Total Gym Vigorfit Home Gym Reviews

Total Gym Vigorfit Home Gym

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Vigorfit is a Fitness Bargain

Nov 10, 2006 (Updated Jan 30, 2007)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:The warranty! great price.

Cons:Fitness Bargains isn't the giant that Fitness Quest is.

The Bottom Line: I was very impressed. I could work every body part in so many ways and the warranty can't be beat.


I have been asked to compare the Vigorfit Home Gym to the Total Gym 1700 because they appear so similar. I rated the 1700 Club 4 stars which is an above average rating. I will do that and suggest to you which one I like better. In the end it is your decision but I hope this helps you make one.

General Information:

I first want to comment that I looked at the website after I used this machine. I was a little disturbed that they claim I’ll spend $1700 on a Total Gym when in fact the 1700 Club is less than $400. There may be some models for that much money but there are several for much less. Vigorfit is manufactured by Fitness Bargains Inc. The 1700 is made by Fitness Quest, a company that makes New Balance, Edge and the Ab Lounge to name a few. This company is well known in the business.

Whether or not it adds up to $1700 is something I am not going to figure out. I am not familiar with the company but I was impressed with the quality of the machine.

In addition one really nice aspect of the Vigorfit that they make a point of is that you will buy this one model with all the upgrades. Note that the Total Gym comes in many models. That’s not to say in a year VigorFit will change their minds and come out with Vigorfit Home Gym Deluxe. Again that’s for another time.

Both machines are in the $400 range. If you look around you can pay less for either of them so I am going to say that there isn’t a lot of difference in cost.

Neither uses any kind of computer can that break down. That’s a strength these types of Trainers have.

They both claim to combine strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, and flexibility. They both claim to add Pilates to their exercise menu.

Be careful. The wonderful bike accessory costs an additional $105. I didn’t think I would say this but if this is the only cardio work you may do I think it is worth the money. It is an easy to use little gadget that attaches to the frame giving you what are essentially bike pedals.

They both use a glide board – this is what you will lie down on, face, or sit on. This is the piece that gets moved with your body weight. Many will like the fact that you don’t have to set any programs, buttons or put in pins to get your weight resistance. The 1700 Club added to the Total Gym line the ability to add weights (plates). Vigorfit has done the same thing.

If you have read my reviews you know that I really look at warranties. Fitness Quest is notorious for their poor warranties. They will give you a one-year warranty on the parts and the frame on the 1700 Club. You will get a lifetime warranty on the Vigorfit. Having said that again I don’t know the history of Fitness Bargains. I’m fairly confident Fitness Quest will be around for a long time. I can’t say the same for Fitness Bargains. I have no reason to think they will fold overnight however.

1700 Club measures about 16 inches wide (24 inches with the weight bar) by 94 inches long by 44 inches high. When folded it is 51 inches long by 10 inches high. It weighs 69 pounds.
The Vigor Fit Home Gym measures about 27 inches wide by 84 inches long by 44 inches high. Vigorfit folds as well to 51 inches by 21 inches by 28 inches.

Vigorfit weighs 76 pounds; the Total Gym 69 pounds.

Many of you have asked me how tall you can be to use these systems. Both systems allow the user to be up to 6 feet 2 inches tall. From my experience as someone 5 feet 4 inches tall you would have to be quite short not to be able to use the Vigorfit.

The maximum user weight for the 1700 is a total of 350 pounds however that includes 75 pounds of weights. The Vigorfit allows the user to be 350 pounds plus the weights. Please note: if you look online there might be some discrepancies. I believe my numbers to be more accurate however there is not much of a difference so I am going to stand by my information. (One example is they say that the Total Gym 1700 can only handle someone 6 feet tall.)

I also thought that the Total Gyms were made well. Looking at the stats Fitness Bargains, Inc. makes a good case for their product. They tell us that their glide board pad is 1 ½ inches thicker than the 1700 and that the vinyl on their board is made of better quality. I used many Total Trainers and was quite comfortable on them. Although 1 1/2 inches should make a difference I can’t say that when I used Vigor Fit I said “Oh wow, it feels like I’m lying on a cloud.” It certainly was comfortable though. As I’ve said in the past I have never seen a torn board. Unless you have a zipper on your back pocket or a knife sticking out there should be nothing you do that will tear the vinyl. Your children should not be playing on it either.

What you get and how I use it:

The 1700 Club was an upgrade from other Total Gyms. The Vigorfit and 1700 have more in common than not in common.

They both have a quick release height adjustment pins. This is easy to take out and put in making adjusting the height of the board easy. I change the height depending on what exercise I am doing and how difficult I want the exercise to be. As I increase the incline level from levels 1 to 11 I increase the amount of resistance I am using. Level 1 on the Vigor Fit for example is for beginners or beginner Pilates workouts.

They both have exercise manuals however the 1700’s can be attached to the machine which I thought would come in handy for those new to working out.

The both come with a Pilates bar.

They both come with bars to do pull ups, push ups and press up. I found my workout to be very effective. When I was done I felt like I had been to the gym.

What I was really impressed with on the 1700 the Vigorfit has as well. This is a weight bar. Weights are not included but two weight clips are included. These ensure that the weights don’t fall off. These companies have enabled those of us/who wanted more resistance to get more.

You can add 75 pounds of weights to the Total Gym. Vigorfit let me add 100 pound.

There truly are dozens and dozens of exercises that can be done on either machine. Some other exercises you can do on include pull ups and chin ups, crunches and sit ups, squats (though not ideal if you are used to a Smith Machine or barbell) and leg presses I did rows for my back, worked my legs not only with the machine but with attachments, flyes, pushups and bicep curls just to name a few. There really is no body part that can’t be worked.

There are exercises I don’t like to do on both machines. One I can think of off hand they call an extension. I faced the bottom of the glide board and knelt with my hands on the push up bar pushing the glide pad upwards using my legs and hips. My arms and shoulders don’t move. If any of you have used a stability ball you may have done this exercise on that. My balance has never been good and this is one I feel wobbly doing. I also feel it in my back.

Let’s go to work:

I always suggest on this type of machine that you get used to getting on and off. There are no sides and losing your balance is possible.

The resistance is worked by raising or lowering the board. The 1700 Club has 6 levels which uses 6% to 50% of your body weight. The Vigorfit Home Gym has 11 levels using from 15% to about 72% of your body weight.

I pull out a pin and then can raise or lower the board on metal rungs. The way I can describe it is to compare it to the somewhat old fashioned sit up boards that had rungs on the back. The higher I would put the board the more difficult the sit up. I’ll explain those percentages this way: If I am on the highest level I am moving 1/2 of my weight. For those of you who pull up 100% of your weight you will understand how this machine is perhaps not for the person looking to build lots of mass or compete. To explain even further when lifting 100% of my weight I am essentially lifting 100% of my dead weight. Since I’m lying down or at an angle on the 1700 the 50% actually feels (to me) easier than if I were to pull up 50% of my weight on a Gravitron, which is a machine that allows the user to pull up all of my weight, none of it or somewhere in-between.

The Vigorfit has power bands. They are at the base of the machine. I could use none or I could use all five to increase my resistance. The will give you up to 188 pounds of static resistance. It took me a few tries to add and take them off but it is easy and quick once I got used to doing so. As is true of both types of trainers I had to move parts around; take parts on and off and move myself around. This was something I really didn’t like when I first reviewed the Total Trainer. I have gotten so used to doing this that it’s all part of the process of the machine.

My final thoughts:

I will give you some reasons I am recommending the Vigorfit Home Gym over the Total Gym 1700.

1. The warranty is super.

2. The glide board’s foam is thicker.

3. You can be heavier and add more weight.

4. It has the added resistance of the bands.

5. You can get the bike if you want more than the rowing capability.

6. It feels well made.

7. The Pilates accessory is more than just a bar. You'll get
two leg cuffs, a toe bar and power bands.

If you are new to exercising, have any medical conditions, are a man over 40 or a woman over 50 please talk with your doctor before starting any program.

I have to give the Vigor Fit 5 stars since I gave the 1700 4 stars. Enjoy. jo


All my fitness equipment reviews can be found here


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