On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing a 20 minute HIIT stairs workout to get shredded at the San Diego Convention Center.
In this post I share:
Now that we live in San Diego, I’ve been loving my stair workouts since they are just a few blocks down the street from our condo.
It was 80 degrees F during the workout, so it was pretty hot.
Here is how to do a stairs sprint workout to shred off your body fat.
Depending on how long it takes your heart rate to recover between sets, complete 10-12 sets of stair sprints, or until 20 minutes is up.
Since there are approximately 100 steps to the top of the San Diego Convention Center stairs, each set is comprised of going up 100 steps, then walking back down 100 steps.
After each set of stairs, rest at the bottom of the stairs until your heart rate reaches 65% of your maximum heart rate (MHR).
To figure out your rest period heart rate zone follow this calculation:
After a set of stairs, it usually takes 40-60 seconds for my heart rate to drop back down to 120 beats per minute, which is 65% of my MHR.
Once your heart rate hits 65% of your MHR, it’s time to start your next set.
From a cardio perspective, the quicker your heart rate drops, the better shape you are in.
During your rest periods make sure you have water with you to replenish and stay hydrated.
This is important to recover, thus being able to give maximum output during the next set.
I always like to wear a heart rate monitor to keep track of my heart rate zones when I’m doing a stairs sprint workout.
Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) refers to the highest number of heartbeats per minute that an individual can achieve during physical exertion.
The most widely used formula to calculate an estimated maximum heart rate is as follows:
This means a 36 year old would have an estimated MHR of 184 bpm.
After each set of stairs, the goal is to hit your high intensity interval heart rate zone, which should be between 80-90% of your maximum heart rate.
To calculate your high intensity interval heart rate zone:
Depending on your fitness level, this means a 36 year old would have an estimated high intensity interval heart rate zone between 147-166 bpm.
The low intensity heart rate zone is usually between 60-70% of your maximum heart rate.
To calculate your low intensity interval heart rate zone:
Depending on your fitness level, this means a 36 year old would have an estimated low intensity interval heart rate zone between 110-129 bpm.
Once your heart rate drops to the low intensity interval heart zone, that’s when you know your body is ready to give another maximum effort for your next high intensity interval set.
For the warm up, walk up and down the stairs one time, for a total of 100 steps up and 100 steps down.
After the warm up, my heart rate was at 97 beats per minute (BPM).
This is just over 50% of my maximum heart rate (MHR), which is right where I want it to be before starting the stairs workout.
To learn the exercises, click the links below for step-by-step exercise demonstrations.
During this 20 minute stairs sprint workout we will switch up the type of stairs exercise by alternating between:
For the first stairs exercise, complete the double steps stair sprint.
The Double Steps Stair Sprint is a great cardio exercise that really elevates your heart rate fast.
To get started:
By the time I reached the bottom of the stairs, my heart rate was at 142 bpm.
Once my heart rate drops to 120 beats per minute, it’s time for me to complete the next stairs exercise in the circuit.
For the second stairs exercise, complete the single steps stair sprint.
The Single Steps Stair Sprint is a great cardio exercise that really elevates your heart rate fast.
To get started:
For the third stairs exercise, complete the lateral side step stairs sprint.
The Lateral Side Steps Stair Sprint is a great cardio exercise to improve balance and agility.
To get started:
For the fourth stairs exercise, complete squat jumps up stairs.
The Squat Jump Up Stairs is excellent exercise that really burns the legs and glutes.
To get started:
After completing the squat jumps up the stairs, my heart rate reached 173 bpm.
Those squat jumps up stairs will get you, so be sure to let your heart rate drop back down to 65% of your MHR, before starting your next set.
Once you finish the A1-A4 circuit, repeat for a total of 3 rounds, or until 20 minutes is up.
According to my heart rate monitor, I burned 324 calories in 25 minutes.
This is why I love using a heart rate monitor during my HIIT workouts.
A heart rate monitor let’s me know when I need to go hard and when I have to rest.
In the video, I was using this older Polar Heart Rate monitor watch, which at the time, was my favorite one.
You may still be able to get it from Amazon.
When it comes to HIIT workouts, get it in, hit it fast, and get it done so you can move on with your life.
If you are in San Diego and want to get in a stairs workout with me, comment down below.
If I’m available, let’s meet up at the bottom of the Convention Center stairs and crush a workout together.
Let’s show San Diego what it’s like to be a part of the Live Lean Nation.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.