Total Gym GTS Review
Total Gym is a popular home gym provider who has established an enviable reputation for quality and after-sales service. Their infomercials have been running on late-night TV since the late 1990s, firmly establishing the brand in the public consciousness.
There are four models in the Total Gym range. In this article, we shall focus on the Total Gym GTS, which is their top of the line model. This model provides you with more than 200 exercises, including many pilates and flexibility as well as strength exercises. It also allows you to work your body parts from a large number of angles and through a greater range of motion thanks to the pulleys and the six different a pulley attachment points that come with this unit.
Over 200 exercises can be done on the machine, showing versatility and great value
Commercial grade quality, good warranty
22 settings regulated to bodyweight percentage
Great for pilates and other stretching exercises as well
Six pulley attachment points allow you to adjust it to your preferences
High-quality glide board
Some parts have a limited warranty
Delivery takes a long time, up to 4 weeks
This low impact effect makes the GTS a great choice for people who are suffering from joint-related problems. These include people with arthritis and osteoporosis. It also makes this a smart choice for the elderly or those who are coming back from injury.
One more thing that you can expect to feel when working on this gym is the improvement of your overall body control. You will have better balance, and your internal stability will improve as well. The Total Gym does not forget about the stabilizing muscles and tissues, like tendons and ligaments. The joints will also experience improved stability, making you a fine-tuned machine. Of course, some things that happen as you get into exercising will happen when you start using the Total Gym as well. One of those things is the increased metabolic rate. You will need to use up more energy as your muscles grow, and they will grow on this machine, which in turn makes your metabolism faster, and you will burn more calories when exercising and relaxing as well! The Total Gym doesn't work on your muscles only - it makes you better at cardio too! And these gains will happen rather quickly.
The glide board is at the center of the Total Gym system. That glide board on the GTS is the most advanced of any in the range. It is longer than most, allowing taller users to use the machine with no problems. In addition, it has a detachable head and footer boards. This provides extra comfort when you are doing exercises where you are lying prone on your back such a the bench press, and to remove it when you are doing an exercise where you are kneeling on the board such as biceps curls. The glide board on the Total Gym GTS also provides added padding and comfort compared to the other models in the range. The unique settings of the machine allow you to move in any direction you want. You will also be able to do multi-plane movements! This also means that your range of motion will be unrestricted. A hydraulic rail lift will make changing levels and folding the machine away an easy task.
The exercise range on the Total Gym GTS is enhanced by the additional accessories that are included with your purchase. An abdominal crunch tool is included that lets you focus on your core. The arm pulley system gives you a place to grab while activating your upper body at the same time. Foldaway lateral bars have a soft grip which is ideal for doing pull-ups. A squat stand keeps your form in check, and the three height settings accommodate people of all shapes and sizes. A pilates toe bar and a press bar also come in the package. A weight plate bar that allows you to add free weight can be bought as an extra, so keep that in mind.
In addition, you only get 90-day wear and tear warranty on the parts. We would have like to have seen this aspect of the warranty extended to 12 months. This is simply because the machine is quite pricey, and once you invest that kind of money into a single machine, it's normal to expect it to last at least a year or two and have any damages covered!
With that being said, the product does work like every other fitness machine packed into one, giving you tremendous value. You would probably have to spend much more to buy every piece individually that the GTS has on its own, so it is a money-saver, in some way. Just one squat rack or bench press can cost as much as this machine does! And the GTS has other aspects that prove it to be valuable, like the extra features it has, the DVDs that show you the way, and of course its durability (although the warranty could last longer). Still, it's a lot of money to spend all at once, so you better start saving up!
Comparison to the XLS
The Total Gym XLS can be purchased for about half the price of the GTS. It will provide you with around 80 exercises, compared with 200 or more for the Total Gym GTS. As mentioned above, however, many of thee are slight variation moves based on a core of about 30-40 exercises, which you can do on both machines.
A benefit of the GTS over the XLS is that it has six different pulley attachments that allow you to do a large number of exercises that extend your range of motion and the angle of muscle activation, especially when working your arms and legs. However, you could also simulate these exercises with an inexpensive set of resistance bands.
The XLS has a maximum user weight of 400 pounds, which is similar to the GTS. It also has a long glide board, making the machine suitable for people of all heights. The glide board on the XLS does not have detachable head and footer boards, but this is not a major advantage. The board is also not as comfortable to lie on as the GTS.
The XLS comes with six DVDs, which is the same number you get with the GTS. The warranty on the XLS provides you with lifetime cover on the frame yet just 6 months on the parts, which is alarmingly short.
Weighing up all the factors, we believe that the Total Gym XLS is a better investment than the GTS.
However, the GTS can be folded easily, thanks to the hydraulic rails. When folded, it's gargantuan size is halved! The length is a mere 20", the width remains the same, but the height is reduced to 56". This already makes it a much better fit for plenty of home gyms. When not in use, you can simply fold it and store it away, and then make room for it once you're ready to use it again. And last but not least, you may not even need any other machine when you have the GTs on your team!