Total Gym XLS vs GTS

Total Gym XLS vs GTS: Which is Best For Your Home Gym?

There’s a huge difference when it comes to the Gym XLS vs GTS, but it could still be hard to choose. Should you save the money and get the XLS without all the GTS perks or splurge on the most extravagant Total Gym on the market?

Let’s walk through the pros and cons of each one, what you get with each purchase, and take a look at other options that might meet your needs if neither the XLS nor the GTS is the perfect solution for your home gym.

Editor's Choice
Total Gym XLS | Total Gym

Despite the somewhat "over the top" Chuck Norris endorsements, this is a SOLID home gym essential. Easy to use and surprisingly space conscious compared to competing home gym monsters.

Check Price Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Features of the Total Gym XLS

This isn’t the most basic model, but it’s nowhere near the GTS level. However, it’s a top seller, so there’s got to be something to it, right? Here’s what you get:

  • 80+ exercises you can do
  • 6 levels of resistance
  • Max user weight of 400 lbs
  • Lifetime warranty on frame and 6 months on parts
  • Free shipping from Total Gym Direct (unless you’re in Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Availability of a trial offer before you commit
  • Payment plan available
  • A low-profile machine that won’t take up a ton of space when it’s stored or in use
  • It comes fully assembled, so it’s ready to go as soon as it arrives
  • You get a Leg Pull Attachment, Ribbed Squat Stand, and Wing Attachment with it
  • Access to Total Gym TV (Premium is also available for an extra cost)

Pros

Here’s what the XLS does right:

  • 80+ exercises and a max user weight of 400 lbs should be enough to keep the average user happy and get results
  • A lifetime warranty offers peace of mind that you didn’t just invest in a product that will break in a few years and cost you even more
  • Financing and trial options make this low-risk and more doable than machines you’d have to purchase outright
  • You don’t have to put it together or wait for someone to show up and do it for you
  • You’ll get some attachments, which could be all you need to feel like you’re getting a good workout for a reasonable price
  • Comes with a wall chart, training deck (cards that show you exercises you can do), and nutrition guidelines with a meal plan

Cons

It could use a little improvement:

  • Only 6 levels of resistance could make it uninspiring to use for some people.
  • If you’re a “more is more, so give me all the exercises and attachments possible” kind of person, you’ll probably wish you’d purchased a different model once the newness wears off.
  • Other models have a higher max user weight (besides the Supreme) than the 400 lbs this one accommodates.
  • If you’re not worried about an especially wide range of exercises you can do as long as you can work your whole body or the difference between a machine with a max user weight of 275 lbs and 400 lbs, you could spend less and get the Supreme, which has more levels of resistance.

Features of the Total Gym GTS

This is the commercial-grade offering from Total Gym, so it’s got a whole lot more going on than any of the other models. Here’s what you get if you decide to go all-in with this new exercise regimen and get the GTS:

  • 200+ exercises
  • 22 levels of resistance
  • Max user weight of 650 lbs
  • A wide range of attachments, including LAT Bar Attachment, squat stand, and 6-piece strength package (which includes the 3-Grip pull-up bar, press bar, retractable dip bars, SCRUNCH, squat handle bar, and weight bar attachments), Pilates toe bar, and large squat stand
  • Workout DVD
  • Hydraulics to help with level changes and folding
  • Payment plan option
  • 5-year warranty on frame, 1-year warranty on parts and upholstery, and 90 days on foam and rubber
  • Adjustable glideboard

Pros

Are you in awe of everything the GTS has to offer? Here are some of the benefits of purchasing this one:

  • It comes with so many attachments and so much attention has been paid to the design, there’s no way you’ll feel like you’re missing out on anything Total Gym offers.
  • Can be used for Pilates
  • The larger squat stand can help users feel more stable and secure in their movements
  • The Pilates Toe Bar adds a whole new level of possibilities

Cons

As incredible as this machine is, it may be more than most people need and it’s definitely got a few downfalls to consider before you jump in:

  • Shorter warranty on the frame
  • The price (nearly $4000.00 before tax or shipping and handling)
  • Freight shipping is necessary (so you won’t be getting the free shipping you’d get with any other model)
  • It’s a lot bigger than the other Total Gyms
  • It weighs more, so even though there are hydraulics to help with level changes and two-step folding, it’ll be trickier to manage moving it around by yourself than other models
  • Does not come fully assembled, so you’ll have to schedule someone to come out and help with it
  • Payment plan only gives you four months to cover it with Total Gym Direct, and the payments are nearly $1000.00 each, plus shipping costs
  • Could take up to three weeks to arrive

About the Attachments

I’ve mentioned a few attachments, but what do they do?

  • Leg Pull Attachment: Hooks to the machine on one end and your ankle (with an ankle cuff that fits all sizes) on the other end so you can work your lower body in new ways
  • Ribbed Squat Stand: Gives you a stable place to plant your feet for squats
  • Wing Attachment: Can hook to top or bottom of the machine for a variety of upper and lower body movements
  • Ab Crunch: Gives you a place to rest your forearms as you use the glideboard to perform crunches
  • SCRUNCH: Makes a variety of core exercises possible
  • 3-Grip Pull-up Bar: Gives you three hand positions to choose from for upper body workouts
  • Weight Bar: Adds weight to your exercises when you’re strong enough to graduate from the resistance levels on the machine
  • Press Bar: Gives you more options for military and shoulder presses
  • Squat Handle Bar: Adds stability during squats
  • Retractable Dip Bar: Works triceps and pecs with dips, then folds out of the way
  • Pilates Toe Bar: Can be used in place of a squat stand to allow for additional upper and lower body exercises to be performed
  • LAT Bar: Offer a soft place to grip for pull-ups

The Main Differences Between the Total Gym XLS and GTS

These two machines are definitely nowhere near being interchangeable. Which one is right for you? Let’s break down some of the main differences:

  • The Total Gym XLS has six levels of resistance, whereas the GTS has 22.
  • The Total Gym XLS allows you to do 80+ exercises on it, whereas the GTS has 200+ possibilities.
  • The Total Gym XLS comes assembled, whereas the GTS requires you to schedule someone to put it together for you.
  • The Total Gym XLS is somewhat affordable at about $1000.00 (on sale), whereas the GTS is especially expensive at around $4000.00 on sale.
  • The Total Gym XLS has a reasonable payment plan that will fit many budgets, whereas the GTS will require payments of around $1000.00 (if you shop at Total Gym Direct).
  • The Total Gym XLS ships free to most states, whereas the GTS requires freight shipping that won’t be free.
  • The Total Gym XLS comes with a few attachments that’ll make your workouts more interesting and effective, whereas the GTS goes all out with upgraded pieces, adjustability, and several types of attachments that make it possible to do all kinds of workouts—even Pilates.
  • The Total Gym XLS weighs a mere 68 lbs so it’ll be easy to move around, whereas the GTS weighs almost three times that.
  • The Total Gym XLS comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, whereas the GTS only gives you five years.

Comparison Chart

Let’s take a look at the Total Gym XLS vs GTS in a side-by-side comparison to look at how they really differ:

  Total Gym XLS Total Gym GTS
Price Around $2000.00, but sometimes on sale for about half the price Just under $5000.00 (you may find it on sale for about $1000.00 off), plus you’ll have to pay for freight shipping
Payment plan available? Yes, $99.85/month for 10 months at Total Gym Direct. Yes, four monthly payments of $948.75 (plus shipping and handling) through Total Gym Direct
Availability You can get it at Total Gym Direct, Walmart (with or without the AbCrunch), and Amazon You can get it at Total Gym Direct, Rehab-Store, and Fitness Superstore
Dimensions 19”x 90” x 43” (19” x 51” x 9” folded) 38” x 107” x 69” (38” x 20” X 56” folded)
Levels of resistance 6 22
User weight capacity 400 lbs 650 lbs
Weight of machine 68 lbs 180 lbs
Free trial? Not free, but you can try it for a month for $1.00. No
Number of exercises you can do 80+ 200+
Warranty Frame: Lifetime, Parts: 6 months Frame: 5 years, Parts/Upholstery: 1 year, Foam/Rubber: 90 days
Assembly required? No Yes
Extras Leg pull attachment, ribbed squat stand, wing attachment, Ab Crunch at some stores, Total Gym TV access 3-Grip pull-up bar, press bar, retractable dip bars, SCRUNCH, squat handlebar, weight bar attachments, Pilates toe bar, DVD, illustrated exercise reference, access to Total Gym TV, large telescoping squat stand, folding foot holder, LAT bars

Alternatives to Consider

Not sure about the Total Gym XLS or GTS? Check these out:

Total Gym FIT

xls vs gts alternatives

The FIT is a sort of halfway point between the XLS and the GTS.

Pros

  • Costs a lot less than GTS
  • Comfortable
  • Comes with attachments
  • Lightweight
  • Free shipping
  • Comes fully assembled

Cons

  • 12 levels of resistance, not 22
  • 85+ exercises, not 200+

Check out how FIT compares to:

NordicTrack Fusion CST

The NordicTrack Fusion CST is a versatile, engaging option.

Pros

  • Can improve strength and cardio with it
  • Lots of workout videos and trainers to choose from
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Tracks everything for you

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Requires a monthly subscription and internet connection

Bowflex Blaze

The Blaze gives you that rowing component along with the strength training, like the Total Gym.

Pros

  • Rowing option
  • Horizontal bench
  • Squat bar
  • Can upgrade from 210 to 310 or 410 lbs
  • Reasonably priced at around $700.00 to $800.00

Cons

  • Could be difficult to find
  • Power Rods could wear out
  • Takes up a lot of space

Marcy Smith Machine/Cage System

This Marcy option combines pulleys, cables, and free weights for an all-around good strength workout.

Pros

  • Combines strength training options
  • Not terribly expensive at around $1000.00
  • Olympic smith bar included
  • Weight bench with a dual-function leg developer and preacher curl pad included

Cons

  • No cardio component
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Does not come with weight plates

FAQs

Here are some questions you may still have rolling around in your mind about the Total Gym XLS vs GTS:

Question: Which Total Gym model is the best?

Answer: The Total Gym FIT gives you the best combination of attachments, resistance, and a number of exercises you can do on it for the money. The GTS has a lot more, but it comes with more challenges (weight, shipping, assembly, and price).

Question: Which is better, Total Gym XLS or Total Gym FIT?

Answer: The Total Gym FIT is basically an upgraded XLS, so it’s better in my opinion. However, it does cost more and the XLS is popular for a reason.

Question: What is the best home gym for the money?

Answer: The Total Gym gives you the variety you may be craving in a home gym—you can work on strength, cardio, and flexibility. With limited space, a machine that can do it all without taking up much space—and then take up even less space when it’s folded up and tucked away—is the best choice.

Question: Is the Total Gym really worth it?

Answer: Absolutely. It takes up little space, works your whole body, and you can do cardio bursts on it.

Question: Is Total Gym better than free weights?

Answer: It depends on your goals. If you have limited space and just want to stay fit and healthy, the Total Gym is better. However, if you have space for a dumbbell collection and you’re looking to make serious strength and muscle gains, you’ll be better served by free weights.

Question: Can you build muscle with the Total Gym?

Answer: Yes, but you will also need to make sure you’re getting sufficient protein in your diet, too.

Question: Is Total Gym good for cardio?

Answer: Yes, you will get your heart rate up when you use the machine anyway, but you can incorporate jumping into some of the exercises, use the machine like a rowing machine for cardio bursts, change up the speed and intensity in HIIT format, or just do high reps with lower resistance.

Question: Are squats on the Total Gym effective?

Answer: Yes, but doing regular squats on the floor with free weights or a barbell is better. If you have injuries or currently lack the strength and/or mobility to squat on the floor, the Total Gym is a good way to work those muscles without the risks and with less resistance.

Total Gym XLS vs GTS: Which Should You Buy?

Between these two, I wouldn’t spend the money on the GTS. The XLS will give you an effective full-body workout without the extra cost, wait time, the hassle of putting it together, or the size and weight of the GTS.

I think there’s a better, third option–the FIT mentioned above. It combines some of the best features of each machine. No, you won’t get the robust variety of exercises of the GTS, but you will get extra features that make it a more comfortable machine to use than the XLS, along with twice the number of resistance levels and a few more exercises.

Editor's Choice
Total Gym XLS | Total Gym

Despite the somewhat "over the top" Chuck Norris endorsements, this is a SOLID home gym essential. Easy to use and surprisingly space conscious compared to competing home gym monsters.

Check Price Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

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