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Total Gym FIT review

The Total Gym FIT is a body weight-based home gym system that uses a glideboard to help you build muscle. Here we review the machine to see if it justifies its price.

Total Gym FIT review
(Image: © Total Gym)

Our Verdict

The Total Gym FIT uses your own body weight to create resistance, making it safer than other weights systems as there’s less risk of you over-exerting yourself. The machine supports 85 different exercises to give you a full body workout, which is impressive, but its pricey, and we’ve come across affordable alternatives that aren’t a million miles behind the Total Gym FIT in terms of design and features.

For

  • More than 85 exercises supported
  • High max user weight of 400lbs
  • Adjustable resistance levels
  • Arrives fully assembled

Against

  • Expensive
  • Takes a little learning

The Total Gym FIT is an enduringly popular glideboard system that uses your own body weight to create resistance, making it suitable for beginners upwards. At first it looks a little different to other glideboard machines in our best home gyms guide. 

That’s because the Total Gym FIT takes a minimalist approach, so instead of a weight stack, chair, bench and pulleys, what you get here is a glideboard. Accessories, including a leg pulley and upgraded squat stand, expand the machine's versatility.

In our Total Gym FIT review, we look at the machine's spec, price, design, features and how it works. In our opinion the Total Gym FIT is one of the best home weights machines in the world, but it is priced higher than the average glideboard system. So if you're on a tighter budget, we've recommended some affordable alternatives where relevant throughout this review.

Looking for other exercise equipment? We've also looked at the best treadmills and the best exercise bikes for home use.

Total Gym FIT review: Overview

The Total Gym FIT offers a consistent resistance using your weight with lots of variations on how that is applied. As such this offers 85 different bodyweight exercises to promote a full body workout, all from using a single glideboard as your training base.

That makes this home fitness system a great option for anyone who feels as though they're short on space. If the idea of a more compact gym appeals to you, also take a look at our Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym review.

Total Gym FIT review: Specs

MSRP: $1,699.95
Design:
Glideboard
Weight: 66lbs
Supported weight: Up to 400lbs
Dimensions: 18.5 (W) x 93 (L) x 44.5 (H) inches (unfolded), 18.5 (W) x 50.5 (L) x 8.5 (H) inches (folded)
Warranty: Two-year warranty on moving parts

Despite the Total Gym FIT being a little bit smaller, the price tag is still high, making this one of the more expensive home gym system options out there. But it has lots going for it, including cross-fit training options as well as body strength training, meaning it's a very comprehensive home fitness machine. There's also the option to use it with a pilates kit, which is brilliant for developing longer, more toned muscles and a super-strong core.

We'd also recommend reading our Total Gym XLS review for a reasonably priced alternative from the same company. 

Total Gym FIT review: An image showing a woman using the glideboard system to exercise her arms

(Image credit: Total Gym)

Total Gym FIT review: Design

The folding Total Gym FIT uses a pulley and cable system all built around the glideboard. As you move your arms legs and slide about, resistance is created for you to work against and build strength. The board can be adjusted in terms of resistance, enabling you to make exercises more difficult or easier to help you progress. 

The whole unit weighs in at a minimal 66lbs and stretches to 18.5 (W) x 93 (L) x 44.5 (H) inches when open, but it will fold down to a storage-friendly 18.5 (W) x 50.5 (L) x 8.5 (H) inches.

As mentioned earlier in our Total Gym FIT review, this system is all about the accessories, as these enable you to use the machine in different ways to work various parts of your body. 

As standard you'll get an ab crunch attachment, a two-piece wing add-on, a leg pulley and an upgraded squat stand. To see how hard you're working out, you could wear one of the best fitness trackers to monitor your session.

Other extras include two ankle cuffs, for comfort, a nutrition guide, a wall chat for tracking progress and a library of workout DVDs to help you follow simple guidance and keep motivated. 

Total Gym FIT review: A woman uses the machine to work out her legs

(Image credit: Total Gym)

Total Gym FIT review: Features

The Total Gym FIT might look like a simple system at first glance, but it offers a surprising amount of features designed to help you transform your body. In a nutshell, this mid-priced weights system can strengthen and tone every major muscle group in your body, with a multitude of exercises including squats, leg presses, abdominal crunches and more. 

One part of the machine enables you to do an arm curl, working your biceps, while another mid-pulley station allows for chest strength training and toning. There are also sections for pulls and presses, leg development and, of course, the dreaded squats to get those glutes firing.

There are more attachments to work different areas even including cardio work. These optional attachments include a press-up bar, dip bar, roller, CycloTrainer and Pilates kit.

The folding nature of the Total Gym FIT is also worth mentioning, as it's a big draw for those that want to save space - no moving around heavy weights to put this machine away. We also love how it comes with a series of DVDs to help you get the most out of your new home weight training machine.

Total Gym FIT review: An image showing the machine with its various accessories

(Image credit: Total Gym)

As mentioned early on in our Total Gym FIT review, at first this system can be a little tricky to get used to, but once you've performed each new exercise, they soon become second nature. 

We'd recommend starting with the included workout DVDs, as these make it easy to see how the pulley system works for each muscle group you're working. Beyond that, the Total Gym Fit allows you to follow a lead, which means you can stay motivated, land to earn body weight training combinations that work for you.

Total Gym FIT review: How would it benefit you?

Considering how compact it is, the Total Gym FIT offers multiple benefits to a wide variety of users, from weight loss and maintenance to muscle gain and toning. It will also boost your cardio health as well as your strength. Here are a few other benefits of training with the system... 

  • Short yet effective full body workouts (done in 20-30 minutes)
  • Good for building core strength and stronger back muscles
  • Helps improve your flexibility and balance
  • Weight training increases your metabolism, which is better for burning calories
  • Good for cardio-endurance training
  • Relatively low-impact compared to other machines
  • Plyometric training for your upper and lower body
  • Designed to encourage an unrestricted range of movement
  • Can be transformed into a pilates workout bench with the extra DVD

The fact this glideboard system comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and two year guarantee on parts should boost your confidence further.

Should you buy the Total Gym FIT?

The Total Gym FIT is a great option for anyone short on space at home, but who wants a system that offers a full body workout. Thanks to how it uses your own bodyweight, the machine can be folded up for storage at the end of each workout. 

Plus, there are lots of workout options for you here, as well as guided DVDs to inspire and coach you, and plenty of online training support to make this a long-term fitness buddy.

The Total Gym FIT isn't cheap, but you get a lot for your money. For those who want heavier weights, or if you have space for a larger system, we'd recommend looking at our Marcy MWM-988 Multifunction Home Gym review, or checking out our Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym review.

How to set up the Total Gym FIT

Luke Edwards

Luke is a veteran tech journalist with decades of experience covering everything from TVs, power tools, science and health tech to VPNs, space, gaming and cars. You may recognize him from appearances on plenty of news channels or have read his words which have been published in most tech titles over the years. In his spare time (of which he has little as a father of two) Luke likes yoga, surfing, meditation, DIY and consuming all the books, comics and movies he can find.