With a hefty price tag of $899, this exercise machine may seem like an expensive option. However, it justifies its price with solid construction, and the variety of exercises that that can be done with it.
The XLS Trainer is an inclined machine with a glide board, which means it uses your body weight and gravity to provide the resistance. This means that there is an upper limit to the amount of resistance it can provide. It will be some fraction of the user’s body weight, depending on the setting. It is a great option for those who want a convenient way to work out at home and keep fit. Hardcore fitness enthusiasts might want to look elsewhere, however, as it will not provide the same workout as a machine with more substantial resistance. A couple of dumbbells can make many of the exercises more of a workout.
The XLS trainer is the top end of the Total Gym brand, and so it includes all the attachments and a number of potential upgrades. The comfort system includes more padding on the glide board and headrest. The upgraded squat stand allows for a few more possible exercises. Other upgrades, such as the chrome package and the nylon handles make less of a difference and are a more cosmetic feature. The full range of attachments does allow a wider variety of exercises; including a number of Pilates exercise routines. Some of the exercises are awkward when trying to use the pulley system, as well, and simply doing triceps and bicep curls with a little weight can be an easier and more effective option.
The bench is seven feet long, and three and a half feet wide when it is set up, and the specs list it as 83 pounds. The machine is advertised as being able to fold up, and store easily. It does fold up and lie flat, however, storing it might be an exercise in itself. Folded flat it is over nine feet long, and that combined with the weight make it a bear to move around. There are also many places to pinch your fingers and injure yourself when folding the machine up. The glide board is a particular danger in this regard, as it will move around on you as the machine is shifted. Users with long hair should also be cautious, as there is a potential for it to get caught and wrapped up in the machine.
With those few caveats, however, it is a quality machine that allows a whole range of exercises. The machine comes with many suggested exercises and also with a set of DVDs that demonstrate a full body workout at a few different intensity levels. The extra attachments are worth the increase in price over the base models.