Stair Cardio/Resistance Workout


Earlier this summer, I came up with a new workout for the Crescent Heights stairs. This workout is horrible and awesome at the same time.  You will hurt while doing it and you will hurt after– therein lies its charm. The workout switches between long intervals of cussword-inducing cardio and long intervals of resistance training.

I taught it to my husband on one of my early trial runs and after 45 minutes, he said to me, “you’re crazy. I’m going home without you.” And he did.

Stairs have been off-limits to me since I did in my Achilles tendon. My physio hints that I won’t be able to do this again before winter. So I pass the torch onto you. Do a few sets for me, please — just watch your Achilles.

(A few notes: You can use any stairs to do this workout. You could make do with any long set of stairs or a steep running hill. Adjust this plan to suit you. I set the cardio at where I was. Don’t push it. It’s not worth overtraining. If you don’t believe me, ask my Achilles tendon.)

Stair Cardio/Resistance Workout

  1. Warm-up: I usually run to the stairs, which takes about 5 mins.
  2. Cardio Part I: Now the real work starts. This round kicks off with five running sets of stairs (one set is up and down). After each of the last two sets, I take a 20-second break. Then, move onto three sets of walking the stairs briskly two at a time. That’s easy so you don’t get breaks.
  3. Resistance Part I: Time for mercy. Find a park bench. Then do: 20 tricep dips, 20 V-sits and 20 single leg step ups (10 on right leg, then switch to left). Repeat series twice.
  4. Cardio Part II: Good news — no more stairs or step ups of any kind. Instead, find a path about 75 metres in length. Sprint it and walk back to the start. Do this five times. Warning: the last one is SO hard.
  5. Resistance Part II: This is where I have to resist the urge to go home. Find your park bench. Then do: 20 push-ups off the bench, 20 knee-to-elbow plank off the bench (I double this so the knee touches the same elbow and then crosses in the body to touch the opposite elbow for one rep), 10 walking squats to each side and 10 walking lunges. Repeat series twice.
  6. Walk home. Stretch and hope someone brings you pizza.

~ Chris

Photo via here