T Nation

Alternative To The Stairmill

The stepmill is a stairmaster that has stairs coming at you as opposed to the steps just going up and down (did that make it any clearer?) If I did not have access to this, could performing steps on a bench or elevated surface be a good replacement? How about walking up and down a story of stairs, backwards and forwards with db’s in hand? Hmm, sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

What is your goal?

The stepmill is a cool piece of equipment, but in reality it just mimicks… yep you’ve got it, steps. Plain old steps.

Again, what is your goal? Fat-loss, muscle gain, cardiovascular health?

RIT Jared

The goal was to prepare for the firefighter test that uses a step mill at 60 steps per minute with 25 pounds on your back for 3 minutes.

Navin, hit ye local stadium. A highschool football stadium would be perfect. Stairmaster or stadium, steps provide an awesome HIIT experience. (grin)

[quote]Navin Johnson wrote:
The goal was to prepare for the firefighter test that uses a step mill at 60 steps per minute with 25 pounds on your back for 3 minutes.[/quote]

Get an old (or new cheap) backpack. Go to home depot and buy 25lbs of sand. If it only comes in 50lb, get that and empty half. Put the bagged sand in the backpack and congratulations you’ve got yourself 25lbs of weight strapped to your back.

Then, I second TT’s idea about the stadium, or you could go to your local high-rise parking garage. Just don’t go at rush hour.

RIT Jared

stepmill or real stairs. go for time at different intensities/speeds. Time is not 3 minutes minimum but at least 3x that so 9minutes minimum.

Intensities or speeds ranging from 1step/sec to just doing it for a long period of time. Don’t just train for the test in other words.

As far as the weighted vest or extra weight, best advice is to purchse an X-Vest or similar with at least 50lbs resistance. The test is gonna have you wearing a vest plus 25lbs more. I could be wrong but the total weight added is about 75lbs. Still lighter than wearing full turnouts, scba, and fighting equipment and lines.

Now if you do not have access to a weight vest the alternative is like said above- a back pack. One that is big enough and reinforced enough to carry 3-quarters. I’d start off with a quarter then add another for the bulk of the workout and then do 3minutes at 3-quarters. I would also try to invest in thick rope and tires and start dragging tires and loaded trash cans. Almost forgot, I think it was mentioned above, grab DBs and Farmer Walk the stairs. Your grip will be needed for the test as well, so might as well kill 2 birds with one stone.

My coworkers and I are organizing a training program/business for potential CPAT candidates and for members. Very amature indeed, but the certified pros in this area seem to be still in the world of the 10 Myths of Training pushing nautilus machines, light weight circuit training, and step aerobics. I will not start in with diet advice either.

Sorry for the rant/tangent. Stairs if no stepmill. Try to train on long continuous stairwells. Like a hotel, ask permission, or some other high-rise buildings. Remember it’s 180 steps you are taking. If it wasn’t such a long period of time I’d think it was too easy. Trash can drag is essential for dummy drag application.

Well it looks like I don’t have access to the local HS sytadium. I was thinking about what I call bench blasts. This is where one foot would be on a bench, explode up, criss cross your legs and have your opposite foot on the bench. Repeat. Certainly explosive and tough for 3 minutes. Maybe impossible for 3 minutes.

Navin, that sounds brutal – effective, but brutal, nonetheless. LOL

If you’re doing your routine (i.e., the bench blasts) 3 times a week, I have no doubt you’ll be in great shape come your test.

Good luck!!!