How to Use a Weider Total Body Works 5000 Gym

How to Use a Weider Total Body Works 5000 Gym

The Weider Total Body Works 5000 falls into the same equipment family as the better-known Total Gym. In terms of function the two are almost identical, but the Weider offers the added bonus of four bungee cords attached to the glideboard -- the part you sit on. When you want more resistance than your body weight provides, you slip the free end of some or all of those bungee cords into holders on the gym's bottom crossbar. Note that the maximum user weight limit on this machine is 250 pounds.

How It Works
Like all glideboard gyms, the Weider Total Body Works 5000 has a pair of inclined rails, a padded glideboard that slides up and down on those rails, and two pulleys mounted at the top of the rails. You sit, kneel or lie on the glideboard, and push or pull on the pulley handles -- depending on how you're oriented -- to move the glideboard up the rails. Your body weight provides the resistance; the steeper you set the incline of the rails, the greater the percentage of your body weight you're lifting. Several attachments facilitate additional exercises, including a platform for doing squats and pullup bars mounted at the top of the incline rails.

Building a Workout
As with any piece of exercise equipment, you should warm up with five to 10 minutes of gentle to moderate cardio before starting your workout. Marching in place or gentle calisthenics are ideal -- anything that makes you feel like you're about to break a sweat. Do the same to cool down after your workout. During the workout, aim to perform eight to 12 repetitions of at least one or two exercises for each major muscle group.

Chest Exercises
For most chest exercises, you'll sit on the glideboard facing down the incline. Grasp the pulley handles and press them straight out in front of your chest. To do chest presses, keep your palms facing down as you bend your elbows, bringing them back in line with your shoulders; then press forward again to complete the repetition.

To perform chest flyes, turn your hands so the palms face in. Keep your elbows slightly bent as you swing each arm out to the side, stopping before they're level with your shoulders. Swing your arms together again in front of you to complete the repetition.

Back Exercises
For back rows, kneel on the glideboard facing the top crossbar of the Total Body Works. For narrow rows, keep your elbows close to your body as you pull the handles back toward your torso. For wide rows, let your elbows wing up to just below shoulder level.

You can also lie face down on the glideboard, grasp the pullup bar attached to the top of the incline rails and pull yourself up the rails to do the Total Body Works version of pullups.

Arm Exercises
The Total Body Works offers a wide array of arm exercises; for example, sit on the glideboard facing uphill with a pulley handle in each handle. Bend your elbows, palms facing up, to do biceps curls. Or turn your hands so your palms face backward and straighten your arms down beside your body to do a version of the triceps kickback. You can also lie flat on your back, arms extended straight over your chest, then bend your arms and straighten them again for a lying triceps press.

Leg Exercises
Because the Total Body Works only allows you to lift a portion of your body weight, it's not ideal for leg exercises. The most challenging leg exercise it offers is a single-leg squat: Lie sideways on the glideboard, plant one leg on the squat platform at the bottom of the machine, and let your hips move back as you squat down onto the platform. Straighten your leg to complete the repetition.