Running Stairs: Rocky Style

Okay, okay.  This is somewhat contradictory of what I say most of the time, but running can be a very effective way to get your cardio in.  Throw in some stairs and you have a great workout.  I normally don’t like to run, just because it is boring and redundant.  However, stairs can make things a little interesting because it gives you a visual goal you can reach.  It also provides interval training as well.

It's amazing how these little things can make your muscles burn so much.Since USF has a bunch of parking garages, I usually wait until everyone is done with class and then park at a floor I want to run to.  For example, if I’m feeling good, I will park on the 6th floor.  I will stretch for a few minutes.  Once I’m stretched, I jog down the inclines to get warmed up.  When I reach the bottom, I chill for a minute.  Finally I jog a lap around the first floor, and then sprint up the ramp to the next floor.  I repeat this process until I reach the 6th floor. 

The total distance to the 6th floor is a little over a mile, so it’s a good workout.  However, I’m not done yet.  I still have the stairs!  This is where the men are separated from the boys.  After I get some water at my truck, I’ll go back down to the first floor and recover for a minute.  Then, I start the torture.  It’s not really torture, but it will burn.  On the first 8 flights of stairs, I hit every step.  This will hit your quads and calf muscles hard.  You have to set a goal and be committed to it.  If you can only do 4 flights of stairs, then stick with that until you feel you can step it up to 5. 

The second time around, I skip a step.  This works the hamstrings more and the calf muscles a little less.  Either way, it burns.  After every time I go up the stairs, I walk down for my cool down, wait for 1 minute, and then do it again.  If you can’t find a tall set of stairs, run for a longer set of time with less rest between each ascent. 

This is interval training at its best.  You have high intensity with the sprints up the ramps and stairs and low intensity bouts with the jogging and rest.  Remember that you only need to do this about 3 times week, no more.  If you are trying to lose weight, this will burn fat quick!  Just remember to warm up and stretch before and after this; you will feel this in the morning.  And, more importantly, don’t do a leg work out within 24 hours of this.  It is like doing squats 2 days in a row.


Posted on Aug 27 2009, under Training | 2 Comments »


2 Responses to “Running Stairs: Rocky Style”

  1. Hey man great article and very true. i do them on a stair stepper though at 24hr. after doing row machine i do 5 mins level 15 on the stair stepper then run a mile on the treadmill then stair steaper again before heading the the stationary bike. greattt workout

  2. That is some hardcore cardio! As much as I dont like running, stairs are pretty fun actually.

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