A couple months back I was invited to PULSE House of Fitness, a workout studio that offers both “Climbing” classes as well as a performance-based class in their “Lab.”

Shafer Minnick, PULSE’s founder, let me know that other pro runners incorporate the Versa Climber into their training (I haven’t been able to verify this by fact-checking so I’m holding out on listing names), but I was intrigued none the less.

A 30 minute class that works my upper body AND lower body? And I don’t need to wear shoes? I’m in!

I dragged along my husband for his take. He’s a runner (ran track in HS), rugby player (played in college and post-college), and loves Cross Fit. I am always interested in his opinion in classes because he’s got a no-frills approach to fitness - do what is effective and won’t compromise your form leading to injury, and you will see results.

The studio is immaculate. It’s modern, clean, and stocks all the necessary amenities in its can-i-live-here bathroom. Free compass coffee is always flowing - with all the milks / mylks your heart desires.

When you book a climber online, it’s like booking a bike at spin class. Shafer cautioned me about which shoes to wear. Because you’re standing flat-footed, you actually don’t want a running shoe or any shoe that has an arch. Rather, you want to be either solid and flat (like an adidas tennis shoe) or barefoot (wear pilates socks). I opted for the PIlates socks. Tae had a flat shoe, and I can completely understand why I wouldn’t be toting my running kicks to class anytime soon.

The Versa Climber is an awkward machine to get used to because you are essentially upright, climbing a mountain. But you get the hang of it, and the beat, quite quickly. Soon enough you are working as a class to attain thousands of feet climbed (all of these metrics are up on the front screen). Yet you can follow your individual progress on your own climber.

PULSE House of Fitness offers two types of climbing classes - one that’s more dance-y, and another that’s more performance-focused.

They also have their “Lab” as mentioned which offers 30 minute strength conditioning classes. I haven’t yet taken one but I’m definitely intrigued.

In the back of the studio there’s a stretch and recovery area with all the recovery tools (foam rollers, mats) you could need.

Tonight, Pulse House of Fitness is coming to Summit To Soul ‘s weekly Run Club (Wednesdays at 6:30!) to demo the climber and lead us through a cool down and I’m excited to be reunited. I love incorporating this particular class as an addition to another workout in my day since it’s only 30 minutes but super targeted and effective. I felt really strong and empowered after this class. It’s been a while since I’ve climbed but I’m itching to go back soon. Maybe it’s my love of hiking?

Sure it’s inside, in a dark studio with pumping music, but if we can climb in the darkness surely we can fly in the sunlight.