#FatblasterFriday | Staircase Circuit Workout

No matter how fit you are, climb a long staircase quickly enough and three things will happen:

  1. your heart rate will skyrocket
  2. your thighs will burn
  3. you’ll continue to huff and puff for a minute or two afterwards

Perhaps not the most desirable of consequences when you’re dressed for an evening out, but EXACTLY what you need if a stronger, leaner body is what you’re looking for!

In addition to being great for your legs and lungs, because stair climbing is anaerobic, you’ll also continue to burn calories AFTER the workout is done (a little trick known as the ‘after burn’ effect).

Presenting #FatblasterFriday’s “Staircase Circuit Workout”!

An all body weight, multi-level, staircase circuit workout designed to build muscle, torch fat and strengthen your heart and lungs!

Tailor the workout to YOUR fitness level and ability by varying (1) the length of the staircase and (2) how quickly you ascend.

Do the circuit in the video 3 times through for an efficient and fat-blasting workout!

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staircase circuit workout


Disclaimer: Although I am a registered Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.



  1. I walk the 8 flights of stairs at work, once or twice a day, when I know I have a long “desk” work kind of day. I challenged my colleagues to do the same and yes, my thighs burn and I puff for a few minutes afterwards……… good thing I work for a health improvement organization with a workplace culture that welcomes this kind of work break. I keep expecting the puffing to stop as I get used to the stairs, but it doesn’t. Also noticed it’s easier in the afternoon than first thing in the morning.

    • I have no idea why stairs perpetually lead to one being out of breath. Perhaps it’s because as you get fitter, to move more quickly? A natural form of progression?

      Probably easier later in the day because your joints and muscles have loosened up. I find it necessary to do lots of warmup before I start running up stairs!

  2. LOVE IT and your red nose! 😉 Stairs are a great workout. I don’t have any near me but I am going to keep looking. I am up & down my home stairs multiple time in a day & I often take 2 at a time!!! Always enjoy your videos!!!
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted…New Year’s Help Guide & Motivation; Forgive & Begin!My Profile

  3. Running the stairs up to our room (which are steep and MEAN) is one if my favorite workouts. I know I’m going to get in shape fast when I make it a regular part of my routine!

    • For sure! Try adding a couple sets of stair sprints to the end of each workout. A fantastic finisher!

  4. I LOVE stair workouts as a “Do Anywhere” option! I’ve been known to run the stairs outside convention centers when traveling for work. Thanks for sharing some other ideas for what to do as well 🙂
    Katie @ KatieEnPursuit recently posted…Frickin’ Fantastic Friday!My Profile

    • You’re welcome Katie! I have lots of other ideas too, but was trying to keep the video short and fairly introductory! Perhaps I’ll make another, more advanced version…

  5. Great workout! I did some stairs stuff on my last #Burbathlon… including spiderman crawls and crab walks down the stairs. Sometimes I descend them backwards to work on co-ordination and as a good leg exercise (though you’ve got to hold onto the railing for this).

    I also wonder about doing the lunges with the back leg on a step for more loading on the front leg…
    Axel Kussmann (@apkussma) recently posted…Achievement Unlocked: Ski-CommuteMy Profile

    • Awesome ideals Axel! There are really so many ways to creatively incorporate stairs into your workouts!
      I do like rear foot elevated lunges (aka Bulgarian split squats) and you could certainly sub those for the option I’ve shown. My main goal was to warm up the quads and hip flexors before running the stairs!

  6. I always want to do a ‘stair’ workout when I’m staying in hotels, especially the tall hotels–so many stairs to climb! But some of the stairwells are so dingy that I don’t feel safe enough to do it. But it does make for a great workout. 🙂

    • I know what you mean, Carrie. Always better to be safe and use the boring weight room :). How about taking hubby with you next time; for ‘protection’ and some healthy competition?

  7. You KNOW I have stairs in our apartment building… like that you mentioned the AFTERBURN.
    Elle recently posted…Kaizen is My One Word for 2013My Profile

  8. Good idea, but his back doesn’t like those type of workouts. 🙂

  9. I’m always amazed at why more people don’t take the stairs. I work on the 3rd floor of a building. Not horribly taxing to climb up to but so many people hop on the elevator. I always try to beat them to the top – and I usually do! 😉 Great workout!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…It Starts With Food ReviewMy Profile

    • Me too. Climbing stairs (or hills) is one of the functional movements our bodies were designed to perform. Stop climbing them and you’ll lose the ability! (one reason why we won’t ever move into a rancher when we retire…)

  10. Yes, so true! I don’t use stairs for exercise nearly as often as I should… I’m going to try to incorporate your workout this week!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…The Power of Intentions – My 2013 GoalsMy Profile

  11. Cardio exercises have never been my favourite. But after I’ve started taking Navy Seal Formula (by MGNutritionals) and I was getting extreme results especially in this kind of trainings. My endurance have increased and my workouts are really improving. I’ve taken a lot of supplements, but this one is really doing it for me and my lifestyle.

  12. This really is a great workout, but it’s a bad idea if you have massively uncoordinated clown feet like I do.. I’ll stick to my Tabata workout to avoid injury.


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