The Total Body Works 5000 and all three models of the Total Gym, which is endorsed by celebrities Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley, are similar machines. While two of the Total Gym models cost more than the Total Body Works 5000, they also come fully assembled and include extras that don't come with the Total Body Works.
Both the Total Body Works 5000 and the Total Gym feature a padding, sliding board that you sit or lie on and a pair of cable pulleys mounted at the top of a pair of inclined rails. As you push and pull on the cable handles, you slide the board, with your own body weight as resistance, up and down along the machine's rails. Adjusting either of the machines up to a steeper incline forces you to lift more of your body weight, while lowering the incline makes the exercises easier.
The Total Body Works 5000 and the Total Gym XLS and 3000 models also offer stationary leg or squat platforms beneath the sliding platform. You work your legs by planting one or both feet on the leg platform and pushing your body weight, on the sliding platform, away from you.
The Total Body Works 5000 comes with adjustable resistance bands to give you as much as 50 lbs. of extra resistance beyond your own body weight. This is ideal for long-term users because if you want to avoid hitting a plateau, you must continually challenge your muscles with more difficult exercises.
The Total Body Works 5000 and all Total Gym models fold for storage under a bed, behind a sofa or in the closet. Additional Total Body Works features include prominent fixed handles near the pulleys, for exercises such as pull-ups, and a workout guide to get you started using the machine.
Total Gym features include fixed handles mounted near the pulleys on all models and four instructional DVDs, a leg pulley accessory and a pilates kit with the XLS model.
Maximum User Weight
The Total Body Works supports a maximum user weight of 250 lbs. Total Gym weight capacities are 250 lbs., 300 lbs. and 400 lbs. for the 2000, 3000 and XLS models.
Cost and Warranty
As of May 2010, the Weider Total Body Works 5000 retails for $600 and comes with a 90-day parts warranty. The Total Gym starts at $600 and can cost as much as $2,000 depending on the model purchased. The Total Gym 2000 has no warranty, the 3000 model has a 90-day parts warranty, and the XLS includes a six-month parts warranty.