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To Burn Fat Faster, Try “REAL” Stair Climbing
By Virgil Aponte

Have you ever tried using the stairs at work or in your apartment building to work out? If not, then you have missing one of the best ways to burn fat quickly with a training tool that has been right under your feet! Remember, your abs may already be there, but what good are great abs if you can’t see them? Stair climbing is not only a great fat burning, abdominal-revealing workout, it is has been the secret training weapon of elite professional athletes and celebrities for years! Hey, if it's good enough for Curtis Martin, Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Tom Brokaw and many others like them, then it's good enough for you and I. We all know these superstars can afford a Stair Master, but they know there is nothing like the real deal. The very fact that Stair Master created a machine to mimic real stairs should tell you something.

So where do you get started with stair climbing for fat-burning? Here are some tips if you are a beginner:

Beginner Workout: Walk up the stairs.

Yup, you read it right; you can start by simply walking up the stairs. . Once you can climb 20 flights without difficulty, then you are ready to graduate to intermediate levels

Beginners can start by simply walking up the stairs.

For some people, walking up 20 flights of stairs will be difficult at first. If you get tired when climbing up, simply take a breather and rest a minute or two before finishing your climb. Another tip is to use the hand rails to help pull your way up. This is actually a technique I picked up from stair racers. As they go up the stairs they pull themselves up using the handrails. They do this to help save their legs towards the end of the race. This also has the added benefit of working your upper body at the same time.

Here I’m on pulling on the stair rails using what I call a crossover forward.
The main point is that I’m using the handrails to propel me forward.

Once you can walk up 20 flights with no problem, what’s next? The next level is to perform sets of 10-20 flights, but this is where things can get interesting by adding rounds and increasing your stride length (number of steps you climb at a time).

Intermediate Workout: Walk Up The Stairs 2 flights at a time for multiple rounds

Warm up: Walk up 10-20 flights using every step (Usually takes 2-4 minutes)

Round 2: Walk up 10-20 flights using every 2 steps. (Usually takes 1:30-3:30)

There is a big difference between walking up every step and using 2 steps. Changing from 1 to 2 steps forces your legs to work much harder ,so expect increases in strength, endurance, calories burned and yes body fat burned!

Round 3: Repeat Round 2

Round 4: Repeat Round 2

Round 5: Repeat Round 2

With a 1-2 minute rest in between rounds this workout should take about 25 minutes.

So what happens when this 5-round intermediate workout becomes too easy? Don’t worry, there are higher and higher levels!

Advanced Workout: Run Up the stairs for multiple rounds


Warm up: Walk up 10-20 flights using every step (Usually takes 1-4 minutes)


Round 2: Walk up 10-20 flights using every 2 steps. (Usually takes 1:30-3:30)


Round 3: Run up 10 fights using 1 or 2 steps (Usually takes 45-60 seconds)

After your first round of running up, you will need to rest, so take as long as you need to catch your breath and then repeat. (Usually 2-5 minutes)

Round 4: Repeat Round 3

Round 5: Repeat Round 3

With a 1-5 minute rest in between rounds this workout should take about 20 minutes.

This is just the beginning. There are countless other ways to add variety to these workouts to make them tougher. I've actually had a Professional WNBA player curse me out because the stair workouts I gave her were so brutal. She actually scared me too as she was 6'3 and would push me around on the court when we played pick up basketball.

More Stair Workout Tips:

Change the rest intervals:

As your conditioning improves and you are looking for greater fat loss this, decreasing your rest intervals is an excellent way to shock your system into greater progress. So if you’re resting 3 minutes between your rounds drop down to 2:45 and so forth. I actually dropped down to even 1 minute between rounds and these have been some of the most time efficient and most rewarding workouts I’ve ever done.

Add more rounds:

This one is simple. Add more exercise and you will do more work. The more work done  the more fat burned.  

Try 3 steps:

A word of warning: running stairs three at a time is difficult and only for those who are highly fit. You have no business doing this if you are not an advanced stair exerciser. And I mean “real” stair exerciser. Even elite professional athletes will trip over themselves trying this if they are not ready for it! Besides burning a lot of fat, you can also expect major increases in strength and power.

So there you have it – three workouts from beginner to advanced, and three ways to take your real stair climbing workouts to even higher levels as you get in better and better shape.  

Happy Stair Climbing And Fat-Burning!

About Virgil Aponte:

Virgil Aponte is a certified personal trainer and physical education teacher in New York City. For over 10 years, he has helped hundreds of people from all walks of life reach their strength and health related goals. His career highlights include serving as a baseball/conditioning coach for the New York Mets Baseball Academy, as an assistant with the WNBA New York Liberty’s strength & conditioning staff and creating the Ultimate Stair Exercises DVD program which has reached international success. He has successfully trained and designed programs for young athletes, high school and college athletes, WNBA & MLB professional athletes, company CEO’s, Law Enforcement Officials, Seniors and many more. Discover why Virgil is known as the “Stairs Guru” or “Step Daddy,” get more information on stair climbing programs and sign up for your free stair exercises special report at:

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