Total Gym XLS Review

Total Gym XLS Review

  • Build Quality
  • Features
  • Practicality
  • Value

The Total Gym XLS is the flagship product of Total Gym’s range. There’s a good chance you’ve seen it or one of it’s predecessors on the TV, the infomercials featuring Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley have been getting on my nerves for years now, but I’ll try and put my feelings for their shameless plugging to one side in my Total Gym XLS review below.

HomeGymCritic’s Total Gym XLS Review

There’s no getting away from the fact, for what you get the Total Gym XLS is completely overpriced. Although it says you can perform over 80 exercises, there are basically about 20-30 with the majority being slight variations of the same exercises. If you’re looking to gain muscle using this type of machine then you’ll be sadly disappointed, the way the XLS works is ideal for those looking to tone up though, with an excellent range Pilates style exercises.

Although the people at Total gym think their gym has a resistance of up to 400 lbs, judging by the many user reviews I’ve read they don’t take into account regular use it seems.

The Total Gym XLS offers just 6 levels of resistance and no option to add further weight to it, whereas the more affordable Total Trainer DLX from Bayou Fitness has 10 resistance levels and you also have the option to add further weight too.


  • 400 lb weight capacity
  • Upgraded comfort system
  • Upgraded pulley and cable system
  • Flexible nylon strap handles
  • Upgraded squat stand
  • Padded glideboard with head support
  • Chrome package
  • Exercise capability – over 80 exercises


  • Dimensions unfolded: 19″ W x 90″ L x 43″ H
  • Dimensions folded: 19″ W x 51″ L x  9″ H
  • Warranty: 6 months


This isn’t a gym I’d recommend whatsoever. At an average retail price of $1000, the idea nor the build quality don’t justify the price. When there are better more affordable options available (ie. the Total Gym 1800 Club) it doesn’t make sense to purchase one. Don’t fall for the marketing and plugs from celebs, they’re getting paid for their time. However, that aside, if you have the money to burn and you want an average workout, go for the Total Gym XLS by all means.


  1. I’ve used the XLS for over 9 months now and I have to say there’s no doubting the workout and concept of the equipment. However, after the first few months I noticed the parts were becoming increasingly squeaky and the wheels and bearings are just not of the quality that you’d expect for top end Total Gym model such as this.

    The bearings completely gave away this past week, 3 months after my warranty ran out! I’ve had to buy a new wheel/bearing that’s cost me $100 and I’m awaiting the delivery. Fingers crossed this solves the issue.

  2. A correction to this review… You can indeed add additional weight. There is an optional weight bar that you can purchase. Once this bar is on the machine, you can add additional weights. I am not a muscle freak, so I cannot speak to this. However, I definitely get a without on this machine. I after it it’s overpriced. Look for one on Craigslist. For the right price ($500-600), it’s a great machine that is very easy to use!

  3. I was given a Total Gym XLS. Apparently the company only backs up it’s product if you spend $1,000 plus dollars on it. Otherwise, they’re okay with it falling apart. The frame appears to be bent on the left side. When I called, I was told the frame is bent and there is nothing I can do other than replace the gym. After more careful inspection, I noticed the left bolt which connects the support column to the tower is loose. It will not tighten, it just spins around. There is no way to get to anything on the other side so I can tighten it. The right bolt is completely tight. When I called back a rather ignorant and rude lady in customer service informed me that she can’t help me with that. So, I guess I should just throw out this $1,000 piece of equipment because of a bolt.. CRAZY!!!!

    • I bought the total Gym XLS on QVC and the first one I received had 3 broken wheels right out of the box. I sent it back and they sent me another which was also broken in three places which included one wheel, side of the equipment was cracked, and a cap for the front bar. I was very careful taking it out of the box for I did not want anything to go wrong and break. I will send this back but I am so disappointed at the quality of this machine and how they advertise it on all channels. I do not suggest anybody purchase this machines even though the concept is great the equipment is built very poorly. I was so excited each time I received this and each time I was so terribly disappointed. I still want a piece of equipment that is similar to this but I will make sure I purchase a more durable piece of equipment that has no connection to Total Gym LLC. Now, I have to call QVC back and tell them that I am sending it back and because it is defective hopefully they will pay for shipping. The only good thing about the Total Gym is that QVC has taken care of everything and hopefully my phone call tomorrow goes just as good as the first one. I am not mad at QVC but I am very disappointed with the Total Gym and the quality of their equipment.

      • I have bought a number of Total Gyms over the years. The first one I bought for $20 at a garage sale. (I did have to replace the wheels on the lower grade model.) I loved it so much, I bought a used Total Gym 2000, then an XL, and then two XLS’s. One for my wife and one for me (we work out at the same time). We bought them all used on ebay or craigslist. We love them. They are sturdy, have lasted years, and give a good conditioning workout. As the review says, not the best for building bulk, but great for toning and getting fit. I love my Total Gym. And yes, you can add weight to most models. They are great machines!

  4. Recently the XLS is on sale for $799, which makes it worth while for my wife and I. We have had a Total Gym for 20 years and have enjoyed the times we use it. We definitely can tell the difference when we us it. Because of the age and some metal fatigue we decided that we wanted to replace it. At 799 the XLS is actually cheaper than the model 3000 which is similar to ours.

  5. I am sure I will not get a reply to this, but this so called expert review from the home gym critic is not very informed or as smart as he thinks. With a little searching you can find the total gym XLS for $600.00 instead of the ridiculous $1900.00 price on your faulty chart that is posted.Also, who has 3 to 5 thousand dollars for the other wonderful machines you endorse. The XLS is a great value for the price and as far as parts wearing out, I do not have this problem. It is probably a result of misuse.The simplicity of this machine is very appealing versus some of the so called 5 star systems you endorse that have way too many parts. Unless you want to enter a body building contest the XLS is a great system for getting into shape and toning for the value.

    • Matt,

      Thanks for taking the time to respond to my review. I can honestly say, that I am completely honest in everything that I review, and I do not endorse equipment that I do not believe in. I have tested hundreds of pieces of equipment, and the Total Gym for the price, is extortionate. Also in regards to the price I have given, this was the MSRP, which is how I base all the prices on the website. Sure, if you shop around you’re obviously going to find better deals. I provide comparison pricing on the majority of the equipment, so you can find the better deals from a lot of the top merchants. Also, if you read some of my other reviews, you will in fact find home gyms that cost less and provide a far better, more all round workout than that offered by any Total Gym. If I had to hazard a guess I would say you’re affiliated with JCM! 😉

  6. I purchased the total gym xls from the tv program on a trial. the price was $2500 !! when I rang back to return the gum they haggled and finally offered it to me for $1250. which is still expensive compared to the prices others have put on this forum. The trouble is no couriers will return this product for me. Its either too heavy for the light couriers or not heavy enough for the heavy couriers !!! how on earth are you supposed to return these products ?? you are not warned of this when purchasing them.

  7. I like Chuck Norris so try this gym

  8. Don’t pay full price. I found a Total Gym XLS on Craigslist for $250 and besides some dust, it works perfectly. It is absolutely not the same as freeweights and machines you find at gyms. However, it does provide a good amount of exercise, helpful if you are trying to tone up. Hearing about the bearings, I will lube them with silicone spray.

  9. Have had a total gym 1500 for over 12 years. I bought it at a sporting foids store for $250. It still works fine. It a litte worn and I do standing curls with my grandson laying on the board.I get on it every time I see thecommercial. Its been very durable.

  10. Have an xli was good while it worked. One of the plastic wheels fell apart, good luck replacing it no one wants to know here in Australia had to send to another supplier in the states. At least the quality of the new ones is 100% better than the original these are rubber and a lot quiter. Obviously the after market people know the originals are crap.

  11. I love my total gym xl,it’s an great work out deal when I want a good stretch and change from the gym of bulky workout machines.stretching and tone of my body loves it.

  12. I have a total gym and I think it is a fantastic piece of exercise equipment. Over the years I have replaced a couple of the rollers, but the cost was a minimal expense. I am disabled so having this machine gives me the chance to get some exercise. There are no weights to add or take off, I simply have to change my body position. Great for me in my condition, and also because I am close to being 72 years old. At my age I need to maintain a level of physical fitness for health and well-being reasons, as should everyone at any age.

  13. Works well you only get out of it what you put into it and for the modern way of fitness, meaning toning, it is perfect.

  14. I have lifted in a local gym for a number of years. A friend purchased a Total Gym and I decided to give it a try. In my opinion I believe any of the Total Gyms are capable of fat loss, tightening and toning, but I do not believe they are equipped for gaining any kind of mass. I would consider your fitness goals before purchasing one.

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