Jacobs Ladder 2 Machine

9.2 score
[Editors rating (9.2)] = (Garage Gym Ideas - Ultimate Home Gym Design) score (9.2)/10

Editor rating: 9.2 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Editor’s Conclusion
The term Jacobs ladder references a biblical passage about a ladder to heaven. However, ten minutes on this Jacob’s ladder machine feel you’re heading to... the other place. This machine is a great machine for those that are looking for something a little different outside of the standard treadmill and stationary bikes.

It allows users to fit in a compound muscle-building cardio workout right in your home gym. It targets almost every muscle group in your body from your calves all the way up to your biceps.

If you know how to climb a ladder, you have all the skills you need to use this highly effective fat-burning machine. This updated version of the Jacobs Ladder has been fine-tuned and scaled down to easily fit into most home gyms, and includes a digital readout screen to easily track your progress.

The unique design is low impact and takes the pressure off of your joints and lower back. As a powerlifter, I like to hop on this machine on recovery days, and it’s also great for shorter high-intensity workouts as well.
Jacobs Ladder 2 Machine Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons

Great for strength training or cardio workouts
Offers a complex compound workout that triggers most muscle groups
45-degree angle removes pressure from your lower back
375-pound weight capacity
Includes a heart rate monitor


Heavy and difficult to move
Large footprint

Key Features


This ladder machine is positioned at a 45-degree angle to increase the intensity of your workout while taking the pressure off of your lower back and joints. If you want to fit in a great workout after deadlift day that takes it easy on your back, this machine is a much better option than hopping on a treadmill!

What makes this machine so special is that it is incredibly versatile. You can take it nice and slow to build muscle or move quickly for a low-impact cardio workout. If you want to shed pounds but are limited on time, this is a great option.

The upwards motion of this machine helps to work your hamstrings, glutes, and quads as you step up. Your arms and upper back also work to help stabilize while you climb, which also triggers muscle groups in your upper body as well. It’s a simple movement, but insanely effective at triggering those big and small muscle groups in your entire body!


This unit also boasts a sleek back-lit display that allows you to keep track of your progress at a glance. This display details calories burned, time spent climbing, feet per minute, as well as feet climbed. It also includes a heart rate monitor strap that syncs with the display to ensure that your heart rate is always in the zone.

The downside to this simplistic display is that it doesn’t include any additional features such as workout programs or interval training options. It’s simple, but it gets the job done.


The original release of the original Jacobs Ladder was completely self-powered. It did not include a powerful feature to help cut down on energy costs at commercial gyms. The Jacobs Ladder 2 includes a plug to a power source because energy consumption at home gyms isn’t as much of an issue.

This power feature requires setting up your machine fairly close to an electrical outlet. The power cable is long, which gives you a little more freedom to set up your machine in the best possible position in your home gym. While the power cable may seem like a step backward in design (no one likes to be tethered to an electrical outsole) this feature helps cut down on the overall price.

Batteries and generators are quite expensive, so providing a power feature helps cut down the overall price tag considerably!


This design is built to last. The frame is composed of a welded tubular steel frame that comes completely intact. Previous models utilize solid maple 2-inch rungs that are insanely durable but are partially responsible for the higher price point. Wood rungs are great for a commercial gym setting where the machine is in use all day every day, but not necessary for singular home gym use.

Jacobs Ladder swapped out the maple rungs and replaced them with steel rungs with polyurethane sleeves. These sleeves aren’t quite as durable as maple but are a perfect budget-friendly option that will hold up over the years of at-home use.


Technically, this machine can be moved once it’s set up, but it isn’t quite as simple as moving your stationary bike. This beast of a machine weighs in at 300 pounds, so moving it to a new location isn’t exactly a one-person job. This option comes with a set of wheels that easily affix to the base of the unit by screwing in a series of nuts and bolts.

When you want to move your machine, screw in the transport wheels and ask a friend to lend you a hand. Tip the base up onto the wheels, and have your helper stabilize the front of the unit to prevent it from tipping. Once it has been successfully moved to the new location, pop the wheels off and store them in a secure location.

Most users found that moving their machine was a bit of a nightmare. I suggest that you take careful consideration where you want to place your machine in a place where it can live permanently.


The Jacobs Ladder Machine 2 has been scaled down from the original size, but it is still a beast of a machine.

This design measures to be just around 27 inches wide and stands a whopping 7.5 feet tall. Be sure to take ample measurements of your indoor space to ensure that you have enough ceiling clearance. Even if your ceiling is 7.5 feet tall, you will need a little extra room to prevent bonking your head on the ceiling as you start to use it.

Overall, I would suggest setting this machine up in your garage where you have plenty of ceiling clearance!


Put that toolbox away! One of the things that I love most about this machine is that it comes completely assembled.

This means that this machine is ready to go right out of the box! It not only saves you on time, but it gives you a little boost of confidence that this machine is expertly assembled. Issues with home workout machines often arise when the machine isn’t properly assembled.

This will not be an issue with the Jacobs Ladder 2. Just be sure to be extra nice to your delivery person, because the box is quite big, and has a shipping weight of 407 pounds.


The Jacobs Ladder Machine 2 is slightly more affordable than the original commercial-grade design, but it still packs a wallop of a price tag.

However, if you are in the market for a fun and exciting machine to help build muscle and burn calories in a short amount of time, this machine is well worth every penny.

Plus, it is so incredibly durable that it will likely outlive you! If you can swing the high price point, this is one of the best muscle-building cardio machines that money can buy.

Comparisons to Previous Versions

This review focuses on the Jacobs Ladder 2. It’s important to note that the 2 at the end of the title does not indicate that this machine is an improved model over the first one. Instead, the Jacobs Ladder 2 is slimmed down and boasts features that are geared more towards home gyms rather than commercial gyms. Some of the changes made to this home gym model include the power source and the overall size.

The commercial-grade Jacobs Ladder Machine utilizes a power-free model with a combination of a battery and generator. This design is geared more towards commercial gym setups that want to cut down on energy usage. For home gym users, power consumption isn’t as big of an issue so they swapped out the battery and replaced it with a power unit.

Another big change made to this home model is the overall size. It measures to be 27 inches wide, which is slimmed down from the original version that measures to be just shy of 32 inches wide.

They also removed the solid 2-inch maple rungs and replaced them with steel coated in polyurethane. All of these changes are better suited for home gyms and don’t affect the overall performance of the machine.


If you are in the market for a unique cardio machine that helps build and tone muscle and shed pounds, the Jacobs Ladder Machine is an excellent choice. It may come in at a pretty steep price point, but it is an excellent machine for those building a killer home gym.

I love that even a few minutes of this machine works up a sweat, and unlike a treadmill or stationary bike, it targets every muscle in your body from your feet all the way to your biceps.