Gold’s Gym XRS 20 Olympic Bench Review

The Gold’s Gym XRS 20 Olympic Bench must be the answer to the prayer of anyone who has longed for a basic bench and squat setup that’s reasonably priced yet has the capacity to tone every set of muscles in the body.

Gold's Gym XRS 20 Olympic Bench
The Gold’s Gym XRS 20 Olympic Bench

Or is it really that good? Does that low price tag seem quite so low when you consider that it doesn’t come with any weights or a bar? Let’s find out.

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All The Exercises You Want

What you’ll probably be impressed with when you’ve unpacked your Gold’s Gym XRS bench is the range of exercises you can do on it. It’s hard to think of a single muscle group that can’t be worked on. A glance at the exercise poster, which can be put on your wall close by, confirms this. If that’s not enough, the user manual has basic workout guidelines to get you started.

In contrast to some home gym equipment, the XRS 20 caters for the legs particularly well. On the bench, the 6-Roll Leg Developer will let you develop your leg muscles with leg extensions and leg curls, and the rack lets you perform squats in complete safety, thanks to the extra long spotters.

For your arm and upper body muscles, there’s the rolled Preacher Pad and detachable Curl Yoke (you have to detach this to exercise your legs). For your shoulders and lats there’s the bench itself for level, inclined and declined presses.

If you’re a complete beginner and want to get to intermediate status, or if you’re already an intermediate lifter and want to maintain your fitness and muscle mass then the Gold’s Gym XRS 20 Olympic Bench is an ideal low-cost solution for you.

As one reviewer has put it, “You can literally do anything with this.”

A Rugged Piece of Equipment

Mention of the price level prompts us to consider the build quality. Have Golds cut any corners in order to keep the price low? Well, some users have found that the paint on the squat rack tends to scrape away in some places, and that the rack itself appears a little shaky at first.

But once you’ve stored your spare weights on the weight plates, which themselves are on the rack, it will be much more stable. The Power Catchâ„¢ Uprights are extra long, to make dropping the bar into them that much easier, and the Preacher Pad on the bench is rolled at one end for comfort.

The welding that fixes the various parts of the frame and bench together doesn’t have the finish that more expensive products have, but then this machine does its job and costs but a fraction of those other home gyms. People who buy this buy it for what it can do for them, and not for how it looks.

I would say that this is a rugged piece of equipment and that the quality of this product belies its modest price tag.

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Limitations and Requirements

There’s an overall 600-pound weight capacity for the bench and squat rack. That’s 300 pounds for the user and 300 pounds for the weight set. There are some reports of users having exceeded these limits, but it’s probably best to respect them for safety and to look after your machine.

The bench is multi-position, and there are three incline settings as well as flat. The decline setting, though, is hardly ambitious, and some users have commented on this. As a getaround, you can actually fold away the support arm and lay the bench against the perpendicular frame. This will give you a really steep decline, though you probably won’t be able to use weights with your ab curls. Not that you’d need to at that angle.

There are three positions for the spotter arms on the squat rack, and these seem adequate for most users. However, if you’re taller than average you may feel you could ideally do with a higher setting, and if you do lifts from a declined position on the bench then you could probably do with a lower setting. Most users, however, don’t appear to have an issue with this.

Talking of height, if you’re less than 5 feet 7 inches then you may find you have discomfort in using the Preacher Pad for your arm curls.

On the bench, the foam roller leg pads that go underneath your knees can be uncomfortable for some. They’re not adjustable, but you can remove them completely if you prefer.

The final limitation I want to mention relates to the bar. As the name of this product implies, you have to have an Olympic bar on the squat rack. This is 7 feet long and two inches wide, and weighs in at 45 pounds. Some people have fitted the standard 6 foot bar, to economize on space, but they do so at their own risk.

Two Workout Machines in One

The Gold’s Gym XRS 20 Olympic Bench is essentially a bench and squat rack. Of course there’s more to it than that, but remember there are no weights or bar – you have to purchase them separately.

The two parts of the machine physically come apart and can be moved around separately, which is good if you live alone and have to move it around from time to time.

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What About Assembly?

Assembly is easy. Sometimes the packaging doesn’t entirely survive transportation and while that may not particularly matter it’s best to check the contents straight away to ensure everything is there.

Allow at least an hour to assemble, and be armed with a socket and ratchet set. Don’t over-tighten the bolts because if you do then you may damage the metal. Just tight enough is all you need.

It’s a good idea to glue the caps securing the ends of the bench legs, as otherwise they may come off every time you move the bench.

And Space Usage?

You really need space of about ten square feet for the Gold’s Gym XRS. The bench is approximately 5 feet by 2 feet, the rack goes on the end of it, and you’ll need a little space to walk around. While the XRS 20 can be fairly easily moved around, it doesn’t actually fold away like some home gyms, so bear that in mind when deciding if it’s for you.

Features and Specifications:

  • Shipping Weight: 114.6 pounds
  • Item model number: GGBE1486
  • 6-Roll Leg Developer
  • Rolled Preacher Pad
  • Adjustable Safety Spotters
  • Weight Capacity: 600 lbs (300 lbs user, 300 lbs weight set)
  • Detachable Curl Yoke
  • Olympic Multi-Position Bench
  • Power Catchâ„¢ Uprights
  • Detachable Squat Center

Customer Reviews and Ratings

Over forty people have reviewed this product on Amazon at the time of writing, and well over half have given it the full five stars. It’s obvious this is a very popular product with many very happy users.

As you’d expect of a product as inexpensive as this, there are one or two complaints, such as the feet caps coming off the bench legs or the finish not being top quality, but all agree that for the price it’s hard to think of anything that might be remotely as good.

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The Gold’s Gym XRS 20 Olympic Bench is an ideal home gym for anyone starting out in keeping fit and muscle toning, and for those who already do so and have limited body building ambitions. It’s inexpensive and covers virtually every muscle in your body, as well as being extremely well built. You can purchase this product with confidence.

The Staff

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Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells Review

Today I’m looking at the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells. These are reputed to be ideal if you’re starting out as a serious weight trainer, or commencing a keep fit routine, but haven’t got the space for a full-scale home gym.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
If that describes you, then your initial thoughts may well be that in these dumbbells you’ve found the perfect answer to your situation. But hold on a minute. The price is rather on the low side, so how is it that Bowflex can afford to sell so many of this product, that has over a thousand reviews on Amazon, without cutting corners on quality?

Is there more to it than we see at first glance? Let’s find out.

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Start Gradually Then Increase The Pressure

With weight training, you can easily damage your muscles and tendons if you try and progress too fast too quickly, so you have to proceed with caution.

If you’re just starting your fitness and weight training career you will want to start small. With the Bowflex SelectTech 552 that means with just 5 pounds in each hand, and increasing just 2.5 pounds at a time as you progress.

That covers you up to 25 pounds in each hand, by which time you’ll be able to safely make larger steps up towards the maximum of 52.5 pounds per dumbbell, depending, of course, on each individual exercise.

To help you on your way, Bowflex give you a free DVD, “Secrets of the 4 Step Rep”, which shows you 30 exercises with over 80 variations. In reality, there are many more exercises you can do with this pair of dumbbells, and you’re only limited by your imagination, but it’s still useful for you if you’re a beginner.

But Can You Really Build Muscle Fast With Just A Pair Of Dumbbells?

The short answer is, “Yes, you can.” With any dumbbell set, as long as you have sufficient weight to train with, and actually do the training, then you can achieve results easily comparable to those you can obtain by going to a gym regularly.

Using the Bowflex SelectTech 552 system, you can exercise not just your arms, chest and upper body, seen by many as the only parts of the body that can benefit from hand dumbbells, but your legs and lower body as well.

Try some wide squats, calf raises, stiff-leg deadlifts, and standing, reverse and side lunges to build your leg muscles. Ab, reverse and side crunches flatten and strengthen your stomach area, and lying leg raises and trunk rotations will firm up muscles you never knew you had.

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15 Sets Of Weights In One

The main advantage of the Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells is that they replace up to 15 sets of weights. Imagine the difference that makes to your available exercise area at home. Thirty fewer dumbbells to trip over. As one reviewer on Amazon put it, “all the weight, a fraction of the space.”

Now, to gain an even greater advantage, you might consider purchasing the Bowtech SelectTech 552 dumbbell stand and an adjustable bench. This would increase the area required a little, but then they are so beneficial in easing the strain of lifting the weights from the floor each time and in increasing the range of exercises available, that they’re well worth it. And you’ll need them whatever dumbbell system you use anyway.

Bowflex Quality – Weights As Precision Instruments

There was an issue before the production process was improved in 2009, relating to the plastic permanently-attached round connector pieces that keep the weights in place – four on each dumbbell. With rough and careless use they could deteriorate and eventually fail, resulting in weights falling off when in use – obviously a dangerous situation.

Bowflex have now addressed this problem, but all the same it’s as well to remember that this dumbbell set is not just a couple of lumps of iron – it’s a precision instrument as well, with a locking mechanism and some parts unavoidably plastic, and as such should be treated well, and not dropped or carelessly replaced into the trays or stand.

It Doesn’t Get Much Easier Than Dial-A-Weight

One of the strongest selling points about adjustable dumbbells is that you can in a matter of seconds, and so easily, vary the weights on them as you change from one exercise to the next. This feature is undoubtedly the main selling point of this dumbbell set. The dial system is unique to Bowflex and makes selecting the correct weight for your next exercise a pleasure every time.

It’s also very quiet, in case noise is a problem, as in exercising in the early hours of the morning while the rest of the family is asleep. There’s no clattering of metal plates as you change the settings.

Features and Specifications of the Bowflex SelectTech 552:

  • Weight Range: 5 to 52.5 lbs (2.27 to 23.8 kg) for each dumbbell
  • Maximum Number of Exercises Available: 30+
  • Number of Weight Settings: 15
  • Weight Settings (lbs.): 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 52.5 lbs
  • Dimensions – Dumbbells: 15.75″ L x 8″ W x 9″ H (40 x 20 x 23 cm) (each)
  • Dimensions – Stand: 27.75″ L x 20.5″ W x 24.5″ H (70.5 x 52 x 62.2 cm)
  • Weight (lbs): 52.5 lbs (23.8 kg) (each)
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty on all parts

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Accessories: stand, adjustable bench (both available from Amazon)

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Customer Reviews and Ratings

At the time of writing, there are well over a thousand reviews of this item on Amazon, and it has an average rating of nearer 5 stars than 4. Given that there are always some users of any product that will find fault and give a 1-star review, and plenty more that, no matter how satisfied, will never give more than four stars, that achievement is quite remarkable.

There really aren’t any valid criticisms to speak of relating to these dumbbells. One user has written that if they aren’t placed back in their holders properly they may not lift out correctly, but that’s hardly a fault of the product. Some find fault with the length (16 inches) of the dumbbells or their width, but being what they are that aspect really can’t be helped.

Most reviewers love the solid quality and ease of use of this product, not to mention the results it gives them in terms of building their muscles and getting fit.

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The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are a great fitness and strength tool available at a very reasonable price. The vast majority of users are extremely happy with them. They carry a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty on the weights and parts, and the quality and ease of use are probably unbeatable. Unless you’re a weightlifting pro, buying these dumbbells will be a very wise investment.

The Staff

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Marcy Diamond MD2109 100-Pound Stack Gym Review

It’s not for every home fitness enthusiast, but if you’re anything like me the Marcy Diamond MD2109 100-Pound Stack Gym will be just what you’ve been looking for.

The Marcy Diamond MD2109 100-Pound Stack Gym
The Marcy Diamond MD2109 100-Pound Stack Gym
And you’ll have been looking for it if you want a home gym that is less than $350 yet has many of the features of more expensive machines – such as a dual function press arm, high and low pulley stations for strengthening your back and biceps, and a touch of luxury to boot.

So is this a bargain, or have the manufacturers overstretched themselves in their ambitions for this home gym? Let’s see.

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Packaging, Delivery and Assembly

The MD2109 comes well packaged and is normally delivered (to the US mainland only) within one week.

You’ll find detailed assembly instructions make the chore a simple one, though most people take a few hours before they’re through. All the parts are well labeled, and they’re also of very high quality and fit easily together.

Simple Quality and Comfort – Plus Reliability

Marcy Diamond have shown us in this model that just because they’re targeting the lower end of the market doesn’t mean they’ve skimped on quality or reliability.

For example, the oversized foam rollers mean you can sweat in comfort as you pull or push the chest press handles. And when you change the weights they’ll be protected from the damaging effects of human perspiration because they have a vinyl coating.

The seat and backrest have high density boxed upholstery, made from top-grade plywood and high-density foam. No corners have been cut. When you sit on the Marcy Diamond MD2109 and lean back, you could be on a much more expensive workout machine.

The frame itself is of heavy duty steel tubing with a durable powder-coat finish, which altogether makes this 100-Pound Stack Gym something that will last for many years and that you can be proud of.

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A Home Gym That Won’t Take Up The Whole Room

Massive home gyms are all very well, provided you can justify the cost, but many of us just don’t have space in our homes to make room for them. The MD2109 has a small footprint, measuring 62 inches high by 41 inches wide by 81 inches long.

If you have limited space available but still want the convenience of a home gym that can give you a satisfying workout then the Marcy Diamond MD2109 may be the one for you.

Deceptive Versatility

The available weight stack of 100 pounds has its limitations, of course. But would you really gain anything by opting for a more expensive workout machine with more weights or poundage resistance?

Only if you’re planning to enter the world of competitive weightlifting or some other sport where quite exceptional strength and muscle development are required, and you need a home gym to supplement your visits to the local gym.

While this product excels at working on your arms and upper body, you can also follow a vigorous workout routine that will give you stamina, a much better fitness level, and well-toned muscles in your back, torso, and even your legs.

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62 inches x 41 inches x 81 inches.


You can exercise all the muscle groups in your body and give yourself a great cardio workout on a machine that doesn’t take up too much space and is remarkably inexpensive.


There’s a danger you’ll find the limit of 100 pounds in the stack inhibits your development. If you’re more than about 5 feet 10 inches tall you may find difficulty in fully extending yourself in some of the exercises.

Customer Reviews and Ratings

At the time of writing there are only six reviews of this product on Amazon, and while they are all four or five stars you may feel inclined to withhold judgement until more are posted.

Early reviewers have given a thumbs up to this product. Especially popular are the value for money, the ease of assembly, the build quality, and the way in which all muscle groups in the body can be worked on very easily.

The orientation of the chest press handles has been called into question by someone who thought they should be horizontal rather than vertical, but no-one else has mentioned it. Probably it’s a matter of personal preference.

Price: $310.43 (at the time of writing)

Features and Specifications:

  • Heavy duty steel tube frame
  • Powder coated finish
  • 100 pound vinyl coated stack gym
  • Dual function press arm
  • High and low pulley handles
  • High density boxed upholstery
  • Oversized foam rollers
  • Two year limited manufacturer’s warranty


The MD2109 is aimed at the lower end of the market and is intended for smaller fitness enthusiasts who don’t want to develop huge muscles but simply want to tone their bodies up and keep their fitness levels high.

If that describes you, or you want to see how a home fitness regime suits you before you spend several hundred dollars more, then you can’t do much better than the Marcy Diamond MD2109 100-Pound Stack Gym.

The Staff

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Home Gyms – Bowflex PR1000 or Bayou Fitness Total Trainer 4000-XL – Which One Is Right For You?

This is a summary of the similarities and differences between the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym and the Bayou Fitness Total Trainer 4000-XL Home Gym.

Both are manufactured by companies that produce high-quality home gyms and exercise equipment usually aimed at the high end of the market. So what’s going on here? Has either company skimped on quality to produce a cheaper alternative to the more expensive machines out there? And if you’re undecided between the two, which one is really right for you?

Let’s find out.

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Bowflex PR1000
Bayou Fitness Total Trainer 4000-XL

Bowflex for Poundage and Bayou for Resistance

These two home gyms are only $30 apart in terms of price and have many other similarities as well. They are both ideal starter workout machines and can be used by older people and others who just want a machine that will help them exercise their whole body to give them toned muscles and keep themselves fit.

Where they differ is in how they go about this task.

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
The Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
Bowflex, with their PR1000, use their acclaimed power rod system to imitate real weights, the same system used on their more expensive models, such as the PR3000 and the Xtreme 2SE. But whereas those two machines can be upgraded to 310 or 410 pounds of resistance, there’s no such option with the PR1000.

However, what it does have (apart from the lower price tag) is over 30 exercises that you can do and that are covered in the Owner’s Manual. It’s ideal if you want to concentrate on your arms and upper body and are not so concerned about your lower body and legs. That 210-pound resistance limit means you’ll probably max out with your squats on your first workout.

The Bayou Fitness Total Trainer 4000-XL uses your own body weight. It condenses most of the possible exercises into 14 custom programs, including warm-up and cool-down routines, leaving you to develop your own exercises or routines as you wish.

It has eleven levels of resistance, and you can adjust the percentage of your body weight used from 4 per cent up to 69 per cent. You can do as many routines on it to benefit your lower body and legs as you can to benefit your upper body and arms. It just doesn’t have quite the range of exercises all round as the PR1000 does.

Bayou Leads With Features

The Bowflex PR1000 can accommodate a person of 300 pounds and has a horizontal bench press and triple-function hand grips for lateral pull-downs. Surprisingly, there isn’t a lat bar, and the lower brace that has pulleys for chest presses could be longer.

Bayou Fitness Total Trainer 4000-XL Home Gym
The Bayou Fitness Total Trainer 4000-XL Home Gym
Bayou Fitness’s Total Trainer 4000-XL, on the other hand, comes with several attachments quite apart from the (optional and rather limited) 97 pound weights that can be added to the resistance.

These include super tuff rollers for a very smooth ride on the glide board, oversized castors for ease of use, and a three- and four-point pulley system to accommodate all shapes and sizes of user (up to 385 pounds and 6 feet 7 inches).

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Bowflex PR1000
Bayou Fitness Total Trainer 4000-XL

Cutting Them Down To Size

If space is a problem for you then the Bayou Fitness has the advantage. From being 20 inches wide, 48 inches tall, and 94 inches long, it can be easily folded away so the width stays the same but the length and height are dramatically reduced (see Features and Specifications below).

The Bowflex, as you would expect, takes up more space when in use, and with the power rods spread out you need a minimum space of 100 inches by 78, with over 81 inches from ceiling to floor. It, too, can be folded away, but not to the same extent, so it’s best to leave it standing when not in use if you can spare the space.

Comfort – In Different Ways

Neither Bayou Fitness nor Bowflex have sacrificed comfort in order to keep their prices down. Both machines operate smoothly and quietly and are easy on the joints (important if you’re not as young as you were, or have joint related injuries).

The main moving part on the Bayou is the glide board. It’s very large – 14 inches by 46 – to ensure maximum comfort, and that includes balance as well.

Comfort is also high on the PR1000’s agenda. The seat and backrest feel secure as well, and the roller cushions for when you do your leg extensions and curls are generously upholstered.

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Bowflex PR1000
Bayou Fitness Total Trainer 4000-XL

Are They Easy To Assemble And Use?

The 4000-XL comes fully assembled, so setting it up at your home could hardly be easier. To ensure you get the best use from it there are four program cards, an instruction manual, and an exercise DVD supplied.

The PR1000, on the other hand, does require assembly, but this has proven to be straightforward for nearly all its users. You’ll be using it like a pro within a short time. Its seat slides silently and effortlessly on a rail to adjust for different exercises and to transform it into a rowing machine when required.

Regrettably, you don’t receive an exercise DVD with it, though there are plenty of videos available on DVD or YouTube to set you on the right track, and there’s a placard you can place on the machine that illustrates several exercises.

Features and Specifications:

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

  • Sliding Seat Rail for use as rowing machine, leg presses and seated leg extensions
  • Multi-use Hand-Grip/Ankle Cuffs
  • Workout Placard
  • Number of available exercises: 30+
  • Height: 81 inches (205 cm)
  • Length: 84 inches (213 cm)
  • Width: 38 inches (97 cm)
  • Minimum Workout Area: 100 by 78 inches (254 x 199 cm)
  • Maximum User Weight: 300 pounds (136 kg)
  • 210 pounds of Power Rod resistance
  • Four-inch upholstered roller cushions for leg extension and leg curl
  • Horizontal bench press
  • Triple function hand grips for lat pull down
  • Folds for easy storage
  • No upgrade in weight above 210 lbs

Bayou Fitness Total Trainer 4000-XL Home Gym

  • Comes fully assembled
  • Folds and rolls for easy storage
  • 11 levels of resistance
  • Super Tuff rollers
  • Three- and four-point pulley system
  • Deluxe, double-stitched box cushion
  • Oversized castors for easy transport
  • Measures 20 by 48 by 94 inches (W x H x D) open
  • Measures 20 by 50 by 14 inches (W x H x D) folded
  • Glide board measures 14 by 46 inches (W x D)
  • Lift from 4% to 69% of your body weight
  • 6 foot 7 inch maximum user height
  • 385-pound user capacity
  • 97-pound weight addition available

Get more information and buy it now on Amazon >>>
Bowflex PR1000
Bayou Fitness Total Trainer 4000-XL

Customer Reviews and Ratings

Both of these home gyms have excellent reviews, with average scores on Amazon of above 4 stars. You’re more likely to be satisfied with either of these workout machines if you’re aware of their limitations and are happy with them.

Neither machine is a substitute for attending the gym several times a week if you want to enter bodybuilding contests. But they are both very good at helping you get started from scratch, tone your body, increase cardiovascular fitness, and cope with sore muscles and joints.

Users of the Bowflex like the way it operates smoothly and quietly, gives them a good workout, and is safe and easy to use. Some bemoan the lack of a lat bar and an exercise DVD, and the fact that it doesn’t cater for leg exercises as much as they’d like. Nonetheless, satisfaction is very high.

The Total Trainer 4000-XL is likewise very popular with its users. They like how it does everything you’d want it to, is very easy on the joints, and is so versatile, offering many different exercises from the one small machine. It is frequently compared favorably to the Total Gym as doing the same thing but at a much cheaper price.


If you want a good all round exerciser that covers all muscle groups then probably the Bayou Fitness Total Trainer 4000-XL Home Gym is better for you. If you’re more concerned about your upper body, and want a more comprehensive set of exercises to choose from then you’d be wise to choose the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym.

The Staff

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Bowflex PR1000
Bayou Fitness Total Trainer 4000-XL

Bayou Fitness Total Trainer DLX-III Home Gym Review

The Bayou Fitness Total Trainer DLX-III Home Gym appears quite innocuous at first sight. All you see is the heavily padded seat on the glide board, with its embroidered logo, and the attachments stretching out vertically and horizontally.

Bayou Fitness Total Trainer DLX-III Home Gym
Bayou Fitness Total Trainer DLX-III Home Gym
But this workout machine has a large army of fans all raving about how solidly it’s built, how comfortable it is, how many different exercises you can do on it, and how it has helped them achieve their body toning and fitness targets. Let’s see if their enthusiasm is justified.

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Heavy Duty Components Make For A Durable, Solid Machine

The Bayou Fitness Total Trainer DLX-III may come in at a competitive price, but Bayou Fitness haven’t skimped on quality.

This resistance trainer is their top-of-the-range machine. Now in its third edition, it features an upgraded pull-up and push-up bar, extra large squat board, upgraded chrome independent twin handles, and chrome plated rails and attachments.

The chrome finish is highly polished and gives the impression of being a class above conventional painted workout machines, as well as more durable and easier to maintain.

The glide board moves smoothly and easily along the rails with the aid of dual glide pulleys. The attachments, ropes, and cables are all heavy duty and frequently endure many years of heavy use with few breakages or failures.

This home gym is built to handle a 400-pound person, plus another 100 pounds of weights. And it can too. Build quality is no problem here.

How good is it, then, in helping you exercise your whole body and every muscle group in it?

A Full Range of Exercises For Each Set of Muscles

Bayou Fitness have made this product not only to help you strengthen and tone your body so you look impressive and feel great but also to increase your flexibility (almost as important).

And you can do this with the Bayou Fitness Total Trainer DLX-III whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, and even if you’re up to six feet seven inches tall (though if you’re over 6 feet 3 inches you may want to check out some of the exercises on a demo machine before you decide on buying).

There are eleven levels of resistance and a 3 and 4 point pulley system. The glide board measures 14 by 46 inches – big enough for almost anyone.

There are so many attachments and accessories that come as standard with this machine that I’m not going through them all here – they’re listed below. But it’s great that they’re all easily interchangeable, where appropriate, with their conventional counterparts.

They feature chrome bars and handles, as you’d expect on a machine like this. Every detail seems to have been covered, as, for example, with the sit-up cuff strap, lengthened to cater for larger shoe sizes.

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Compactness Without Sacrificing Comfort

When folded away this workout machine measures only 14 inches in depth, yet it has a deluxe 2-inch double-stitched box cushion packed with double density foam on the glide board, where you will be doing a lot of sitting and kneeling. No more bruised and aching knees to add to your aching muscles!

Some users have commented on the lack of comfort of the ankle straps and noted that the handles and bars are difficult to grab when they have weights attached, especially at high incline levels.

If you find any of the straps uncomfortable there are ways to remedy this, and if you can’t then you can send them back to Bayou for replacing.

Setting It Up and Taking It Down

Setup is really easy as the DLX-III is almost fully assembled when it arrives. Folding and unfolding are also simple to do, as is moving the machine around, thanks to the over-sized castors.

One reviewer has complained that their machine moves around too easily when it’s not supposed to, when it has weights attached. But then he did use it on a bare concrete floor. Probably a mat or rug would solve that little problem.

Exercise in Safety

This machine is fundamentally safe because, unless you use additional weights, which is completely optional, you only use your own body weight. Putting an undue strain on your muscles is therefore almost impossible. By moving the incline upwards or downwards you can adjust the amount of weight you’re dealing with from 4 per cent up to 69 per cent of your total body weight.

The other safety issue relates to the machine itself. Once it’s put into position you don’t want it to collapse while you’re exercising on it. The Total Trainer DLX-III has two pins, one metal, and one plastic, that lock into place when you’ve selected the incline you want to work with, making it feel as solid and stable as a rock.


  • Folded Footprint – 20″ x 14″ x 50″
  • Open Footprint – 20″ x 94″ x 48″
  • Shipping Weight – 102 lbs


  • Pro AB Crunch Strap
  • Pilates Toe Bar
  • Bicep Power Flex
  • Bicep Curl Press Bar
  • Power Weight Bar for Adding Free Weights
  • Chrome Pull-up Push-up Bar
  • Sit-up Cuff Strap
  • Extra Large Heavy Duty Squat Board
  • Chrome Independent Twin Handles
  • Dual Leg Cuff Assembly


This machine is ideal for you if you want to increase or maintain your fitness level and tone your body, shedding surplus fat and improving your BMI.

A large number of accessories are included in the already low price (in contrast to similar products where you have to pay separately for them).


You may have to supplement the exercise guidance given in the DVD included with the product. You can probably find what you’re looking for on YouTube.

If you’re over 6 feet 3 inches tall then make sure you can do all the exercises you’re going to be doing on this machine. Bayou Fitness say it will suit you up to 6 feet 7 inches, but best to make sure first.

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Customer Reviews and Ratings

Existing users overwhelmingly like this product. Out of nearly 40 reviews on Amazon, only one (3 star) review gives less than 4 stars. Nearly all have praise for the build quality and versatility of the DLX-III, its comfort, and ease of use.

As I’ve mentioned, a few have one or two gripes. For example, there could be more exercise instructions on the DVD, but then you can find them on YouTube if you look.

Many compare this machine favorably with the Total Gym XLS, which is more expensive. But most striking about what users have to say is how much fun they get from using their DLX-III. It has even been described as addictive. For a machine that boosts your strength, health, and lifestyle, that can’t be bad.


$560.98 on Amazon at the time of writing, which is over $100 cheaper than from the manufacturers direct.

Features and Specifications:

  • Fully Assembled
  • 11 Levels of Resistance
  • 14″ x 46″ Glide Board
  • Ball Bearing Rollers
  • Lift from 4% to 69% of Your Body Weight
  • Embroidered Logo
  • Deluxe 2″ Double Stitched Box Cushion
  • 3 & 4 Point Pulley System
  • Dual Side Glide Board Pulleys
  • Four Program Cards, Instructional Manual and Guide
  • Folds and Rolls for Easy Storage
  • Training Video
  • 400 lb User Weight Capacity
  • Maximum User Height 6′ 7″

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Is the Bayou Fitness Total Trainer DLX-III home gym, presently at over $100 off the regular price at Amazon, the workout machine for you? Based on this assessment, and the views of many existing users, you cannot go far wrong in purchasing this product.

The Staff

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