If you have been struggling to find the fastest way to burn fat and want an effect way to keep your muscle gains I highly recommend running stairs. Some athletes run stadium bleachers or hills to get the same results as running stairs but for the sake of doing something convenient we will do a running stairs workout that you can even do at home.
Photograph courtesy of Grey Barklay
Why A Stairs Workout Is So Effective For Fat Loss
A running stairs workout program applies much of the same principles of interval training. By using stairs you are activating the fast twitch muscles in the legs which help build leaner and muscular thighs. Going up and down stairs helps in activating fast twitch muscles due to the constant explosive force that is required to go up stairs.
One of the principles of interval training or burst training, as it is also called, requires doing an activity at high intensity for a brief time and then slowing down or resting in short periods. When using stairs as a workout you will find yourself doing the high intensity portion on the way up and resting or performing at less intensity when going up stairs.
Although most cardio programs emphasize doing long and steady state cardio in order to lose fat, the truth is these types of workouts are not the best.
Although steady state cardio like long distance running will help you burn calories and burn some fat the results you will achieve are not like interval training. If you compare a long distance runner to a sprinter you will see the difference in physiques. A long distance runner will look thin but without a lean body type. On the other hand, a sprinter is lean and muscular with very little fat. Who would you rather look like?
A Stairs Workout You Can Do Today
Stairs workouts are one of the workouts I highly recommend. The calories burned running up and down stairs is one of the benefits along with the fact that you are building muscle in your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves.
Follow this sequence to get great benefits from running stairs.
- Warm up with a slow 5 to 10 minute jog.
- Jog/ Run up stairs but go up every other step on the way up.
- Slowly jog down taking each step.
- Go up and down the stairs a total of 5 round trips.
- Do a 3 to 5 minute cool down.
The point of taking every other step on the way up is to get the most out of the glutes, hamstrings and calves.
After several workouts you will probably be able to do more than 5 trips. Aim for as many as 10. If you are able to do more than 5 trips switch it up by running every other step on the way up one trip and every step the following trip.
Ideally you want to find a flight of stairs that is longer than one story. Work with what you have is my advice to you. For best results pair this workout with strength training with weights, bodyweight routines, kettlebells or resistance bands. It does not matter which type. You can also do this workout either before or after lifting weights, it is dependent on your preferences.
If you want to add a higher degree of difficulty and make this a full body workout then do push ups when you reach the top and crunches at the bottom or vice versa.
Do not feel discouraged if you can not complete this running stairs workout. Start off slow and you will get to your goal. Do not be afraid to try different types of interval training and conditioning workouts. Remember that the calories running up and down stairs is one of the fastest ways to burn fat.
Try this easy workout and tell me how it worked for you. Feel free to comment below.