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Old Exercise Machine Gets Boost From Lady Gaga, LeBron James

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This is What’s Trending Today.

If you are a fan of Lady Gaga or the National Basketball Association, you may have heard about an old piece of exercise equipment that is making a comeback.

It is called the VersaClimber.

It was invented in 1981. It is a combination of a stepper and climber. It involves moving your arms and legs. It looks like a device you might hang clothes on, but it is really for exercise.

It is not very common to see people using a VersaClimber at gyms. It is not as popular as other workout machines.

But that may be changing.

Lady Gaga talked about using the VersaClimber to get ready for her energetic halftime performance at the Super Bowl earlier this year.

Cleveland superstar LeBron James, center, stands in the back of a Rolls Royce at the beginning of a parade in downtown Cleveland, Wedensday, June 22, 2016, celebrating the Cavaliers' NBA Championship. Cleveland superstar LeBron James, center, stands in the back of a Rolls Royce at the beginning of a parade in downtown Cleveland, Wedensday, June 22, 2016, celebrating the Cavaliers' NBA Championship.

LeBron James, who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, put up a video of himself using a VersaClimber last summer. He posted the video just three weeks after the Cavaliers won the NBA championship.

James has since introduced his teammates to the machine.

The machine seems to work. Viewers were impressed with Lady Gaga’s show at the Super Bowl. And the Cleveland Cavaliers have done well in this year’s NBA playoffs.

The website ESPN.com recently ran a story about how the Cavaliers have been using the VersaClimber. It has led to a lot of discussion on social media about the benefits of the exercise machine.

Cleveland used VersaClimbers to get ready for its NBA playoff games against the Boston Celtics.

One reader said the machine may even be getting more attention than the basketball games themselves:

Dave McMenamin wrote the ESPN story. He said the Cavaliers have contests to see who can climb the greatest distance on the machines.

Tristan Thompson plays for the Cavaliers. In the story, he said the VersaClimber is “the best machine in the weight room, but it’s the one everyone hates the most.”

The magazine Men’s Fitness published an article about the VersaClimber earlier this year. It said the machine provides one of the best workouts for weight loss.

Brett Collins works for VersaClimber. He said the machine was at its most popular about 30 years ago.

But its popularity is rising once again. Now, some gyms are even offering VersaClimber classes for their members.

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for VOA Learning English based on stories by ESPN.com and Men’s Fitness. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Have you ever exercised with a VersaClimber? Will you start now? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

comeback n. a return to a former good position or condition

impress – v. to cause (someone) to feel admiration or interest

playoffs – n. a series of games that is played after the end of the regular season in order to decide which player or team is the champion

workout – n. a period of physical exercise that you do in order to improve your fitness, ability, or performance

contest n. an event in which people try to win by doing something better than others​

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