Friday, October 29, 2010

Running Stadium Stairs: One of the Best Workouts

This is a great photo of Harvard University football stadium in Cambridge, MA built in 1903 and seats 30,000+. If your looking for a challenging workout look no further. It's a been a few years but I have run these 1000+ stairs many a time. One workout I use to do with my clients and friends was to run up (and walk down) the rows that were numbered. We also brought dumbbells, bands etc. over and did some circuit-training between bouts of running. If memory serves me correctly, there were 36 rows and about 30 (big) steps to the top which = 1080 steps - which sounds about right. We would do the stairs a few times a week back in 1988-92 when I trained at Le Pli Health Spa (now Wellbridge) and would "build up" to the point where you were running up and and coming down pretty quickly and it would take about 45-60 min. and your muscles and nervous system were completely shot afterwards. I am now building simulated "stadium stair" workouts on the elliptical machine for Koko FitClub members. You could always expect a great workout at Harvard and at times even an unexpected run in with someone famous. We had just finished a workout one evening when we saw a helicopter trying to land in the stadium! The helicopter landed just outside and out walked, of all people, billionaire Malcolm Forbes who came right over to my buddy Michael and I and introduced himself. Anyway, the benefits of stair-climbing are fantastic. Research from the Harvard Alumni Study reported that climbing just eight flights of stairs/day decreased mortality rates in men by 33% compared to their sedentary counterparts. If you have a high school/college field or stadium near by - give them a try...just remember to build-up your volume slowly.

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