The Best StairMaster HIIT Workouts of 2019
Some fitness enthusiasts view StairMaster HIIT workouts as merely cardio-oriented and will not be as effective for lean muscle mass gain. However, StairMaster hits the core and lower-body muscles better compared to other cardio equipment. More than just improving your stamina, therefore, StairMaster HIIT sessions can also improve lower body strength and while toning the abs, quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes at the same time.
Before this discussion moves to the StairMaster HIIT workouts, here’s a brief explanation of what a HIIT workout is all about.
HIIT Workout Explained
High-intensity interval training or HIIT is a type of workout session that combines short intervals of maximum physical exertion followed by rest periods. One simple example of a HIIT workout would be an all-out, full-on sprint for 30 seconds, followed by a resting period of a slow jog or walk for 90 seconds. This max effort-rest cycle should continue for 20 to 25 minutes. HIIT sessions that are less or more than the prescribed duration are believed to be counterproductive.
The origin of this workout program is generally attributed to Izumi Tabata, a Japanese researcher who in the mid-1990s trained Olympic speed skaters using a similar method. Tabata had the athletes perform an ultra-intense exercise for 20 seconds and 10 seconds of rest for eight cycles that lasted for four minutes. Those who underwent this training 4 times a week were found to have achieved similar gains to those who did traditional cardio training 5 times a week.
HIIT workouts and programs have undergone much refinement since the mid-1990s, but the basic concept remains the same: 20-minute exercise cycles consisting of bursts of max-physical effort followed by rest periods. A HIIT workout may consist of three or more different exercises such as sprints, burpees, pushups, abdominal exercises, and squats. Some also choose to incorporate free weights and weight machines into the HIIT workouts.
The main benefit of HIIT workouts is that the 20-minute workout improves the VO2 max or the maximal aerobic capacity of an individual similar to a 45-minute, traditional steady-state cardio exercise. The VO2 max is the best way to measure an athlete’s cardiovascular fitness. Countless studies have also shown that HIIT workouts are very effective in reducing body fat while preserving and increasing lean muscle mass at the same time. Traditional steady-state cardio workouts, on the other hand, have been known to cause the loss of lean muscle mass.
StairMaster HIIT Workouts
Here are 3 StairMaster HIIT workouts that you can try to see what suits you best. If you find yourself interested in StairMasters for HIIT workouts look at our comprehensive article review for our top recommended StairMaster machines. You can also look at our individual reviews on the StairMaster gauntlet, StairMaster 7000pt, and the StairMaster 4000pt.
First 5 MINUTES – Warmup StairMaster Level: 5
6th MINUTE – Max effort, Level: 10
7th MINUTE – Rest, Level: 6
8th MINUTE – Max effort, Level: 10
9th MINUTE – Rest, Level: 6
10th MINUTE – Max effort, Level: 12
11th MINUTE – Rest, Level: 6
12th MINUTE – Max effort, Level: 12
13th MINUTE – Rest, Level: 6
14th MINUTE – Max effort, Level: 14
15th MINUTE – Rest, Level: 7
16th MINUTE – Max effort, Level: 15
17th MINUTE – Rest, Level: 7
18th MINUTE – Max effort, Level: 15
19th MINUTE – Rest, Level: 6
20th MINUTE – Max effort, Level: 12
2 MINUTES – Cool down on very low level on the StairMaster or a treadmill.
Intermediate StairMaster HIIT Workout: Side steps
For this exercise, you can adjust the max level on the StairMaster console according to your preference. Remember to push yourself to your limit each max effort and sustain the cycle for at least 20 minutes.
First 2 Minutes warm-up, low StairMaster level.
30 Seconds Max effort, Sidesteps with toes pointing to the left, Level 10 or higher.
90 Seconds, Rest on the Step-Up assistants or on the floor
30 Seconds, Max effort, Sidesteps with toes pointing the opposite way, Level 10 or higher
Continue with the cycle until you hit the 20-minute mark. End the session with a 2-minute cool-down walk on the treadmill.
Advanced StairMaster HIIT Workout: Backward Steps
This is a variation of the sidestep StairMaster HIIT workout. This time around, you’ll do backward steps. Remember to use the side handrails for support at all times
First 2-3 Minutes, Warm-ups practicing climbing the StairMaster backward
30 Seconds Max effort, Backward climb at the highest level you are comfortable with.
90 Second rest on the Step-Up Assistants or on the floor.
30 Seconds Max effort, Backward climb, high StairMaster level.
HIIT requires at least 48 hours of rest in between sessions. This means that you cannot make your StairMaster HIIT workouts as your regular cardio sessions. Ideally, you should only do StairMaster HIIT workouts around 2 to 3 times each week. If you feel working out some more for the week, you can do weight training or steady-state cardio in the days between the StairMaster HIIT workouts.
It might interest some to know that StairMaster has a line of fitness equipment that is specifically designed for HIIT circuit workouts. These fitness equipment include the HIIT Bike, HIIT Rower, HIIT UBE, HIITMill, and HIITMill X.