The Weider Ultimate Body Works is one of the most popular home gym systems on Amazon. The Total Gym is one of the most recognizable home gym systems in the world, endorsed by numerous celebrities.
Both gyms utilize the same bodyweight-pulley mechanism, but when we put them toe to toe, glove to glove, who’s going to come out on top? Weider Ultimate Body Works vs The Total Gym… ding! ding! ding!, let’s get ready to rummmmbbbllle…
Comparing these two gyms is actually a little more complicated then it would appear at first glance. First of all, there are several different Total Gym models currently on the market- 4 still being sold directly from Total Gym, and like 10 when you consider all the older models still available through Amazon.
There’s only 1 Weider Ultimate Body Works model. Also, the Total Gyms are available at varying price points. Should we compare the Total Gym model that is closest to the same price point as the Weider?
Should we compare the Weider against the most popular Total Gym model?
See what I mean, it’s a little more difficult than it looks. After all we need to make sure we are comparing apples to apples.
I think it makes the most sense to do both. And by that, I mean I want to compare the Weider to the Total Gym(s) that are in the same price bracket AND to the most popular version.
Let the fun begin.
|Weider Ultimate Body Works||100+||250 lb||90-days||$|
|Total Gym 1100||60+||275 lb||1-year||$|
|Total Gym 1400||60+||250 lb||1-year||$|
|Total Gym XLS||100+||400 lb||Lifetime frame, 6-month parts||$$$|
The Weider Ultimate Body Works
The Weider brand might not be as recognizable as Total Gym, but they’ve actually been around for over 50 years. The company is based around the family of Joe Weider, a famous bodybuilder who helped turn bodybuilding into what it is today. He’s also famous for starting the Mr Olympia competition and publishing several well-known fitness magazines.
The Ultimate Body Works is one of Weider’s most popular products, but they dabble a little in just about every type of home fitness equipment. They have a well known power tower, as well as benches, dumbbells, and loads of accessories.
The Weider Ultimate Body Works is a bodyweight home gym system modeled after the Total Gym. The idea is that you are using an adjustable height platform and a series of pulleys to perform strengthening exercises. By adjusting the height of the stand (platform), you can increase or decrease the intensity of each exercise.
Increasing the height makes the exercise more difficult because you are lifting more of your bodyweight against gravity; the opposite is true with lowering the height.
This is the exact same mechanism all of the Total Gym units utilize. The mechanism behind it is genius- you can perform tons of exercises with nothing more than this small home gym and your bodyweight.
The Weider brand did make one change however, they added resistance bands. With the option of attaching up to 4 resistance bands to the bottom of the platform, you can now add even more resistance if you want to. Using all 4 bands, you can actually add about 50 lb worth of extra resistance.
This is great if the highest incline doesn’t offer enough resistance for you to reach your goals. One downside about this pulley system is that it doesn’t work that well for adding muscle mass. That is, the resistance usually isn’t high enough to lift heavy loads for lower rep counts.
The addition of the resistance bands might make this a little more doable, depending on your fitness level of course.
The biggest perk of the Weider Ultimate Body Works is the versatility you get from a single piece of equipment. You can literally perform about 100 different exercises from this home gym alone. You can purchase a wall chart separately that lists most of them.
The Weider Ultimate Body Works comes with the pull up bar and squat stand, which instantly boosts the number of exercises available. It also comes with the 4 attachable resistance bands.
This home gym is easy to set up, taking a matter of minutes to assemble out of the box. It also folds down for easy storage and can be rolled away when not in use. It would work well in homes with limited space.
I’m a believer that we should always consider weight capacity when comparing fitness equipment because it gives us an objective measure for how sturdy a machine is. Theoretically speaking, the more weight a machine can handle, the sturdier it should be right?
The Weider Ultimate Body Works has a max weight capacity of 250 lb. This is on the low end for my taste. I usually look for machines with weight limits of at least 300 lb, even though I’m well under 250 lb myself. I just like the added security of having a more soundly built product.
At 250 lb, this home gym is going to be better suited for smaller users. For the price, this weight capacity is about what we should expect though.
Warranty is another key feature you should always consider. The Weider Ultimate Body Works only comes with a 90-day parts and labor warranty. This is pretty weak, even for a product in this price range.
Speaking of price, the Weider Ultimate Body Works is priced remarkably well. At about $125, this home gym has a lot to offer. It’s going to be difficult to find a more versatile home gym in this price range. The ability to perform upwards of 100 different exercises and the ability to add resistance bands are definite pluses.
Overall, the Weider Ultimate Body Works has become a very popular home gym because it is so well priced. Users are pleasantly surprised by the quality of the machine. It is very highly rated on Amazon, with few negative comments. The most common complaints have to do with the incline adjusting becoming stiff and occasional wobbling during use.
The Total Gym 1100 & 1400
The Total Gym 1100 is the closest product Total Gym has price wise to compare to the Weider Ultimate Body Works. The 1100 is one of the least sophisticated units Total Gym offers and is really a bare bones version of some of their nicer units.
This is why the 1100 is so much cheaper than the other models.
I’m not going to talk about the function for all the Total Gyms because they all use the same pulley system. Well, I should all say they all use the same pulley principle- the nicer versions have heavier-duty pulleys that operate smoother and all that jazz.
But in terms of how these gyms work, they work the same way the Weider Ultimate Body Works does.
Except for the fact that neither the Total Gym 1100 or 1400 have the option of adding resistance bands. Actually, none of the Total Gym models use additional resistance bands. The Total Gym GTS come with an attachment that allows you to actually add weight plates for extra resistance though.
The Total Gym 1100 offers users roughly 60 different exercise options. This is mostly due to the fact that there are limited attachments included with this Total Gym (leg attachment and multi-function bar). Not that 60 is “limited” by any means, but by comparisons sake…you know what I mean.
The Total Gym 1400 is only offering 60 exercise options too, however at first glance you will notice a big difference between the 1100 and 1400. The 1400 gives you a squat stand (which is a big improvement by the way) and a dip bar attachment. The 1400 is also a little more pleasing to look at.
You also get a flip chart of exercises for the 1400 and an exercise DVD I believe.
Surprisingly, the Total Gym 1100 has a weight capacity of 275 lb and the 1400 has a capacity of 250 lb. Don’t ask me why the 1100 has a higher capacity than the 1400. But both of the machines are in the same ballpark as the Weider Ultimate Body Works. The 1100 is slightly greater.
The Total Gym 1100 comes with a 1-year warranty, so does the 1400. One year isn’t that great either, but in this price range we can’t expect miracles.
Ok, now to the good stuff. I mentioned that the 1100 is the closest thing price wise that Total Gym has to the Weider. The Total Gym 1100 is currently priced at around $130 and the 1400 is going to cost you a little more at around $250.
I think both of these home gyms are well-priced. Does the 1400 have enough extra features to justify the extra cash? Probably. The extra attachments alone are going to make your workouts more comfortable, but you get the DVD and exercise chart too that should make it a little easier to get started.
Weider vs The Total Gym 1100 & 1400
Taking into account exercise variety, weight capacity, warranty, and price…
Weider vs The Total Gym 1100, the winner by unanimous decision is… Weider Ultimate Body Works!
Yup, I think the Weider home gym is a smarter buy than the Total Gym 1100. The Weider comes with a squat stand, has resistance bands, and offers more exercise variety. With both products being priced basically the same, I would go with the Weider home gym.
Weider vs The Total Gym 1400, the winner by split-decision is… The Total Gym 1400!
This was a close call, and a pretty tough decision. These two home gyms are definitely in the same ballpark. Ultimately, I went with the 1400 because the additional attachments are going to make for a more comfortable workout experience. The included workout DVD and exercise chart are great additions that add value as well.
If your budget allows it, you would be better off with the Total Gym 1400. But if you don’t have the extra cash, you gotta do what you gotta do.
The Total Gym XLS
Ok, now it’s time for the prize fight! We’ve seen Weider go up against the 1100 and win and we’ve seen it lose against the 1400. Both of those home gyms were in the same price range and that’s why they were chosen. Now with the Total Gym XLS we are entering an entirely new price range, but this is really Total Gym’s flagship product.
The Total Gym XLS is one of their premiere models and offers users upwards of 80 different exercises. These include upper body, lower body, and core moves. This is a significant upgrade over the 60 or so offered by the 1100 and 1400 models mentioned above.
The XLS has more variety in part due to the different attachments included. The squat stand is ribbed for a better feel and better grip during use. It also comes with a wing attachment that is angled for extra comfort during pull ups.
You’re going to see another big difference in this category as well- the XLS has an impressive max weight capacity of 400 lb. This is a massive upgrade over the 250 – 275 lb limit seen in the budget Total Gyms. It’s also well beyond the 250 lb weight limit of the Weider Ultimate Body Works.
The Total Gym XLS is designed for added durability and stability during use. It’s designed with heavier-duty everything to accommodate larger users.
The Total Gym XLS comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and a 6-month warranty on all parts. This is a significantly improved warranty over all 3 of the home gyms already discussed. And this is to be expected. The XLS is more expensive and obviously a nicer piece of equipment.
Last, but certainly not least, comes price. At about $800, the Total Gym XLS is significantly more expensive than the Weider and 1100/1400 models. In terms of home gyms, this puts the XLS in the mid-range. It’s also one of Total Gym’s mid-range machines.
But, for the extra price you get more exercises, a better weight limit, and a much better warranty. You know what they say, you get what you pay for. Click here to see my full review on the Total Gym XLS.
Weider vs The Total Gym XLS
The scores are in, the judges have been consulted. It was a fair fight, taking into account function, features, and price…
Weider vs The Total Gym XLS, the winner by unanimous decision is…
The Total Gym XLS!
Yeah, sorry, no surprise upsets here. The Weider Ultimate Body Works put up a good fight, but it was just outmatched. The Weider Ultimate Body Works is a nice home gym for the price, but it can’t hold up with the XLS in terms of quality.
The Total Gym XLS, as well as all of the higher-end Total Gyms, are amongst the nicest home gym systems around. They are comfortable, safe to use, and basically offer unlimited exercise variety. You can get a full body workout from one machine.
The same can be said about the Weider, but your experience on the XLS will be noticeably different. You will feel the difference between a machine that can tolerate 400 lb and one that can handle 250 lb. Welder’s option of adding resistance bands for added resistance is a nice touch, but in my book it’s not enough for the win over one of the premiere home gyms on the market.
If you’d like to learn more about all of the Total Gym models, check out my Total Gym Guide.
Now that it’s all said and done, I think we had a good lineup. All fights were clean and fair. The Weider came up with a victory against the Total Gym 1100, but fell victim to both the 1400 and XLS. Although Total Gym one the event 2-1, I think Weider put up a pretty good fight.
And to be honest, when I say all fights were fair, I’m really talking about the 1100 and 1400. These gyms are more or less in the same price bracket as the Weider gym. It isn’t really fair to compare the Weider Ultimate Body Works against the Total Gym XLS because it isn’t in the same bracket. It’s like a lightweight boxer fighting a heavyweight.
But that is more of a compliment to the XLS than a jab at the Weider. The Weider Ultimate Body Works has proved itself to be a very popular and highly-rated home gym over the years. It’s priced incredibly well and user reviews are gleaming at how easy it is to use and how effectively it works.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a home gym system for under $150, you can’t go wrong with the Weider. If you do have a little room in your budget though, you’re probably better off to go with one of the more expensive Total Gyms.