The most significant difference between the XLS and the Elite is price. An Elite model Total Gym can be acquired for $150 or less, while the upper end XLS retails for $1,500.
The biggest improvements in the more current models of the Total Gym revolve around improvements to the construction of the equipment. The XLS is rated to up to 400 pounds, while the Elite is not recommended for users heavier than 250 pounds. The upgraded unit also has an squat stand and a padded glideboard to provide additional exercise options and a more comfortable workout experience.
Both versions come fully assembled and fold for easier storage, and both have a form of the same pulley system. The Total Gym is designed to use your own body weight as resistance to provide a quality workout in a shorter period of time. The unit comes with a set of exercise cards that provide visuals and a full explanation of the exercises that can be performed on the Total Gym.
The major difference between the performance of the XLS and the Elite lies in the resistance levels offered by the two pieces of equipment and the number of exercises available due to the available attachments. The XLS has the most enhanced squat stand available on the Total Gym, while that feature is not available on the earliest editions of the product. That, and the enhanced leg pulley system doubles the number of exercises that can be performed on the XLS when compared to the Elite.
Regardless which Total Gym you select, you are getting a piece of equipment that will provide flexible exercise options for users of all shapes and sizes. Since you are essentially using your own body weight as resistance, there is a cap to the weight training aspects of the product. There are exercises provided with both units for all parts of the body, and also stretching and flexibility exercises. Both provide convenient options for an in-home workout.
A comparison between the Total Gym XLS and the Total Gym Elite is essentially a look at two different generations of the same product. The Elite model is no longer marketed by Total Gym, as it has been replaced by three enhanced products, the 2000, the 3000 and the XLS, which is the product at the highest end of the Total Gym line. All of the models do the same basic things, while the XLS has some added bells and whistles that come at a price.