It’s an oft discussed topic, and rightfully so. Which one is better for working the legs – – and the entire body as a whole – – a long, unending flight of stairs – – or a long, undulating slope?
In other words, do stairs give you a better overall body workout (or lower body, for that matter) or do slopes do?
Most modern day folks would lean in favor of the stairs, and this is of course evidenced by the numerous “Stairmaster” machines in most modern day gyms and training establishments.
Most folks would probably say the stairs gives you a better thigh workout – – and therefore a better overall body workout, and while they’re not entirely off the mark in some regards, the fact remains that stairs, while they can give you a superb workout are NOT the ultimate in terms of leg/overall body training.
Well, first off, think about this. Stairs were invented by man – – and why?
Well, pretty much to make climbing inclines and slopes easier, my friend – – and to make easier for us humans to do (as opposed to animals and vehicles).
And if they were designed to make it easier, well, then …
Second, and more importantly, while you may get more “thigh burn” at times while climbing stairs – – you get a far, far better leg and lower back workout while ascending slopes naturally – – the way we were MEANT to do it (not to mention your obliques and overall ab region).
This is something I’ve noticed a lot as of late.
A lot of you will recall that the hill I climb here (ah, that hill – – where it ALL started for me really) has a combination of routes going up and down the hill. Some are stairs only, and some are SLOPES only.
(This, by the way has been discussed in great detail in the 0 Excuses Fitness System which you owe it to yourself to grab right here – – http://0excusesfitness.com/0excusesfitnessystem/)
Up until last year or so I was also of the belief that it was far, far better to do the stairs than the slope (though both were good) as they gave me more thigh burn and I huffed and puffed a lot more while doing ’em (oddly enough I never tested myself on the slope before though!).
But as of late (for the past few months) I’ve been doing things differently — I’ve been using the slope primarily – – and believe me, it was a lot tougher in many ways than the stairs when I first started.
It’s easy now – – and when I do a combo of stairs/slope these days – – I can NOT believe how easy it is for me to bound up the same flights of stairs that used to give me a super solid workout before.
Third, and also importantly – – slopes lend themselves to a variety of different workouts – – all of which are FUN – – and invigorating – – not to mention interesting and challenging.
Ever tried climbing up fast up a flight of stairs – – backwards? I don’t think so – – but try doing the same thing on an incline – – or slope – – and tell me how you feel, my friend.
And that’s just ONE of the variations.
Fourth, it’s a lot safer to use slopes vs stairs when you’re utterly EXHAUSTED after a tough workout. This one is – – or should be, for those of you that train – – self explanatory.
Now, does all of this mean that stairs are BAD?
Unlike my last tip where I told you NOT to stop short of full extension – – stairs are a great, great alternative to a natural slope if you don’t have one near you.
Stair sprints, stadium stair sprints, or good ole “climbing the stairs” rapidly — all of this can give you a great workout – – but the overall benefits are far more when you do the same things on a natural incline/slope.
So that’s today’s tip. Train on slopes when you can — and if you absolutely MUST add stairs into your training – – do a combo of both.
All for now – – back later!
P.S. – If you’re looking for those diamond shaped calves — well, what I’ve just told you above will get you there – – if and only if you follow the “Hill training” part I’ve laid out in the 0 Excuses Fitness System, my friend.
Another way to get there is Hindu squats, of course – – but again – – if and only if done the right way. And the right way is detailedin the videos/book available right HERE – – http://0excusesfitness.com/0excusesfitnessystem/