On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m showing you a 20 Minute HIIT stairs workout at the world famous Santa Monica stairs.
But before we hit the Santa Monica stairs for a sprint workout, we first stopped at The Attic in Long Beach to fuel up with a pre-sprint breakfast.
For breakfast I had a black coffee, and some protein and carbohydrates from an egg scramble with salsa, potatoes, and a bowl of fruit.
Then after breakfast, we had a 45 minute drive to the Santa Monica stairs.
Are you ready?
Burn more fat and build more muscle with this outdoor cardio stairs workout.
Here’s how this 20 minute HIIT stairs workout is structured:
This HIIT stairs workout is only 20-25 minutes depending on your fitness level.
Those who are not as fit will require a longer rest period, thus resulting in a longer workout.
HIIT stairs cardio workout.
If you don’t have access to outdoor stairs, try this 20 minute HIIT home stairs workout for fat loss.
Get prepared to feel the lactic acid burn and scare the body fat right off of you.
This HIIT cardio stairs workout is comprised of 10 sets of stair sprints.
Take enough rest to allow your heart rate to drop back down to 60-70% of your maximum heart rate.
Here’s a simple formula to calculate your HIIT heart rate target zones (in beats per minute – BPM):
Based on this, my low intensity interval training heart rate target zone would be calculated as follows:
The Santa Monica stairs are comprised of 170 steps, at an elevation of approximately 109 feet.
Trust me, when you look up from the bottom of the stairs, it’s a very big incline.
Thid stairs workout is no joke, so make sure you drink a lot of water.
I’m sure it would be faster if I came back and did this stairs workout at 2am.
By the way, that’s my disclaimer, in case you beat my time 😂 .
Based on fighting through Sunday morning traffic, it took approximately 51 seconds to sprint to the top of the Santa Monica stairs.
Side note: to follow the proper Santa Monica stairs etiquette, make sure you always stay to the right.
It then took me approximately 53 seconds to walk back down the stairs.
During the HIIT stairs workout I had my heart rate monitor on to check out my heart rate.
Before the workout started and after walking down the stairs, my heart rate was at 82 beats per minute (bpm).
I then measured my heart rate again to see how much it changed after sprinting up the stairs.
After my first high intensity interval sprint up the stairs, my heart rate got up to 161 bpm.
It was pretty intense.
Then I immediately walked back down the stairs to allow my heart rate to come back down again.
That equals 1 interval.
9 more stairs intervals to go.
By the time I walked all the way back down to the bottom of the stairs, my heart rate was still at 140 bpm.
Based on this, my goal was to just relax and allow my heart rate to continue to lower back down into the low intensity training zone.
To do HIIT workouts correctly, you want to make sure the workout stays in the anaerobic zone, rather than being in the aerobic zone for the entire workout.
Training in the anaerobic zone is optimal for building muscle while burning fat.
When you try to be too aggressive with your HIIT workouts, by not giving yourself enough time to rest between intervals, you run the risk of training in the aerobic phase.
This is not what we want when we’re Living Lean.
To ensure you stick to the anaerobic zone, make sure you allow your heart rate to come back down before sprinting back up the stairs.
So before starting your next high intensity interval stairs sprint, it’s important to wait until your heart rate gets down to approximately 60-70% of your maximum heart rate.
For me, that is a heart rate of approximately 108-126 bpm.
After 20 seconds of staying still, I reached a heart rate of 125 bpm.
For high intensity interval set #2, my heart rate elevated to 170 bpm.
It then went up to 172 bpm for high intensity interval set #3.
Eventually my heart rate peaked at 177 bpm by the end of the workout.
Damn that’s good!
As I reached the last few high intensity intervals, I wasn’t able to sprint all the way up to the top, due to the lactic acid build up in my legs
When the feeling of the lactic acid gets too intense, you know the fat burning process is happening.
Based on this, I would sprint as far as I could go, and then walk the rest of the way.
Based on the elevation of the stairs, a lot of people simply walk up and down the Santa Monica stairs, which will still quickly elevate your heart rate.
So make sure you drink a lot of water during this stairs workout because you’ll be sweating a lot, and your muscles will need it.
For bonus points, there is also a make shift “pull up bar” at the bottom of the stairs.
So after the stairs sprint workout, feel free to do a few reps of front lever raises or muscle ups 😝.
These 10 sets of stair intervals at the beautiful Santa Monica stairs took approximately 20-25 minutes to complete.
That’s all you need to get sweaty and feel the fat burning off.
It’s now time to go fuel up and replenish with lots of water.
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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.
25 responses to “20 Minute HIIT Stairs Workout At The Santa Monica Stairs”
Can you suggest a workout for developing pullup strength for females???
ok so I dont have stairs but I have step ups…I go up and down for one
minute straight and I add ten pound dumbells on set number 7 of ten….
How do you work out what to get your heart rate up to and what to get it
back down to for fat loss ???
ive lost 8 pounds in 3 days with your workouts and food tips
How do you determine your anaerobic state?
You must have felt amazing when you completed your 10 sets. One advantaged you have is great weather which is a good motivator. I live I the UK and working out first thing in the morning takes a lot of motivation! I have incorporated stairs sprints in my workout when I go for a run.
Good job. I need to do it now.
does everyone do those stairs for exercise or is that a way to go like
hiking or down to the beach some where?.. those stairs look intense.
THIS whole video just makes me sad because I SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE WITH YOU!
i run the steps with the kettlebells on both hands i was wondering if thats
…”ok” or useless as hell? lmao
Hi Brad, I recently bought a heart monitor to aid in my fat loss efforts. I have combed the web for info related to hiit workouts, heat rate zones and fat burn, but seem to get conflicting info as to what your heart rate should be at during a hiit workout to maximize fat burn.
I was wondering if you could do a video on heart monitors and heart rate zones, specifically geared towards hitt workouts and fat burning. I would really…really appreciate your advice and expertise! Thx =)
amazing!…makes me want to run it up!…which heart rate monitor is this? Im looking to buy a good one
I use stairs when I do interval workouts at the track – I do all the bleacher steps at the field back & forth twice. I don’t get much HIIT in because I’m endurance training at the moment and it’s just too much to do strength, endurance, and a lot of HIIT. But I do love shaking it up with sprints, stairs, and intervals, and I always make sure I hit the bleachers now after I’ve seen your stair workouts.
Can this workout be done on any of the normal house stairs for effective fat loss..??
i love stairs workouts!
Where’s a good place to get a heart rate monitor?
Hey Brad, make another “A Day In The Life” with all your routine. All your
meals (with recipe), your workout… your routine since you wake up till
you go to bed =D
Great video, bro.
Love the dude laughing at brad at 4:15
Are you moving to LA?
I used to do sand dune sprints every week with my football team for
training. They were really good! Nice one Brad, keep it up 🙂
Awwwesome to see you here in LA!
Hope to see you around.
LIVE LEAN LIFE!
Do you ever run the stairs for your workout?