The “staircase from hell” workout!
- ... and more on why climbing actual stairs is so devastatingly effective!

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Dear Reader,

So there I was last night, relaxing with a brew – and watching a re-run of Rocky IV – one of those “soap opera ” sort of films if I were to be honest, and yet a movie that has some pretty darn inspiring scenes.

I’m sure any fan of the Rocky series and perhaps those that aren’t either have heard of the storyline behind Rocky IV – that being Rocky fighting the mighty “Ivan Drago” in a boxing match – and on Drago’s home turf, as it were.

When the two stand toe to toe in the movie, it looks like David vs Goliath to be honest – much like was the case with “Clubber Lang” and Rocky in the last movie.

And as both actors went through their paces and the training montage started, the movies showed Drago in an ultra modern Russian gym, lifting heavy weights, doing the stairmaster, and of course – getting injections galore too periodically if you get my drift!

Conversely Rocky goes back to the basics – chopping wood – running in knee high snow – doing high rep pull-ups – advanced gymnastics – you name it.

All EXCELLENT workouts, and the funny part is this – in REAL life Dolph Lundgren (the guy that plays Drago) is the one that actually most likely participates in these sort of workouts – being a high level karate and judo expert – as opposed to Stallone, whose far more likely to be doing the “puff and buff” routines that I write so much about!

And the difference in their bodies pretty much gives it away. As Stallone himself put it – some of the routines he followed to get into the sort of shape he was in the mid part of his career (think Rambo II – III, and then the Rocky III-IV series) was not only not recommended to others – but was downright UNHEALTHY and left him feeling weak for most of the day!

Not what you’d expect given the characters he has so successfully portrayed – and anyway, one of the things Rocky’s trainer told him before the training montage started was this – “You’re going to have to go through hell and back!”

And as I completed my own workout today – sweating up a STORM despite the cold weather outdoors – it struck me that  curiously enough I was doing my own version of a “stairway to hell” workout – and getting similar results as well!

There is a route on the hill that I climb that most people do not know of, and those that do (including myself) usually don’t take.

Its a circuitous route around the hill – and starts to go steadily, up, up and up – and once the real steep part of the climb starts, there is a fork in the road.

And BOTH directions point towards what seems like a seemingly unending flight of stairs … going up as far as the eye can see, and then some.

An undulating flight of steep, narrow stairs – weaving and curving it’s way up the hill – and the very sight is enough to make those that don’t workout regularly start to sweat, so commanding indeed are these steps – and I took the one to the right, though I knew that wasn’t the right one to take to get to the top.

As I got to the top of that staircase, I came down – headed back up the opposing flight of stairs – and as I panted, puffed and literally “pulled” my way up the stairs, the image of “Ivan Drago” doing the stairmaster in the gym popped into my mind, and I literally laughed out loud.

While the stairmaster is no doubt a great workout in its own regard – try climbing an actual hill – or slope – or incline – where the steps are of variable height – and are at some points so narrow and steep that even pausing for breath isn’t an option – and steps that literally seem to ascend to the sky!

They don’t literally ascend to the sky, of course, but  if you’re not used to this kind of thing, you’ll literally feel like your legs – and thighs – and entire respiratory system is in purgatory, and that too of a more extreme kind – and NO, there ain’t a button you can push to “turn it off” either!

You either get up them stairs, or you don’t – its just that simple!

And as I put myself through the paces in this regard – not once, not twice – but THRICE – I was reminded of the truism that I keep talking about – that being natural workouts are the best – and the further you stay away from the ridiculous machines at the gym, the better your actual RESULTS will be!

So if you’re looking to lose weight quickly – or if you’re looking for workouts that really make you huff, puff and pant at a DEEP, DEEP level, consider the sort of thing I’ve stated above.

You may never get to the point that Stallone did in the movie i.e. climbing actual hill in the Tundra – and then letting out a roar of “Dragooooo” that was probably heard across the world- but you WILL feel like a billion bucks – and you’ll be stripping away lard off your frame at record speeds as well!

Well, my friend, so that was my “stairway from hell” workout today. I’ll write more about it later. For now, I’m off for some R& R – so if you workout today – make it a great, great one – – and let me know how it went!


Rahul Mookerjee

P.S. – And in case you don’t have stairs around – or choose not to partake of workouts including steps – well – rest assured the Hindu squats will have much the same effect – except perhaps faster, if you do ’em in right form. Believe me, if there is one bodyweight exercise that melts that unsightly lard off your frame as well as climbing an actual mountain does, or perhaps even better – it is the Hindu Squat, my friend!

Learn how to do ’em right here – – 


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