Friday, November 20, 2020

Total Gym Personal Review From a Decades Long Skeptic

These are my notes and my thoughts about purchasing and the first months use of a Total Gym. I am not being compensated for this, nor am I receiving any type of payment or incentive. I am a newly converted skeptic about Total Gym and what it can do for me.

I am over 60 years old, so your needs may be different from mine. I wanted the most versatility for the buck, and few bucks at that. I also wanted simple, and no loose weights to find a home for. I also wanted something my wife who is a lot shorter than I am could use without going through a major setup change

I spent years watching Chuck Norris, and later Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley using the Total Gym on television around o’dark-thirty. I never gave the infomercials any thought. It was just another infomercial. This year, after six months of no real exercise, I knew going to the gym was not going to happen in this time of Covid-19. I learned from lifelong experience, walking alone is not enough. 

I researched hours and hours for home gym products, watched numerous videos and purchased my Total Gym a little over a month ago. I found this site to be the most honest and helpful for me. Will of, The Home Gym put it into perspective for me. In the moment I was trying to decide whether I only needed to spend $900.00 on a Total Gym, or did I need the $1,600 model? I was reading Will’s thoughts on the Total Gym, when I came across a comment Will made about all the Total Gyms being basically the same in the amount of exercises they can perform. There is a difference between the amount of exercises, but not a lot, so how much do you really need to spend? As little as reasonably possible came to mind.

I compared what one Total Gym did compared to the next models up the chain, and found a deal on the Total Gym Extreme. Twelve incline positions, eight of the add-ons, minus a DVD and a chart I would never really look at or use. Order placed.

Total Gym, I know now, even though I was skeptical post purchase, for my needs has the most upside with the least downside. I planned to use it in the front room, fold it up and put it in a closet when done. Of course I was outvoted with no possible recount on that idea. Now my Total Gym shares space with assorted boxes and items we really no longer need in the garage. Here are my notes written by date.

Total Gym but are apprehensive about getting too sore. I told her it isn’t an issue as the movements a smooth and controlled starting with only a small portion of her body weight. This coming from two not exercise inclined people, like most of us out there. If you are on Facebook, there is a Total Gym addicts group you may want to check out. Some of their videos are on YouTube. Very informative videos made by real people like you and me.


10/18/20 My Total Gym Extreme arrived and I set it up in the front room. I did some of the exercises I had watched on the web about Total Gym, maybe the commercial too. Already I think Total Gym is going to be good for me.


10/20/20 Walked a mile plus. Used my Total Gym first time. It was very hard to follow the program. Not the different exercises themselves, but moving out of the old position and into the new position. I thought changing positions was harder doing the than the exercise itself. The skeptic in me was starting to rise.


10/21-23/20 Walked a mile plus every day. In the four days. I have done heavy yard work, heavy garage cleaning, and car washing. I was not done being sore until yesterday, the 23'rd. I was not sure what Card Deck plan I followed, but it was longer and more difficult than I had ambition for.


10/24/20 Walked about 1.5 miles. I found and followed the Total Gym 6 - 8 minute workout day two plan. It was quite easy, and I obviously learned something about getting on and off the Glide Board, and changing positions. I completed the exercises, one rep of 15 each in about fifteen minutes, with some of that time reading the Card Deck exercise card, adding and removing pieces parts. I feel okay after my Total Gym exercises.


10/25/20 Walked 1 mile. Completed day three exercises. Some of my muscles know they have been used, but not the same type of sore like weight training. This was more of an overall internal notice of muscle being used.


10/26/20 Snowing outside with high wind, no walking. Completed day 4 exercises. Moving around the Glide Board definitely easier. Completed the exercises fairly fast. They were easy. I can feel them in my shoulders and upper back tonight though.


10/27/20 Ten to twelve inches of snow, no walking today. Completed day five exercises. My arms were not quite ready for day 5. For that reason today was harder than yesterday. I think the exercises were using still recovering muscles. I can definitely feel I used some used and tired muscle.


I am starting to see Total Gym less as exercise equipment and more as body correction equipment. Seldom used muscles and movements make themselves known as I follow the structured exercises. My muscles do not feel sore as they would if I were doing weight machines. They feel used, but differently. An inner soreness throughout some of the least used muscles rather than sore in one spot. 


I feel the exercises are improving my core muscles (lots of improvement needed), working them along with other seldom used muscles from simply being on the glide board, changing positions, getting up and down from three inches off the floor on a rolling angled surface. I find I am more sensitive to how and what I am sitting on these days. Slumping is going away, as it feels better to sit upright rather than slump.


11/10 Walked 1 mile. Completed day two of the card cycle. I am wondering if I caught something back around October 20, as my muscles were more sore, tired and tender than I think they should have been. It may have been pollen in the air, or I was not eating enough protein. Time will tell.


I am enjoying my time on the Total Gym. It now feels like the time goes too quick. I am extending the repetitions. I think this I more important in the moment than raising the angle of the Total Gym right now.


11/18 Walked 1 mile. I just finished my second complete set of the 6 – 8 minute workout. I found putting on deodorant there are muscles in my armpit as they were a little tender. I did not know I had any muscle there. I don’t know which arm exercise made them tender. Also on my rib cage under my arms is a little bit of sore muscle. I also didn’t know I had muscle there.

Now that two sets of the six to eight minute rotation exercises are over, I have noticed a lot of body changes – keep in mind Rome wasn’t built in a day. I started doing eight to ten repetitions of each exercise and that felt like enough. I remember the day one six to eight minute workout exercise list took me almost thirty minutes to complete. I found surprisingly, that getting on and off the glide board and changing glide board positions seemed more difficult than doing the exercises the first rotation. Now after completing a second set of the repetitions everything is easy and my time doing the exercises is closer to the claimed time.

I can feel the Total Gym is correcting my bad posture and body use habits. Total Gym is not a machine you want to use to develop lots of muscle, though you certainly can from the videos I have watched. Total Gym and the workout routines I feel will build anyone up into a deceptively muscular person who’s physique stronger and tuned, more versatile than someone who uses weights alone.

I have found so many little muscles that became tender from using my Total Gym, that I never noticed using the gym weight machine rotation. I am noticing rather quick changes in my body in a lot of small ways. Stronger hand grip, stronger core, changes in my shoulder areas, and better balance.

I do not notice much of a change in my legs probably because I walk every day I can. I have noticed my knees work more smoothly and the floor is a lot closer than it used to be. The Total Gym I purchased was on the bottom of my Total Gym options. My Total Gym is smooth, fairly quiet and efficient. It is also fun! I never thought I would say exercise is fun. One thing that may be unique to me, is if I close my eyes while using Total Gym it almost feels like I am in the water because of the motion of the glide board and the smooth movements of the exercises.

I can see myself upgrading in the future to a better model, but for the money I spent on base model, I feel I have received excellent value. One last observation, I could not find any negative reviews on Total Gym itself. There are a few complaints about shipping and customer service, but they are prevalent almost everywhere something is sold on the web.

I am so happy with my Total Gym, I found a good deal on a second Total Gym, and had it shipped to my Daughters house. They are just starting to use it. She tells me they are all excited about Total Gym

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