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Struggling to find the right home gym for your needs? Some people want a home gym that’s best for building muscle, others want one that uses bodyweight, and others still want one with great storage. Today our Total Gym XLS vs Bowflex review will compare these two to see which is the best home gym for your fitness needs.
Our Bowflex vs Total Gym XLS review will compare these based on exercises, weight, accessories, storage, and any other differences we can find.
Read on and you’ll find the best home gym to get muscle. We found that Total Gym XLS was superior in many ways and suggest it here, but Bowflex Xceed is also a fantastic system for some people.
Does the Total Gym Actually Work?
Total Gym XLS is one of their premier models, and it goes to show you how popular bodyweight exercises are. Unlike some other home gyms that use static weights, the Total Gym system instead uses your own weight. You can use this for flies, curls, squats, and much more. You’ll find that not only is this a great way to tone your muscles, but it also makes you more flexible in general.
This system is effective because it ensures that you have a constant load on your body. Not only are you pushing and pulling yourself, but you can also change the resistance by doing harder workouts or increasing the incline. You’ll always feel the burn with this home gym.
Does Bowflex Home Gym Actually Work?
While there are several Bowflex home gyms to choose from and each is slightly different (we’re looking at Bowflex Xceed here since it’s the closest to Total Gym XLS, but we’ve reviewed many other Bowflex gyms), they all use the Bowflex Power Rod system.
This is more like a traditional gym because it gives you static resistance for both isolated and compound movements. The difference between Bowflex and a regular gym though is that the bars don’t weigh that much. Even though most of their gyms provide 210-410lbs of resistance, the bars weigh far less.
If you want a regular gym experience but at home, then Bowflex gyms are the way to go.
Bowflex vs Total Gym XLS: Exercises
The first thing you should consider is how many exercises you can do with your home gym. You want the home gym to help you gain muscle and improve your fitness, not limit your movements and be difficult to use.
If you’re looking for Total Gym workouts, then you’ll be able to know that XLS offers over 80 different movements with one machine. You can work your whole body, and there are both isolated and compound movements for nearly every muscle group.
This is achieved by using pulleys along with your bodyweight. If you want to do a cable exercise, then you’ll have no problem doing it with XLS Total Gym.
What about Bowflex? Each gym is different. We chose Bowflex Xceed here because it’s similar to XLS. In terms of Total Gym vs Bowflex you’ll find that most Bowflex models offer fewer workouts. The Xceed offers 60+, which is still a good amount. It just misses out on some of the squatting and rowing exercises you get with Total Gym.
That being said, some Bowflex models have more exercises. For example, Bowflex Revolution offers over 100 exercises. In general though, we’d say that XLS wins here.
Bowflex Xceed vs Total Gym XLS: Weight
You build muscle by working with resistance, so you want to see how much resistance your home gym offers. While both of these offer resistance in different ways, they are both developed to build muscle at home. Total Gym will be better for many people, but it’s easier to control Bowflex in terms of scaling up or down the weight as needed.
What is the Total Gym XLS weight limit? This machine has a limit of 400 pounds. While this uses your body as resistance, don’t think that you’re really lifting that much. Instead, you might be lifting less or even more. It all depends on the incline.
XLS comes with six incline settings. Each setting up has gravity working against you, which increases the weight and improves your muscular response. This ensures you get as much resistance as you need to get stronger.
Bowflex Xceed is a little more traditional. It uses Power Rods that each offer a varying level of resistance. The gym comes with 210lbs of resistance (which is common for most Bowflex gyms), but it can be upgraded to 410lbs with additional rods.
You simply choose the rod you want and begin lifting. This makes it easier to lift an exact amount of weight rather than relying on your bodyweight and incline. At the same time, it’s less dynamic by comparison.
Both are good, so it really depends on which one you feel more comfortable with.
Total Gym XLS vs Bowflex Xceed: Accessories
Both of these come with similar accessories. Bowflex has more, but that’s because it needs extra accessories to let you workout properly. Total Gym XLS comes with the basics, but those still allow you to do the 80+ workouts with ease.
Both of these come with cables and handles for your hands or feet. Bowflex comes with extra handles, but it also has other cable positions, so that makes sense. You also get a squat bar for squats and other exercises.
While getting more accessories is typically better, we hesitate to say that here. The accessories are aimed at letting you workout in different positions, but the Total Gym’s cables only require the only position to give you all the movements you need.
Not only that, but the Total Gym XLS with Ab Crunch gives you great ways to work your core. Bowflex is amazing, but we think this is more of a tie since the accessories themselves are similar and give you the same amount of value.
Total Gym XLS vs Bowflex: Storage
Maybe you’re tight on space or you just don’t want the home gym out all the time. In either case, a good storage system makes it easy to fold the gym up and place it under a bed or in a closet. While some Bowflex gyms offer this, we think the big winner here is Total XLS in terms of Total Gym vs Bowflex.
Every Total Gym model folds, including XLS. Folding the Total Gym XLS is simple and can be done in a few seconds. You’ll then be able to place it nearly anywhere with ease. The same can’t be said for Bowflex.
Some Bowflex gyms offer this. Currently the Bowflex gyms that fold are PR1000, Blaze, and Revolution. That means the Xceed we’re reviewing here doesn’t offer it. Even for the ones that do fold, we have to say that XLS folds down smaller, and it’s easier to put back together because you don’t need to worry about the rods.
While Bowflex is pretty good at storage, Total Gym is just better.
What is the Difference Between Total Gym XLS and Bowflex?
Curious about what is the difference between Bowflex and Total Gym XLS? While these are both fantastic home gyms, they have very different design and fitness philosophies.
Total Gym uses your bodyweight as resistance while Bowflex uses Power Rods. Both are great, so it really depends on your preference. Bowflex makes it easier to increase or decrease weight, but Total Gym is more functional and has incline settings for changing the resistance.
Total Gym offers more workouts and much better storage, but Bowflex is a more traditional gym experience. Bowflex also offers more accessories, but we found that Total Gym still gives you more workout movements and versatility.
In general, both are good, but we found that Total Gym is overall the better of the two.
So, which is better here? We found that XLS is the winner here as it offers more versatility, workouts, incline options, and more, but Bowflex puts up a great fight with numerous workouts and a more traditional weight system. For the Total Gym XLS price, we think you get a better value here, but you can often save some money by choosing Bowflex.