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Old 06-09-14, 08:16 AM   #1
rumrunn6
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Stair Climber

thought I would try the stair climber at the gym today but I have no experience with it. it's like an escalator thing. I figure I can do 20 minutes real slow. sound like a plan? is 20 minutes too ambitious? I'm 55 and don't want a heart attack.
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Old 06-09-14, 09:23 AM   #2
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Your heart can't tell if you're doing a stair climber or riding your bike, it just knows you're doing cardio exercise. If you're used to doing 20 minutes of exercise where you get your heart rate up, you should be fine; if not, take it easy. Your legs will probably be sore, though.
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Old 06-09-14, 10:06 AM   #3
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Get cleared by your doc for aerobic exercise and ask him if there are any limits. Most cyclists I know in their 50s and 60s often go as hard as they can possibly go without concern for heart or heart rates.
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Old 06-09-14, 10:21 AM   #4
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FWIW I use an HRM when exercising to a) keep me honest...meaning it tells me if i am not really working that hard and b) let's me watch my max.

it is also really interesting to compare watts to heart rate.....for me different exercises can put the heart rate up, while still not putting out the same watts. (keeping in mind that the wattage accuracy varies).

an example is that on a concept rowing machine, my percieved effort is high, my HR goes up, but the wattage is not as high as what i generate on an elliptical machine.

Running will push my heart rate right up....

bikeing I have to push pretty hard to get the heart rate up.

I use HR to push myself.....if I find my avr HR for a set workout is consistently at the low end of my range, I push the effort up.

and of course listen to your body....
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Old 06-09-14, 11:01 AM   #5
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interesting tips, thanks. it was about the most boring 20 minutes of any workout I can remember. did 10 minutes at level 1 and 10 minute at level 2. I think next time I'll start at level 2 and try for level 3. I had a slight moistening of my forehead at 10 minutes and a little sweat at 20 minutes. enough to wipe with my towel. I climbed 32 floors. do not remember the watts though I did see that displayed. only burned 100 calories. the only thing that really kept my interest was that I think my cat peed on my shirt and it didn't really start to smell until the 10 minute mark. the last 10 minutes were pretty distracting. I did not see any sensors to p/u my heart rate like they have on other devices at the gym. anyway I survived ...
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Old 06-09-14, 06:26 PM   #6
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Why waste time and energy at the gym and do boring cardio on some machine ??... You are already doing cardio/endurance everytime you're riding your bike...It would be better to use your gym time doing strength training, and focus on getting stronger.
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Old 06-09-14, 07:22 PM   #7
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I usually do but was nursing a strained back for 3 weeks and then last Thursday it escalated and Friday wasn't better. Doc gave me muscle relaxers and I used them all weekend. I figured the stairmaster would be a good non stressful way to get back to exercising. Hoping to get back to my regular routine of weight training at lunch and running after work. my rides have to wait for free weekends. excellent suggestion though!!!
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Old 06-10-14, 11:00 AM   #8
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tried level 2 for 10min then level 3 for 10 min, noticed watts was 116, burned 130 calories, and floors was I think 40 or a couple over. how many floors is the empire state bldg? the girl next to me, holy cow she must have been on level 8 and was practically running up stairs the whole time! God bless her! not sure if next time I'll try 10min at 3 and then 10min at lvl 4, or just do a whole 20 min at 3 ... got a decent sweat going after 20min but I know that when I run the treadmil I get the same sweat after only 10min, so I know I can go to a higher level. I had knee surgery 17 yrs ago, that knee handles this just fine. the left however I felt a tiny something, but barely noticeable, so I was careful about my alignment.
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Old 06-10-14, 11:59 AM   #9
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With almost 12,000 posts, I assume that the OP is quite experienced with all forms of exercise, but not just this particular equipment. If the OP is using similar equipment to what our gym has, it says "Stepmill" on it somewhere. I believe it's made by Stairmaster. We call it "the stairway to hell."
StepMill 5 | StairMaster

Ours picks up a Polar HRM transmitter, or just wear your own HRM transmitter and receiver.

There are many different workouts one can do on these things. I usually go steady-state because it's an alternative to the trainer or rollers when weather is bad and I'm doing base. So I get going on the thing and bump a level up each time my HR stabilizes at a number, until I get to the intensity I want, always zone 2 or 3. That takes 5-10 minutes. Every model has different intensities for the different displayed levels, so it's hard to compare numbers, but I usually run in the 4-7 level, depending on which model machine. I don't think there's much point to going for less than 45 minutes or going at less than zone 2 (breathing slow and deep, sweating). For a harder workout, I'll do a zone 3 (breathing harder and deeper). In winter, during the week I'll usually do one zone 3 for about an hour, and a zone 2 for about the same, a couple days later.

My record is 1.5 hours of zone 3, which involved a good bit of leg pain. I think my record floors is somewhere around 300. I normally do 200 or so for a good workout. Unlike my bike workouts, I never do weights after a Stepmill workout - or before for that matter. I have trouble walking to the car, though I used to ride home a few years ago. Anyway, you can do more than you think. Bump the level up to where you're working fairly hard and just hold it there, but quit before the leg pain gets extreme. It's also a good lower back workout.

I see a lot of folks pushing down on the bars. Don't do that. Put your hands out in front of you for balance, keep your back straight, and try not to bounce.
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Old 06-10-14, 04:40 PM   #10
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wow, that's impressive and thanks for the tips at the end. yes it looks like that, is made by stairmaster but not that modern. lower back workout? hmmm wanted to avoid that, but it seems less hard on my back than the usual upper body weight training I do. thanks again. next level tomorrow, but I only have 20 minutes at lunch hahaha
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Old 06-10-14, 07:59 PM   #11
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wow, that's impressive and thanks for the tips at the end. yes it looks like that, is made by stairmaster but not that modern. lower back workout? hmmm wanted to avoid that, but it seems less hard on my back than the usual upper body weight training I do. thanks again. next level tomorrow, but I only have 20 minutes at lunch hahaha
Well, if you only have 20 minutes, select one of the built-in interval plans. Do intensity if you can't do volume.
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Old 06-11-14, 11:08 AM   #12
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yes that's what it's called, I thought I read "2000" but maybe it is "7000" this is what it looks like
Used Stepmills Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Sacramento

20 min default, I love that, started at 3 for 10 then 4 for 10 146? calories I think watts went up to 136, and did 52 floors. left knee fine right calf a little tight and possibly right glute. after getting off I had that weird lifting feeling like when you to that fun test standing next to a wall and press outward with your arm down to your side and when you step away from the wall your arms lifts all by itself. I felt like I was walking like a dork for a while. kinda funny
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Old 06-11-14, 11:26 AM   #13
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yes that's what it's called, I thought I read "2000" but maybe it is "7000" this is what it looks like
Used Stepmills Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Sacramento

20 min default, I love that, started at 3 for 10 then 4 for 10 146? calories I think watts went up to 136, and did 52 floors. left knee fine right calf a little tight and possibly right glute. after getting off I had that weird lifting feeling like when you to that fun test standing next to a wall and press outward with your arm down to your side and when you step away from the wall your arms lifts all by itself. I felt like I was walking like a dork for a while. kinda funny
Yeah, it's like when you take your pack off after a long backpacking climb. You kind of leap around. I think the 7000 machine is what we have too, at least one of them.
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Old 06-11-14, 06:28 PM   #14
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I see a lot of folks pushing down on the bars. Don't do that. Put your hands out in front of you for balance, keep your back straight, and try not to bounce.
I love those old stairmaster machines, they have decent resistance. Sadly my gym has phased them out in favor of the completely useless elliptical type machines. I always used to hold on the bars, not for pushing down, but for pulling up to push harder with the legs.
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Old 06-12-14, 09:20 AM   #15
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A funny note: on our machines it says something like: "If you feel short of breath or pain, immediately stop exercise and seek medical help." Uh . . . like every time I use the thing?
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Old 06-12-14, 11:28 AM   #16
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10 min at lvl 4 then 10 min at lvl 5, I forget the #floors , watts & calories. too busy with work, ugh. but this is finally starting to feel like a workout
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Old 06-13-14, 11:14 AM   #17
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10 min at lvl 5 then 10 min at lvl 6, 70 floors (almost 3/4 the way up the empire state building) 188 calories, 168 watts. using this machine can't be the same as actually climbing steps because these steps move down at the same time you lift yourself up, so it can't possibly be as hard as lifting yourself completely. but hey it's all relative. definitely felt like more of a work out, my breathing was deeper. not sure what I'll do next week. everything feels fine, no joint or muscle discomfort.
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Old 06-13-14, 10:16 PM   #18
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If it's working and you don't have any pain, why not keep doing it? You can always vary the workout to add interval intensity.
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Old 06-14-14, 09:26 PM   #19
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oh haha no I wasn't suggesting stopping, was thinking what level I would start back up with. but I think rather than doign it every day which is too mindless for me I would do a higher level maybe 3 times a week. I normally have nine 20 minute sessions a week, so this could be three of the nine
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Old 06-30-14, 02:16 PM   #20
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been out of commission with sore throat, cough, bloody noses, back strain, etc etc. back to gym today started at level 8 what was I thinking, backed it down to level 6 then later level 4 to finish the 20minites. man am I out of shape. doesn't take long ...
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