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VersaClimber Vs. Stairmaster | Breaking Down The Differences

VersaClimber Vs. Stairmaster Featured Image With Man Holding Versaclimber and a Stair Machine

Are you torn between the VersaClimber and Stairmaster for your cardio workouts?

We know that you know they both work. 

But from gym goer to gym goer, which one is right for you?

In this article, we'll break down the key differences between the two machines as well as their features, benefits, and drawbacks.

Near the end we'll share a couple of tips and tricks for each of the machines, and get you on your way to six pack abs even quicker!


To put it quickly, the Versaclimber is a unique, vertical climbing machine that utilizes all four limbs in a bear crawl, stair stepping combination. 

The Stairmaster, or any stair stepper, utilizes the action of walking up a flight of stairs as you normally would on a regular basis in your home, job, or anywhere. 

VersaClimber Must Knows...

Versaclimber with text and a woman posing on the machine

The VersaClimber is a versatile and unique machine designed to provide an intense cardio workout.

The VersaClimber engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, providing an efficient full-body workout while reducing joint impact.

The muscles targeted by the VersaClimber include those in the legs, glutes, core, back and arms.

This makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a comprehensive cardiovascular workout with added strength training benefits.

Regular use of the VersaClimber has been shown to improve endurance, burn calories and build lean muscle mass while reducing joint impact compared to other forms of exercise such as running or jumping.

Stairmaster Must Knows...

Stiar Master Machine Image White Backround

The Stairmaster is really just a brand of stair stepper machines that have almost coined their brand name to the type of product.'

Similar to how Kleenex is really just a tissue brand, people refer to tissues as Kleenex.

A stair machine consists of a revolving, never ending set of stairs that come at you in various speeds. 

Using a Stairmaster is great cardio and burns like fire in your lower body. 

But you probably already know this. So how do the two machines really stack up against each other?

Feature Comparison

The VersaClimber and Stairmaster each offer unique features that cater to different workout preferences.

The VersaClimber's adjustable resistance levels allow for a customizable full-body workout, while the Stairmaster's rotating steps simulate the motion of climbing stairs, providing a low-impact cardio option.

One standout feature of the VersaClimber is its ability to engage both upper and lower body muscles simultaneously, resulting in an efficient and effective total-body workout.

On the other hand, the Stairmaster offers various program options such as HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts and heart rate monitoring to help users track their progress and meet specific fitness goals.

VersaClimber Features

VersaClimber Muscles Worked Diagram with Woman On The Machine

The VersaClimber is a versatile fitness machine that offers numerous features to help you achieve your fitness goals.

Its vertical climbing motion provides an effective full-body workout, while adjustable resistance levels allow for a customized workout experience.

Additionally, the low-impact nature of the VersaClimber ensures that it's easy on your joints and muscles.


  • Vertical Climbing Motion:
  • Provides an effective full-body workout
  • Adjustable Resistance Levels:
  • Customizable intensity for different fitness levels
  • Low-Impact Workout:
  • Easy on joints and muscles

Stairmaster Features

Stair Master Console Image Of The Screen and Control Center

The Stairmaster is a versatile piece of equipment that offers a unique, stair-stepping motion for an effective lower body workout.

With its built-in programs for varied workouts, users can easily customize their exercise routine to match their fitness goals.

Additionally, the advanced metrics tracking provides real-time feedback on performance and progress.

Key features of the Stairmaster include:

  • Stair-stepping motion for a challenging lower-body workout
  • Built-in programs for varied workouts tailored to user needs
  • Advanced metrics tracking to monitor performance and progress

Benefits Of Each Machine

VersaClimber Benefits:

  • Full-body workout:
  • The VersaClimber engages all major muscle groups, providing a comprehensive cardio and strength training session.
  • Low impact:
  • Unlike the Stairmaster, the VersaClimber is low impact and easy on joints, making it a great choice for individuals with injuries or joint pain.

Stairmaster Benefits:

  • Targeted muscle activation:
  • The Stairmaster specifically targets leg muscles, helping to build strength in the lower body.
  • High intensity:
  • With its stair-climbing motion and resistance options, the Stairmaster provides a high-intensity workout that can burn calories quickly.

Drawbacks Of The Two Machines

While both machines are great, we want to keep it honest and fully upfront. 

Not everybody likes or enjoys using each of these machines for various reasons. 

VersaClimber Drawbacks

The VersaClimber is known for having a bit of a learning curve.

Compared to the Stairmaster, the VersaClimber is much more unconventional and even some will say, uncomfortable.

If you're looking for easy, simple, steady-state cardio, the Versaclimber machine is not quite up your alley.

Some will say this is a drawback of the machine, but we see it as a simple feature that will distinguish the Versaclimber from other machines like the Stairmaster.

Stairmaster Drawbacks

The Stairmaster is not always perfect either.

It can be hard on the knees and lower back due to the repetitive motion of the steps. 

Compared to other cardio machines like the VersaClimber, the Stairmaster has a limited range of motion which can lead to boredom during workouts.

Additionally, any stair machine simply will not engage your upper body. 

The Stairmaster is great for some steady state or high-intensity interval training but targets only the lower body. 

Machine Usage

A VersaClimber is a great machine when it comes to engaging your upper body while providing an overall intense workout. It targets the muscles of your arms, shoulders, back and core while also keeping your heart rate up for maximum calorie burn.

On the other hand, a Stairmaster is perfect for those who want to focus on lower-body strength-building exercises. It provides an effective cardio workout that engages multiple muscle groups in your legs and glutes as you climb up its rotating stairs or pedals.

Which is Better?

Mechanics and Motion: Understanding the Differences

When it comes to mechanics and motion, the VersaClimber offers a full-body workout that engages both upper and lower body muscle groups simultaneously. On the other hand, the Stairmaster focuses primarily on lower body muscles such as glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves.

Workout Intensity and Calorie Burn: Which Offers More?

If you are looking for a high-intensity cardio workout that helps burn more calories in less time, then the VersaClimber is your best bet. It has been shown to burn up to 20 calories per minute compared to only 12-14 calories with stair climbing machines like Stairmaster.

Final Consensus: Who Should Use What?

The Versaclimber machine is an excellent tool for High-Intensity Interval Training and cardio.  It engages your entire body from head to toe and shreds through calories like a steam engine. 

Anyone looking for a new, unique, and effective HIIT cardio workout should invest in or head over to the VersaClimber machine. 

The Stairmaster is a time-test gym-goer favorite. If you're looking to hop on a cardio machine for 10-60 minutes and get some regular cardio in, the stair machine is a safe bet. 

While you can absolutely turn up the speed and go for some sprints up the stairs, we see most commonly, the stair machine is used for steady-state cardio. 

At the end of the day, as long as you're hitting some kind of cardio, you will find great results from either of these two great machines. 

Want to talk to an expert about it? We have representatives on standby waiting to talk to you!! Give us a call today at 888-995-4450 and chat with us. 

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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.