If you’re reading this, odds are you’ve pulled the trigger and purchased a Total Gym…nice. But whether your Total Gym is brand new or aged like a fine wine, rest assured there are ways to add on and expand what your gym can do.
With Total Gym’s extensive lineup of accessories and attachments, you can add even more variety to these already super versatile machines.
And depending on what model you’ve got set up in your home, you might be able to significantly upgrade your system with the addition of a few key attachments.
In this guide, I’ll go over the best accessories Total Gym has to offer.
I’ll discuss why I think these particular accessories have earned their way onto this list as well as provide info regarding which accessories are compatible with which Total Gym models.
Well, without further adieu…
The 5 Best Total Gym Accessories/Attachments
I’d like to start out by saying I’m a really big fan of Total Gym. I was first introduced to them when I was doing my clinical rotations in Physical Therapy school.
Several of the outpatient clinics I went to were using them, primarily for knee and hip rehab, but also for shoulder stuff (rows).
When I graduated and started working, the outpatient clinic I worked for had one as well and we certainly put it to good use.
We used it daily for rehabbing knees and hips- it was great for post-op patients because we could adjust the incline angle to provide a very low-impact way for our patients to perform squats.
I also liked to use it for certain shoulder dysfunctions because I could have my patients perform dynamic rows at different incline angles depending on their strength.
Long-story-short: Total Gyms are awesome because you get a ton of exercise variety that’s low impact and safe for pretty much everyone to use.
I know I said in the intro that I’m assuming anyone who made their way here already owns a Total Gym, but as I write this I realize I probably shouldn’t make that assumption.
Maybe you’re doing some research before deciding on a Total Gym?
Well, if you don’t own one yet and are still researching, you might find my Total Gym Guide helpful- in that article I go over all the popular models and provide a pretty comprehensive comparison of all the different Total Gyms.
Anyway, let’s get to the attachments.
(I was actually inspired to write this article after a reader asked me some great questions regarding a certain Total Gym attachment- thanks for the inspiration!)
#1 The CycloTrainer
At first glance, I have to be honest- I didn’t think that much of the CycloTrainer. I don’t know, it just didn’t seem that impressive to me- it looked more like an over-priced pedaler than anything else.
But after I looked into it a little more, it won me over.
There’s nothing particularly notable about the CycloTrainer as a stand alone exercise bike- no heavy flywheels or sophisticated resistance systems or any of that jazz.
It’s really just a simple little electric pedaler- it comes with a small console that shows your time, speed, distance, and resistance level but that’s really about it.
The magic happens though when you attach it to your Total Gym.
First of all, it instantly gives you a way to perform steady, low grade cardio- you can keep the slide board resting on the bottom as you pedal away.
But, if you’re looking for a spicier workout, you can weight bear through the pedals as you pedal, which will drastically up the intensity factor (you’re pedaling while the slide board is lifted from the base).
Not only does this kinda equate to standing up on a bike while you ride, but it’s also gonna engage your core a lot more as you stabilize yourself on the slide board.
The folks at Total Gym recommend implementing 30-60 sec of pedaling like this into your normal routine to create your own intervals- and I think this would work really well.
Adding the CycloTrainer to your home Total Gym could save you from having to purchase a stand alone exercise bike (if you were thinking about getting a bike anyway).
Compatible with every model except the GTS.
#2 AbCrunch & Dip Bars Combo
If you own a model that didn’t come with the AbCrunch or a set of dip bars, this is a combo pack you should seriously consider.
A lot of models these days are coming with one or both of these attachments included and for good reason- each of these adds a ton of value to your gym.
The AbCrunch attachment functions as a base for your arms to hold onto while your lower body rests on the slide board. During use, you use your core to control yourself as the slide board slides along the base.
If you’re familiar with the ab wheels, it’s kinda like that, but reverse- instead of your arms moving with the wheel, it’s your legs moving while your arms are stationary.
You can get a hell of a core workout doing this and the Total Gyms ability to adjust the incline setting of the board allows you to control how difficult you want the exercise to be.
The dip bars are a very simple attachment- they’re really just a set of handles that attach to the frame of the Total Gym, allowing you to perform (you guessed it) dips.
Dips are one of those essential exercises we can all benefit from. When talking strength training moves, the dip is right up there with push ups and pull ups as one of the best all around upper body strengthening exercises.
Dips target your triceps, but they also effectively work your pecs and deltoids.
And if you’ve had difficulty performing bodyweight dips in the past, don’t worry- the Total Gym allows you to adjust the exercise to your skill level.
Simply reduce that incline level and you can significantly reduce how much of your body weight you’re lifting.
You can buy these accessories separately (which makes sense if you already have one of them), but you save about $50 by bundling.
Compatible with every model except GTS.
#3 Total Gym Wing Attachment
The wing attachment comes in 2 varieties- single piece and 2 piece. The handles themselves are identical, the only different being the one piece comes as a single unit and the 2 piece comes as, well, 2 separate handles.
The model you have will dictate whether you need the 1 piece or 2 piece.
The wing attachment is a great compliment to your existing Total Gym because it allows you to comfortably perform some key upper body moves like pull ups and chin ups.
The above exercises are performed with the wing attachment connected at the top of the frame, but you can also attach it to the bottom for leg curls.
The wing attachment is included standard with a lot of the newer Total Gyms, but if you have an older model you might not have this one yet.
And if you don’t, getting it should be on your to-do-list because this is one versatile handle.
The 1 piece wing attachment is compatible with the following models: 2000, 2200, 2500, 3000, 3000XL, Electra, XL, XLS.
The 2-piece wing attachment is compatible with the following models: 1100, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700 Club, 1800 Club, 1900, 2000, 2200, 2500, 3000, 3000XL, XLS, FIT (all versions), Supreme, Platinum Plus, Premiere, Ultima, Elite, Fusion, and Apex models.
#4 Total Gym Weight Bar
One of the great things about Total Gym is that you can perform all of the exercises using only you body weight as the resistance- there is no need to stop and change weights.
Of course the downside to this is that as you get stronger, you may get to the point where you’re looking for more resistance, even with the slide board adjusted to the highest position.
Well, the solution to this problem is Total Gym’s weight bar attachment.
With the weight bar, you can add weight plates to each side of the slide board, adding additional resistance to any exercise you’re doing.
The weight bar simply slides through the bottom of the slide board, no assembly required.
You’re supposed to add weight evenly to the bar- after all, you don’t want the weight to be lopsided, and the maximum weight you’re suppose to add is 90 lb per side (total of 180 lb).
This is awesome, but keep in mind the additional weight you’re adding to the bar counts toward the maximum weight the gym can safely hold.
What I’m saying is that you have to add this additional weight to your body weight and still be under the gym’s weight capacity.
For example: the Apex G5 has a weight capacity of 375 lb; if I weigh 225 lb, the most I could add to the weight bar would be 150 lb, or 75 lb per side.
Luckily, most of the Total Gyms have very high weight capacities.
If you’re looking for some more resistance from your Total Gym, the weight bar accessory is a must.
Compatible with the following models: 2000, 2200, 2500, 3000, 3000XL, XL, XLS, Electra, FIT (all versions), APEX (all versions).
#5 Total Gym STEP
The STEP attachment is one of several different squat stands Total Gym has to offer. I feel like every time another model comes out, there’s a slightly different squat stand included.
Gives folks options I guess.
That said, I haven’t seen any Total Gyms that come standard with the STEP attachment yet- I could be wrong though.
Anyway, the STEP attaches down at the bottom of the base like all the other squat stands, but it does have a few key differences.
For one, it’s larger than the standard and oval stands, and I’m of the opinion that bigger is better when it comes to this attachment (gives your feet more wiggle room during your workout).
The STEP also comes with 2 separate foot plates, as opposed to a single base.
Third, and probably most importantly, the STEP is designed to be more “springy” than the other squat stands. This base gives more, making it great for plyometric moves.
With this attachment, you can comfortably do jumping moves, like plyometric jump squats, jumping jacks, single leg hopping… you know, pretty much anything you can think of that involves jumping.
You can still do all the other traditional squatting exercises as well.
To be fair, you can do jumping moves with the other squat stands as well, but I think the springiness of the STEP will make them a little more comfortable for a lot of users.
So, if you’re looking to get airborne, this accessory is a smart upgrade.
Compatible with all models except the Achiever, 1000, 1100, 1500 and GTS
Total Gym has been around for decades and there are tons of models to choose from- especially if shop for older models from other retail sites.
Models vary greatly when it comes to their weight capacities and the number of exercises you can perform on them, but they also vary on the different attachments they come with.
If your current model, or the model you’re looking to buy doesn’t come with a particular attachment you’re looking for, don’t fret- you can purchase all attachments individually from Total Gym.
That said, not all of the attachments are particularly worth investing in.
But the 5 accessories listed above certainly are.
Well, that about does it. I hope you found this article helpful and if you have any questions or comments you’d like to share, leave ’em below and I’ll get right back to ya.