Running Stairs For Fat Loss

I recently got this stair running workout emailed to me from Paul Becker and wanted to make it available. I’ve been waiting for the snow to melt so I can get back into stair running this spring. On the north bank of the Saskatchewan River here in Edmonton, there are a good number of different sets of stairs along the river valley trails. The stair running is perfect because of the varying angles. One set of stairs known as the Royal Glenora stairs has two built in rest points during it’s flight.

Running stairs is very taxing on the lungs and legs but is perfect for building endurance and ass. If you’re a regular reader of this blog and my posts, you’ll know that my trainer does not train legs, she trains ass. Running stairs is a perfect ass building workout as it burns fat and builds lung strength.

Running Stairs For Fat Loss

running stairs
One of the best ways of cardio training is to run stairs. Here is a training plan to get you in shape fast!

As with any workout, start out with a good warm up and stretch. You just may want to start by walking the stairs, then proceed to jogging and then to running.

It’s a good idea not to begin this stair workout until you get yourself in good physical condition by jogging 15 to 25 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week for at least 3 to 4 weeks. This will strengthen your heart and lungs so it won’t be too much of a demand on your body.

Sample Running Stairs Cardio Workout

Find a flight of stairs that has at least 20-30 stairs (a track with stadium seating at a high school or local college is ideal).
Walk up the stairs to the top and then down the stairs to the bottom 3-5 times. After this warm-up you will begin the workout.

1) Sprint from the bottom of the stairs to the top as fast as possible

2) Then walk down.

3) Repeat this routine for a total of three to five sets. Your legs should be pretty sore the next day. Work your way up to a total of ten sets.

As your conditioning improves you have many more options to continually challenge your anaerobic system.

Run more flights of stairs
Increase your sets
Use a weighed vest

It’s my intention to be running stairs 3x a week by June and to continue this until I leave for my Mt Everest base camp climb in October.

I have to say though, that if you’re new to stairs, begin by walking them. As I said in the beginning, running stairs is quite taxing on the lungs and legs.


  1. Hi, You look great! I just happen to be clicking around looking at different blogs. I have just started my weight loss journey. I am using Curves for the start of my program but do you have any suggestions as food diets. They all say they work.

  2. Hi Lisa, Thanks.

    Food diets? it depends on what it is that you want actually. I am in the first 1/4 of developing a 12 week program introducing people to whole foods that I’d love to tell you about (in about 8 more weeks, lol)

    I’d say join the weight loss forum and have a snoop around there.

  3. Stair running has been around for a long time, but I don’t hear much about it anymore. I remember my brother used to run stairs in the stadium when he was on the football and track teams — it was good conditioning for both sports. I’ve come a long way but it’s definitely not something I’m ready for yet!

  4. Can’t agree more.

    Stairs kick ass! I regularly do HIIT-style (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts as an alternative to my regular cardio. I either run a few times up and down this hill nearby OR I run the stairs in a nearby building which is 20 floors.

    Both of them are brutal when you give yourself 100%. The workout doesn’t really last longer than 5 minutes, but the afterburn is a killer.

    Another good HIIT method, which focuses less on the ASS and more on the arms and pecs, is the rowing machine (or whatever it’s called… English is not my native language). This machine definitely gets your heart rate up as well!

    Good you luck with your program.

  5. Former fat guy, you are truly an inspiration
    For those of us who travel alot, using the hotel steps if a gym is not readily available is such a viable option

  6. I just got back from my first stair climbing/running in a few years after reading your blog. Thanks for the helpful tips and good luck with your training. Wow! Everest!

  7. @Carrie – awesome. Yep, Everest (base camp anyway). Successfully got there all healthy and well (except for a nagging cough from altitude).

    Next up is Aconcagua in Jan of 2012. Gotta start training for that now

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