About Fast Track Climber
By simulating the motion of rock climbing, we’re told that the Fast Track Climber workout machine will maximize muscle contractions and double the workout for every extension. In turn, the company claims this will deliver a full body cardio workout, core conditioning, and high-intensity training, all at the same time.
To help you accomplish this, the Fast Track Climber features an easy-to-assemble design, smooth gliding vertical track, built-in rep counter, adjustable height, isometric comfort grips, and an ergonomic design for all body types. We’re also told it delivers gym quality durability and is perfect for all fitness levels.
Then, when you’re finished working out, the company claims the Fast Track Climber quickly folds away for easy storage.
If you watch television long enough, you’re bound to encounter a commercial for some kind of new contraption that promises to help you—finally—get the body you’ve always dreamed of. Is Fast Track Climber the real deal, or will it soon find a permanent home in your attic? Will it really get you “ripped”? Can you expect to burn up to 800 calories per hour?
We’ll address all these questions in this review. But before we dig in and take a closer look at the manufacturer’s claims, let’s lay a solid groundwork and discuss some of the terms used in the Fast Track Climber commercial.
Your Fast Track Climber Glossary
The company throws around a lot of easily confused terms, so we though it’d be a good idea to unpack some of these to make sure we’re starting from the same point:
Muscle Contraction & Extension
When a muscle contracts or extends, it changes shape under stress. Isometric contractions don’t change the length of the muscle (such as holding something heavy over your head in a stationary position), while concentric contractions cause the muscle to shorten (such as raising a weight when performing a bicep curl).
Lastly, eccentric contractions cause the muscle to elongate, such as lowering a weight down to the starting position after completing a bicep curl. Why is all of this important?
For the most part, rock climbers perform “repeated bouts of isometric contractions,” which means the length of their muscle remains largely unchanged. As a result, this type of training tends to increase strength, but does not necessarily help maintain muscle mass.
Whether you’re hopping on one foot for a minute or running a marathon, both of these exercises increase your heart rate, which means they technically qualify as cardiovascular (cardio) workouts. Specifically though, cardio is defined as using large muscle movements over a sustained period to maintain a heart rate of at least 50% of its maximum level.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise that alternates between periods of intense exercise and periods of rest/recovery.
An example of this might be running in place at maximum effort for 10 seconds, dropping down to complete 10 pushups, and then repeating the cycle for a total of 3 minutes. Then, you might simply walk in place for 20 seconds to recover, and then complete the cycle all over again.
Your “core” is generally considered the “muscles in the abdomen, lower back, and pelvis that lie roughly between the rib cage and the hips.” So, when someone talks about core conditioning, they’re referencing the process of strengthening and toning the muscles in this region.
When you exercise (regardless of the method you use, although some forms are more effective than others), your body burns energy in the form of calories, each of which represents two units of heat energy.
If you burn more calories through exercise than what you take in through food (known as a calorie deficit), you’ll lose weight. On the flip side, if you consume more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight.
How Well Can You Expect the Fast Track Climber to Work?
With these terms fresh in our mind, let’s see how they relate to the Fast Track Climber and what kind of results you can realistically expect it to deliver.
Does Fast Track Climber Really Simulate Rock Climbing?
The sport of rock climbing spans many different disciplines, including:
- Traditional climbing
- Sport climbing (a more athletic-focused climb than traditional)
- Free climbing (no ropes)
- Rappelling (generally hiking up a path and then using a rope/harness combo to descend a rock face)
- Speed climbing (getting to the top as fast as you can)
- Bouldering (climbing large boulders)
… and many more. Why’s this important? Because each of these methods involves different styles, although the Fast Track Climber seems to limit you to a single up-and-down motion for arms and legs. As such, it probably won’t be an accurate representation of most rock climbing styles.
Will Fast Track Climber Help You Burn 800 Calories Per Hour?
Continuing with our examples from above, we can see that rock climbing isn’t just one “thing,” so the calories you’ll actually burn depend on the method you’re using, how athletic you’re making the climb, and whether or not (and for how long) you’re stopping to take breaks.
So, it’s up to you whether or not you’ll actually implement high-intensity intervals or “maximize” your extensions and contractions—and consequently the number of calories you’ll actually burn—while using the Fast Track Climber.
Let’s continue talking about these contractions and extensions.
How About Those “Maximum” Muscle Contractions?
If you watch the Fast Track Climber commercial a couple times, pay close attention to the handle in the middle (about waist height for the models). For some of the taller models, you’ll notice that their knees come very close to hitting this handle, which could foreseeably prevent full leg extension.
Similarly, you’ll notice that the taller models’ arms weren’t fully extended at the top of Fast Track Climber, so if you fall into this category, you may not be able to “maximize” your reach, either, regardless of adjustability.
Does Fast Track Climber Provide Any Resistance? Is It Clinically Proven?
Last (but certainly not least), there’s no mention that Fast Track Climber provides any kind of resistance, adjustable or otherwise. If this is the case, while some bodyweight exercises can certainly help you increase muscle mass, this might cause you to outgrow what Fast Track Climber has to offer as your fitness improves.
Although the manufacturer claims that “independent study results indicate [Fast Track Climber provides] 3X the workout of a treadmill and 7X the workout of an elliptical machine,” they provide zero clinical evidence to back this up.
How Much Does the Fast Track Climber Cost?
There are two ways to purchase Fast Track Climber:
- A 30-day trial for $14.95, plus free S&H. After your trial ends, you’ll be billed four consecutive installments of $39.99, bringing your total to $174.91.
- A single payment of $159.96, plus free shipping.
Either way, your order will include a built-in rep counter, fitness plan, and meal plan, along with a 60-day refund policy (less S&H).
Pro tip: There’s no mention how much Fast Track Climber weighs, although based on its size alone, we’d imaging it’ll cost a pretty penny to ship it back to the manufacturer. Be sure to factor this in to your overall costs before placing your order.
In order to request a refund, Tristar Products’ customer service department can be reached at 973-287-5157.
Considering the price and everything else we’ve discussed so far, will the Fast Track Climber help you reach your fitness goals?
Will Fast Track Climber Get You “Strong, Lean, & Sculpted”?
Like anything else you buy, whether or not you end up pleased with an ASOTV product largely depends on your expectations. Let’s use two different scenarios to outline what we mean:
- Example 1: Imagine that you haven’t worked out (whether cardio or weights) for a very long time. You’re pretty out of shape and you just need something fun to get you moving again. In this instance, we can see how a simple, non-adjustable device like Fast Track Climber might deliver results.
- Example 2: You’re not exactly a professional, but you pretty much watch what you eat and get moving once or twice a week. Now, you’re looking for a high-quality piece of equipment that will last for years and take you to the next level, while changing with your wants and needs. Here, you might not be pleased with something like Fast Track Climber.
A few other caveats we noticed when researching Fast Track Climber: It appears that the only part that “folds” is the rear stabilizer, which will certainly decrease its footprint. However, it appears it’ll still be fairly tall, thereby limiting where it can be stored.
The company also doesn’t mention any specific weight limits, although based on how much the Fast Track Climber was moving around in the commercial, we wouldn’t imagine it’d be very sturdy for heavier individuals.
Bottom line: If you’re brand new to fitness or returning after a long hiatus, Fast Track Climber might be just the thing to get you moving again. But if you’re looking to move beyond basic fitness and/or maximize your workouts (extensions or otherwise), Fast Track Climber’s lack of adjustable resistance and one-side movement might limit your progress.
Did you end up rolling the device on the Fast Track Climber? What were the results? Give us all the details in your review below!