24 September 2008

My Total Gym and Me:Part-2

photo of a total gymAs you can see from the picture, the gym consists of two frames that are attached to each other. One frame holds the bench, which slides up and down on rollers. The other frame acts as the incline and allows you to raise and lower the bench. The Total Gym also includes other attachments that are used for a variety of exercises: a Pilate's Bar(the U-shaped bar at the base), which can be used for...Pilate's, but can also be used for Lunges and reverse pull-ups, Dip Bars (the bars seen near the top of the glide board), a Press-Up Bar(not shown), Leg Pulley Accessory (not shown,but attaches at the top of the vertical column), a Wing Accessory (seen at the top of the glide board column), and a Weight Bar (seen near the bottom of the glide board), which can be used to attach additional weights for added resistance (up to 75 pounds).

in use...94"

in use...44-1/2"

With Weight Bar... 24"
Without Weight Bar... 16-1/2"

Unit Weight...69lbs.
Max User Weight...275
Max Additional Weight...75
Total Weight...350

As you can see, the Total Gym 1700 can be folded when not in use, which is a great
space-saver for small residences.

** These observations are written based on my usage of the machine at 4-5 times a week for just over 13 months.

The Bench:

As mentioned, he bench slides up and down on the lower frame. It can be used either with or without the pulley/cable attached. So far, I have had no problems with the bench or the rollers. I have had to lubricate the rollers recently, but other than that, just a general weekly wipe-down will keep the bench rolling smoothly. To lubricate the rollers, it is suggested by the manufacturer to use machine oil. You will be looking for a product such as this to use...


OK, here is where I ran into some problems. After about 8 months of use, I noticed
that the outer, protective coating on the steel cables was started to crack. Although, this would cause no problems with the integrity of the cables, I did not wish to take any chances. This is when I discovered the Total Gym does not support its older models. However,after a great deal of searching, I was able to find a company,Huck Products which supplies ALL the items (at a higher quality) you may ever need. It supplies cables, rollers, benches, ropes, pulleys, hardware, etc. I purchased the replacement cables and have been using them ever since with no difficulties.

Rope/pulley and Foot Harness:

This is used for a variety of exercises that target the leg, thighs, buttocks, and the lower back. I have used this attachment for several months. However, as of last month the stitching on the foot harness has been tearing away. I will also need to
replace this before I can continue with these set of exercises.

Dip Bars and Pull-up Bars:

I have had no problems with these attachments.

Leg attachment:

The only problem I have had with this attachment, is the padding has just
recently started to tear.

All in all, I have been very happy with my Total Gym 1700. The problems I have mentioned have occurred after extensive use over a long period of time. The results I have obtained through the exercises has been phenomenal. If used as described, 3-4 times a week for 20 minutes a day, you WILL see results within the 6-week time period.

The Total Gym 1700 comes with all the accessories mentioned above and also includes a workout DVD (which did not work on our DVD player or computer), a workout manual, which illustrates the various exercises you can do, and a convenient workout Flip Chart, which can be mounted on the gym itself.

If you are a serious weight lifter, than this system is not for you. You would be better-off looking into a BowFlex. However, if you are just a person wishing to supplement their cardio workout with strength training, I would highly recommend this system.

Where to get...

If you decide that you want all the bells and whistles...

photo of a total gym

However, if you are a penny-pincher like me, you can opt for an older version...

photo of a total gym

Now, if you just want to work your upper body, then here is something that I have been using for the past several months. It's called the Iron GymIron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar - Extreme Edition.

As you might be able to tell from the photo, it fits in your doorway and you use if to do pull-ups and chin-ups (you can also get a great ab workout using it). Just be sure to measure your doorway, to make sure that it will fit. As I said, I have been using it for several months, along with the Total Gym, and the results have been fantastic.

I hope this answers any questions you may have about my Total Gym. As I said before, I have been using this system for over 13 months now and the results have been outstanding. However, you will only get out of the system, what you put into it. If you are faithful and exercise on a regular basis, you WILL see the results. If, however, you decide to give-up on your exercise regime, than I have to say that you just purchased an expensive clothes rack.

Good luck and I hope that I have given you the information you need to make an educated decision. If you have any further questions or require additional information, please leave a comment and I will get back to you.

See also...My Total Gym and Me:Part-1


  1. That is a great price for so much. But my dad would probably use it as a clothes rack! ;-)

    P.S. I think Koko might like to play with an avocado seed - just sayin' ...

  2. Lux: Before I started exercising, for years our Nordic Track was a clothes rack. It also acted as a great place to put boxes.
    Koko would love to play with an avocado seed. He would chase it around the house a few times, then he would push it under the couch and then look at me and howl:)

  3. Great information! I've always wondered about the Total Gym so your information has been very helpful. Now, are you going to tell us how to stay motivated for 13 months or longer?!

  4. BeadedTail: Thank you, I'm glad you found it helpful. As for the motivation, I use guilt. If I don't feel like exercising one day, I usually end-up "guilting" myself into doing it. Either that or hire a really mean personal trainer.

  5. Great info, I too have enjoyed my original total gym 1000 for years and just now have had to replace the cable for the handles. I purchased the new cable thru Hucks and it came promptly with the new "Replacement Cable for the Total Gym with Plastic Handles" and a small copper tube. That I assume is supposed to aide in taking off old. How the heck did you swap them out? I can't see how to open the plastic handle to put on new. Since it's an older model, should I have ordered the entire handle and cable? thanks in advance, for any help you might lend.

  6. tamgwen: I purchased the cable for the metal handle, as this is the handle that came with my gym. I went by the Huck's site and tried to figure out how you are supposed to separate the handle from the cable. Just from the pictures, it looks like the copper tube may squeeze the top of the cable (the little button on top) to allow you to remove it from the handle. If you can copy and paste the instructions here in the comment section, I will try and figure it out. Another option for taking the plastic handles off of the old cable: do you have something that would let you cut the old cable to remove the plastic handle? Please let me know how it goes.

  7. tahtimbo: The replacement cables did not come with any instructions. Just the cable and that small copper tubing. I tried to apply it, in every fashion I could think of to access the plastic handle, but it simply must be the wrong tool. I have thought to cut off the existing cable, but think I still need to contact Huck to find out if perhaps they'd sent the wrong tool packed with. I've taken pictures, but cannot paste here. thanks for your time and effort!

  8. tamgwen: I would definitely contact them (they have a support link on their site)and ask for instructions. Good luck and let me know what happens.

  9. tahtimbo: Great news! I got a speedy response from Huck customer service and they attached a PDF file with the intructions and apologized for the missing paper work. Turns out that the copper tube does come into play, after cutting away the cable, you then tap out that middle section. Thanks again for your assistance and for referring Huck, they are truly a wonderful resource for Total Gym products.

  10. tamgwen: That is fantastic news. I'm glad you were able to solve the problem. Take care and happy exercising:)


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