About Total Gym
If you’re a fan of Chuck Norris (and who isn’t?), you probably want to know more about the Total Gym, an in-home gym system that claims to help you lose weight, build muscle, and stay lean. In fact, the product’s website claims that Chuck Norris has been using the Total Gym as his personal gym system for more than 30 years, which he calls his “lean, mean home exercise machine.”
But if you remove the star-studded appeal of Chuck Norris from the equation, can the Total Gym really help you get in the best shape of your life in just 20 minutes per day, or is a total dud? We investigated the Total Gym’s claims, and here’s what we found out.
Total Gym Details
At its most basic, the Total Gym claims to be an all-in-one, versatile in-home gym system that allows you to perform more than 80 exercises, which is claimed to help you achieve a total gym workout in less than 20 minutes per day. Hence the name “Total Gym.”
With this in mind, the Total Gym is available in four different models:
- Total Gym 2000 – Includes 6 resistance levels, 300lb max user weight, and the ability to complete 40 different exercises.
- Total Gym XLS – Includes 6 resistance levels, 400lb max user weight, the ability to complete 80 different exercises, and Total Gym Workout tools and DVDs.
- Total Gym Fit – Includes 12 resistance levels, auto-lock height adjustment, 2-piece wing attachment, ergonomic glideboard, AbCrunch accessory, workout tools and complete Total Gym Workout Library, and extended 2-year warranty.
- Total Gym Elite – Includes 22 resistance levels, squat stand, LAT bar, hydraulic rail lift assists, automatic rail locks, over 200 exercises, and more.
Whichever model you choose, each Total Gym allows you to set your own resistance level depending on your goals, whether it’s strength, cardio, or stretching-related. In addition, the Total Gym features smooth cable motion and uses your body’s own weight as resistance, which means that it’s easier on your joints. Because of its lack of free weights, the Total Gym also claims to help you quickly and easily move from one exercise to another. Once you’ve finished your daily workout, the Total Gym is claimed to easily fold away for storage.
The Total Gym website claims that it can be used at any time of day by men and women, regardless of age, body type, or fitness level.
Total Gym Pricing & Refund Policy
Total Gym pricing is as follows*:
- Total Gym 2000: Full payment of $599.40, or $49.95 for a 30-day trial. Once your trial ends, you’ll be billed 5 monthly installments of $109.89.
- Total Gym XLS: Full payment of $799.60, or $1 for a 30-day trial. Once your trial ends, you’ll be billed 7 monthly installments of $114.09.
- Total Gym Fit: Full payment of $1349.33, or $1 for a 30-day trial. Once your trial ends, you’ll be billed 10 monthly installments of $134.83.
- Total Gym Elite: Full payment of $3495, or 4 monthly installments of $873.75 plus shipping.
According to the product’s website, your Total Gym includes free shipping, with the exception of the Elite model, and will arrive fully assembled.
All Total Gym systems come with a 30-day money back guarantee, less shipping and handling charges (we’ll talk more about this in the Bottom Line section), although this is extended to 60 days if you pay in full.
During our research, we found the Total Gym for sale through Amazon.com, Overstock.com, Walmart, and several other independent retailers.
*Important note: In the time we were researching the Total Gym, we found their prices decreased significantly. Whether this is a temporary or permanent price adjustment, we’re unsure. However, next to each model’s price, it does indicate “Today,” which may mean that it changes regularly.
What’s the Bottom Line About the Total Gym?
With all this said, can you expect to achieve your fitness goals using the Total Gym, or is it a waste of money? In short, we found that the vast majority of users are pleased with their Total Gym purchase, so you could expect to experience the same. However, there are a few points you should keep in mind:
Although the Total Gym appears to have a lofty online reputation, some of the most common complaints we encountered during our research cited high price when compared to the competition, that it doesn’t fold down easily, that the pulleys and cables don’t provide the consistent resistance found with free weights, and that the machine is more suited toward those looking to work out their upper body than lower. We also read several customer reviews claiming that they had difficulty redeeming the warranty for Total Gyms purchased through third-party retailers. However, all of these referenced damage sustained during shipping (e.g. dented frame, severed cable, etc.), which is why their warranty claims may have been denied.
Next, keep in mind that you’ll be responsible for return shipping if you’re dissatisfied with your Total Gym. And at 96 pounds, this could result in some very high shipping charges.
Finally, remember that the Total Gym will only help you results if you put in the hard work, which means exercising regularly while also following a sensible diet.
Bottom line: The Total Gym appears to be a professional, well-built machine capable of helping you lose weight and tone up. However, if you’re looking to bulk up by adding muscle mass, this may not be the machine for you.
With this said, you may want to purchase your Total Gym from a local retailer in order to avoid high return shipping costs in the event that you’re dissatisfied with its performance.
3 out 6 people found this review helpful
I am totally angry about this product. First of all, it's not a simple set up like advertised. Next, when I called for assistance, they tell me to lift the Gym up above my knees and drop it hard on the ground. A $700 piece of equipment that I'm purchasing, and I'm being advised to slam hard on the ground to break it apart so I can set it up.
There have been so many problems with this equipment with other customers that their service department resorts to slamming it on the ground. Then after all that, they tell me I'll have to pay $50 to send it back. Are you freaking kidding me?
Well, needless to say, the Gym IS GOING BACK, and they are paying full shipping. Five thumbs down for this piece of equipment. Then to top everything off, she tells me I'm overwhelmed. That's right, I'm angry, but never overwhelmed.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
4 out 8 people found this review helpful
Love, love, love this machine!
I bought the Total Gym a few weeks ago and have been using it about five days per week. It has been years since I worked out and with the Total Gym, I am becoming much stronger through my core and legs. I find myself taking my bike out for a spin after some of my workouts. Before the Total Gym, I found biking hard. Now it's just enjoyable! I highly recommend this for anyone who, like me, found going to the gym something I couldn't motivate to do.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
31 out 31 people found this review helpful
My sister first bought the Total Gym, and ended up giving it to me; I think she felt sorry for me. Lucky me! I was so excited to get it.
I'm almost 60 years old and have recently lost 50 lbs, and needed to tone up and build strength. The Total Gym allows me to work at my pace, and at my level. I appreciate that I am able to work out at home, where I am comfortable. The Total Gym is easy to maneuver, and I feel safe using it. The workout is challenging, but not so challenging I can't do it.
The Total Gym has helped me to build my strength and endurance level. I highly recommend anyone to try the Total Gym.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
88 out 91 people found this review helpful
Saw this on TV and having limited space for exercise I bought one on eBay. Use it for 20 minutes three or four times a week and have had good results by following the exercise booklet. I've lost fat and have developed the muscle groups in my upper body. You can also do some good exercises for the legs to keep them in shape. Good piece of equipment which folds away easily for storage.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friendView all 1 commentsHide comments
Jan 13, 2016
I have bought my Total Gym about 15 years ago. I paid $1600.00 at the time. I really like working out on it. The only drawback is, I am at the very top level of resistance and it doesn't have any attachment to add weights. Maybe it's just too old a model and not updated. All in all, I think the Total Gym is the best fitness equipment I have ever purchased.