Meet the cardio machine that can torch 370 calories in 22 minutes. And yes, that beats a Spinning bike

By Amy Roberts
March 07, 2016
Chris Fanning

The VersaClimber may look familiar to you. The machine has been around for a while, but because no one really understood its power to burn fat in record time, we all just ignored the thing. Now, it's another story-trainers have realized its calorie-torching potential and are enthusiastically spreading their love for this lean machine. (See more of The Best Cardio Machines You've Never Seen Before.)

"The VersaClimber burns nearly twice the calories of indoor cycling because you're cranking away with both your upper and lower body at once," says Jason Walsh, the founder of West Hollywood's Rise Nation, the first all-climbing studio, whose classes have become huge with many celebs. "Plus, there's zero momentum, so you're doing 100 percent of the work the entire time; the machine will go only as fast as you can make it go." The VersaClimber motion basi- cally mimics what it would be like to crawl up an unending 75-degree mountain face: One leg steps while one arm reaches, and your core tightens with every push-and-pull move.

In a word, it's tough. But hop on the machine at your gym-most clubs have one or more, even if they're tucked away in a corner-to do Walsh's super efficient 22-minute routine and you'll be hooked on the fast results it delivers. Get ready to tone, sculpt, and torch some 19 calories every minute. (No VersaClimber? Try our Fat-Sizzling Stair Workout.)

Intensity: Hard (RPE: Shoot for an 8 or a 9 out of 10.)

Total time: 22 minutes

You'll need: A VersaClimber and a stopwatch or an app to keep the time.

How it works: You mix up your stroke length and pace (see above for a refresher on what this means), which maximizes muscles used and increases the aerobic demand for the best overall metabolic boost. Use the rest periods to recover as much as possible so you can go even harder-and burn more calories-in the next interval burst.

Your Versa Workout

Warm-up: Easy climb

4 minutes

Go steady. Do an 18-inch stroke at 120 feet per minute.

RPE: 6 or 7

​Rest: 30 seconds

SET 1: Long Intervals

3 minutes

Alternate sprints with a slow climb. Do a sprint segment of 12-inch strokes at 200 feet per minute for 45 seconds, then lengthen to an 18-inch stroke at 130 feet per minute for another 45 seconds. Repeat once.

RPE: 8

Rest: 30 seconds

SET 2: Medium Intervals

3 minutes

Kick up your intensity. Do a 12-inch stroke at 200 feet per minute for 30 seconds, then, main- taining stroke length, slow down to 150 feet per minute for another 30 seconds. Complete this combo 3 times.

RPE: 9

Rest: 30 seconds

SET 3: Tabata Sprint

4 minutes Go hard at this HIIT formula: It's proven to torch calories long after your workout is done. Do a 12-inch stroke at an all-out 220 feet per minute for 20 seconds. Recover at 120 feet per minute for 10 seconds. Complete this combo 8 times.

RPE: 9

Rest: 1 minute

SET 4: The Finisher

3 minutes

"Use whatever you have left in the tank right here," trainer Jason Walsh says. Do an 18-inch stroke at 140 feet per minute for 30 seconds. Keep the length but bump up the pace to 200 feet per minute for 60 seconds. Repeat once.

RPE: 9


3 minutes

Keep strokes short and slow. Do a 12-inch stroke at a 150-feet-per-minute pace.

RPE: 6