Total Gym XLS Review (2024) Should You Buy This Equipment?

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: March 27, 2024
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

As a health and fitness enthusiast, I'm often cautious about exaggerated claims surrounding home gym equipment. However, when I see a fitness machine endorsed by someone like Chuck Norris, then you simply can’t ignore it.

We decided to put the most recent Total Gym set to the test to determine what's included, its benefits and downsides, and which exercises it's suitable for.

So, does the Total Gym XLS live up to its revolutionary claims as a complete home gym solution?

Read on and find out how it could enhance your home workouts, you'll be amazed by its features.

What Is The Total Gym XLS?

Total Gym XLS on a Gym

The Total Gym XLS is a home exercise system that combines multiple different machines to allow you to do targeted body weight exercises.

Through an easy adjustment system, you’re able to rearrange some of the parts to allow for everything from pilates reformer to high-intensity cardio, and core training.

Based on our tests, that’s a lot of functionality to be promising in one machine. So we had to look at how this is actually achieved.

Overall, it should allow you to do over 80 exercises that would be suitable for weight loss and building up strength.

Our Rating

Total Gym XLS Product CTA

Total Gym XLS

Rated With Total Shape's Scoring System


What Comes With The Total Gym XLS?

The Total Gym XLS comes with several accessories that allow you to add a few parts and extend beyond the basic exercises.

Here’s what’s included:

This padded stand attaches to the bottom of the machine and allows you to get your body into quite a low squat position.

Because you’ll be at a slight incline with some of your weight on the frame, this could be a good way to reduce the pressure on your lower body joints, at least according to an article found on the MedicalNewsToday website [1].

"If people are not squatting correctly, they may experience knee pain. Performing this movement incorrectly can put pressure on the knees rather than the thigh muscles and glutes."

- William Morrison, Medical Doctor

This is one of the parts that we thought was quite innovative. Depending on how you attach it to the frame, you’ll be able to add either pull-ups or incline ab crunches to your workout routine.

One thing many other home gyms seem to be lacking is a wide enough range of leg workouts. With the leg pull gear, users are able to take advantage of their own weight to strengthen all leg muscles.

This is a great addition and should get you going within about 10 minutes of setting up the machine. There are several different routines with 35 different exercises to provide a range of different fitness training options.

Training Deck

training deck thumb

This is even more convenient than the wall chart. Basically, it’s 80 different cards with training exercises.

They fit into a cardholder that attaches to the top of the frame so that you can easily read the instructions.

Nutritional Program

The final item on the accessories list is a nutritional program. According to a study found on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, at least 70% of any weight loss goals are diet-related, so having some sample meal plans is a great way to tackle your fitness goals from home [2].

Technical Specifications

Total Gym XLS banner

One of the important things to factor into any home gym is the size and dimensions. You don’t want to end up in an argument with your significant other over a bulky machine arriving.

1 - Dimensions

The dimensions of the Total Gym XLS are:

  • Unfolded (WLH): 19″ x 90″ x 43″
  • Folded (WLH): 19″ x 51″ x 9″

That’s pretty compact and should fit in the corner of a garage and even a wardrobe.

2 - Weight Capacity

This is where many other home workout products fall short for anyone weighing more than 180 lbs. The maximum body weight capacity of the Total Gym XLS is 400 lbs.

3 - Assembly

Unlike other home gyms, this one doesn’t require extensive assembly. For people like me, who have practically no DIY skills, that could be a big plus.

Total Gym XLS Benefits

Our team has spent about three months testing Total Gym XLS both at home and in the office.

And we’ve gone through all possible workouts we could find and come up with.

Here are the main features we liked with this home gym machine.

1 - Easy to Fold Away

man Writing on a paper

Unlike other home equipment, this machine does seem to be quite easy to fold up and store. As mentioned above, the folded dimensions are compact, making it easy to keep your garage tidy after training.

Check out our reviews on he best compact home gym equipment here.

2 - Sturdy Construction

Pretty much every home exercise machine we have tested in the past is too light, made with flimsy parts, and just doesn’t seem stable enough.

The Total Gym seems quite different, and some users say it’s pretty close to a commercial quality product.

3 - No Assembly Required

Yes, you won’t have to spend half a day before you find out that you missed a step or don’t have the right tools. For me, this is one of the main features I like, as I’m just not into the whole DIY thing.

Our Rating

Total Gym XLS Product CTA

Total Gym XLS

Rated With Total Shape's Scoring System


4 - Allows For A Wide Range Of Exercises

Between the wall chart, training deck, and videos, there are at least 80 unique exercises already included.

Our team here came up with about another 20 ways of using the pulley system. That should be more than enough for most people.

5 - Good Warranty

The frame itself has a lifetime warranty, and there is a 6-month warranty on the parts. And given the quality construction, I’d be surprised if you ended up with a warranty claim.

Does It Have any Downsides?

To be honest, there’s only one downside we found with the Total Gym XLS. But it’s quite common with this type of home gym device.

So, always make sure you keep track of the incline settings as well as your weight when journaling your workouts.

Because you’re reliant on your own body weight, it’s a bit more difficult to keep track of performance over time. Technically, you should be losing weight, which would decrease the resistance.

The simple answer is that the Total Gym XLS is suitable for a ton of unique exercises. The included training plans and videos will cover more than 80 exercises, which is not something you usually get with home fitness machines.

What’s great is that it’s easy to adjust the incline of the glideboard to help increase or decrease the intensity.

That way, you should be able to start off with light cardio for a warm-up routine.


"I owned and used an earlier model of the Total Gym for decades. Upon retiring and moving, the equipment was retired as well. I gave it to one of our children and it's still in use today. I purchased this model to assist with getting back in shape and weight loss. The equipment is hitting the target. I'm in my late sixties now and I find I'm getting back the muscle tone I lost. I'd recommend the Total Gym to everyone who's interested in getting in shape physically and mentally." Stephen, United States

"The ease of operation and quality of the machine is grast." Robert, United States

"It assembles in 2 minutes. Takes up no space at all. If you're careful and smart about your workout, I can't imagine getting an injury. just buy it. You will actually use it. And not for a clothes rack! I've done nothing for over 5 years. 20 minutes on this and I am energized." Frank, United States

How It Compares to Alternatives


Total Gym and GR8FLEX both provide a diverse selection of equipment and accessories that may be utilized for various activities. They are also both known for their great quality and durability.

Total Gym has been around longer than GR8FLEX and has had more time to improve its products.

This is shown in the high quality of their equipment, which is frequently regarded as superior to that of GR8FLEX.

Based on our tests, Total Gym has a wider selection of accessories and weights than GR8FLEX, providing more possibilities for tailoring your exercise.

The weight limit for the GR8FLEX machine is 450 pounds, whereas the Total Gym brands range from 275 pounds to 650 pounds.

Total Gym Apex 5

One of the primary distinctions between the Apex G5 and the XLS is the amount of resistance levels available.

The Apex G5 features ten levels of resistance that can be modified via the cable pulley system, whereas the XLS has six.

According to our testing phase, both versions have a variety of attachments that may be used for various exercises, providing for a full-body workout. These include a wing attachment, a leg pull component, dip bars, and a squat stand.

The Apex G5 can handle up to 375 pounds, while the XLS can carry up to 400 pounds.

The Apex G5 and XLS are both small and foldable for simple storage. The XLS, however, has the extra benefit of folding up more simply and into an even more compact size.

Total Gym Xtreme

Both Total Gym forms are adaptable enough to give full-body, low-impact exercises. Total Gym XLS offers a significant advantage over Xtreme in terms of adding diversity to your training program, with over 20 more activities.

Total Gym XLS has a larger maximum weight capacity than Xtreme, allowing more users to use it.

Total Gym XLS is pre-assembled; all you need to do to get started is add the appropriate accessories. On the other hand, the Xtreme model requires considerable assembly before use.


Does the Total Gym Really Work?

Yes, the Total Gym XLS really does work well as a home gym. With a choice of more than 80 exercises, you should be able to create an excellent fitness workout. And you’ll be able to do so from the comfort of your home.

How Many Days a Week Should You Use the Total Gym?

You should use the Total Gym XLS 3 to 4 times a week for better results. Of course, you could do some additional workout routines for light cardio on rest days, which is what many users take advantage of.

What Are the Advantages of Owning a Total Gym XLS Over Other Home Gym Equipment?

The Total Gym XLS offers a range of advantages over other home gym equipment, including its versatility, low-impact design, and compact size. It allows users to perform over 80 exercises, making it a comprehensive and space-saving option for individuals seeking a full-body workout.

How Do Full-Body, Low-Impact Exercises Impact Workout Efficiency on Total Gym XLS?

Full-body, low-impact exercises on the Total Gym XLS can improve workout efficiency by engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously, reducing the risk of injury, and providing a low-impact alternative to traditional weightlifting. This approach can lead to improved strength, endurance, and overall fitness.

What Is the Role of Pre-Assembled Features in Total Gym XLS?

The pre-assembled features of the Total Gym XLS make it a convenient and time-saving option for individuals seeking a home gym equipment that is easy to set up and use. This feature allows users to start their workout routine immediately without the need for complicated assembly or installation.

Why Is Diversity Important in Home Gym Exercise Programs?

Diversity is important in home gym exercise programs because it helps prevent boredom, reduces the risk of injury, and provides a more comprehensive workout experience. The Total Gym XLS offers over 80 exercises, making it a versatile and engaging option for individuals seeking a dynamic workout routine.

How Can Total Gym XLS Support a Varied Fitness Routine?

The Total Gym XLS can support a varied fitness routine by providing a range of exercises that target different muscle groups and fitness goals. Its versatility, low-impact design, and compact size make it a convenient and effective option for individuals seeking a comprehensive and adaptable workout experience.

Our Verdict on Total Gym XLS

Yes, the Total Gym XLS is a good investment if you want to set up a home gym.

It folds away easily and allows you to exercise within just a few minutes of pulling it out of storage.

It has plenty of features to provide a wide range of workouts.

You would probably struggle to get bored with it.

We Recommend

Total Gym XLS

  • Easy to fold away
  • Sturdy construction
  • No assembly required
  • Allows for a wide range of exercises
  • Good Warranty
  • Cons
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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One thought on “Total Gym XLS Review (2024) Should You Buy This Equipment?

  1. While I prefer free weights, the Total Gym XLS seems like a smart purchase for someone who wants a full-body workout.

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Our durability score is based 3 factors including: material quality, maintenance, and warranty terms. The score is a measure of objective test results against set standards. For more information see our durability score explanation here.
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