Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Frank the Tank Wants More Versa

The VersaClimber. The workout machine from hell. I have decided that if Dante had worked out with the VersaClimber, instead of being frozen in the icy depths of Lake Cocytus, traitors in his 9th Circle of Hell would be strapped onto the Versa for an eternal cardio workout.
For those of you not familiar with the VersaClimber, it is a vertical climbing apparatus. The machine itself is a very simple contraption. It is a long pole rising from the depths of hell but angled slightly and surrounded by railing on both sides to maintain balance.
 At the top of the machine is a screen that monitors speed at which you climb, number of feet you have climbed, and time passed since you started climbing. Below the screen are two handlebars and two small platforms for your feet. You strap your feet in and grab the handlebars. To begin the workout, you step up with one leg as if you are climbing a step and pull down with the handlebar on the corresponding side. The resulting motion is similar to that of a rock climber. Sophomore Jeff Swegle describes the motion as “futile attempts to lunge your way out of hell while remaining stationary”. 

At the beginning of the year, the dreaded 10 minute Versa is reserved for Cardio Fridays. But towards the end of Winter Quarter and into Spring Quarter, Jason (our trainer) uses the 10 minute ordeal as a “warm-up”.

The following is a sample of my internal stream as I make this godforsaken climb.

0-60 sec:
Ok. Don’t come out of the gates too hot. Keep it nice and steady. Don’t want to kill yourself in the first minute.
60-240 sec:
I’m just gonna keep a steady pace. Save some energy for later. Ok this isn’t too bad. Definitely breathing heavily, but the quads and glutes are still feeling good
240-300 sec:
Almost halfway there. Keep it going.
5 minute mark:
Good god, I’m only halfway there. I’ve just done 5 minutes and you expect me to do 5 more minutes, Jason?
300-360 sec:
Keep the head down. Don’t look at the time. Just keep it going. Oh man the quads are burning up.
360-450 sec:
No human should have to do this. This is horrible. *I look over to check how my teammates are doing* There’s Dom. Tearing the Versa apart. They probably need to get a new machine after he’s done (Shoutout to Senior Dominick Francks for breaking the 2000 foot mark twice!!!). Mav (Junior Maverick McNealy) crushing it as per usual. Face is also redder than a tomato. V-man (Junior Viraat Badhwar) looking nimble on the Versa. Like a gazelle prancing in the plains.
7 minute 30 second mark:
3 quarters of the way done. Just one more quarter. Home stretch. Arms feel like lead. Glutes are definitely activated. Quads are on fire.
450-540 sec:
Forget this.
540-590 sec:
Last minute. Give it all you got.
590-600 sec:
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Although the Versa Climber is the Spawn of Satan and the bane of my existence, its benefits have been noticeable. Not only do I have more stamina in the weight room, I also have more energy on the golf course (especially those 36 hole days).
The Stanford Men’s golf team takes pride in the difficulty of our Versa workouts and we relish the fact that we are a golf team that does this much cardio. We use it as motivation. The Versa is a tool that is essential to our program.

As Sophomore Bradley Knox so eloquently declares post-workout, “More Versa."

Written by Sophomore Franklin Huang (aka, Frank the Tank)

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