Today, I’ve got an AWESOME interview for you between stair exercise expert Virgil Aponte (former WNBA strength coach) and myself…(if you want to lose more belly fat and get more muscular you need to pay close attention)
For you WNBA fans out there, back when Virgil was a strength and conditioning coach for the New York Liberty, they won the Eastern Conference and played the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA finals.
He isn’t just some fly by night trainer, trust me.
So if you are a young aspiring athlete, or just a gym rat wanting to IMPROVE, Virgil is your guy.
(BONUS: When you get to the bottom of the interview, you’ll see 3 COOL bonus gifts from Virgil that you will be able to download until midnight tonight)
Jamin: So I guess the question everyone wants to know…what exactly is stair training all about?
Virgil: Stair training is simply another super effective way to achieve a high level of fitness. It is highly underrated or under utilized however because it simply is not glamorous. But boy does it ever deliver when it comes to training results. Whether you run, walk, or hop stairs you can simply fit it to meet your needs. And if you get more creative like in USE you can basically train your entire body in the stairs. A definite keeper in the training tool box.
Jamin: That’s good stuff, so what kind of workouts will someone do with stairs and what sort of person would want to use stairs to train? Would you mind sharing some of your best ways to train stairs with us?
Virgil: Most people either run or walk stairs so I’ll start off that it’s a tremendous form of cardio training. But that’s where most people stop. USE takes it to another level because you can also dramatically improve your strength, power & high end conditioning with stairs. And I’m talking the type of conditioning needed by elite athletes. This is why elite athletes & celebrities love stair training. Stairs over-deliver when it comes to strength, power & conditioning.
My favorite way is to use workouts that incorporate a bit of everything.
1. Walking to warm-up and low end cardio training.
2. Running for high end cardio training.
3. Two to Three Steps for lower body strength development.
4. Combos: Stairs with upper body pushing, pulling & rotation.
5. Hops for Power Development & Conditioning.
6. Buddy Carries: The Greatest Stair Exercise of All Time!
Jamin: I get a bunch of emails from readers who are worried that if they start burning fat they will lose muscle. Why won’t they have to worry about this issue with stair workouts?
Virgil: Losing muscle is a function of over-training, poor nutrition and inadequate rest & recovery. Stair workouts will stimulate strength, power & conditioning in a short time (almost always the workouts are less than 1 hour and some as short as 10 minutes). Most the times the problem is not the exercise but lack of attention to other factors like lack of sleep & poor nutrition.
Jamin: Running stairs is what I like to call warrior style training. It is old-school, and definitely underrated, but it works. It is a shame that most people don’t use it in their training. Why do you think most people avoid the stairs and how can doing stair workouts help them get in better shape?
Virgil: Stairs are just not glamorous as lets say a spin class or shiny new fitness center with TV’s & a cardio theatre. My only concern is what helps people and stairs do that so I’ve always stuck with them for that reason.
Many people simply don’t like to work hard and that is another reason why they shy away from stairs. It’s the same reason people don’t do barbells squats and dead-lifts. Those exercises are going to ask you to really focus and work hard. Stairs will do that to. Plain and simple if you don’t want to work then stairs will not be for you.
Jamin: What people usually say to themselves when they think about stair workouts is… “ok all I will be doing is running to the top of the staircase like a madman”…but they just don’t understand how many different workouts you can do with stairs! Knowledgeable strength & conditioning coaches still use stairs to train the best athletes in the world. Tell us about some of your favorite workout combos using stairs.
Virgil: With athletes its usually:
1. Walk as warm-up plus stair mobility drills.
2. Two to Three Steps for strength.
3. Run for conditioning.
4. Hops for Power Development and/or conditioning.
5. Carries for a Finisher: I can’t say enough about how effective carries are. This exercise will cripple even the best conditioned MMA fighter in minutes. Every athlete I work with or stairs camper does carries if they are able to (You’ll find some people that can’t do this exercise or simply feel uncomfortable carrying someone up stairs. I carry my wife Michelle up 20-25 flights of stairs and it is always an amazing workout.
Other great ideas are racing up stairs: Running, Hopping Etc… Athletes love this because of their competitiveness but my regular fitness campers love this too.
Jamin: Now…stair workouts are not a big secret among elite pro athletes and celebrities…in fact, I remember you mentioning that Tom Brady does stair workouts regularly to get ready for the season…why do you think that the casual gym rat should use the same type of workout as Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady?
Virgil: Everyone is an athlete in some sense. The major difference is athletes train to improve performance while the average person trains to look good or improve their health. But the same workouts that athletes do for performance will help the average person with goals of losing fat, improving their health or looking great in a bathing suit.
Jamin: Pro athletes have access to the best training equipment in the world, but ironically…most of them all choose to run stairs instead. Why do you think stair sprints are so popular with athletes?
Virgil: Stairs are popular with multi-million dollar athletes & celebrities for one simple reason: They flat out work and deliver results!
Jamin: As a former athlete I have probably run hundreds of thousands of stairs in my lifetime, and I will never forget those days at Clemson University where we had to sprint up and down the stairs in the 90,000 seat stadium of Death Valley to get in shape for the season. Those were the good ole days! The good news is that you don’t have to get that crazy to improve your physique…but still I think that a lot of people are scared to try stair training because they think it is too hard, or just for athletes. What is one of your favorite, quick stair workouts that even a rookie could do?
Virgil: Simply walking is a great way to start. I fell in love with stairs after hernia surgery and all I did was walk. I eventually got up to walking up to 140 flights in a workout.
Jamin: We are pretty lucky to have the famous Santa Monica stairs out here in Los Angeles. I see tons of people doing stairs on that thing just about every time I go by it, but what can someone do if they don’t have access to a staircase in their building or town? Any alternate methods that they can use?
Virgil: Try to find at least and 1 flight. Combine that flight with body weight exercises and a jump rope and you are good to go!
Jamin: What do you think the difference is between an advanced versus a beginner stair workout…and should guys and gals use different workouts for stair training?
Virgil: Advanced options involve high end work like running 1,2 or 3 steps, stair hops for 1,2,3 or even 4 steps at a time and buddy carries. Beginners should start by walking and using 2 steps as well if they can.
No difference for guys and gals just focus on where you should begin and how to progress.
Jamin: In my opinion, stairs are one of the best workouts in the world. You can improve your strength, conditioning, flexibility, and power as well as lose weight and burn fat. If someone wanted to get started with stairs right now, what is the best thing they can do?
Virgil: That always depends on the individual. A beginner will usually walk and progress from there. While a combat athlete may be doing buddy carries right from the start.
When you think of stairs think of:
*Walking them (1,2 or even 3 steps at a time)
*Running them (1,2 or even 3 steps at a time)
*Hopping them (1,2,3, or even 4 steps at a time)
*Using a weight vest
*Carrying your partner up stairs
*Combing stairs with equipment: sand bags, bands, kettlebells etc…
*Combing stairs with body weight work
Jamin: I want to thank you for taking your time to sit down and talk with me today Virgil. I really appreciate it.
Virgil: You are very welcome Jamin. My absolute pleasure 🙂———————————— FREE BONUS BELOW! ————————————
Ok guys, as promised, here are your 3 FREE bonus gifts from Virgil.
Stair Climb Basics – Click Here To Download
Stair Workouts For Fat Loss – Click Here To Download
Stair Lunge Variations – Click Here To Download
By the way…
…If you would like to join the “Inner Circle” of elite pro athletes and hollywood celebrities who have benefited from stair workouts for years, CLICK HERE to watch 3FREE stair workout videos which reveal several of Virgil’s best tricks.
Enjoy the workouts,