Stair Climbing for Mountaineering Fitness – the Video
Stair Climbing is a great way to train for mountaineering fitness if you don’t have access to an incline treadmill or Stairmaster Stepmill. If you are creative in locating a set of steps you can try stair climbing as your own way to get in your vertical feet per week goals as spelled out in my “Mountaineering Fitness: Beginner Training Manual” available soon in Paperback and Amazon Kindle. PROGRAM HERE
Stair climbing also has the added benefit of providing negative, or eccentric contractions just like in a real hiking environment. Stepmills and treadmills do not help train your muscles that provide balance, stabilization and deceleration for your downhill hiking. Stair climbing does since you have to go down any staircase you go up. You would be hard pressed to find a stairway over a hundred feet high, so getting in a thousand feet of vertical will require that you do laps when stair climbing.
You will also need to allow for the downward steps when calculating your time. I have found for myself that I go about twice as fast on the way down. In the video I did a test with a stopwatch to find that I was doing a little under :30 (thirty seconds) per lap. With 54 laps required that comes out to around 25 minutes of stair climbing to get in my target vertical.
A few things to be aware of though for stair climbing:
- Be sure to be very careful and under control on the way down
- Keep your back in a good neutral arch which can be more difficult on the way up
- If you’re on slippery wet stairs be a lot more careful, or on metal stairs with some shoes
- Use the handrail if needed until you get your balance and strength up to par
From my Youtube Channel:
In the Mountaineering Fitness: Beginner Training Manual I go into great depth on training on stairs to get in your weekly vertical. I explain the math used to calculate your weekly vertical goals and how to use warm-up and cool-down walking to get in your weekly mileage goals.
In this case there are 21 steps 8″ average height for a total of 54 laps required to get in the target 750′ of vertical (based on 3,000′ of weekly vertical and 4 training sessions). I measured 24 seconds on an average lap without really rushing it, so expect the entire workout to take about 25 minutes on the stairs.
Production Note: For this video my microphone picked up all the noises from a road a few hundred yards away and a crow that was annoyed by my presence on his stairs. Unfortunately the noise reduction was minimally effective. Normally I would do ADR recording but I wasn’t on my studio PC, so I apologize for those few things that were more difficult to understand.