Burnout Fitness is a boutique climbing gym that deploys the VersaClimber for a high intensity, low impact workout.
One of the first studios to bring the VersaClimber to the city, Burnout is a mix of cardio and HIIT that leave you with a rush of adrenaline and sweat in a 60-minute burn class.
The VersaClimber has been around since the ‘80s, but it was recently popularized by Los Angeles trainer Jason Walsh who opened the popular studio, Rise Nation. Stars like LeBron James, Lady Gaga and Hilary Duff swear by it.
The VersaClimber mimics the sensation of climbing a mountain and works both the upper and lower body. The machine will move only as fast as you do with different levels of resistance and speed while measuring how many feet you’ve climbed.
Monica Stajer, the founder of Burnout fitness and one of the city’s elite trainers, has been working with the VersaClimber for five years and says it’s one of the best workouts available.
Apart from the health benefits, the VersaClimber is a zero-impact workout, a blessing for anyone with weak knees or achy joints. But, just because it’s easier on the body, doesn’t mean it’s an easier workout.
The class is split into two parts - 30-minutes of floor work and 30-minutes on the Climber. Performing intervals - short bursts followed by long movements - ensures you’re never bored.
The class goes by incredibly fast, leaving you extremely sweaty but completely energized. There’s a reason it’s called Burnout, because you need to give it your all. There’s little opportunity to be lazy in this class, especially with a trainer like Stajer who pushes you to do your best.
The Yonge street studio has one large room with 20 stations; 10 Climbers and 10 HIIT stations with stall bars where you perform a variety of acrobatic feats. In total, the class incorporates HIIT movements, exercises on the stall bar and work on the VersaClimber.
The smaller classes mean more attention is given to each climber, something I appreciated as I needed help setting up and understanding the Climber. It also means an attentive instructor who can adjust your form and watch for injuries, something that larger studios don’t focus on enough.
In preparation for my first class, I was told I would start to sweat within the first six minutes, which I doubted. I am, after all, supposed to be a fitness pro who sweats on the regular. How tough can an upright machine be? Turns out, it can be very tough.
It was challenging, leaving me with a burst of adrenaline bordering on addiction. Perhaps it’s the repetitive movements that get you into a good grove, physically and mentally. I couldn’t wait to go back.
Burnout is not for the faint of heart, it can be challenging to work in vertical motion with your arms above your head, but it’s ideal for those who enjoy a maximum challenge and a new level of fun in their workout.
The idea of an upright machine seems scary at first, and it takes a few minutes to get the hang of, but when you do, it starts to become a natural rhythm. In a single class, you can climb anywhere from 3-4,000 feet. To put that into perspective, the CN Tower is 1,800-feet.
A single Burnout class is $30. First timers, opt for the promo which gets you three classes for $45.