Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Simple Fitness: The Flight-A-Day Stair Climb Program

Here is a simple beginning program, invented by my wife.

It works rain or shine, cold or warm.

All you need for this is a flight of stairs.


One Flight Per Day

Every day, walk up and down a flight of stairs. Do 1 x the date of the month repetitions.

For example, on March 14th, you'd do 14 flights of stairs. On the 15th, you'd do 15 flights. You'd keep going until 31 flights on the 31st, and then restart to 1 on April 1st.

Remember: Extra Stairs - Don't count the flights of stairs you walk up and down normally. This is a straight-through workout, done in addition to your normal stair climbing for work, commuting, and home activities of all sorts.

Does this work?

Yes. It's not for elite fitness, but it's a good start for basic movement for a sedentary person. It's also good as an extra bit of endurance exercise for someone who is otherwise lifting but hates getting in some cardio at the gym or outside. It's meant as a very basic, no-excuses, weather-independent and gear-independent workout.

Can I skip days?

Don't skip unless you have to (illness, injury, etc.) and accept that if you do, you need to just start back up on the next day with the current rep total (miss the 17th, the next day is the 18th so you do 18 repetitions.)

Can I change it?

Yes. You can do groups of flights up at a time and groups down, or take the elevator down, or something like that. But you are changing the program, and it will be a different workout. Try it and let me know how your change works.

Can I make it harder?

Yes. You can do that a few ways:

More Flights - Do 2 x as many as listed above, from 2 on the 1st to 62 on the 31st.

More Weight - Add weight, in the form of carried weights, or a weight vest or a backpack with weights in it, or ankle weights.

More Speed - Run up the stairs, then walk down slowly.

Can I add other things to this?

Yes, of course. Warmup first. Do some walking in addition. Lift a few days a week. It's just a simple start, not the end-all and be-all of working out.

But it does work.

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