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Total Gym XLS Review – Who it's best suited for? 2023 HomeGym101

Everyone knows what a Total Gym is. After all, how can you miss the celebrity-endorsed ads on TV?

Total Gym XLS is one of the more popular models.

I’m a Certified Personal Trainer with over 30 years of experience in bodybuilding and fitness. I can help you decide if Total Gym XLS is the best home gym for your needs.

The XLS is one of several models in the Total Gym line. Each model uses bodyweight and an adjustable incline board for resistance. There are several attachments included with XLS.

There’s also a wide range of extra cost attachments available. The XLS is a compact design that can be used in almost any exercise space. It’s portable, folds when not in use, and can be stored out of the way. 

Total Gym XLS is a mid-level version of this popular exercise machine. I have owned a Total Gym XLS. Unfortunately, I found it too limiting for my goals. I wanted more resistance than the XLS provided. It’s not a good choice for anyone interested in bodybuilding or strength training. 

Still, in my experience, it’s a good option for someone that has never exercised before. It’s also a good option for someone that wants to get in better shape. 

In this review, we will look at the features of Total Gym XLS and what sets it apart from other models. We will also look at who it’s best suited for. Finally, we’ll look at several alternatives for those users that may prefer something different.

Let’s get going!   

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Total Gym was originally introduced in 1974. It was inspired by the type of exercises used in rehab centers. Rehab patients need exercises that are easy on the body. Yet, they need to be effective.

With this in mind, Total Gym is designed to be easy on the joints and back. Also, it’s height-adjustable to fit all users. Finally, It allows a wide range of exercises depending on the model. 

Total Gym XLS is a popular home gym. As noted, it uses bodyweight and a 6-position incline board for resistance. The padded glide board glides along a sturdy steel frame.

The XLS has a 400lb user weight capacity. All Total Gyms have a pulley system attached to D-handles. There are other handle attachments available. You can do 80 exercises with Total Gym XLS. That number can be increased depending on the accessories. As noted it’s space-saving and folds for easy storage. 

One of the advantages of Total Gym XLS is that it comes completely assembled. This is a good feature for anyone that may have difficulty putting it together.

Also, it means all you have to do is unpack it. There’s no waiting, you can exercise right away. Finally, Total Gym XLS comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, and 6 months on parts. 

Total Gym XLS is a good choice for anyone beginning an exercise program. It’s also a good choice for individuals that are interested in general conditioning.

Additionally, if you’re recovering from an injury, Total Gym XLS will help you stay fit. The XLS is a good choice for seniors that want to get in shape. In fact, any age group can use and benefit from Total Gym XLS. 

Included are several attachments that add exercise variety to the XLS. There is also Total Gym TV. This is a streaming service that provides different routines you can follow along with.

Plus, there’s a 30-exercise wall chart. There are training cards that explain each exercise. These cards detail correct exercise performance.

Finally, a detailed nutrition and meal plan is also included. Total Gym XLS can be a complete fitness lifestyle that fits all your training goals.

What if you’re a bodybuilder or strength athlete?

Total Gym XLS is not the best choice for you. This is because you will quickly outgrow the strength limitations of this unit. This type of user adds weight to the bar consistently. They usually perform free-weight exercises.

They also use several different types of equipment. A Total Gym can’t compete.

Still, for anyone that isn’t trying to build significant mass and strength, Total Gym XLS can be a worthwhile investment. 

Anyone interested in a Total Gym XLS will have one question. What exercises can I do? First, Total Gym XLS comes with a Ribbed Squat Stand, Wing Attachment, and Leg Pull Accessory. The Leg Pull includes 2 ankle cuffs. Included with Total Gym XLS are two pulley D-handles. 

This means you can do several exercises for any body part. These include squats, calf raises for legs. They also include chest flyes, seated chest press, and incline push-ups. You can do a wide range of back, shoulder, ab, and arm exercises. Total Gym XLS offers several exercise combinations such as leg curls and bicep curls. Finally, Pilates workouts are available. 

You can add extra cost attachments such as Dip Bars or Press Up Bars. This creates more exercise variety. Other attachments include a Triceps Rope, Leg Extension Ropes, and Tri-Grip Shaper Bars.

Total Gym XLS is designed to cover different types of training. That includes cardio with your choice of two Cyclo Trainer attachments. This accessory allows users to sit or lay back on the bench and pedal.

In addition, there’s a Pilates Kit that includes a DVD, Leg Extension, and Pilates Toe Bar. Finally, Total Gym Offers foam rollers to ease muscle soreness and support recovery.

As noted, there’s Total Gym TV for complete workouts you can follow along with. This option streams workouts 24/7. It’s also accessible online and available for any Total Gym owner. 

The personal trainer-designed nutrition plan is standard with Total Gym XLS. This plan includes a breakdown of healthy food choices. There’s a lengthy list of healthy snack options.

It also includes several weekly meal plans. There are four different plans altogether. Each weekly menu is based on body weight. Overall, Total Gym XLS is a complete system for better health. 

Another feature of the Total Gym XLS is its space-saving design. This is an important advantage for many users. The unit folds and can be stored almost anywhere when not in use.

That makes it ideal for anyone living in a small apt or single room. No matter how cramped your space, you can easily store a Total Gym XLS. 

The only downside is that you do need space to use it. Unfolded, Total Gym XLS is 7 feet long and 4 feet high. That’s a lot of length!

Some users exercise on their deck, patio, or balcony. When they’re done, they move the XLS back inside for storage. Others use it in their living room or anywhere they have space.  

The other advantage is that, as noted, it comes assembled. You won’t need extra space to lay out all the parts to assemble it. This is another feature that saves space for users with a small exercise area.

Finally, it does not have transport wheels but it is easy to move. 

Do you feel the Total Gym XLS is not the best choice for your needs?

You may prefer a similar type of home gym with more resistance. Other users may want to use a more traditional home gym. In addition, some users may want to do bodybuilding-style workouts.

Here are several good alternatives you can check out. These alternatives fit specific needs better than Total Gym XLS. Also, in each case, they are more value-friendly. 

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The GR8Flex XL is a serious competitor to Total Gym XLS. This home gym is better suited to users that consistently want to increase resistance. The GR8Flex XL has several other advantages over Total Gym XLS.

First, you can do over 100 exercises on the GR8Flex. Second, it has a complete lifetime warranty on the entire machine. Total Gym XLS has it only on the frame. Third, there are 15 incline levels.

Not to mention, GR8Flex includes resistance bands that add up to 50lb additional resistance. 

Accessories include a wing bar, dip bars, and a leg pulley system. There’s also an EZ curl bar, crunch ab accessory, and soft-grip D-handles. Finally, there’s a squat stand, the resistance bands, and a cell phone holder/stand.

The GR8Flex includes floor mats to protect your floors. As you can see, this can be a better machine for many users. 

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This is a single 150lb weight stack home gym. This is a more traditional style of home gym than the XLS. It’s a reasonably compact home gym. It will fit in a small designated exercise space.

However, unlike Total Gym XLS, you can’t move it for storage. The Marcy features steel construction for strength and durability. It comes with Press arms, a Pec Dec, Leg unit, and Preacher Curl pad. There’s also an upper and lower pulley.

The Marcy Home Gym is designed for users that want to be able to increase resistance. Still, the 150lb stack will be too little for some users. Yet it’s plenty for serious or casual fitness enthusiasts. 

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The Bowflex Xceed is similar to a single-stack home gym.

In this case, the resistance comes from “Power Rods”. These are rods that “bow” or bend as you perform the exercise.

They are designed to feel light as you start the exercise. Then they feel heavier as you progress through the exercise.

There’s 210lbs standard, and it’s upgradeable to 310 lbs or 410 lbs. Many serious bodybuilders and athletes will only use free weights.

Still, the Bowflex is an option for these individuals for home use. It’s also good for anyone that wants to get fit. Finally, it’s compact, and you can do 65 exercises. 

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This is an option for anyone that’s serious about bodybuilding or strength training. The Power Rack first became popular in the 1960s.

It’s a small steel cage with an open training area. You stand inside the rack to perform your exercises. The idea is that you can perform any free weight exercise in total safety. You train safely by standing inside the rack and setting the safety pins. The long safety pins are height adjustable. That means you don’t need a spotter.

For users that perform squats, bench presses, and other exercises, it’s a great solution. You can add a lat attachment, dip bars, and a bench. With these options, you will have a complete home gym. 

As we have seen, the Total Gym XLS offers many advantages. It’s one of several available Total Gym models.

The XLS falls in the middle of the budget range. This compact home gym allows users to do 80 exercises. There are several additional attachments for the XLS. This allows even more exercise options.

The Total Gym XLS folds and stores easily when not in use. Finally, it has a lifetime warranty on the frame.

This unit can work well for users that want to get fit. However, it’s not the best choice for everyone. This especially applies to users that consistently increase resistance.

Total Gym XLS uses 6 incline levels and bodyweight for resistance. That may not be enough for some individuals. This is especially true for bodybuilders and strength athletes.

Still, the XLS is a good choice for users of any age that want to get in shape.

Finally, Total Gym XLS is not a good choice for value-minded individuals. All of the alternatives mentioned in this review are more value-minded. You can go online and find even more value-minded options.

Still, Total Gym XLS is the original celebrity-endorsed bodyweight/incline board home gym.

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