The Total Gym XLS Trainer is an infomercial product that gets surprisingly high marks from owners. Unlike home gyms that use weight plates, the XLS Trainer has a pulley-and-cable system that works against gravity and your own body weight to provide resistance. The incline bench can be raised or lowered to make exercises easier or more difficult. Reviewers like that the gym is so compact and easy to assemble, and it folds when not in use.
Users say the cable system takes some getting used to, but most are happy with the workout variety. However, this Total Gym model attracts a number of durability complaints, and many say that customer service is unresponsive if something goes wrong. Heavy or obese users also dislike that the bench is so low to the ground. Overall, reviewers prefer the Body-Solid EXM1500S (Est. $900) , a home gym that uses weight plates.
User reviews are the best source of information on the Total Gym XLS Trainer, especially at Amazon.com, where verified purchases are clearly noted. The thousands of reviews at Buzzillions.com are also worth a read, just keep in mind that most of these reviews come from the Total Gym website.
The Total Gym XLS Trainer maintains a 4.5-star rating (out of 5) after 70 reviews at Amazon.com. Most reviewers are very pleased with the gym, although they caution that it is best for beginners or casual exercisers rather than serious fitness enthusiasts.
Review: Total Gym XLS Trainer, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2012
There are nearly 3,000 reviews for the Total Gym XLS Trainer at Buzzillions.com, but most of these are taken from the Total Gym website. Most reviews are highly positive, although there are many complaints about durability and unresponsive customer service.
Review: Total Gym XLS, Contributors to Buzzillions.com, As of April 2012