Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Take The Stairs, Get Leaner

I won't bother starting this post with the obligatory rant about why most modern cardio machines are no substitute for old fashioned hard work like skipping, dragging and sprinting. If you read this blog I'll take it as read that you're already aware of the benefits of this more "old-school" approach to improving body composition. For the purposes of burning fat and getting stronger and fitter, we know that hard work will always trump clever gimmicks and fancy equipment. So with this in mind, to the subject of today's post;

Stairs Training for fitness and fat loss.
A flight of stairs might just be the best piece of cardio equipment you could ever ask for (luckily at Aegis Training we have two). Stairs sprints impose a large metabolic demand while building strength and endurance in the lower body. There are many drills which can be performed (check out the video below for some ideas) but the most basic is the sprint. Here's what to do to get started.
Find a stairs! Chances are you have access to one either at home, in a local park or near work. Ideally you want at least 15 steps, enough so that it takes about 10 seconds to sprint to the top and come back down (we don't advise sprinting back down, but coming back down briskly with your hands on the rails).
Warm up for about 5 minutes or so jogging to the top and back down or performing some light mobility drills (see our previous post on lower body warm-ups for ideas).
Now you're ready to go. Sprint as fast as possible from the bottom of the stairs to the top, then come back down keeping your hands on the rails for safety. Rest about as long as it took you to get to perform your sprint, then go again. Repeat for 5-10 reps.

Obviously sets and rest intervals can be adjusted to suit your needs, if you find this impossible simply double or triple you rest periods, then shorten them gradually over a few weeks. On the other hand, if you want more of a challenge, try the Stair Ladder.
Perform one sprint, then rest as long as that sprint took ( for the sake of simplicity we'll say it takes ten seconds). Then perform two sprints and rest 20 seconds, and continue in this fashion;
3 sprints, 30 seconds rest
4 sprints, 40 seconds rest
5 sprints, 40 seconds rest,
4 sprints, 30 seconds rest
3 sprints, 20 seconds rest
2 sprints, 10 seconds rest
1 sprint, collapse, hyperventilate, vow never to attempt this again.

Give it a try.


Liska said...

Fabulous advice! I have never seen those stairs before, but will give them a try tomorrow. Another sound piece of advice from Aegis.

Tony said...

"A flight of stairs might just be the best piece of cardio equipment you could ever ask for"

- Nice, it means people can save by not buying the new treadmill.