After the trials and tribulations - which, unfortunately for you all, were too exhausting to node - we had our original gym machinery collected on Thursday. On Monday, we'd ordered a Total Gym 1100. It arrived today.

It's the first piece of gym equipment that we've been able to assemble, let alone use, without cursing. It's very well made. It's also very enjoyable to use - you can feel the appropriate muscle groups doing their thing. (If you really want more details, look at their website ( in the US, I forget the UK site we ordered through - it might be

I'm incredibly relieved - I was starting to think mail order gym equipment was all going to be disappointing. Even the quality of this kit is motivating! Now to get an exercise program sorted out for my wife and me and we'll be away!

Downsides? It's big (but it does fold up). The video accompanying it isn't up to date (two of the attachments have become one and doesn't work quite the same). Other than that, it's better than we expected.

Late update - the video would have had to be re-done very recently, it appears, not to have been out of date. They've just revamped the machine. No, I'm not really any less irritated by it, just slightly more forgiving.

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