As its name suggests, the Total Gym is a piece of fitness equipment that is designed to take the place of all the other equipment you might find in a workout facility. People have indeed lost weight by using the Total Gym -- though if you want to be one of them, you should first understand the mechanisms of weight loss and how the Total Gym can help.
Strength Training Equipment
The Total Gym is, in essence, a piece of strength training equipment. On its website, Total Gym is described as a piece of "functional" resistance training equipment which utilizes your own body weight, providing resistance similar to what you might encounter during weight training. Strength training is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, reminds the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The main function of strength training is to build muscle. Muscle requires more energy to maintain than fat tissue -- so by building muscle, you'll burn more calories throughout the day and you could lose weight over time.
Your body requires calories -- another word for energy -- to move. When you burn more calories than your body requires for its basic functions, you'll create a calorie deficit and you'll lose weight. If you're sedentary or you don't exercise at all and you start using the Total Gym, you're going to be moving your body more than you did before, and that could result in more calories burned and a subsequent calorie deficit. That calorie burn coupled with the building of muscle has helped numerous people lose weight, according to the testimonials published on the Total Gym Direct website.
There's much more to losing weight than simply doing cardio and strength training workouts. You can create the necessary calorie deficit by adding more exercise to your daily routine -- but if you want to do it even faster, you'll also need to alter your diet, reminds personal trainer Michael Behnken, who reviewed the Total Gym for his website Ask the Trainer. While Behnken endorses the Total Gym as a viable piece of equipment for weight loss, he also reminds readers that a well-balanced diet with proper nutrition is the key to real success. If you're not sure how many calories your body needs, use a calculator such as the one provided by the American Council on Exercise to calculate your needs based on your weight, age and gender.
Ideal Approach to Weight Loss
If you've chosen the Total Gym as the equipment you'll use to work out and lose weight, you can see results -- but keep in mind that a combination of a calorie-controlled diet, strength training and cardiovascular exercise is the best approach. Ideally, you'll perform strength training exercises with the Total Gym two to three days a week on nonconsecutive days and then perform cardiovascular exercise such as running, swimming, cycling or aerobics about five days a week to help the weight come off faster. In terms of calorie burn, keep in mind that strength training exercises only burn roughly 112 calories in 30 minutes for a 155-pound person, while continuous cardio such as cycling can burn nearly three times as many calories.
- Total Gym: Functional Resistance Training
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity and Health
- American Council on Exercise: Trimming Off the Fat
- Total Gym Direct: Total Gym Success Stories - Women
- Ask the Trainer: Total Gym Review
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- American Council on Exercise: Tools and Calculators