Vertical Climbing Cardio is the Next Big Thing

Vertical Climbing Cardio is the Next Big Thing


Here, we explain the hype behind vertical climbers and why celebrities and athletes like LeBron James and Novak Djokovic swear by them

Vertical climbing cardio is certainly not a new trend. It seems to us that this workout first hit the mainstream in the U.S. when LeBron James posted about VersaClimbers—a vertical climbing cardio machine—in 2012. In 2015, the first Rise Nation studio opened in Los Angeles, and it is a global studio franchise that holds 30-minute classes using VersaClimber machines exclusively.

Group climbing classes at Rise Nation rose to prominence following LeBron’s next post in 2016, where he’d called his VersaClimber machine his girlfriend. Vertical climbers thus made their rounds online as it was titled the NBA stars’ favorite piece of gym equipment. That said, it seems that LeBron has ditched VersaClimber in favor of the newer and sleeker CLMBR in 2021. Notably, CLMBR is the first vertical climbing machine to include a touch display with on-demand instructor-led classes.

Vertical climbing machines are also pretty pricey, with the higher quality models from VersaClimber and CLMBR costing around USD 2,000 to 7,000. But what makes these machines worth investing in?

For one thing, they are made for your body’s natural movement, with CLMBR describing the experience as one where primal movement meets state-of-the-art training. Exercising with climbing machines is said to be one of the best full-body workouts available as doing so burns an average of 22.3 calories per minute. In other words, you can burn upwards of 600 calories per 30-minute session, whereas a 30-minute jog only burns off about 200-500 calories.

This is because these machines were designed to be used for time-efficient total-body workouts, thus letting you achieve optimal results for cardio, strength, and resistance training at the same time. These are also manually powered, which means that you can go as slow or as fast as you like.

VersaClimber - Vertical climbing machines
Photo Credit: @versaclimber_official (via Instagram)

Additionally, climbing machines are said to increase your heart rate and oxygen consumption at a better rate than when you’re using rowing machines and treadmills due to the engagement of all major muscle groups. What also sets vertical climbers apart from other cardio machines is that they promote healthy spinal alignment and coordination due to how primal upright climbing is for humans. Not only that, but vertical climbers are safe to use for people with vulnerable joints and other conditions as these machines are zero-impact.

With these benefits in mind, vertical climbing cardio can easily take off among gym goers, fitness enthusiasts, and beginners. Businesses like Rise Nation would certainly help make this trend widespread as it makes these machines more accessible to the masses.


If it’s good enough for LeBron, it’s good enough for you. #RiseNation #workout #ByeByeSundayBlues

♬ First Class – Jack Harlow

If these benefits are to your liking, then we recommend getting your own vertical climbing machine to use at your own pace at home. However, it seems that the top brands supplying vertical climbing machines, like CLMBR and VersaClimber, do not ship internationally. As such, a great alternative would be to book classes at Rise Nation Philippines.

Rise Nation Philippines opened its doors in BGC in 2019, making it the first vertical climbing boutique fitness gym in the Philippines, and the first Rise Nation branch in all of Asia.

Rise Nation Philippines - vertical climbing boutique fitness gym
Photo Credit: @risenationph (via Instagram)

Rise Nation may have struggled during the early years of the pandemic, but it’s now facing a resurgence of interest with local celebrities posting about Rise Nation in the past year. In 2022, actress and Miss Universe Philippines 2013 Ariella Arida shared a photo of herself using a VersaClimber in Rise Nation. In January of this year, actress Rhian Ramos shared a post-workout photo with friends Max Collins, Michelle Dee, and Sandy Riccio on the floor of the same studio. Solenn Heusaff also showed her interest in the workout by commenting on Rhian’s post.

Rise Nation Philippines - vertical climbing boutique fitness gym
Photo Credit: @araarida (via Instagram)
Rise Nation Philippines - vertical climbing boutique fitness gym
Photo Credit: @whianwamos (via Instagram)

Prior to becoming the first Drag Supreme of Drag Den Philippines, NAIA Black also held a charity climb on June 30, 2022 at Rise Nation. Notably, this “Rise with Pride” event raised funds for HIV research.

NAIA Black charity climb at Rise Nation Philippines
Photo Credit: @naiablack_ (via Instagram)

If you’re interested in this type of workout class, you can book your slot through Rise Nation Philippines’s official website or through Class Pass.

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