Stairmaster?

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    Topic
  • #4388
    Ptaylor
    Participant

    I’m moving into the ME phase of my training and am wondering if using the stairmaster with a weighted pack will cut it. The problem is getting to a steep enough hill is a 40min (x2) drive. Even then it’s only about 450 ft vertical at about 23% grade.

    I’m much more likely to get in the ME work on the stairmaster than getting up at 4am mid-week to allow for the drive. Should i just suck it up and drive or will the stairmaster be effective for the ME work?

    Also, would it work to combine the ME work with long zone 1 work on the weekend (i.e., water carry up and easy hike down)?

  • Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #4390

    Ptaylor:

    Stairmasters can be tricky to use for this sort of thing as the stairs fall way under you and you are not required to raise you body weigh upward. You will also need to adjust the machine’s perception of your weight to account for the pack weight. I’m no expert on stair machines but some are not motor driven and are powered by you the climber so require more work to turn them.

    Understand the problems with terrain limitations though, and aside from making a completely unhelpful and snide comment about moving to place with hills the best I can recommend is to do the ME workout(s) on a real hill on the weekend (yes they could even be back to back if/when you come to that stage). Then do the aerobic base work and maintenance on the t-mill/stairmaster mid week.

    I hope this helps.
    Scott

    Participant
    Mariner_9 on #4395

    Perhaps Dr. Doom could comment. In “Extreme Alpinism” he wrote, “Before climbing Alaska’s Mount Hunter, I did not train outdoors…I spent an hour a day, three days a week, “running” 4,000 vertical feet on the Stairmaster”.

    My impression was the Stairmaster was problematic because of the body weight issue that Scott mentioned, but if it worked for Mark then perhaps it can work for others (or is it simply the case that he was so fit already that the Stairmaster wasn’t what helped?).

    Participant
    Ptaylor on #4400

    Scott, thank you, your response is indeed helpful. I was on the stairmaster today realizing that exact problem with the stair dropping out below and cutting down the effort required.

    Mariner, thanks as well for your reply. I’m definitely still working hard on the stairmaster and it would definitely help my overall effort.

    I’m thinking hitting my training hill is what I will try and do for the most part and fall back on the stairmaster when my schedule is too busy. Plus being outside is far nicer than being stuck in the gym watching those stairs roll by!

    Participant
    Mariner_9 on #4403

    Hi Ptaylor,

    FWIW: I had been using the Stairmaster a couple of years ago but changed to weighted box steps because of the body weight issue. However, doing so caused problems with my knees. I’m currently doing laps in a high rise instead which does not seem to cause any knee issues. Being outdoors is of course best – and is also fine for my knees – but the nearest mountain is a 5-hour drive for me each way! Not very practical.

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #4409

    Mariner;

    With regards to Mark Twight’s prep for Hunter; keep in mind that one data point does not make or break a theory. There are surly gains to be had using a stairmaster for aerobic training. Your HR is elevated and you are using a big muscle mass. All I am saying is that it is not going to be as specific/effective has hiking up a real hill.

    Scott

    Participant
    markaguido93 on #8701

    Ya, but the endless stair dropping out below makes you work harder though doesn’t it? Especially without using the rails/support with a 30 lb pack on. That takes quite the effort.

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #8706

    Markaguido93;

    Since you do not have to lift your body against gravity you are doing much less work on a stair machine than if you were actually hiking up stairs or a similar grade hill. While you do move your center of mass upward a small amount on the machine with each step upward, you are not lifting your body weight the full height of the step each time you step up because the stair drops away from under you. Simple physics: Work = force x distance.

    Scott

    Participant
    Ptaylor on #9150

    One year later and on my second cycle of tftna training and haven’t touched a stairmaster since. Doing ME on the weekend appears to be working for me good to report and have just started up with ME again and am feeling much stronger.

    You really need to try the stairmaster to understand what you lose vs on a real hill. Don’t get me wrong it’s hard work on stairmaster but much better outside, for many reasons aside from the specificity of the workout.

    I wish i had started with the 24 week plan (will the next time), but the free form plan i have been following had let me listen to me body closer and avoid getting sick as much as i did last year. Thanks so much for helping motivate me, drop like 20# and start getting me on the path to good health again! Still a few more years of building a base before i think I’ll be ready for denali, but thats the goal and if (make that when i make) it’s going to be huge.

    Participant
    Ptaylor on #9151

    One year later and on my second cycle of tftna training and haven’t touched a stairmaster since. Doing ME on the weekend appears to be working for me, good to report, and have just started up with ME again and am feeling much stronger.

    You really need to try the stairmaster to understand what you lose vs on a real hill. Don’t get me wrong it’s hard work on stairmaster but much better outside, for many reasons aside from the specificity of the workout.

    I wish i had started with the 24 week plan (will the next time), but the free form plan i have been following had let me listen to me body closer and avoid getting sick as much as i did last year. Thanks so much for helping motivate me, drop like 20# and start getting me on the path to good health again! Still a few more years of building a base before i think I’ll be ready for denali, but thats the goal and if (make that when) i make it, it’s going to be huge.

    Participant
    Henryhampton on #16302

    just getting started here and finished the Zone 3 ME workout on a treadmill with 15 percent grade.. im in Michigan. there are no “hills”. being creative is super imperative on all of this especially being an airline pilot on the road all the time. Questions though,, if the treadmill is all you got is it better to go more vertical at 15 percent grade or increase weight..

    Keymaster
    Steve House on #16629

    @Henryhampton
    Generally speaking, increase the angle of the treadmill. The reason being that you will recruit different anatomy when the treadmill is steep than you will when the treadmill is flat. Since walking on flat ground is (presumably) not what you’re preparing for, using the steepest grade you can get in that gym, or that location, will be more beneficial than stacking on weight.

    Participant
    Henryhampton on #16761

    Cheers for the reply Steve.. 15 percent is the max on every treadmill I have visited in gyms.. funny why that is,, probably liability

    Keymaster
    Steve House on #16798

    You can find ones that go to 40. Scott Johnston bought a Nordic Track X9i (I think) on eBay. NT only sells these with a softwares subscription package, he just wanted the machine with no bells and whistles and got it with the used version.

    Check out the video/article here:

    Training Outside the Box: The Power of Creativity

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