So I picked up a versaclimber about a month and a half ago based on a glowing recommendation from my brother, who is a physical therapist. He insisted I look for the commercial model (20 in. step, chain drive) so I braved a drive down to Baltimore just before Irene struck to get one. I hightailed it out of town with the machine in my truck bed and 40 mph winds literally at my back.
After working on that thing 4 or 5 times a week since then, I can honestly say that they are no joke. They definitely live up to the hype. I started out being able to do 5 to 7 minutes before death came. Now, I am up to 25 or 30 mins until I have had enough. Went out for a run the other day and I was unable to wind myself before the legs died. For anyone debating buying one of these due to the cost, if you are the type of person who will commit to it, you will not be sorry. No matter what kind of shape you are in, you will not be able to outgrow this rig.
My question is, do any other posters on here own one or work out on one of these things, and if so, what do you do to change up the workouts? I go forward/reverse grips, intervals (30 sec on, 30 off for 10 mins), vary step heights, vary resistance, etc. I am looking for new ways to torture myself even more.
I get a magazine called Inside MMA. They have Versaclimber ads in them all the time. Never used one and the YMCA doesn't have one. To save me from looking this up on my own, could you give me a sales pitch?
How tall is it? How do you set it up? Could a maintenance moron set it up (or should I ask my wife)? How much does it cost? Where do I buy it?
I've read good things about it, but my basement has 7ft ceilings and I don't know if it would fit down there. I could put it in the spare bedroom with 8ft ceilings but that would require cleaning out that room. I could put it in my garage, but that gets cold or hot, depending on the season. Is this a good purchase for a guy like me?
My pitch is thus: The machines are popular with the MMA and Boxing communities right now as the workout provided by one is ideal for these kind of sports, those which require outstanding cardio and explosive, powerful bursts. But, at the same time anyone can use it. The best things about the machine are:
1) It kicks your ass as hard as you want it kicked, in a relatively short time. A 20 or 30 min. workout can be punishing. It is the best cardio machine I have ever worked out on. Like I said, my knees died on my last run before I was even close to being winded.
2) You can dial up the resistance as well for a strength component as well.
3) It works multiple body parts, lower and upper. Destroys the quads. I have tightened everything up pretty well since I have started.
4) No impact. I have pretty lousy knees and they are not bothered at all by the machine. Since I am not hurting anymore I am more eager to work out, so it becomes addicting.
I'm sure I have forgotten something, but that's mainly it. I have the 108LX:
VersaClimber, #1 fat and calorie burner, versaclimber.com, versa climber total body fitness in 20 minutes
It is about 94 or 95 inches tall, just a shade under 8 ft. But, I am able to put it in my basement that is also 7 ft finished height by putting the top of the unit between the floor joists. It just barely clears the subfloor above it this way. In the picture in the link I sent, you see the built chick is using it like a stairclimber. She could also use the peg-handles in front of her for the full body climb, those can be adjusted for riders of different heights. I am 5'10 and I use the second highest set of holes. The highest set of holes would cause my hands to smash into the floor joists so if you are taller than 6 ft it would be an issue with setting it up in the basement. I think the garage would be ok for all seasons except in the heat. You would stay warm on it in the winter no problem.
I bought mine used, so it was already set up, but I think set up is pretty basic so I don't think you have to ask the wife for help, although my wife was more than willing to provide her input on it, as always. Pretty minimal maintenance, just some 3 in 1 oil on the chains periodically and clean the tracks, wipe the sweat off after use. The thing is rugged and quality built, so you won't be able to break it no matter how hard you work on it. It breaks you first every time (there's my cliched sales line).
The first downside is the cost. I bought mine used for $1700 but it had been recently been tuned up by a pro. It is around 25 years old and lasted that long before needing a tune-up. There are cheaper, belt driven home models with the 10 in. step out there as well but my brother told me specifically to spend the extra bucks to get the commercial, chain-drive, 20 in. step model. I think he was right in that regard as I use the full 20 in. of step travel quite a bit and I average around 12 or 13 in. New, these things are $3700 to $4500 which in my opinion is ridiculous, regardless of how nice these things are. I think $1700 is fair, as it will outlast me provided I maintain it. I have found the cost to be another motivating factor to use it regularly. It won't break the bank but it does sting a bit to spend that kind of money on something like this.
The second downside is limited availability of good used units. I found mine on Craigslist - I actually used Search Tempest, which searches all Craigslist pages for your item in whatever mile radius you specify from your zip code. Like I said, the closest one to me (Western NY) was in Baltimore, about 300 miles away.
I am very pleased I bought it. I think wrestler types are the exact kind of folks who would enjoy this machine. If you have joint issues it is also your best choice. On youtube, Stephen Bonnar shows the workout he does on his climber. He does a good job explaining some of the workouts he does on it.
Thanks for the detailed reply. My wife and I currently have a YMCA membership for $70 a month. We also do the Dave Ramsey Finacial Peace way of spending. So, I am hoping she reads your reply and agrees to save 70 bucks a month to buy one. That way we could be free from a monthly payment and still get a workout.
Again, thank you and I will definitely check into it. Or just bonk her on the head and demand her to sign a paper agreeing to it while she's still woozy.
No problem Quinn. As you an tell by my weighty reply, I am really on the bandwagon, it's pretty awesome.
One thing I forgot to include: look into the "cross-crawl" option as well. It allows the hand and leg to operate oppositely (as the right hand goes up, the right leg goes down) which supposedly is a more natural kind of motion. It is a higher priced option but I hear it is pretty nice to have. I have never had a problem with my basic set up though.