Exercise! - stairstepper machine

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01-09-2008, 01:43 AM
I am new to working out at a gym since Jan.1st. I was told at my gym that the stairmaster stairstepper provides a great allover workout. Realistically, I can see that it doesn't work the arms. I have been using this machine for 30 min's each time I visit the gym (6 out of the past 7 days). My problem is that my ribcage and upper back is screaming in pain. I'm also doing weight lifting with alternating upper and lower body workout days.

Tonite, I did my routine for my hips and legs, plus did the stairmaster. Is it normal for me to be this sore? Is it just cause I'm new to the weight lifting or that I'm simply overdoing it and not letting my muscles have time to rest.

Should I alternate days on the stairstepper also and just walk on treadmill on the opposite days? Any help or advice would be appreciated. (prior to joining gym, basically my only form of exercise was walking).

01-09-2008, 03:59 AM
Lily, I moved your question into the general exercise forum because I think more people will read it here and hopefully be able to help. :)

A stairstepper is a cardio machine and can be used interchangeably with any other cardio machine in the gym, such as a treadmill, bike, or elliptical. If the stairstepper is giving you problems, yes, most definitely switch off with other kind of cardio. Cardio shouldn't ever hurt -- the goal is to elevate and sustain your heart rate, not cause pain!

As for whether you're overdoing it, cardio almost every day is fine. But weights six days a week is overtraining, if that's what you've been doing. If you're going to alternate upper and lower body workouts, four times a week in plenty. Muscles grow when you're resting, and if you don't give them adequate recovery time between workouts, you're undoing all your hard work in the gym.

And any time a part of your body is screaming in pain, you need to listen. Too many people start out on fire in the gym, overdo it, get hurt, and then have to completely lay off for weeks. For the first weeks and months, don't push as hard as you can and never, ever workout through pain. It takes time for your tendons and ligaments to strengthen to support your new muscles. A shocking number of new gym members get injured in their first four weeks and I don't want you to be one of them! :hug:

01-09-2008, 11:37 AM
Hey Lily,

As Alwyn says in my new book (NROLW), "You don't get better by training. You get better by recovering from training." So you need rest days, especially from weight training! I never use the stair stepper, but you should be able to do your cardio (even 6 days a week) without real pain. Perhaps do the elliptical or bike a couple of days a week instead.

01-09-2008, 12:14 PM
Thanks ladies , I just thought it weird because of where my pain is (the upper back and ribcage) , no pain in my legs even with all the stairstepper useage. I wasn't sure if this machine was causing the soreness in this place, or if it was the weightlifting causing the pain.