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How to Train With a Total Gym

by
author image Sarka-Jonae Miller
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.

The Total Gym home fitness system is a weight-training machine, sold most prominently through infomercials. You can use the Total Gym to train your arms, shoulders, chest, back, abs and legs. The Total Gym has more than 100 exercises to choose from. Use the Total Gym three to four days each week for one to two sets of 15 to 25 reps, if you are a beginner, or one to three sets of 12 to 20 reps if you are an intermediate exerciser.

Beginner Workout

Step 1

Follow the Beginner Workout if you have never used a Total Gym before. Do the leg pull, arm pullover, butterfly, seated row, squats, decline abdominal crunch and stretcher exercises, in that order.

Step 2

Do one to two sets of 15 to 25 reps of the leg pull and the arm pullover. Perform each exercise at a slow tempo and take a 60-second rest between them. Adjust the incline of the glideboard to the lowest angle for your first workout. Do the leg pull by lying flat on the glideboard. Secure your feet under the black wing accessory near the pulley with your legs straight. Flex your feet to point your toes. Bend your knees and pull the board until you are almost touching your heels. Straighten your legs again to finish one rep.

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Step 3

Perform the arm pullover. Lie on the board and grab the handles of the cables, with your palms facing the ceiling. Bring your arms straight over your head so that your biceps are by your ears. Put your feet on the board with your heels by your buttocks. Pull your arms straight up and over down until they touch the board next to your sides. Raise your arms straight over your head again to complete one rep.

Step 4

Finish the workout by doing 15 to 20 reps of the butterfly, seated row, squats, decline abdominal crunch and stretcher as described in your owner's manual, or as shown on the Total Gym Direct website (see Resources). Use a slow tempo and controlled movements. Rest for 60 seconds between these exercises.

Step 5

Raise the incline of the glideboard over time as the exercises become easier. Write down the incline for each exercise in your Workout Guide. Try the next higher angle if an exercise does not tire you out by the last repetition.

Intermediate Workout

Step 1

Do the Beginner Workout exercises in order, as listed above.

Step 2

Perform 12 to 20 reps of the leg pull. Use a two-second tempo where you do each part of the exercise in two seconds. Bend your knees and pull your legs up in two seconds, and then straighten your legs in two seconds.

Step 3

Do the arm pullover immediately following the leg pull, without resting.

Step 4

Continue to the next exercise and complete the workout in a circuit, which means that you should do each exercise back-to-back.

Step 5

Do a total of three sets.

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References

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