Total Gym Reviews – We Tested Them To Find Out!

Total Gym has released close to 50 models since the company began producing home gyms in the mid 1970s. 

It is also the go-to brand for celebrity Chuck Norris and the brand claims its fitness equipment maximizes space, efficiency, and results.

With so many to choose from and the differences often very minor in nature, I decided to put 10 Total Gym models to the test, and the results are below.

How We Found Our Top 10 Total Gym Models

gym products icon

18

Products Considered

research icon

40

Hours of Research

reviews icon

77

Reviews Examined

experts icon

03

Experts Interviewed

As consulting firm McKinsey noted there has been a "shift toward personalized at-home workoutsand this has helped increase the popularity of brands such as Total Gym.[1]

I was already familiar with their range of home gyms and had purchased several models over the years. Through this hands-on experience I was able to decipher which models needed to be included and which could be left out of this article.

I began by considering how each product would benefit most people. Through this process, I was able to critic 18 models that have been released in recent years. Online star ratings and reviews played a role when evaluating their entire range as user feedback is essential.

Ultimately, I chose 10 products covering a good range of models, then spent a few hours reviewing the products again, ensuring the information gathered matched my initial thoughts.

For some, I looked at videos and things like Chuck Norris Total Gym reviews.[2]

I also have a separate review on the Total Gym Fusion and decided it would not make our list.

Finally, I drew on my experience using 6 of the 10 models previously and discussed and compared the remainder of products with friends who had those Total Gyms. 


10 Best Total Gyms Reviewed

1. Total Gym APEX G5 - Our Top Pick (For Most People)

Our Rating

Workout Versatility

8.5

Value For Money

8.5

Ease Of Use

9.0

Ease Of Assembly

10.0

Materials & Durability

8.0


Overall Rating

8.8

Key Features

  • Dimensions: 93 x 15.5 x 43.25 (L x W x H)
  • Exercises: 80+
  • Resistance Levels: 10
  • Maximum User Weight: 375 Lbs

Our Review

The Total Gym Apex G5 is the best Total Gym model according to our experience and what other buyers have said.

It's an excellent choice for those with advanced fitness goals and offers more exercises than most Total Gym models like the Apex G3 (70+ exercises) or Apex G1 (60+ exercises).

Key Factors

The Total Gym Apex G5 supports high weight, offers quick workouts that you can do in just 15 minutes a day, and covers every muscle group in the body.

This makes it a perfect choice for anyone who wants a Total Gym workout to help lose weight.

It’s made easy to use with the provision of routine cards to help plan an effective workout, plus sturdy construction in all areas ensures peace of mind when trying out new Total Gym exercises among the 80+ available on the G5.

With a price of just $500, it's very competitive compared to Total Gym home gym equipment like the Total Gym TLS, providing a full body workout at about $1000.

It also has the standard 1-year warranty offered by Total Gym.

Exercises

It’s often possible to do more with this machine than at the gym, which makes it very convenient if you’re not within reasonable driving distance of one.

Not only that, it enables gradual progression by offering 10 levels of resistance.

Fine-tuning a workout like this isn’t as easy as the previous Apex models, which offer only 8 and 6 levels of resistance, respectively.

But users should keep in mind there can be some fiddly movements required when unhooking the pulley cable from the glide board for some exercises.

Assembly & Maintenance

This Total Gym model folds away without much effort, making it a handy Total Gym model to use at home.

The absence of any complex weights or pins means that it comes fully assembled, and all the attachments fit without any issues.

This makes routine maintenance and adjustments very simple. Reconfiguring the cable and pulley system is straightforward, taking only 15-20 seconds.

This saves you from experiencing any excess cool-down time, which I appreciate.

What We Like

  • Easy to change the difficulty for lighter workouts
  • Maintains quality and doesn’t wear out
  • Reasonable choice for weight loss
  • Able to boost weight and tension indefinitely

What We Don't Like

  • Not suitable for bulking, only for toning
  • Needs at least 10ft of length and 5ft of width
  • Could do with a squat stand when working quads and calves

2. Total Gym XLS - Runner Up

Our Rating

Workout Versatility

8.5

Value For Money

7.5

Ease Of Use

9.0

Ease Of Assembly

10.0

Materials & Durability

8.0


Overall Rating

8.6

Key Features

  • Dimensions: 90 x 19 x 43 (L x W x H)
  • Exercises: 80+
  • Resistance Levels: 6
  • Maximum User Weight: 400 Lbs

Our Review

The Total Gym XLS also offers a full-body workout, much like the Total Gym Apex G5, which took our top spot.

The Total Gym workouts on this machine are just as comprehensive but have the added benefit of including Total Gym TV workouts for free. A nutritional program has been included too.

But the Total Gym XLS just misses out on being our preferred choice because it’s double the cost of the Apex G5, yet only has a 6-month warranty, 6 levels of resistance, and takes extra care and attention to assemble.

Key Factors

This home gym offers many exercises to provide excellent body workouts and is a complete gym all-in-one.

It has various Total Gym accessories to help target specific muscle groups regardless of fitness levels, like the training deck.

Most exercises are easy to incorporate into a great workout, but some cause cords to bind against your arms and the incline board isn’t resistant enough for heavy weights.

But the machine will help you stay in shape and give you a hard workout. Even the beginner’s program can tire you out after 15 minutes of exertion.

As for cost and warranty, the nearly $1000 price isn’t good value for money, and the warranty isn’t for the usual 12 months you’d expect from Total Gym.

Exercises

Ideal full-body workouts performed using the Total Body XLS will be set at moderate resistance with high reps.

This is because the weight stack isn’t as taxing as you’d get at a gym, and there isn’t sufficient resistance for bodybuilding.

Building muscle mass or achieving weight loss is achievable for beginners using this home gym. Even for the average weightlifter, a good workout is possible for just about any goal.

However, some strength training and resistance training exercises do require practice and coordination.

Variations

For those wanting a home gym that can use body weight, the Total Gym XLS with the ab crunch attachment is best. It increases the number of exercises you can do and enables you to build muscle in the core.

Assembly & Maintenance

Alongside workout DVDs, there is also a setup DVD. This helps with folding it to save space, as the Total Gym XLS comes fully assembled.

All the parts of this Total Gym model ensure smooth resistance, easy storage, and a focused workout.

What We Like

  • Plenty of video guidance to help you
  • Lots of useful extras like the training deck and exercise chart
  • Slick gliding movements make working out a breeze
  • Durable construction ensures it can handle complex workouts

What We Don't Like

  • Quite bulky and heavy when moved
  • Ab crunch requires another purchase
  • Fingers can get caught in the support beam

3. Total Gym APEX G3

Our Rating

Workout Versatility

8.0

Value For Money

8.5

Ease Of Use

9.0

Ease Of Assembly

10.0

Materials & Durability

8.0


Overall Rating

8.7

Key Features

  • Dimensions: 90 x 16.5 x 43.25 (L x W x H)
  • Exercises: 70+
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Maximum User Weight: 300 Lbs

Our Review

The Total Gym Apex G3 is the mid-range Total Gym model between the Apex G5 and the Apex G1.

With slightly fewer exercises and reduced maximum user weight, it’s not quite as capable as the Total Gym Apex G5.

But it does come in at $100 cheaper than the Total Gym Apex G5 while retaining the same praise and enthusiasm from users.

This is because it maintains the quality and durability of the best total gym model. It also comes with the standard 1-year warranty on most Total Gym models.

Key Factors

If you have serious fitness goals that require many levels of resistance, a cable and pulley system, and a nutritional program, this home gym fits the bill.

It has over 70 exercises, slightly lower than the 80+ on the Total Gym Apex G5, but more than enough for most Total Gym workouts.

It comes with a padded glide board and high-quality steel frame to ensure ease of use over time, and we found it surprisingly comfortable for the under $400 price.

Exercises

Body weight exercises are conveniently executed on this machine, and it also comes with a squat stand.

This is vital for working the quads and calves regardless of a machine’s weight capacity. The leg attachment is very helpful for strength training the lower body too.

This means if your fitness goals involve using fitness equipment to bolster your lower body, then the Apex G3 is ideal.

You can target all major muscle groups, perform your own bodyweight exercises, and benefit from the squat stand.

Assembly & Maintenance

Assembly required for high-quality premium products from Total Gym is minimal, and the Apex G3 is no exception.

It relies on a simple pulley system with cables and gravity doing the rest of the work.

It also folds for quick storage, and when purchased, it’s ready to go with parts like the wing attachment in separate boxes. This makes setup very easy.

What We Like

  • Not very different from the G5 but $100 cheaper
  • Easy to customize for any fitness level or fitness goals
  • Pulleys and cable system built to last
  • Promotes fluid movements making it pleasant to use

What We Don't Like

  • Limited weight capacity compared to the G5
  • The default squat board is very short

4. Total Gym Xtreme

Our Rating

Workout Versatility

8.5

Value For Money

7.5

Ease Of Use

9.0

Ease Of Assembly

10.0

Materials & Durability

8.0


Overall Rating

8.6

Key Features

  • Dimensions: 77.95 x 12.6 x 4.33 (L x W x H)
  • Exercises: 60+
  • Resistance Levels: 12
  • Maximum User Weight: 350 Lbs

Our Review

The Total Gym Xtreme is a unique Total Gym system because it features 12 levels of resistance, enabling a great workout despite a reduced number of exercises compared to Total Gym machines.

It also costs the same as our top pick, but there are some reasons we’ve got it at #4. It doesn’t have a reliable ankle strap, and the rope with the machine is too long for leg exercises.

Key Factors

All the usual exercises are possible on this Total Gym machine, including pull-ups, leg presses, and the ab crunch.

But there are only around 60, which falls short for an entire body workout. Other Total Gym machines like the Apex G5 and the XLS have more resistance training options.

At about $500, the price isn't competitive because you can purchase high-end Total Gym products for the same price and not lose out on the exercises.

But the quality and durability that Total Gym is known for hold true with the Xtreme, so if you dislike our top pick, this is one of the affordable alternatives.

It also comes with a decent 1-year warranty.

Exercises

With several strength training add-ons, like the wing attachment, there are many different workouts possible with the machine.

In addition, bodyweight resistance is enhanced through the provision of 12 resistance levels.

The generous weight limit enables users to build muscle or lose weight depending on their needs.

The downside is that despite having the most resistance levels, there are fewer exercises than comparable Total Gym products like the Apex G5.

Assembly & Maintenance

The Total Gym Xtreme uses your body weight and has a decent height and weight capacity once assembled.

Most of the assembly required has been done for you, with only a few steps necessary once your equipment arrives.

What We Like

  • Relies on your body weight plus 12 resistance levels
  • Comes with helpful workout cards and DVDs
  • Its quality makes it fun to use

What We Don't Like

  • Not the best value for money
  • Lacks some exercises

5. Total Gym Summit - Best For Beginners

Our Rating

Workout Versatility

8.0

Value For Money

7.5

Ease Of Use

9.0

Ease Of Assembly

10.0

Materials & Durability

8.0


Overall Rating

8.5

Key Features

  • Dimensions: 86.30 x 28.80 x 51 (L x W x H)
  • Exercises: 70+
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Maximum User Weight: 300 Lbs

Our Review

Among all the Total Gym models we looked at, the Total Gym Summit was the best home gym for beginners.

It's very well-priced at around $350, comes with over 70 exercises, and has various useful accessories like the leg pull accessory.

All these benefit beginners because they get everything they need in one home gym.

Key Factors

What matters most to beginners when exercising is convenience and ensuring their workout gets the job done. This is exactly what happens with the Summit home gym.

It has enough exercises and resistance levels to benefit beginners without many extra features that aren’t needed, like free weights or a squat stand.

With only minutes needed to set up the Total Gym Summit, there won’t be any obstacles to getting all the benefits of an actual gym in the comfort of your home.

Users say it makes exercise comfortable and fun.

Exercises

Providing a comprehensive array of exercises, the Total Gym Summit is more than enough for most. It’s most comparable to the Total Gym Apex G3, which offers a similar selection of exercises.

Instead of workout DVDs, it comes with Total Gym TV, helping anyone new to gym routines to target major muscle groups and build muscle appropriately.

Assembly & Maintenance

Assembly required for the Total Gym Summit is limited, another handy benefit for beginners which saves them time and effort.

Because of this, maintenance is simple too, and most workouts with this home gym are fast and efficient.

What We Like

  • More than enough exercises for beginners
  • A decent weight capacity for entry-level workouts
  • Reasonably priced for beginners
  • No hassle when assembling

What We Don't Like

  • Weight capacity can become a limit beyond the beginner stage
  • Only 8 resistance levels, limiting workout precision

6. Total Gym APEX - Best Budget Pick

Our Rating

Workout Versatility

8.0

Value For Money

8.0

Ease Of Use

9.0

Ease Of Assembly

10.0

Materials & Durability

8.0


Overall Rating

8.6