It’s been about a month since I received the Total Gym XLS, and I wanted to check in and give everyone a quick update. I’ll be continuing to post monthly updates on my progress, so stay tuned if you want to watch my progression from couch potato to beefcake. BEEFCAKE!
When the Total Gym XLS first arrived, it looked rather intimidating. But after setting it up (a 5-minute process that doesn’t require any assembly) and watching the introduction DVD, my mind was set at ease. The system comes with a training deck that shows you how to do every exercise imaginable, and build a workout program that’s custom-tailored to your needs.
As I looked through the training deck, I saw a section labeled “6-8 Minute Workout with John Carleo”. Saving time on workouts is what drew me to the Total Gym in the first place, so I immediately started reading up.
John Carleo is a professional trainer and athlete, and he’s developed a step-by-step program specifically for the Total Gym XLS that gives you the most effective workout when you’re crunched for time. The best part? It takes just 6-8 minutes a day, 6 days a week!
The program breaks down what exercises you’ll be doing each day, along with the associated card for each exercise. You’re to do one set of eight reps for each exercise during the first week, and add one rep to each set every week until you reach 14 reps per set. Then, raise your Total Gym’s height up one level, and begin the routine again at one set of eight reps per exercise.
If you’re like me and don’t feel like organizing your deck each morning for that day’s workout, simply follow the included 6 To 8 Minute Workout DVD, where he’ll guide you through each exercise. This helps to make sure you’re doing each exercise correctly, and helps with the timing as well. (If you don’t have a TV / DVD player near your Total Gym, stick the DVD in your laptop and place it near your workout area.)
It’s a solid workout program, targeting different muscle groups on different days, thereby giving your muscles time to repair in between workouts. I was killing it for the first few weeks, dropping five pounds on the scale and one belt hole on my belt. But then disaster struck!
I threw out my back while helping a friend move (lifting some furniture with my back instead of with my legs), and I was down for the count. It was frustrating losing my momentum like that, but I did the only thing I could do given the circumstances – I focused on my diet, cutting out some of the “junk” that contributed to my expanding waistline in the first place.
First on my hit list was soda, as it’s a waste of calories (140 calories in a 12oz can, nearly 750 calories in a Big Gulp). I also got rid of all the unhealthy snacks lying around (Doritos, Tastykakes, M&Ms, etc) and I’ve replaced them with fruits and granola bars.
I’m a big believer in taking things slow.. I’ve seen people go on diets where they get rid of EVERYTHING at once, and they were absolutely miserable. I’m sorry, but that’s just a recipe for disaster. It’s important to chip away at the bad things bit by bit, so it’s not such an overwhelming change. Over time, you’ll find that you don’t miss the things you cut out, and your body is so much healthier for it.
By making these subtle changes to my diet, I was able to keep off the weight I initially dropped, despite not being able to work out for awhile. Now that I’m getting better, I’m excited to get back on track and hit it with everything I’ve got. Hopefully I’ll be able to drop another 5-10 pounds by Memorial Day.
Disclosure: Guys Gab was provided with a Total Gym XLS free of charge, however the opinions expressed are my own.