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Using The Stairs For An Off Season Workout -- Does It Work? -- Ski Rex Says...

Do I look wrecked in this picture? Because I was wrecked.
We know that using a staircase is nothing new to the workout world. In fact, the use of a stationary, built-in staircase has to lead to workout equipment designed around stair-stepping or to mimic stair-stepping. We also know that these machines have been around for a long time now, so they must work to some degree. I have stared at my stairs thinking that I should probably add them to the workout routine. They are right there and they don't cost anything. Is there a better piece of workout gear? Well, I finally got the motivation to give it a try and this is that story.

Since we are all on some form of lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we've all been looking to keep busy inside our homes, which includes looking for ways to stay in shape that don't involve a trip to the gym. It's closed, you know? Well, it's pursuits like that which lead to a twitter post that was shared with me by a Ski Rex Media fan, @CbrightSnowcat.


It seemed like a good idea to me, though I wasn't going to try to make a run at climbing my stairs enough times to equal Mt. Washington. I thought I could make a run at doing enough to equal the summit of my original home mountain of Mount Snow. That's only 3,600 feet (1,097 meters). How did it go? Well, let's do that math first.

To get to that 3,600 feet on my staircase I have to make 419 total laps, each lap consisting of a trip up and the return trip down. For those that would like to know, that's about 28 individual steps because of a landing. That needs an extra step. I also know that, if I could keep the same pace that I had while doing this, I would finish in just shy of three hours. Let me show you my notebook, which I used to mark off each lap as I hit the bottom floor.

Yes, I gave myself a "Booooo!!!" I thought I was going to be able to do more.
Yes, as you can see I did about 1/8th of the distance. That's as far as I was able to go. Let me tell you though, those 50 laps up and down the stairs really whooped my backside. I was breathing heavy, sweating a ton, wishing I had worn shorts instead of pants, and my heart was going about a mile a minute. I felt wrecked and could only imagine what that would feel like on the actual mountain. Remember, at one time I would ski that mountain all day when I could during the winter and could make the hike up and down with no issue in the spring, summer, and fall. Now, I would not have made it that far up the hill, even if one took into account the difference between the actual altitude of the summit vs. the mountains vertical drop, which is 1,700 feet (518 meters). Even if I was just trying to do the vertical climb, which actually makes more sense now that I think about it, I still barely made it a quarter of the way.

Oh, and just so it's said, and yes this is a little random, my fatigue at the end might also have had something to do with the fact that I was air-drumming quite a bit during my laps. I had that hard rock and heavy metal going on the iPod.

However, I'm not getting down on myself. I have been working to get myself back into fighting...I mean, skiing shape for a bit now and this just means I'm not as far along as I thought I was. With that said, I can say, for me anyway, that using the stairs to workout on during the offseason and the COVID-19 isolation works like mad! I'm still feeling it hours later. In fact, I was feeling it so much I had to put writing this on hold so I could put heat on my legs. So, doing this even after all the outside restrictions are lifted is a must.

Also, I think it's workouts like this during this time that will give the fitness industry a good kick in the backside financially. No, not just because the gyms are closed during the quarantine, but the more people do these kinds of workouts to keep in shape and keep busy during the quarantine, the more they will realize they might not need to spend the money on gym memberships. But, that's just a theory and really a topic for a whole other time and place.

With that said, I am suggesting this as a great workout for the legs, which we all need as skiers and snowboarders. It is a little boring, I won't lie about that. But, it does just what you need to do and it can get those legs ready for skiing, snowboarding, and even hiking, climbing, and other offseason activities.

I'm going to keep doing it. I figure I will do a little bit from now until next Wednesday when I post the next episode of the podcast. Then, we'll see how much further I can make it up those stairs to reach that Mount Snow goal. It's going to be a whole social media thing. That should make it fun and it'll pay off in the end when I make my grand return to the stage, by which I mean my grand return to the ski mountains.

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