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Climb the stairs to weight loss

Posted Aug 24 2008 5:48pm
I am a big believer in boosting your resting metabolic rate to burn body fat. Russian Kettlebells are a great tool to lose weight and build muscle, but they are not the only tool out their either. My new gym is one of the few I have ever been to that has a staircase in the weight room. Since I love farmers walks I decided to try a stair case farmers walk. I grabbed two 45 lbs plates (I hope it is obvious I used one per hand) and climbed the 1.5 flights of stairs, went back down slow, and then repeated. Only two trips up and I was breathing heavy and my grip was straining. I did several sets of this, not sure how many, and stopped when my upper back, grip, calves and lungs were gassed out. If you are a strength and power athlete, Farmers Walks are great to build total body strength and conditioning. If you are more interested in fitness, I recommend keeping the weight moderate (not too light) and going for speed on the way up. As common sense dictates, use control on the way down. Back when I was in Rowing, we would do a lot of stair sprints and then run down also. These were great back then but I would not recommend running down stairs now due to the impact on the knees.

Stair Case Farmers Walks are a great conditioning tool to use as a finisher exercise, much like the Bear or car pushes. They will elevate your metabolism long after your workout and help build muscle at the same time! If you don't have stairs you can always do regular Farmers Walks, they are just as effective. I really like the stair version right now because it gives my posterior chain some extra work which it needs if I am to improve in Powerlifting.

At home I live in on the fifth floor of a condo building so now I take the stairs to get to my place. It isn't really difficult but I do believe that the extra exercise will help keep the belly at bay! The extra oxygen and blood flow that stair climbing pushes into the legs will help with recovery as well.

Ideas to make your stair climber harder are to carry weights like I did at the gym. If you have two kettlebells your could carry them then do swings, cleans or snatches at the top! Or, you could do the kettlebell moves first, then sprint the stairs with or without the bells. If you have an Xvest, hitting the stairs with one of them would be great but a heavy back pack might work if you have a healthy back.

I don't recommend the Stair Climber cardio machines you see in the gym. People lean way forward and work at a steady state the entire time. In my opinion steady state cardio is pretty much a waste of time. My philosophy of training is, Go Hard, Go Fast, Go Home. This applies to both strength and conditioning training. There is now point in burning a few calories on a treadmill for one hour! Run some stairs and burn a ton in a few minutes due to the afterburn effect!

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