Realistic expectations are an important component of success. Knowing the benefits of exercising on the Total Gym, a cable-based resistance machine, and knowing how long you might have to wait to see those benefits can help you persevere through your workout. There are factors other than the machine you choose to exercise on that influence how soon you see results. There are, however, research-based estimates of when changes in your body may occur.
Weight Loss Results
If you are doing a workout on the Total Gym designed for weight loss, you may notice visible changes in your body within four to eight weeks. Your weight can decrease one to two pounds each week. Dr. Natalie Digate Muth, writing on behalf of the American Council on Exercise, estimates you could lose one percent of your total weight each month. This percentage method accounts for the fact that those new to exercise tend to see results faster than people who have been exercising for years.
Changes may be occurring even if your weight does not immediately drop. There are benefits aside from weight loss that will begin to take place after four weeks of using the Total Gym. Consistent use of the Total Gym can improve your strength. On the Total Gym, bicep curls are done by sitting on the platform facing the tower. Beginners should curl both arms simultaneously. By the end of four weeks, however, you may notice you have the strength to pull your weight with one arm at a time.
Over four weeks you will also develop muscular endurance. A sign of this change is being able to draw an exercise out for an extended period or do more repetitions. Test this on an exercise like pull-ups. These are done face down on the platform with your head at the tower end. Grip the handles and pull yourself up. Instead of letting gravity rush you back down to the starting position, see if you can slowly — with control — take four seconds to lower yourself.
Estimations of progress are just that — estimates. Many factors influence how quickly you will see changes. Eating sugary or too much food can cause elevated insulin levels. This may cause slower results because high insulin levels promote fat storage. Stress also can slow weight loss as it triggers a release of the hormone cortisol, which can cause cravings and ultimately increase levels of available energy in the body.
Responding to a Plateau
If you do not see changes, evaluate your workout. Look at the variables that comprise your workout and change something. One change is to lift heavier weight. On the Total Gym, since the weight you lift is a result of your body weight and the incline of the platform, this means raising the incline to a higher level. Also perform exercises in a way that recruits the use of more muscles. Instead of performing chest presses or back rows while sitting, kneel on the platform and use your core to keep your body in a straight line from your knees to your head.