Last edited by JulieB; Aug. 26/06 at 05:29 PM.
I can't speak for Bobsk8, of course, but the reason I decided on the Total Trainer Pilates model was that it included the extra accessories for the Pilates exercises (different foot board, shoulder pads, extra Pilates video), and had nearly everything all the other higher end models had. They only have two models that do that, and one is the "Pilates Pro" model that is for people over 6' 2" (I'm 5' 10"). The Pilates exercises are recommended to me for my back problem. But I also wanted to make sure the Pilates model had the ball bearing rollers (it does ... see the comparison chart at http://www.total-trainer.com/chart.html).
Originally Posted by JulieB
In my research, I found a few reviews at epionions.com where people criticized the "TPU 90AE Roller and Axle System" and said the ball bearing rollers were the better choice, as they rolled smoother. So the two models on the left of that chart were out. Then I looked at what the Pilates model DIDN'T have but the more expensive ones did ... namely chromed rails, a bicep bar and the pro AB crunch strap. I didn't see a need for those for my purposes, so the Pilates model was it for me.
Its not difficult to assemble, but it was a bit of a struggle to get it out of the double carton! They really pack it well. The Setup Sheet covers the basic setup of the machine, but you really need to look in the instruction book to see how all the accessories work. The first 12 pages are devoted to how to set it up for different exercises. And you have to check ahead to the Pilates section at page 42 - 43 to see how to change some of the set ups ... like the side pulley setup. I had to use the videos for a really good picture of how to use the resistance bands ... the picture in the Pilates section don't show it well. And the videos have much better demonstrations of how to safely get on and off the machine.
I'm very happy with it, but have only done very light exercises with it so far. I'm suffering from a bout of sciatica that isn't going away, so I can't irritate the nerve any more than it is now. But I did find a very interesting way to use the machine to provide relief for my sciatica ... put on level 3, I can hook my feet into the strap at the vertical resistance rail and allow the TT to work like an inversion table / traction device. Five minutes of that and the sciatica is gone for 4 to 6 hours. I return to the doctor next week (if my labs are back) so I'll know if I'm able to resume some exercising. In the meantime, I'm doing the stretching exercises on it, and I like it very much.
I think you're right ... the rails wouldn't look chromed next to a 1956 Chevy bumper, but they are silver in color rather than black. And I do have a pull up bar that the lines attach to and a weird strap thing I haven't figured out yet (has two handles and a D-ring in the center ... maybe that's the ab crunch strap thing).
Originally Posted by Bobsk8
I had my first real exercise session on it last night ... I'm being pretty cautious until my next doctor's appointment. So I started with the stretching program (slightly modified to not stress my back) and then the lower back program, keeping the machine on a low level until I'm used to it (and the doctor signs off on its use). It works well, and once you figure out how to position yourself on it ... and the video helps a lot in this regard ... you can do several different exercises without a lot of delay in between.
I'm sorry to hear about your injuries. You seem to be very proactive in spite of it, though.
Originally Posted by fshagan
So you have this model, correct?
Bayou Total Trainer Pilates System with 19 Levels
The Pilates Total Trainer System comes with both Total Trainer and Pilates accessories. The Pilates accessories include a dual leg cuff, shoulder pads, power cords and a toe bar. Also included is a Pilates instructional video and manual making this home gym versatile for men and women. The maximum user height is 6’ 2”. This home gym ships fully assembled, double boxed and has a shipping weight of 100 lbs. More Information Sale Price $399.00
And Bobsk8 has this one?
Bayou Total Trainer Pilates Pro with 21 LEVELS
The Pilates Total Trainer System comes with both Total Trainer and Pilates accessories. The Pilates accessories include a dual leg cuff, shoulder pads, power cords and a toe bar. Also included is a Pilates instructional video and manual making this home gym versatile for men and women. The maximum user height is 6’ 7”. This home gym ships fully assembled, double boxed and has a shipping weight of 100 lbs. More Information Sale Price $499.00
I'm a 5'4" female, so I'm thinking the first machine would be the better choice for me.
Do these machines provide decent upper body strength training as well? It seems most of the pictures I've seen show more of the Pilates- legwork.
Bobsk8, and Fshagen... thank you for your feedback.
Yep, that's the one I have. Look on eBay for it; they have auctions where they accept a "Best Offer" ... I bid 10% off, for $360, and they accepted that. They might go to 15% off or so.
Originally Posted by JulieB
(Thanks for the kind words about the back pain; its one of the reasons I got the Total Trainer, and I'm slowly getting better. I go to the doctor again next Friday and I'll see what kind of exercises I can add to my stretching).
There seem to be a lot of exercises for the upper body. I think you can get an aerobic workout as well, but that may decline as you get in better and better shape. One criticism I've heard is that your leg muscles, which are much stronger, will "grow out" of the system sooner than the smaller muscles in your abs, back and arms. My main interest is the upper body, but I'm not trying to build mass but strengthen, stretch and lose weight, so I don't think that's a concern for me.
Originally Posted by JulieB
VigorFit Gym is Awesome
I needed to jump in here. I am an avid fitness buff.
I have used the gyms in question as well as the VigorFit and in my opinion and that of my workout buddies, absolutely nothing beats the VigorFit. It is awesome.
* Super Heavy Duty - I am 6'2" tall and weigh 240 lbs.
* Tons of resistance - you'll never need another gym. If it can handle me and my buddies it can handle anything.
* Every accessory you could ever need, want or desire. I gave up my gym membership.
* Great customer service and a lifetime warranty on 100% of all parts of the gym.
What more can you ask.
There is absolutely no choice here - the VigorFit is the way to go.
In my opinion, everyone should be aware of some of the comments posted to this forum. One user in particular appears to be have alternate motives. I think it is obvious but you be the judge.
Check out their comparison at:
Good Luck in making an informed decision.
VigorFit has my vote.
P.S. - The VigorFit offers a complete Pilates Kit as well as a whole line of accessories. My girlfriend loves Pilates and also loves this gym.
VigorFit Gym Has My Vote Too
I have to agree.
I've worked out at the gym for years. I love doing Pilates.
Working out on the VigorFit is incredibly fun and the results have been great.
I also need to say. This thing is durable. My husband is a big guy and I have 3 teen age sons that try and abuse this gym. The VigorFit is a heavy duty piece of equipment and if it stands up to my husband and kids it will stand up to anything.
Take a look at what other users have to say. It convinced me and I must say ... all the positive feedback about the VigorFit is absolutely true.
I too have read all of the posts and have to agree with Husbeanie... sounds like there are a couple of plants on this forum. Go here to see what convinced me....
I would and have recommended the VigorFit to everyone I know.
Best of luck,
Sounds to me like we have "plants" on both sides. Total Trainer versus VigorFit, the debate rages on.
Yeah, I'm hoping people don't think I'm a plant on this one! I haven't seen the Vigor Fit up close, so I can't really compare with that gym. My cousin has it and likes it a lot, but I ended up getting the Total Trainer after comparing what I wanted and what was included with the Pilates model of the Total Trainer for just a little more. I'm really satisfied with my choice.
I did see the $399 Total Gym at a sporting goods store here in town, and it looked serviceable. I like my Total Trainer better, as the resistance post is beefier and you get a more solid feel with it. In comparing it to the Total Gym, I guess you could list every single thing that is better, but the websites do that already. The Total Trainer just has a much sturdier feel and better looking assembly.
Both the Total Trainer and the Vigor Fit have their fans, and the reviews at the epinions.com site show that most people like them. I think it is a little over the top to say you'll never run out of resistance with them, as I think it is entirely possible to reach that point with leg exercises pretty early on.
The most you can really leg press is equivalent to your body weight, in my estimation, as you are simply pushing off the foot board (my Pilates model also has resistance bands, but I'm not sure you can have those in play for the leg exercises). You can attach a strap to your ankle and get up to the maximum ... but that's only 138 pounds for a 200 pound guy, and the ankle strap is simply not comfortable (at least on my puny ankles). So I think you can get a good upper body, and in the beginning, an OK lower body workout with these machines.
The most you are ever lifting using the hand grips on the ropes for your upper body is either 69% of your body weight or 38% (depending on how many pulleys are engaged). So a 200 pound guy, doing a chest exercise like the bench press, is never going to get more than the equivalent of 138 pounds with one of these machines. Think someone would outgrow that? Guys routinely bench press 250+ pounds. I would think a guy who has been doing free weights for 6 months would be absolutely dissapointed with the workout he got with one of these.
I like mine for what it is, but over stating what any of these fitness machines are is really doing a disservice to the consumer. I think they are the thing for stretching and toning, but I don't think you're going to add a lot of mass with them.
Thanks for your post.
You are incorrect when you talk about resistance - at least as it relates to the VigorFit.
One of the unique features with VigorFit is the real built in resistance.
You can build up to have as much as 440lbs of resistance.
Don't know about you but that is more than enough resistance to never out grow.
This VigorFit is DEFINATELY not just for stretching.
I used to go to the gym religiously and lifted heavy weights. I gave up my membership and use the Vigorfit exclusively.
I can tell you that it really does offer tons of real resistance.
Here are the stats as detailed on their site:
* 72% resistance at the top level
* Resistance bands add up to 188 lbs of built in resistance on top of the resistance from your body weight
* plus you can add free weights.
My buddies were truly shocked when they saw how much resistance this thing could offer.
I think that it is important for people looking at this forum to know the truth about these machines.
Some of the comments regarding not much resiatnce may be true for some other gyms but I can tell you that it is not the case with the Vigorfit.
My guess would be that most people would have a hard time outgrowing this thing.
Again, I use it to bulk up.
Sure its geat for overall conditioning, stretching and Pilates but the added real resistance makes this thing killer.
Hope this helps clarify some confusion to people that may be looking at this style gym but afraid that they will outgrow it or won't be able to add some serious muscle.
* Just to clarify one other issue. The only reason I jumped into this conversation in the first place is that the facts, at least as they relate to the VigorFit have not been presented accurately. I can give people my insight as a user of the product. Some have made inaccuate assesments and comments about the VigorFit. I do not and will not comment on any ther brand gym. Hope this post helps
Lots of great feedback from all. At first I thought the Total Trainer was the one for me......but I like that Vigor Fit has higher resistance. Though, being a girl, I don't know how much I need? It's not like I'd be trying to bulk up to be Ahnuld or anything - but I still would like to gain some muscle as I drop pounds.
Originally Posted by husbeanie
The only thing I noticed when surfing for online reviews of both.....is that I did see more complaints for the Vigor Fit. There were a few comments I noticed that stated it seemed like it was made cheaply, it shook a little, and the pulls were somewhat bumpy/grindy.
And I also like the fact that the Total Trainer has training videos.....whereas I don't believe the Vigor Fit has. Looks like only a manual. I definitely would prefer some visual instruction, to ensure proper form.
(Sigh) Still undecided. LOL. Well, I guess I can't go wrong either way - seems there've been mostly great comments regarding both.
I'm probably wrong on the total on both the Total Trainer and Vigor Fit (although, since I don't have the Vigor Fit, I can't really speak to it). I didn't consider the bands in the equation at all. I'll have to get to that point to see if a work out against the resistance bands is the same kind of workout.
And I also forgot that the Total Trainer allows you to add 100# extra to the slider board with a weight bar that slides through it. The maximum weight without the bands is up to 69% of your body weight plus 100 pounds, so for a 200 pound guy that's 207 pounds.
I can't speak for all gyms but the VigorFit bands have been tested and they post the test results on their site. I have heard that other gyms that have bands just don't add much resistance. Check for yourself before making a purchase.
VigorFit offers 440lbs of resistance and is incredible stable. There is a chart on their site that details the resistance.
Again, I can tell you that I was shocked to see how much resistance this thing has. I have to say that most people will never have to use the free weight option with the VigorFit. Between 72% of your body weight and the 188 lbs of resistance from the bands free weights won't be necessary for most people.
As far as feedback. I disagree. Take a look at the feedback from their Ebay store. 99.8% positive. All raving about the gym. Some who had used the $1750 expensive Total Gym.
VigorFits Feedback Link:
Another factor in my decision is their 10 solutions. Take a look at all of the VigorFits upgrades and solutions. It is an eye opener and after comparing the VigorFit side by side with the Total Gym I can tell you that these upgrades all make a real diference.
In my opinion this thing is incredible smooth and sturdy. The rollers are oversized - huge - sealed ball bearing and they have a flange that keeps the rollers smooth to the track at all times. Just one of the upgrades listed on their site at http://www.vigorfit.com
Check it out for yourself.
Hope my feedback helps someone else. Not a cheerleader or anything for them but I love this thing.
Yep...VigorFit is for me!
Okay, so I haven't really been on here since I started doing my research at the beginning of the year and did my inital post (forever ago)...but I received a personal message about the VigorFit and thought I'd see if the thread was revived.
I did buy a VigorFit over the Total Gym . I haven't seen a Total Trainer or any others that are similar, so I can't speak about them . But I will tell you that I am SO THRILLED that I bought a VigorFit. It is definitely NOT made cheaply, in my opinion. It doesn't look smooth and "clean" as a Total Gym looks around the corners, but to me that's fine because I like seeing how incredibly well this thing is welded together. I feel REALLY safe on it and I'm amazed at the resistance. Being a woman, I don't need the hundreds of pounds of resistance, but my husband LOVES it (and wants it), so the versatility is great between the two of us . It's very nice knowing that as my fitness levels will grow, my machine won't be grown out of. I don't think I will ever hit a plateau with it...it comes with everything (including Pilates attachments) and is so transitional that I feel very content with my purchase.
I hope this helps for those who wanted feedback!
Though I think the TotalTrainer offers a lot more for the money than the VigorFit, I do like the built in resistance bands on the VF. Other than that the TT has it all over the VF.
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