At first glance, the Weider Total Body Works 5000 appears almost identical to Total Gym models such as the 1700 Club and 1800 Club. In the crowded, competitive field of glideboard gyms, it's hard to make yourself stand out from the crowd. But if you look a little closer, you'll see a few fundamental between the Weider 5000 and Total Gym models.
The Weider Body Works 5000 has a smaller footprint than both Total Gym models. The Total Gym 1700 and 1800 measure approximately 94-inches long by 16-inches wide by 44.5 inches high. The Weider 5000 measures 71-inches long by 26.5-inches wide by 49.5-inches high.
Both the Total Body Works 5000 and the Total Gym function almost exactly the same way. You adjust the glideboard rails to a higher angle for more resistance, or a lower angle for less resistance. You then grasp the pulley handles and push or pull on them to move the glideboard up the rails. Your body weight, as you perch on the glideboard, provides the resistance.
The 1700 Club comes standard with a weight bar that mounts on the bottom edge of the glideboard. You can add up to 75 lbs. of free-weight plates for more resistance. This bar doesn't come standard on the 1800 Club, but you can purchase it as an add-on accessory. The Weider Body Works offers an unusual elastic resistance system for added resistance. Four elastic resistance bands are attached to the glideboard. Pull one, two, three or all of the bands down and slip them into the band holder at the bottom of the frame for up to 50 lbs. of extra resistance.
The Total Gym comes with a much wider range of accessories than the Total Body Works. The few accessories the Weider model does offer -- pull-up bars and a squat stand -- have ready analogs in the Total Gym world. Differences are minor and mainly aesthetic. For example, the Weider pull-up bars are permanently mounted on the top rail. The Total Gym version mounts on the incline rails below the pulleys and is meant to be removed when not in use.
Cost and Warranty
As of September 2010, both the 1700 Club and 1800 Club retail for between $350 and $450. They're backed by a one-year warranty. The Weider Total Body Works trumps the Total Gym in price, with a regular retail price of about $150 direct from the manufacturer. But it's only backed by a 90-day warranty.
The Total Gym models offer a slightly higher user weight capacity than the Weider 5000, at 275 lbs. compared to 250 lbs.