, bottom line is that the FIT is for people who don't mind spending extra to get just a little bit more.
Though, to be honest, the differences between the XLS and the FIT are not that significant.
total gym xLS setup
My favorite thing about the XLS is that it comes fully assembled. And setting it up is very easy.
Unlike other home gyms that require at least an hour to set-up and assemble, (and that's if you're a professional), or worse, you might need to spit who knows how many more dollars on assembly, this home gym comes ready to use straight from the box.
- 1 Point to the total gym guys and gals.
And finally, it folds.
But, I must tell, if you think it will be easy to store this massive piece of equipment, you've got another thing coming. When folded the XLS is 51.5" long, and 8.875" in height which makes it hard to store under the bed.
Working out on this thing is really fun, I guess that's because when you're used to working out on your average gym equip, trying
something like the XLS is like starting fresh, In a good way.
You know that feeling when you're about to finish your fourth set of bench pressing, and your shoulders are about to pop out of their place? Well this doesn't happen on this thing.
The motion is very smooth and transitional, which also makes it a lot easier to switch exercises.
I liked that you get a bunch of exercises cards to help you with your workouts. There are different types of workouts for men and women. This way you won't be lost, especially if you're just starting out, the cards definitely help.
You can place the cards on the training deck, this way the cards are always in your sight.
The movements you make on this machine are supposed to simulate your every day movements. Which in the long run will make you feel stronger and healthier in your daily life.
You can also expect some weight loss if you'll workout regularly and watch your diet.
Keep in mind that while you can workout your entire body and all the major muscles groups, this machine isn't for you if you're after pumping up.
total gym xLS accessories
Usually you'll get 3 attachments with your XLS.
An essential one is the squat stand. But unfortunately, I've found that it is impossible to keep a proper form while doing squats.
My knees were over 90 degrees to the point they've passed my toes, and this is not the proper form of doing squats.
There's nothing to do about it, it's just an engineering mistake that should have been solved when they designed this model.
You could not go all the way down, but that's really like missing the whole point of squats.
The next one is the wing attachment.
You'll use for both pulling and pressing exercises. Like pull ups, leg pulls, crunches and sit-ups for pulling exercises, and shoulders press for pressing exercises.
Definitely a versatile accessory that will help you get the max out of this home gym.
The last one is the leg pull attachment.
It has it's own cable system that you must connect to your unit.
The pulling is carried out by an ankle cuff. This attachment targets your hips and knee joints, and is also used to do Pilates based movements.
The exercises you will do with the leg pull are great for strengthening your muscles around the hips and knees.
All The Rest
As I've mentioned before, you're also getting 5 instructional DVD's, the exercise cards with the training deck and a nutritional plan.
As for the nutritional plan, I suggest you get your own, so consult a nutritionist that knows you and can make you a tailored plan for your needs and goals.
As for the DVD's, it's a nice touch, and if you think to yourself that this machine is way too newbie friendly, well, you'll be right. But don't mistake to think that if you're experienced you won't find any use to it, cause you'll be wrong.
My guess is that the people behind this home gym wanted to make this equip very user friendly and to target all levels of fitness users, and they did a good job at it.
That's why you'll get the exercise cards, the DVD's, and the nutritional plan.
The amount of accessories you can add to your XLS is overwhelming, this is probably the part when you realize that the total gym is not total after all.
I would recommend adding to your workout on the total gym a set of dumbbells to get a really complete workout.
The XLS is probably one of the best in the body-weight machine's category.
It's a fun and easy to use, functional, multi-purpose home gym.
It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or once an active gym-goer, this machine will do you right.
That is, as long as your goal is not getting bigger or pumped.
And, If you're recovering from an injury and avoid doing any physical activity, the XLS might also be the answer.
The tension applied on your muscles is very low here, compared to weights-based machines.
Plus, the ability to perform over 80 exercises almost guarantees a long term use, since it's safe to say you won't get bored that quickly with it.
To close, I would say that if you got the space and the room for one, and you're sure you'll use it, you should seriously consider it.