Here’s a real Chuck Norris fact for you: there was once a time when you couldn’t turn on the television without seeing the martial arts expert/action star/Internet meme promoting the Total Gym home exercise machine, often alongside model Christie Brinkley. I must have been on an exercise hiatus during the heyday of these infomercials because I distinctly remember spending a lot of time watching them on the couch, envious of Brinkley’s Total Gym body.
Just because we can no longer get our Chuck-Norris-working-out- in-his-home-gym fix with the click of our remotes, though, doesn’t mean that the Total Gym has gone the way of the ThighMaster (read: boxes labeled “What Was I Thinking?” in basements around the world). In fact, at Gold’s Gym in Pawtucket, the Total Gym concept doesn’t just still exist – it thrives.
With its several GTS machines (the version of Total Gym used by commercial facilities), Gold’s Gym offers one-on-one and group personal training sessions that can be tailored to fit each individual’s ability and training goals, even when people of varying fitness levels work out side-by-side. GTS is an incline resistance training machine, which uses body weight and gravity as resistance while the user trains with its cable and pulley system, rolling glideboard and load adjustment capabilities. It also allows for over 100 different exercises and variations, which means users can get a full-body workout that hits all their major muscle groups with just one machine.
Guiding me through my GTS workout was Fraser Gunn, Regional Fitness Director at Gold’s Gym’s Pawtucket and East Greenwich locations. It was my first time ever on one of these machines, but Fraser had me doing everything from jump squats to bicep curls, one arm rows to chest presses, tricep extensions to crunches – all with Chuck Norris-like ease. Yes, true to its promise, the GTS worked me from head to toe, with a minimal learning curve to boot. And because it is designed to allow for quick and easy transitions between exercises, the routine raised my heart rate, giving me a good cardio workout in addition to the full body conditioning.
Gold’s Gym offers numerous group training sessions each week on the GTS machines, and Fraser says he also uses them often for his personal training clients. I know I, for one, left my session with Fraser feeling pretty great. No, I didn’t walk out of the gym with a body like Christie Brinkley’s, but I was one workout closer to it.