Total Gym for Beginners: Tips and Tricks
If you’re new to the Total Gym, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. With so many exercises and attachments to choose from, it can be hard to know which ones are right for you.
That’s why we’ve put together this beginner’s guide to using the Total Gym, filled with tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your workout.
What is Total Gym?
The Total Gym is a unique piece of fitness equipment that utilizes your body weight and gravity to provide resistance for a variety of exercises. Unlike traditional home gyms that rely on external weights, the Total Gym uses a sliding board and pulley system to challenge your muscles.
One of the biggest benefits of the Total Gym is its portability and the ability to change exercises without stopping to adjust weights. Additionally, the adjustable height of the slide board allows for a customizable workout, as a higher setting will increase the resistance by lifting a higher percentage of your body weight, while a lower setting will decrease the resistance by lifting a smaller percentage of your body weight.
The Total Gym also allows for a full range of motion during exercise, and depending on the model, there are hundreds of exercises that can be performed for the arms, legs, and core.
Total Gym has been producing exercise machines for over 30 years and there are currently several versions of the popular home gym available on the market. Each model has its own unique features and attachments, but they all utilize the same principle of using your body weight and gravity as resistance.
Find a Total Gym for You
If you don’t have a Total Gym yet then you might like to take a look at our guide to the Best Total Gym models. I have also written an in-depth Total Gym XLS Review, Total Gym FIT review, and a Total Gym XLS vs Total Gym FIT comparison so there is plenty to keep you going!
If time is short then the table below summarises the differences The Total Gym FIT is a good choice for most people and does everything that you need it to.
|Total Gym FIT||Total Gym XLS||Total Gym GTS|
Upgraded Squat Stand
2-piece Wing Attachment
Ribbed Squat Stand
|Weight Capacity||450 lb||400 lb||650 lb|
|Warranty||Lifetime frame, 2 year parts||Lifetime frame, 6 month parts||5-year Warranty on Frame, |
1-year Warranty on Parts
Check Price Here
Check Price Here
Check Price Here
If you buy direct from Total Gym you get an amazing 30 days to try it out risk-free. If you don’t like it you can just send it back and get a refund. It’s an amazing offer and we think it’s well worth giving Total Gym a try!
Understanding the Basics of Using a Total Gym
Before you start using the Total Gym, it’s important to understand the basics of how it works. The Total Gym uses your own body weight as resistance, and the incline level can be adjusted to increase or decrease the intensity of your workout.
The machine also comes with a variety of attachments, such as the leg pull, wing attachment, and AbCrunch board, which can be used to target specific muscle groups.
Start with the Basics
When you’re first starting out, it’s important to stick to the basics. This means focusing on exercises that work the major muscle groups, such as the chest, back, and legs.
The Total Gym has a variety of exercises that can be done on the machine, such as the chest press, row, and squat. Start with one or two exercises and work your way up as you become more comfortable with the machine.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when using the Total Gym is safety. Always make sure to use proper form and technique when performing exercises, and never push yourself beyond your limits.
If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop the exercise and talk to a doctor or physical therapist before continuing.
Proper form is crucial when using the Total Gym. Not only will it help you get the most out of your workout, but it will also help prevent injury. Make sure to keep your back straight and your core engaged when performing exercises, and always use a slow and controlled movement.
Mix it up
As you become more comfortable with the Total Gym, you can start to mix up your workout routine. This means trying new exercises and using different attachments to target different muscle groups.
For example, you can use the leg pull attachment to work your legs and the AbCrunch board to work your abs.
Take it Easy
When you’re first starting out, it’s important to take it easy. The Total Gym is a great workout, but it can be intense if you’re not used to it.
Start with a lower incline level and work your way up as you become more comfortable with the machine.
Incorporating cardio into your Total Gym workout is a great way to increase your heart rate and burn calories. You can do this by performing exercises such as the squat, leg press, and row at a higher incline level and a faster pace.
Getting Started with Your New Total Gym
When you first receive your Total Gym, it may seem overwhelming to set up and understand all of the different parts and attachments.
But don’t worry, it’s actually quite simple and straightforward. The first step is to take all of the pieces out of the box and lay them out on the floor. This will give you a good idea of what you’re working with and how everything fits together.
How to Set Up your Total Gym
The first thing you’ll need to do is attach the main frame to the glide board. This is a simple process that involves sliding the glide board into the main frame and then securing it with the provided pins. Once this is done, you can then attach the pulley system to the top of the main frame.
Understanding the different parts and attachments of a Total Gym
There are several attachments and parts that come with your Total Gym, including the squat stand, leg pull accessory, ab crunch board, and wing attachment.
These attachments are designed to provide different types of resistance and target different muscle groups. It’s important to understand what each attachment is used for and how to properly attach and use them.
How to adjust the resistance level
The Total Gym comes with different resistance levels that you can adjust to suit your fitness level and goals. The resistance level is determined by the incline of the glide board.
To adjust the resistance level, simply use the adjustment knob on the main frame to raise or lower the glide board. The higher the incline, the more resistance you will feel. As you become more comfortable with the Total Gym, you can gradually increase the incline to increase the resistance and challenge yourself further.
It’s essential to start with a low resistance level and gradually increase it as you become more comfortable with the exercises and your fitness level improves.
This will help you avoid injury and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your workout.
Remember that it’s always better to start at a lower level and gradually increase the resistance as you build strength and stamina.
Total Gym Exercises for Beginners
Getting started with your Total Gym can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the world of fitness. But don’t worry, with a little bit of knowledge and some practice, you’ll be on your way to a stronger, healthier body in no time. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the basic exercises you can do on your Total Gym to help you get started.
Upper Body Exercises
One of the best things about the Total Gym is that it allows you to target multiple muscle groups in your upper body at once. Some great exercises to start with include chest presses, rows, and pull-ups.
Chest Press: This exercise targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps. To perform a chest press, lie face-up on the glideboard and adjust the resistance level to your desired level. Grasp the handles with your palms facing forward and press up, straightening your arms. Slowly lower the glideboard back to the starting position.
Rows: This exercise targets your back, shoulders, and biceps. To perform rows, sit on the glideboard with your feet on the footpad.
Grasp the handles with your palms facing each other and pull the glideboard towards your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Slowly release the glideboard back to the starting position.
Pull-Ups: This exercise targets your back, shoulders, and biceps. To perform pull-ups, sit on the glideboard with your feet on the footpad.
Grasp the handles with your palms facing away from you and pull your body up towards the handles, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Slowly release the glideboard back to the starting position.
Lower Body Exercises
Just like the upper body, the Total Gym also allows you to target multiple muscle groups in your lower body at once. Some great exercises to start with include squats, leg press, and leg curls.
Squats: This exercise targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. To perform squats, stand on squat stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your body as if you were sitting back into a chair, keeping your weight in your heels. Push back up to the starting position.
Leg Press: This exercise also targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. To perform a leg press, lie face-up on the glideboard with your feet on the footpad. Press the glideboard up, straightening your legs. Slowly lower the glideboard back to the starting position.
Leg Curls: Lie face down on the glide board with your legs hanging off the end. Position the ankle attachment around your ankles and use your legs to curl the glide board towards your glutes. This exercise targets your hamstrings.
Shoulder Press: Sit on the glide board with your legs in a 90-degree angle. Hold the press bar with both hands and press it overhead. This exercise targets your shoulders and triceps.
Tricep Dips: Sit on the glide board with your legs in a 90-degree angle. Place your hands on the press bar and lower your body towards the floor, bending at the elbows. This exercise targets your triceps.
Lateral Pull-Down: Sit on the glide board with your legs in a 90-degree angle. Hold the press bar with both hands and pull it down towards your chest. This exercise targets your back and shoulders.
These are just a few examples of exercises that can be done on a Total Gym. The possibilities are endless and the machine can be used to target all major muscle groups.
It’s important to start with a light resistance level and gradually increase as you become more comfortable and confident with the exercises. It’s also important to use proper form and technique to avoid injury.
Creating a Total Gym Workout Plan
Creating a workout plan is essential for achieving your fitness goals and getting the most out of your Total Gym. Here are some tips on how to create a full-body workout, how often to workout, how to increase resistance and difficulty, and how to track progress.
- How to create a full-body workout
A full-body workout is one that targets all the major muscle groups in your body, including your chest, back, shoulders, arms, legs, and core.
To create a full-body workout, start by selecting exercises that target each muscle group, such as chest press, rows, squats, leg press, crunches, and leg pull-ins. Then, divide your exercises into different categories, such as upper body, lower body, core, and cardio exercises.
- How often to workout
To get the most out of your Total Gym, it’s recommended to workout at least three times a week. Remember that consistency is key, so it’s better to workout for shorter durations more frequently, rather than long durations less frequently.
- How to increase resistance and difficulty
As you progress in your workout, you’ll want to increase the resistance level to continue challenging yourself. To increase resistance, you can use heavier weights, increase the incline level, or use different attachments. Additionally, you can also increase the difficulty of exercises by doing more reps or sets.
- How to track progress
Tracking your progress is essential to staying motivated and seeing the results of your hard work. Keep track of your weight, reps, sets, and resistance level for each exercise.
This will help you identify which exercises are working for you and which ones need more improvement. You can also take progress photos and measurements to see your physical changes over time.
Overall, creating a workout plan is a great way to stay organized and focused while using the Total Gym. By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a full-body workout, workout consistently, increase resistance and difficulty, and track your progress. With this guide, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals and getting the most out of your Total Gym.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
One of the most common mistakes beginners make when using the Total Gym is not warming up or stretching before and after their workout.
Warming up and stretching are essential for preventing injury and preparing your muscles for the workout ahead. A proper warm-up should include light cardio exercises, such as jogging in place or jumping jacks, and dynamic stretching, such as arm circles or leg swings.
After your workout, be sure to cool down and stretch again to help your muscles recover and reduce soreness.
Another common mistake is not using proper form and technique when performing exercises. This can lead to injury and ineffective workouts. Be sure to read the instruction manual and watch online tutorials for guidance on proper form and technique. If you’re unsure, consult a personal trainer or physical therapist for help.
Adjusting the resistance level correctly is also crucial for an effective workout.
The Total Gym comes with different resistance levels, so it’s essential to use the right level for your fitness level and exercise goals. If the resistance level is too high, you may not be able to perform the exercise correctly and could risk injury.
If it’s too low, you may not be challenging your muscles enough to see results. Take the time to experiment with different resistance levels and find what works best for you.
Lastly, not taking rest days is another common mistake that beginners make. Your body needs time to recover and repair after a workout, so it’s essential to schedule rest days into your workout plan. Overtraining can lead to injury and burnout, so be sure to listen to your body and give it the rest it needs.
Beginners Guide to Total Gym: Final Thoughts
The Total Gym is a versatile and effective piece of equipment for anyone looking to improve their fitness.
As a beginner, it can be overwhelming to know where to start, but by following the tips and tricks outlined in this guide, you can set yourself up for success.
Remember to start slow, focus on proper form and technique, and increase resistance and difficulty gradually.
With consistent use and a well-rounded workout plan, the Total Gym can help you achieve your fitness goals and improve your overall health and well-being.
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