Total Gym Review – Can it Replace an Ab Machine?

total gym workout

The Total Gym is also a Great Ab Machine!

If you’ve been hunting around for the best ab machine, you may not have even looked at a Total Gym.

Since it's an all-in-one home gym, it likely did not hit your radar as a strong possibility.

We'll show you 2 short videos that demonstrate how to hit the abs area with super effective moves using the Total Gym.​

Plus a total body work out video.

But don't miss out on all the benefits of this equipment.

Take a look at the the functionality, any benefits, and possible downsides to the Total Gym.

How the Total Gym Works

All of the Total Gym models are fitness machines that primarily work your body with an incline plane.

To illustrate what that means, think about riding a bike outside. Now imagine that you are riding along on a nice level road but then you notice a hill up ahead…

If you’ve ever tried to peddle up a hill, you know just how much more effort it takes and how hard your legs had to pump – especially if that hill was steep.

Once you got to the top, your legs were burning and your heart was nearly thumping out of your chest.

But it was a great workout, right?

What you got by riding up a hill was resistance training for your legs plus it got your heart rate to increase too.

That hill is essentially the same thing as the incline plane used by the Total Gym.

There is a glide board at the heart of the Total Gym which is the incline surface that uses gravity + your own body weight and different height adjustment levels = level of workout resistance.

By adjusting the steepness of the incline, you can customize a workout and increase the resistance level based on your individual needs.

Lower incline levels will mainly tone and firm while higher levels build muscle which will burn more fat.

Many of the motions with this exercise machine will work all of your major muscle groups simultaneously.

Watch How to Target Your Abdominals with a Total Gym

Abdominal Training Video#1​ - Obliques

The Total Gym XLS is the model featured in the oblques video.

It's their best selling home-use model​.

Abs Training Video# 2​ - Lower Abs and Upper Abs

The Ab Crunch Add-On

As you just saw in the video, there are abs exercises you can do with just your Total Gym on its own.

You can do even more when you buy the ab crunch add-on.

For the most part, the machines you’ll find at a gym are designed to target just one muscle group.

​That's also how most ab machines work - just your core or abdominal area.

​Owing a Total Gym means you can really target your abs AND work out your entire body. 

The Total Gym also hits three of the major components of fitness:

    1. strength training
    2. cardio training
    3. stretching

When using Total Gym properly, you are doing very long, full movements which not only builds strength, but also increases flexibility.

Quick Full 5 Minute Full Body Work Out Video on a Total Gym

Ease Of Use – quickly switch from one workout to the next because you are just using one machine. Use the instructional DVD to show you all the moves when you are starting out until you remember them all.

Convenience – it’s nice to take mere minutes to get to your own exercise machine when you have the time and inclination to squeeze in a 20 minute workout. This eliminates the need to pack a gym bag or take the time to drive to a gym. Well, I guess that means you’ll save some gas too!

For most, going to the gym would take at least an hour out of your day so having a Total Gym at home would more than cut that time in half. Since the this equipment can work multiple major muscle groups all at the same time, you get a superior total body workout while also making more efficient use of your time.

Multiple Fitness Levels – Total Gym provides low enough resistance for a beginner but will adjust and to keep you challenged even once you hit more advanced levels.

What’s really nice for complete newbies is that it takes the guesswork out of exercising. The instruction pack that comes details quick workouts for weight loss, body building, pilates, strength training and body sculpting.

Minimal Effect on Joints – Total Gym operates with a very smooth motion. Since there isn’t any bounce or impact, it’s great for anyone concerned about their joints.

Even if you don’t have an issue with your joints now, the lack of impact which causes shock means your joints are safe from any damaging stress.

Multipurpose – Depending upon which model you select, the Total Gym XLS Trainer for example has over 80 exercise combinations for you to choose from, so you can mix up your fitness routines.

Ab Crunch

It even has a special Ab Crunch add on making it a great ab machine.

All this variety helps to mitigate boredom and keeps to your body challenged.

Total Gym Folded

Pre-Assembled & Foldable

If you’re not great at assembling stuff or do not have patience for that sort of thing, you’ll love that all the Total Gym models come already fully assembled right out of the box.

All of them also fold up if you ever want to store it away under your bed or in a closet.

This is awesome for anyone with limited space since you don’t really need to dedicate an entire room or any one area to have it set up. Just pull it out & unfold it when you want to use it.

Health Benefits – when you exercise on a regular basis, you’ll begin to feel better as you become fitter.

You will also start to look better, so that will make you feel better mentally & emotionally.It’s easier to keep exercising when it’s convenient and you’ve felt and seen positive results.

Lack Of Focus – some people just can’t get into the right frame of mind at home to workout the way that they can when going to a gym.

Seeing other people working out around you may inspire you to exercise harder or just exercise period! The Total gym cannot provide you with motivation. So it depends on what kind of person you are… you need to be motivated enough to set your mind to it to do it!

Total Gym Results

Muscle Building Limitations – Other than the focus & motivation to exercise at home, there aren’t any other drawbacks to Total Gym except for serious bodybuilders.

You should to keep in mind that most people are not going to bulk up in a big way by using this. If you want to build massive muscles and bulk up fast – this isn’t for you.

But if you’re looking to add some muscle, to tone up, sculpt your abs and total body, lose weight and improve your overall health, wellness, flexibility and strength – the Total Gym is a great fit for you.

Warranty – every Total Gym is covered by a limited lifetime warranty, which means a lifetime warranty on the frame, and each model may have additional warranty on all moving parts.

Overall Value – owning one of these helps you to get a more complete workout in less time because it engages all of your major muscle groups with each exercise, on one piece of equipment.

The multi-exercise features means you can work your entire body without having to buy a bunch of other stuff or additional fitness machines that would cost you extra money and clutter up your home. Ditch the gym membership and you will also save hundreds – maybe over $1000 in just one year.

An important benefit to buying for the Total Gym® online from an autherized seller are some of the extra goodies that are not available in brick & mortar stores. Things like:

• Upgraded Squat Stand
• Wing Attachment
• Leg Pull Accessory
• Pilates Kit
• Flip Chart & Workout DVD’s
• Press Up Bars
• Ab Crunch
• 3 Todd Durkin DVDs
• 6-8 Minute Workout – 12 work-along workouts for men and women
• Exercise Wall Chart – simple at-a-glance poster with 35 exercises

Plus ordering online from Amazon means it will be shipped to your door for FREE! And you can feel secure about it coming from a reputable source.

Total Gym XLS - the Best Home Use Model:

Total gym XLS

Total Gym XLS

  • No. of Exercises: Over 80
  • Resistance range: 6 Levels
  • Max weight of user: 400 lbs.
  • Frame warranty: Lifetime
  • Warranty on parts: 6 months
  • Squat stand: Upgraded model included
  • Assembley: arrived fully assembled

Summary of Total Gym XLS:

There are three main differences between the basic Total Gym model and the XLS model:

  1. The XLS is larger
  2. Has heavy-duty construction
  3. Offers more components

For example, the squat platform is the ‘upgraded’ model, and many of the workings are listed on the Total Gym website as ‘upgraded’ as well.

This may not be enough reason to justify the price jump for some, but if money isn’t a big concern to you and you want to get the best model available, then there’s no reason not to go for the XLS.

The other difference, and in my mind the better reasons to go for the XLS, are the additional “bells and whistles” it comes with.

Here’s a list of some of the things the XLS will include:

  • Pilates for Total Gym DVD
  • Training Deck
  • Nutritional Program
  • Pilates Kit
  • Upgraded Squat Stand
  • Wing Attachment
  • Upgraded Pulley System
  • Upgraded Flexible Nylon Strap Handles
  • Padded Glideboard
  • Chrome Package

Bottom line, if you can afford it, the XLS is well worth the upgrade from the basic Total Gym Sumpreme model.

Either way you decide to go, my experience tells me you won’t be disappointed with any Total Gym.

You’ll be getting an easy to use home workout system for your entire body. Plus it will give you many years of home-use benefits.

I have the older 2000 model and I’m really happy with it. But I would love to get the XLS in the near future.

Hey, if you are even slightly curious about what else the Total Gym has to offer, visit the Total Gym® XLS product page on amazon.

There you will discover more info plus hundreds of extremely satisfied user reviews from Amazon shoppers who own this model.

See for yourself what they have to say about it.

Whatever you decide to do, just remember that it’s important to incorporate resistance training into your fitness routine and to work out at least 3 times every week for better fat loss, a toned body and improved health.

brett rossi

I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang
of it!


Very helpful


Most excellent quality contents, thanks

Doug Pitassi

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