Stair Workout – a simple but intensive home workout

After a 20 minute Stair Workout

After a 20 minute Stair Workout

Whenever I visit a gym and see people on the stair climbers I wonder to myself, “do they all live in bungalows?“. Paying money to a gym to climb mechanical stairs  when you live in a house or block of flats makes no sense to me.

Because of this, yesterday I decided to start a new workout at home – a stair workout. I initially planned to work towards a height target (climbing a mountain was the first idea) but instead decided that it was far more fun to just put on some good music and forget about counting. So instead I fired up the Stop Watch app that is on my Android phone and started walking up and down the stairs.


The first day I did a 15 minute workout. The workout was the time it took to cook some rice (although it was a little overcooked really). Today I did 20 minutes for no reason other than it was longer than 15 minutes.

The workout felt good. It was incredibly easy to do and required no equipment or special clothing. This morning I did it first thing when I got up then had a shower after, so I was working on an empty stomach.

I start the climbs at a normal walking pace and then nearer the end of the workout throw in some faster climbs. I always walk down at a steady speed – when you get tired you are more likely to stumble and injure yourself when trying to run down stairs than when going up.

Today by the end of the 20 minutes I was breathing heavy, but not exhausted, and sweating well. It was a good workout. I decided to take a selfie for the blog, apologies for the poor quality image, I really should update my phone this year.

Oh, I also did some push ups on the stairs. Push ups on stairs are much easier than on the floor. I was going to count but my boys started talking to me and I got distracted. I went to failure. I will continue this at the end of the workouts, that way I work both my legs and upper body.

Here are some stats:

  • Workout time: 20 minutes
  • Warmup time: 0 minutes
  • Equipment cost: Zero
  • Clothing cost: Zero
  • Time spent travelling to workout: 0 minutes
  • 200 – 300 Calories burned – very approximate

20 minutes seems like a good length. I am now tempted to get a pedometer to measure total steps, this may be a better way to measure progress. I estimated that today I climbed the stairs 50 times in the 20 minutes, and this is equal to about 125 meters. That is the height of Ham Hill in Somerset, England. My next target is to double this and climb the equivalent of Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh (250 meters). So, either 40 minutes of climbing or start jogging up.

Today I also started the “Gary Barlow diet“. Well, not entirely. I skipped breakfast (unless you count a large black coffee as a breakfast) and made a chicken korma for lunch (with added potatoes and carrots). My boys love curry. I then had soup for dinner. One of Gary Barlow’s diet tricks is to eat no solids after 2pm. Unfortunately this does not include beer, he says he has given that up too. I guess I will have to go dry for a while. Wish me luck.

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