Total Gym 1000 Exercise Guide


The Total Gym 1000 was one of the earliest Total Gym models made available for home use. Once you get the knack of positioning yourself on the glideboard, you can use the Total Gym 1000 to work any major muscle group. The Total Gym design has changed little over the years, although the Total Gym 1000 lacks a few refinements found in more recent models, like thicker glideboard padding and wider stabilizer bars.


The Total Gym 1000 consists of a bottom outer rail and a vertical column, connected by two parallel rails. You control the workout intensity by adjusting the parallel rails to different incline angles. You sit, kneel or lie on a padded glideboard mounted on the incline rails, then control the glideboard's movement on the rails by pushing or pulling on the wing or leg pulley attachments that came with the Total Gym. You can also control the glideboard by pushing or pulling on the handles attached to cables, which run through two pulleys mounted at the top of the incline rails.

Setup and Takedown

The Total Gym 1000 folds for easy storage when not in use. To fold the TG 1000, remove the wing and leg pulley accessories and clip the arm pulley cable to the underside of the glideboard. Lower the incline rails all the way to the floor, then remove the hitch pins holding the vertical column upright and fold it down between the incline rails. Replace the hitch pins, then lift up in the center of the Total Gym to fold it in half. Reverse this procedure to deploy the Total Gym 1000.


The Total Gym 1000 comes with two accessories: A leg pulley cuff and a wing accessory. To use the leg pulley, mount the pulley backet at the top of the vertical column. Unhook the arm pulley cable from the clip on the glideboard's underside, replacing it with the leg pulley O-ring. Hook the leg pulley D-ring to the leg pulley bracket on the vertical column. You're then ready to attach the pulley harness to one foot and perform exercises like hip abduction or leg extensions.

To use the wing attachment, place it over the holes located either at the top or bottom of the incline rails. Slide two hitch pins through the wing attachment and the rails to hold it in place, one on either side. Positioning the wing attachment at the top of the rails allows you to do pull-ups and leg curls. Positioning it at the bottom of the rails sets you up for sprint starts, press-ups and shoulder presses.


You can perform a number of exercises on the Total Gym 1000 without even touching the wing attachment or leg pulley accessories. For example, straddle the glideboard facing upslope. Grasp a pulley handle in each hand and pull yourself up the rails. This works every major muscle in your back, plus your shoulders and arms. If you sit on the glideboard facing downslope and push yourself up the rails you work your chest, shoulders and arms. Aim to maintain an even balance between pushing and pulling exercises.


How much weight you lift during any given exercise depends mostly on how high you set the incline rails and whether you're using the pulleys or the wing attachment to move the glideboard. But how much you weigh makes a small difference, too.

For example, if you set the Total Gym 1000 at its highest incline -- 24 degrees -- and weigh 120 lbs., you'll lift 45 percent of your body weight if you use the wing attachment. But that's only if you're using the wing attachment. If you use the pulleys, they introduce a mechanical advantage that cuts the percentage of body weight lifted in half, to 22.5 percent. If you weigh 200 lbs. you'd lift 43 percent of your body weight by using the wing attachment. Using the pulleys reduces that to 21.5 percent.


The Total Gym 1000 measures 88 inches long by 16 1/8 inches wide by 44 inches high when deployed for use. You'll also need an arms-length of free space to each side of the machine as you exercise. The Total Gym 1000 measures 50 1/2 inches long by 16 1/8 inches wide by 8 1/2 inches high when folded for storage, and has a maximum user weight limit of 275 lbs.