Train with a Stairmaster
Train with a Stairmaster By Linda Ericson // Personal Trainer and Operations Manager at RCSN Fitness January 2018

The activity of climbing stairs is preferably simulated on the machine most of us know by the name Stairmaster. The machine can be programmed to suit the full spectrum of practitioners, from the everyday exerciser to the experienced athlete, by controlling the speed and setting the intensity. The challenge is up to you. With every step you take your calves, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps are activated. Simultaneously, while burning fat you are also building pure muscle mass. Also, if you keep the upper body upright and avoid collapsing forward you will enjoy activation of the core muscles too.

If you are walking traditionally forward, you mainly engage the gluteal muscles and hamstrings. If you wish to train the front part of the thigh you should turn around and walk backwards instead. This is a method not only for taking on a different part of the muscle, but also a way to avoid monotonous work. Or why not try to climb the stairs diagonally, to cross them from left to right? Doing this will engage the abductors, stabilizers of the core, and gluteus medius.

The amount of calories you might burn on a Stairmaster depends of course on how hard you push yourself, but even low intensity training can result in as much as 500 calories in one hour.

Stairmaster has been the preferred method of torture for serious lifters who want to get rid of excessive fat. The only disadvantage of this type of training would be the fact that even though the machine effectively burns fat and challenges the lower part of the body, it partially or completely ignores the upper body. It may also interfere with your planned leg day, so you should be careful while inserting heavy stair climbing in your training schedule.

Below you will find two fun and challenging Stairmaster workouts!

Stairmaster HIIT Workout
·         Warm up
·         Skip a step - 1 minute on each leg
·         Sprint - 25 seconds
·         Rest - 30 seconds
·         Cross over with lateral leg lift - 1 minute on each leg (be careful switching sides, go slowly)
·         Sprint - 25 seconds
·         Rest - 30 seconds
·         Wide and narrow jump squats - 40 seconds
·         Rest 30 seconds
·         Side step - 1 minute on each leg (careful switching sides)
·         Sprint - 20 seconds
·         Rest - 40 seconds
·         Reverse climb - 90 seconds
·         Sprint - 25 seconds
·         Rest - 30 seconds
·         Low cross over - 1 minute each side (careful switching sides)
·         Sprint - 30 seconds
·         Rest - 1-2 minutes

Rest in this context means that you are decreasing the speed until you are climbing the steps very slowly. This is an opportunity for you to catch your breath without having to get off the machine and interrupt your training each time. Repeat this serie a total of three times.

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Stairmaster Intense fat burning workout in 30 minutes
·         Warm up - Steps without weights
Minute: 0-5, level 3
·         Hold weights in “grocery bag” position
Minute: 5-7, level 8
·         Hold weights in “grocery bag” position
Minute: 7-10, level 9
·         Bend elbows at 90 degrees, driving arms back and forth as you step
Minute: 10-12, level 11
·         Hold weights in “grocery bag” position
Minute: 12-15, level 12
·         Hold weights overhead with arms fully extended (if it is too tough, drop the weights and do this without)
Minute: 15-17, level 14
·         Hold weights in “grocery bag” position
Minute: 17-20, level 15
·         Perform alternating biceps curls
Minute: 20-22, level 13
·         Hold weights in “grocery bag” position
Minute: 22-25, level 12
·         Cool-down, step without weights
Minute: 25-30, level 3

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