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Buyers Guide & Information

Maxi Climber Reviews: Honest Analysis of Results vs Price

We have reviewed the Maxi Climber for home workouts. See if this vertical climber will deliver the results you expect without complete guide.

by

Buyers Guide & Information

Maxi Climber Reviews: Honest Analysis of Results vs Price

We have reviewed the Maxi Climber for home workouts. See if this vertical climber will deliver the results you expect without complete guide.

by PITeam

by PITeam

Compared to treadmills, rowing machines, and stationary bikes, vertical climbers are less commonly known. However, they are a reasonably popular piece of at-home exercise equipment for people who want an effective workout and a space-saving machine.

The vertical climber, also known as the Maxi Climber (thanks to the popular brand), was initially designed to mimic the movement of rock climbing. As you can imagine, the movement is effective for burning calories and toning the body.

However, there are factors to be aware of before you jump into a purchase. Keep reading for everything you need to know about the vertical climber, how it works, how effective it is, and four best vertical climbers on the market today.

How Maxi Climbers Workout Your Body

The maxi climber is a thin frame with two pedals, two moving arm poles, and one set of stable handles. Your feet remain on the pedals, moving up and down in a climbing or stepping motion.

The hands grip the moving poles and move up and down. Or, you can keep your hands on the stable handles. Check out this quick video to see the Maxi Climber in action. You can hold the moving handles with your palms facing you, and tense the biceps in a bicep curl motion. Or, you can grip the handles with your palms facing down to better target the triceps and forearms.

This motion gives an intense cardio workout, burns calories, and tones the muscles.

It works the legs, glutes, core, and arms for a near full-body workout. Note that there is no resistance to most vertical climbers, only the resistance of your body weight. A short 20 minutes vigorous Maxi Climber workout can work the muscles meaning you get an "afterburn" when your body continues to burn calories long after the workout. 

Many customers have described the Maxi Climber as "tough love," and "kicks your butt in a good way." As you can tell, this isn't a walk-in-the-park machine, and it really does give you a strenuous workout. However, it is suitable for all fitness levels. A beginner? No worries, just take shallow steps and keep your hands on the stationary handles. Advanced? Use a full range of motion, speed, moving arm poles, and add a weighted vest for extra resistance.


Benefits of the Maxi Climber

  • Burns calories
    The Maxi Climber burns more calories than a treadmill, making it an efficient and time-friendly workout machine. It is claimed that 60 minutes on the Maxi Climber will burn 500 calories, whereas 60 minutes on the treadmill burns 250 calories (at low speed). While this does depend on weight, speed, resistance, and overall body composition, it's clear that the Maxi Climber is a super calorie burner. 
  • Tones the muscles
    The climbing motion of the Maxi Climber tones the muscles, especially the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. It also tones the upper arms, shoulders, and back. The core can also get a great workout if you engage it and use it as a stabilizer. 
  • Easier on the joints
    When compared to a treadmill, the Maxi Climber is easier on the knee, hip, and ankle joints as it doesn't involve the feet colliding with a surface. Because the feet remain on the pedals at all times, there's less "shock." However, the Maxi Climber may not be best for people with very troubled knees, as there is a lot of bending and bodyweight resistance involved.
  • Compact and quiet
    The Maxi Climber is a thin frame (a sturdy one!) that doesn't take up a lot of room and makes barely any noise. The motion itself is vertical, so both the machine and the movement do not require a lot of space at all. You could tuck this into a small apartment easily.

Choosing a Quality Maxi Climber

Material Quality & Design

Vertical Climbers are slimline machines, so they need to be made of durable materials and with a smart design. Look for materials such as cold-rolled steel, which provides super durability. Look for models with a reliable safety feature to hold the machine in place during use. This is generally a pin that ensures the machine stays in an A-frame shape as you move.

Adjustable Resistance & Heights/Drive Mechanism

Maxi Climbers/vertical climbers generally have an adjustable height. The height restrictions are usually around 6 foot 2, which accommodates most people. For taller people, check out the Maxi Climber XL or XL800, which has a maximum height of 6 foot 6. If you are very tall and your house's ceilings are reasonably low, you may have an issue, as the machine works vertically.

Slip Resistant Surfaces/Grips

Because the Maxi Climber is a sparse machine with a vertical motion, you want to be stable and safe as you move. Slip-resistant foot pedals are essential for safety and stability, no matter how hard you work out.

Sturdy Body & Stable Base

Look for a vertical climber with a sturdy, A-frame base with a safety pin to ensure stability and avoid tipping over. Look for feet with grips to prevent slipping, especially if you plan to set up your vertical climber on the carpet.

Portability/Foldability

The Maxi Climber and similar varieties can be folded away and stashed in a wardrobe or a discreet corner. Make sure your chosen model has dimensions and foldability features to fit with your workout and storage area.

Weight Capacity/Limits

Be sure of your weight before you purchase so you can pick a model to accommodate you. Maxi Climbers/vertical climbers tend to have a slightly lower weight limit than machines like treadmills. The general weight limit is about 240 pounds. However, the Maxi Climber XL-1000 has a higher threshold of 300 pounds.

Other Features

Some vertical climbers have additional features such as seats, more comprehensive tech features, and pedal loops to secure the foot. Take notice of the stationary handles, as some are simple and small, while others (such as the Maxi Climber XL1000) are larger and offer more hand positions.

Price & Warranty

Get the best value for your money, along with a warranty to protect you. Note that the Maxi Climber XL is more expensive than the Original. However, if that extra weight allowance and sturdier construction will mean your workouts are safer and more effective, and the machine will last longer, the higher initial cost will pay off in the long run.


Best Maxi Climbers & Alternatives Reviewed & Compared

1. MaxiClimber(r) - The Original

Best Maxi Climber

Dimensions (Unfolded)

28.3 x 35.82 Inches

Max User Weight Limit
Machine Weight

240 Lbs
34 Lbs.

Adjustable Height Levels

5 height levels

Can it be folded?

Yes

Key Feature

Cold-rolled steel durable construction

Warranty

30-day money-back guarantee plus a 1-year warranty

The Maxi Climber is the original vertical climber, designed for an at-home workout with cardio, muscle building, and a compact footprint. This is the model for you if you’re up to 240 pounds and 6 foot 2 inches in height (see the XL below if you’re heavier or taller!). It provides everything you expect from a vertical climber, with a low price. The Original maxi climber features strong U-bars with grippy feet to provide non-slip stability.

The construction is made from sturdy cold-rolled steel, which provides strong reinforcement and a durable build. The pedals are textured to ensure a non-slip step, with padded stationery and moving handles for a soft grip even for long workouts. There are five different adjustable heights so you can adjust it to give you the best range of motion for your height.

There is a simple timer located on the body of the machine (so you can quickly look down and see it). It counts your steps and gives a rough estimation of calories burned. You don't have to do anything to activate this, simply jump on and start working out.

The Maxi Climber Original is ideal for small home spaces as it folds up easily and can fit under the bed or in a narrow closet. In terms of workout and performance, users have reported the MaxiClimber Original is harder than it looks...in a good way. They find they can complete a short workout and truly feel “the burn” and challenge, increasing their fitness.

The Maxi Climber original is the best option when considering price versus quality and function. There are no unnecessary features or accessories to ramp up the price, just a durable construction, comfortable handles, and compact storage options.

*Note that many customers reported that their MaxiClimber Original didn't come with the workout DVD, which is supposed to be included in the package. 


2. MaxiClimber XL-1000

Best Maxi Climber for Tall People

Dimensions (Unfolded)

25.78 x 35.82 Inches

Max User Weight Limit
Machine Weight

300 Lbs
49 Lbs

Adjustable Height Levels

4 levels

Can it be folded?

Yes

Key Feature

12 resistance levels

Warranty

30-day money-back guarantee plus a 1-year warranty

The MaxiClimber XL-1000 is the revamped, stepped-up version of the Original. The XL-1000 is far more expensive than the Original, but it offers 12 levels of hydraulic resistance for a more varied workout. It comes with a meal plan and access to the Maxi Climber fitness app (like the Original).

The XL-1000 has a higher weight limit of 300 pounds, and a height limit of 6 foot 6. The pedals are also larger to accommodate a larger shoe size for safe and comfortable functionality.

Unlike the Original, the XL-1000 has a device holder so you can watch videos or follow workout tutorials. The overall construction is a little different, as it is made from aluminum as opposed to cold-rolled steel. This offers more reinforcement for taller people.

The overall customer response is not as high as the Maxi Climber original, with some users stating that the construction is less durable over time. If your weight and height fit into the Original's limitations, you may be better off spending less cash for a simpler yet more well-received vertical climber.


3. Kepteen Vertical Climber

Best Versatile Vertical Climber

Dimensions (Unfolded)

Not Specified

Max User Weight Limit
Machine Weight

220 Lbs
55.9 Lbs

Adjustable Height Levels

5 levels

Can it be folded?

Yes

Key Feature

Seated bike option

Warranty

Not Specified

The Kepteen Vertical Climber is a great alternative to the Maxi Climber for people who require a seated bike option. Unlike the Maxi Climber, it has a built-in seat with pedals so you can opt for a stationary bike workout as well as/instead of a vertical climbing workout. It easily folds up so you can keep it out of the way when it’s not in use.

It is only slightly more expensive than the Maxi Climber, but the difference is marginal. Considering you get two different workout options, the price is fantastic. The construction is durable, with steel a steel alloy frame, and plastic parts.

The reviews for this model are incredibly positive, with customers reporting that it delivers a simple function, but does it well. As a good vertical climber should, it works the entire body. You can track your workout with the LCD monitor screen, which tells you the calories burned, duration/time, and speed (a little more comprehensive than the MaxiClimber Original).


4. Conquer Vertical Climber

Best Affordable Vertical Climber

Dimensions (Unfolded)

36.5 x 27.7 x 78 inches

Max User Weight Limit
Machine Weight

220 Lbs
35.3 Lbs

Adjustable Height Levels

Add all of them

Can it be folded?

Yes

Key Feature

Foldable

Warranty

60 days

The Conquer Vertical Climber is a straightforward machine, without the bells and whistles of the MaxiClimber XL1000. It is also the most affordable model on this list, by far. It is more basic in construction than the Maxi and Kepteen models, as it has a chain as opposed to a cable or sliding poles. This could mean a little extra maintenance in terms of lubrication and preventing rust.

Like the Maxi Original, the Conquer doesn’t have any adjustable resistance and relies on bodyweight. The overall motion and function are the same as the Maxi Original and XL-1000, with vertical pedals, stationary handles, and moving poles/handles for an all-over body workout.

While many customers are thrilled with this model, a reasonable amount of others have reported a broken chain and sprocket. It seems that the construction does leave a little to be desired, and for a small chunk of extra cash, the MaxiClimber Original will last you longer and provide better value for money in the long run.


Comparison with Other Home Fitness Equipment

Maxi Climber vs. Other Vertical Climbers

The Maxi Climber is the best option as it provides the sturdiest construction and materials. However, the Kepteen vertical climber offers a seat for a variety of workout styles and fitness levels. The Conquer is very similar to the Maxi Climber but is slightly cheaper and more simple in aesthetic, design, and materials used.

Maxi Climber vs. Stationary Bikes

The key difference is that the Maxi Climber is a standing machine, while a stationary bike is a seated machine. A stationary bike generally offers resistance levels and can provide an incredibly strenuous, heart rate raising cardio workout. However, it doesn't work the arms and core as the Maxi Climber does.

The stationary bike is excellent for burning calories and shedding weight, while a vertical climber can shed fat and build muscle. For context, 1 hour of moderate exercise on a stationary bike will burn around 570 calories for a 180-pound person. One hour on the Maxi Climber can burn from 600-1600 calories depending on the weight of the user.

In terms of price, you can get some very affordable stationary bikes to match the cost of a Maxi Climber. However, you may not be getting the same quality. What’s more, a bike takes up a little more room in your home.

Maxi Climber vs. Treadmills

These are two very different machines. A treadmill takes up a lot more space, it is louder, and it is more expensive than a Maxi Climber. However, it does offer a little more variety with incline and speed options. The treadmill is harder on the joints as the foot strikes the surface, causing shock to the joints.

While the treadmill can give a major cardio workout, it doesn’t offer the same level of all-body muscle toning as the vertical climber. The calorie-burn comparison is tricky as there are many different factors (speed, incline, weight).

However, a 180-pound person running for an hour at 6mph could burn approximately 875 calories per hour. Remember that the Maxi Climber is designed for shorter workouts, so you get more “bang for your buck” when it comes to duration versus calorie burn.

Maxi Climber vs. Elliptical Trainers

Compact elliptical machines are only slightly larger than a vertical machine in terms of footprint but are generally heavier. There are some low-cost elliptical machines on the market, but a higher-quality elliptical will be more expensive than a Maxi Climber. The motion is similar in the sense that the elliptical and vertical climber both work the legs, glutes, arms, and core.

However, the elliptical has a more curved leg motion as opposed to the straight up and down movement of the vertical climber. An elliptical can have resistance levels, while the vertical climber relies on body weight for resistance. A 185-pound person can burn 800 calories by exercising for one hour on the elliptical.


Unboxing a New Maxi Climber: Parts Checklist

When unboxing your new Maxi Climber, you should have these parts:

  • 4 screws
  • 1 wrench
  • 1 small “U” bar
  • 1 large “U” bar
  • 4 washers
  • 4 nuts
  • 1 loose nut
  • 1 Maxi Climber body
  • 1 safety pin
  • 2 upper handles
  • 2 fixed handles
  • Manual (here’s a digital copy)

If you find that any of the parts are damaged, missing, or faulty, contact Maxi Climber. Do note that customers who have found broken parts have found it challenging to source replacement parts.


How to Setup & Use a Maxi Climber

While the Maxi Climber setup is reasonably simple, it does take a little concentration and instruction following!

Follow the manual, but here's a quick rundown, so you know what to expect:

  • Start by securing the two “U” bars to the base, using the screws, washers, nuts, and wrench provided.
  • Remove the pin holding the main bars in place, and adjust the height (by increasing or decreasing the angle of the frame), secure the pin back in place.
  • Slot the stationary and moving handles into the frame and adjust them using the pushbuttons

First time user (once the machine is assembled, and you're ready to try it out):

  1. 1
    Adjust the height of the handles by using the pushbuttons to select one of five heights
  2. 2
    Hold the stationary handles
  3. 3
    Step on foot on one pedal, then the other
  4. 4
    Activate the core and maintain an upright position and strong back
  5. 5
    Test out the pedals and handles to used to the range of motion available

Maxi Climber Full Body Workout Routines

Remember to warm up for a few minutes with shallow strides to activate and warm the muscles. Also, remember to cool down with a slow, gentle pace to let the muscles relax and the heart rate to come down after a hard workout.

Basic Maxi Climber workout

If you're new to the maxi climber or new to exercise in general, start with a 10-minute workout with shallow strides to get used to the motion. If you need to, keep your hands on the stationary pedals. As you get fitter and more confidence, increase your range of motion, and start using the moving handles.

This video provides a great example of different positions on the Maxi Climber using different strides and upper-body positions.

For a tougher challenge

  • Try intervals of 1 minute each, alternating between super hard, fast, deep strides (working range) and shorter strides (rest interval)
  • Try an upper-body twist and activate the core for an oblique workout
  • Work through the heels and go as deep as you can to work the glutes

Remember that you can use the free MaxiClimber Companion Fitness APP with your Maxi Climber. You will find meal plans, a 21-day interval challenge, and you can track your stats and progress.


Results: Effectiveness of the Maxi Climber

The Maxi Climber is a very effective at-home exercise machine, judging by the many success stories.

Technically, you could lose weight purely by using the Maxi Climber if you burned enough calories to be in a calorie deficit. However, the best results will come from a combination of a nutritious diet and 3-5 Maxi Climber sessions a week.


Home Fitness Equipment Safety Tips

  1. 1
    Make sure the machine is securely and correctly assembled. Check your vertical climber against the parts checklist in the manual
  2. 2
    Find a safe surface for your Maxi Climber, and lay down a grip mat if you experience any slip on carpets
  3. 3
    Make sure there’s enough room around the Maxi Climber for a safe exit in times of emergency
  4. 4
    Wear supportive shoes which provide grip and protection
  5. 5
    Take a break if you feel faint or dizzy, especially when working out at home alone
  6. 6
    Don’t try to use a vertical climber without the handles, you risk falling, and there’s really no benefit
  7. 7
    Keep the body upright and angled slightly away from the machine. If you lean forward, you risk hitting your face with the moving handles

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Maxi Climber worth the money?

It depends on how often you will use it. If you maintain a regular workout schedule and make the Maxi Climber part of your routine, then it’s worth the money. If your work and life schedule makes getting to the gym tricky, an at-home vertical climber is a smart choice to keep fit and in shape. Remember that a vertical climber burns more calories on average than a treadmill, yet is far more affordable.

What do I need to think about when maintaining these machines?

Like most workout machines, vertical climbers have the risk of becoming rusty and stuff. To avoid this, remember to wipe down the machine after each session to remove sweat and moisture. If the machine has a metal chain, make sure to keep it lubricated to keep the motion smooth.

Do I need to consult a doctor before using maxi climbers? Should pregnant women use the Maxi Climber to work out?

If you have any specific health concerns, always consult your doctor before trying a new physical activity. However, the Maxi Climber and other vertical climbers are very safe and extremely low risk. The Maxi Climber is safe for pregnant women to use as you can control the intensity. However, always check with your doctor to make 100% sure that new or unfamiliar exercise choices are safe for pregnancy. Be especially careful during your third trimester, as maneuvering a pregnant belly on and off a Maxi Climber could raise your risk of falling.

Where is the best place to buy this fitness machine?

Amazon is the best place to buy a Maxi Climber or other vertical climber variety securely. You can get a good overview of the user experience from other reviews, make a secure payment, and receive fast shipping and excellent customer service.

Is the maxi climber bad for your knees?Question

The Maxi Climber might be strenuous on troubled knees, so check with your doctor or physiotherapist first. Because the feet stay connected to the pedals the whole time, there is no shock or colliding motion, unlike a treadmill. This does make it easier on the knees than the treadmill, but the constant bending motion and resistance may be troublesome if you have existing knee issues.


Conclusion

A vertical climber is an effective, simple, and compact machine which can raise your heart rate, work the whole body, and increase your fitness from your own home. The very best option is the Original Maxi Climber.

Images from:
amazon.com


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