In case you skipped high school physics, doing something at an incline is significantly harder than at a flat level — exactly the same way it’s harder for my dad to love me compared to my brother.
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Total Gym enables you to make use of an incline in so many different ways I couldn’t even list them all. Here’s how to use them to build muscle and get ripped.
What’s the Total Gym?
Total Gym started in 1974 and wasn’t meant to be used to get in shape initially. Instead, it was meant for physical therapy.
Fast forward to the year 2022 and beyond, and Total Gym has completely evolved into something made to work with any body type granting real results. Think of Total Gym as advanced home fitness pre–Peloton and Tonal.
Overall, you can find the following equipment in their catalog:
- Commercial fitness (Encompass, Core ADJ, etc.)
- Home gym equipment (GTS, Fit, etc.)
- Physical therapy (PowerTower, LEX, etc.)
For the goal of building muscle, we’ll be using commercial and at-home gym equipment.
Step 1 – Strength Training
Let’s face it. Ripped people have muscle and a good amount of it.
The benefit of using the Total Gym is it enables you to practice the most important things for gaining muscle on a regular basis:
- Using progressive overload, which simply means using more resistance or volume
- Using great form due to the machine keeping you locked in
Granting you the ability to adjust the resistance or difficulty means you can create an environment where the muscle needs to be working harder. Muscle size will only increase for a reason, and that reason is mechanical tension.
Mechanical tension is simply the load and the reps used.
So in order to retain muscle mass, you need to do resistance training and practice progressive overload to ensure mechanical tension remains high. Each workout should have slightly more weight or more reps.
Another thing to remember is to use the equipment in ways that train all the muscles. Luckily, Total Gym gives you some workout routines and exercises on its website.
That said, it might also be a good idea to have a split or routine that you follow on a weekly basis, such as:
- Monday: Shoulders, legs, and cardio
- Tuesday: Full body workout
- Wednesday: Off
- Thursday: Upper body and cardio
- Friday: Biceps, legs, and bodyweight training
- Saturday: Cardio
- Sunday: Off
At some point, you’ll realize your body might need more time for certain muscles to recover or that certain workouts will leave you beaten up. A great workout is supposed to leave you tired, not destroyed. At that point, maybe lower your volume or increase your recovery time.
Step 2 – The Diet
Sorry to burst your bubble, but no exercise machine (alone) will ever make you lose all your timber and get you ripped. The old line of “abs are made in the kitchen” does ring true.
While each workout is meant to help the retention of muscle mass, your diet is meant to create the calorie deficit to allow your body to use fat mass as energy — the main goal of dieting.
Simply calculate your maintenance calories here, and follow these rules:
- To create your deficit, remove 150 – 250 calories from your maintenance calories.
- Consume 1 – 1.2g of protein per pound of body weight.
- Consume at least 0.3g of fat per pound of body weight.
- The remainder of your calories can be “used” on carbs.
- Once fat loss stops, you can simply reduce your calories by another 150 – 250.
Please note that you don’t need to be a science wizard to track all of this. An app like MyFitnessPal will help you with that.
Step 3 – Put It All Together
The five things that’ll determine your results are as follows:
- Diet and hydration
- Training and training volume
- Rest and recovery
- Stress management
- If you’re so inclined, supplements
These are, by and large, things that you can control. Your diet is the biggest factor behind losing some fat or building muscle. We wish it wasn’t, but there’s no way around this matter.
With Total Gym, you have the ability to train from home, meaning you can create your own routine with the exact amount of volume you need. Not only should this lower stress, but it should also increase rest and recovery time.
Lastly, set a tone for consistency and sustainability.
Staying fit and exercising isn’t a punishment for the food you’ve eaten but rather a part of your life. It helps prevent injury, builds a better mental environment, and — if we’re honest — abs make us feel a bit better about ourselves.
Total Gym enables you the ability to get ripped from home, but you need to work sustainably.
Build Ripped Muscle with Total Gym Conclusion
No matter how you plan to go about this endeavor, diet is key. In order to burn fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit, and you need to ensure your diet is rich in protein (RIP, money… sorry!).
To build muscle or retain it, you also need to work out with weights or use any kind of resistance training. This is what makes Total Gym so great.
You get to train from the comfort of your own home, and as a bonus, the exercises are pretty darn safe. Home gyms are usually cheaper, less busy (duh), and won’t take so much time.
Stick to the basics of workout routines and build bigger personal bests and routines as you progress. Lastly, this isn’t bodybuilding. You needn’t be perfect.
Just be the best you that you can be. Train hard, eat well, sleep plenty, and see the pounds drop off.
Basically, to build ripped muscle with Total Gym, you need:
- Strength training
- The diet
- To put it all together (i.e., rest, supplements, hydration)
You also need to not do this: