Stairmaster: How Effective Is It for Weight Loss?

The Stairmaster is a popular fitness machine found in most gyms. As the name suggests, it creates a similar motion to climbing stairs, giving you a cardio workout while toning your legs, calves, thighs and glutes. The Stairmaster can effectively help you lose weight, but you must use this machine frequently to see results.

Losing Weight with the Stairmaster

Obviously, any machine that elevates your heart rate and leaves you huffing and puffing can facilitate your weight loss efforts. However, you must challenge yourself while working out on the Stairmaster. A leisurely 20 minute walk will not get you very far. You should aim towards staying on this machine for 45 minutes to an hour, increasing the amount of time as your fitness level progresses.

Another thing to consider is the intensity level. Level 2 might give you an adequate workout when you begin your routine, but if you stay on level 2 week after week, you will hit a fitness plateau. Therefore, continue to crank up the intensity and don’t be afraid to go up a level or two (or more). If you’re not dripping in sweat, then add some resistance…and continue to do so until you’re working out at your maximum capability.

Interval Training

A great way to kick your metabolism into weight loss gear while on the Stairmaster is to practice interval training. This is when you alternate spurts of high intensity with periods of rest. You give it all you have for a minute or two, and then follow it up with a minute or two of slower movement. Your body will more efficiently burn calories because it has to constantly adjust to the changing speeds. Most Stairmasters provide an option for interval training, and you can choose this program at the beginning of your workout.

Stairmaster Variations

There are a few variations of the Stairmaster, and one machine in particular will provide you with a more challenging experience. First, there’s the old school machine where your legs simply move up and down. Then, there’s the variety with the actual stairs that constantly move. This Stairmaster is especially intense because you have to keep up with the motion of the stairs and physically climb. If you’ve used this machine before, you know it will leave you sweating like no other!

Calories Burned

The amount of calories you’ll burn on the Stairmaster will depend on how hard you’re pushing yourself. If you’re moderately exercising, you can burn around 230 calories in a half an hour and 460 in an hour. Vigorous exercise will bring these numbers up to 320 and 640 respectively, and extremely vigorous exercise will raise them even more. But this intensity is only recommended for seasoned athletes. You must burn 500 calories more a day than you take in from food in order to lose a pound a week. Therefore, determine how much weight you want to lose, and figure out how much time you’ll need to spend on the Stairmaster to reach your goal.


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