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Jacobs Ladder Vs. VersaClimber | Ultimate Comparison of Two Industry Titans

Jacobs Ladder Vs. VersaClimber Featured Image

Vertical climber machines have around decades. Two of the most well known and popular will be put head to head today in order to help you decide which you like more. 

The Jacobs Ladder Exercise machine is designed with a gentle slope that emulates a natural climbing motion, appealing to professional sports teams, athletes, and people of all fitness levels. It engages the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, abs, back, chest, shoulders, biceps, and triceps.

Meanwhile, the VersaClimber offers a more vertically aligned orientation with 16 preset programs, an adjustable height feature, and a display screen showing essential workout data such as time, distance, and heart rate.

It is crucial to assess these two machines on factors such as workout effectiveness, functionality, and overall user experience.

Here's the table of contents in order save you some time. Click any of the links and skip to that section. 

Jacobs Ladder Overview

VersaClimber Overview

VersaClimber Vs. Jacobs Ladder Similarities

VersaClimber Vs. Jacobs Ladder Differences

Pros and Cons Of Each

Choosing the Right Option


Jacobs Ladder Machine Overview

Jacobs Ladder Machine

The Jacobs Ladder is a unique piece of fitness equipment designed to simulate the motion of climbing a ladder.

It provides a demanding, total-body workout by engaging multiple muscle groups, such as the core, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest, triceps, and biceps (source).

Set at a 40-degree angle, this machine mimics the position of a ladder leaning against a wall, ensuring a challenging workout that combines both strength and cardio elements.

As users climb the ladder, the machine's continuous movement provides an intense workout while minimizing the risk of injury. Equipped with a waist belt, the Jacobs Ladder offers a key safety feature that adjusts the speed of the machine based on the user's climbing pace (source).

This allows users to exercise at their preferred intensity, making it suitable for various fitness levels.

Jacobs ladder makes 3 ladder climbing models. The Jacobs Ladder, Jacobs Ladder JLX, the Jacobs Ladder 2. For an in depth comparison of each Jacobs ladder machine, check out our resource, Jacobs Ladder Vs. Jacobs Ladder 2.

Some noteworthy benefits of the Jacobs Ladder machine include:

  • Engagement of multiple muscle groups for a complete workout
  • Cardio and strength training benefits
  • Safety features such as the waist belt to prevent falls and overexertion
  • Adjustable resistance based on the user's climbing speed
  • Low-impact exercise, reducing stress on joints

In summary, the Jacobs Ladder offers a highly effective and challenging workout while prioritizing safety and adaptability for users of varying fitness levels. Its design and unique features make it a valuable addition to a well-rounded fitness routine, targeting both strength and cardiovascular endurance.

VersaClimber Machine Overview

VersaClimber SM-Magnetic Sport Vertical Climber

The VersaClimber is a versatile, demanding, and effective vertical climber, designed to provide users with a full-body workout. 

At the core of the VersaClimber experience is its unique range of motion, which simulates the natural climbing movement in a vertical orientation.

This motion actively engages all major muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, abs, back, chest, shoulders, biceps, and triceps source.

One significant advantage of the VersaClimber is the ability to customize and adapt the workout according to individual preferences and fitness levels. The machine can be adjusted to focus on specific muscle groups, such as only working the arms, shoulders, and chest by standing on the floor instead of strapping into the pedals.

VersaClimber creates a number of vertical climbing models as well. They have the VersaClimber SM Sport, Versaclimber SM Magnetic, Versaclimber TS commercial, and Versaclimber TS Magnetic which all share common design and benefits with small differences in features and price.

Users can benefit from the following features of the VersaClimber machine:

  • Height-adjustable and accommodation for a wide range of user heights.
  • Certain models offer 16 preset programs to provide varied workouts tailored to individual goals.
  • Displays essential workout metrics such as distance, time, and calorie burn rate.
  • Compact and space-saving design suitable for home gyms and fitness centers

The VersaClimber offers an efficient and challenging full-body workout in a compact and adaptable machine.

Its unique motion and customizable workouts make it an ideal addition to any fitness routine.

Jacob's Ladder and VersaClimber Key Similarities

Both Jacob's Ladder and VersaClimber offer excellent options for individuals or facility owners looking to engage in an effective and challenging workout.

They share several key similarities that make these machines ideal choices for enhancing athletic performance and overall fitness whichever one ends up suiting you best.

Full Body Workout

Jacob's Ladder and VersaClimber provide total body workouts by targeting multiple muscle groups in both the upper and lower body. This allows for a more efficient and balanced training session, ultimately leading to better overall physical conditioning.

Steady State or HIIT Cardio

These machines cater to various training styles, including steady state cardio and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Users can easily adapt their workouts on both machines based on their specific goals and fitness levels, making them versatile options for any gym or home fitness space.

Low Impact On Joints

Due to their unique motion patterns, both Jacob's Ladder and VersaClimber provide low-impact workouts, minimizing the strain on joints and reducing the risk of injury. This makes them ideal options for individuals recovering from an injury or those looking to protect their joints while still obtaining an effective workout.

User Friendly

Both machines are user-friendly, with intuitive designs that make them accessible to users of all fitness levels. They each offer easy-to-use interfaces, allowing users to quickly set up their workouts and adjust resistance levels as needed.

Functional Benefits

Jacob's Ladder and VersaClimber provide functional benefits by mimicking natural human movements, such as climbing and stepping. This helps to improve overall coordination, balance, and agility, making these machines ideal choices for individuals looking to enhance their athletic performance.

User Paced Intensity

Both machines allow users to determine their own workout intensity, catering to individual fitness levels and goals. This user-paced approach ensures a challenging and effective workout without the risk of overexertion.

Self Powered Machine

These machines are both self-powered, meaning that they do not require a power source, making them energy-efficient and eco-friendly options for your training space.

American Made!

Jacob's Ladder and VersaClimber are both proudly manufactured in the United States, ensuring top-quality construction and craftsmanship.

VersaClimber and Jacobs Ladder Key Differences

Design and Functionality

Jacobs Ladder is a ladder-style climbing machine, where users move both their legs and arms in a climbing motion. The movement is similar to climbing a ladder, therefore called Jacobs Ladder.

VersaClimber, on the other hand, is a vertical climbing machine that also engages both the upper and lower body. The climber requires users to perform an alternating arm and leg movement, more like vertical mountain climbing.

Rate of Caloric Burn

Champions Ladder Exclusive - Innovative, modernised alternative to The  Jacobs Ladder

Both machines offer a high-intensity workout that targets multiple muscle groups for an efficient calorie burn.

However, the specific rate of caloric burn would depend on factors such as user weight, workout intensity, and individual metabolism.

While both machines can help users achieve their fitness goals, the exact calorie-burning comparison may vary from person to person.

Resistance Adjustability

Close up of Versaclimber adjustable resistance

Jacobs Ladder offers a self-regulating resistance system, where the resistance increases automatically as the user climbs faster. With the VersaClimber, users can manually adjust resistance levels to customize their workouts and match their fitness goals.

Digital Display and Workout Programs

Jacobs Ladder X comes with an improved digital dashboard that provides insights on workout metrics, such as climb rate, total feet climbed, calories burned, and workout intensity level.

VersaClimber machines also feature digital displays with multiple built-in workout programs, giving users a variety of ways to stay engaged during their workouts.

Dimensions and Footprint

Jacobs Ladder 2 is a compact treadmill-style ladder climber designed for home and commercial use.

In contrast, VersaClimber machines come in various sizes and models, allowing users to choose the one that best fits their space and needs.

Performance Metrics

Both machines offer several performance metric tracking options, such as distance climbed, time elapsed, calories burned, and more. These stats help users monitor their progress and tailor their workouts accordingly.

Price Comparison

When it comes to pricing, the cost of Jacobs Ladder and VersaClimber machines can fluctuate based on factors like model, features, and availability.

Jacobs Ladder machines start at 5295. 

VersaClimber machines start as low as 3495.

It's essential for buyers to research and compare the specific machines they are interested in to understand the price differences better and make an informed decision.

Jacobs Ladder Vs. VersaClimber Pros and Cons

Both Jacobs Ladder and VersaClimber offer unique benefits for fitness enthusiasts.

However, it is important to understand their differences and weigh the pros and cons of each machine.

Jacobs Ladder Pros and Cons

Pros of Jacobs Ladder include:

  • Low-impact exercise, making it suitable for all fitness levels and protecting joints
  • Highly adjustable resistance levels, allowing users to customize their workouts
  • Allows for effective high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • Burns calories at a high rate

Cons of Jacobs Ladder are:

  • Higher learning curve, as it takes time to become comfortable with the climbing motion
  • Less common machine, which may be harder to find in gyms
  • Stronger entry price


Pros of the VersaClimber consist of:

  • Total body workout that targets and tones muscles like the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core
  • Easily adjustable climbing angles for targeting different muscles
  • Low-impact exercise, reducing strain on joints
  • Compact and space-saving design

Cons of the VersaClimber include:

  • Fixed resistance levels, offering less customization than other fitness machines
  • High likelihood of user boredom, as it requires repetitive motion
  • Potentially higher price range, depending on the model and features

In summary, both Jacobs Ladder and VersaClimber offer excellent fitness options for their respective purposes. Consider your specific fitness goals and preferences when choosing between these two gym equipment options.

Choosing the Right Option for You

When deciding between a Jacobs Ladder and a VersaClimber, consider the following factors to determine the best fit for your fitness needs:

1. Workout Goals

Jacobs Ladder and VersaClimber both provide total body workouts, engaging multiple muscle groups.

However, if your main goal is to improve overall fitness and achieve high-intensity training, the VersaClimber might be the preferred choice due to its vertical climbing motion.

On the other hand, if you're focusing on functional movements and balance, Jacobs Ladder, with its continuous ladder incline, may be more suitable.

2. Space Constraints

Both machines are relatively compact and can be stored in small areas. The VersaClimber's wall-mountable feature allows for efficient space usage, especially in commercial gyms or rehab facilities. Jacobs Ladder, on the other hand, is free-standing and requires a slightly larger area for safe usage.

3. Budget

Consider your budget when evaluating these machines. VersaClimber offers a range of models with varying features and price points, while Jacobs Ladder has fewer options.

Research and compare the costs and features of both machines to find the best fit for your finances and fitness needs.

4. Customizability and Features

Take the time to compare the features of each machine. The VersaClimber has 16 preset programs, a display screen for metrics, and adjustable height (source).

Comparatively, Jacobs Ladder offers fewer built-in programs and customizability but still boasts a challenging workout experience.

By considering your workout goals, available space, budget, and desired features, you'll be better equipped to choose the right option between Jacobs Ladder and the VersaClimber.

Remember, the best choice is the one that meets your individual fitness needs and preferences.

VersaClimber Vs. Jacobs Ladder Conclusion

At the end of the day, both a VersaClimber and Jacobs Ladder machines offer climbing style cardio workouts with low joint impact, full body engagement, self powered design, Americana made construction, all at a comparable price. 

The machines differ in foot print size, bodily alignment, resistance adjustments, and their digital display. 

Which ever one you choose, we're sure you'll get an long lasting, effective, and engaging cardio climber machine. 

We have promotions running on both of these machines you should check out now!! 

If you have any questions about either machine type, please reach out to us by email, phone, or live chat and one of the Select Fitness USA experts will push you in the right direction. 

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About The Author

Matt Gemkow, the author of this content section at Select Fitness USA, boasts more than 15 years of fitness experience. He started out in sports and athletic training for many years and has since 2014 transitioned into heavy-weight training and bodybuilding. As a result, he has become one of the most experienced fitness equipment experts out there, and a valuable source of information.