HIIT Stairmaster Workout: Burn Fat and Work Those Glutes

So before we look at the Hiit Stairmaster Workout lets discuss if the Stairmaster is good for HIIT. The act of climbing stairs is very popular for interval training and is an excellent HIIT exercise, however the Stairmaster cannot replicate the speed you would do stair climbing at, so when doing HIIT you would need to adjust your exercises to achieve your anaerobic zones.

So how would you do that? Below I’ve set out a guide to help you build up a HIIT Stairmaster workout that would get you the results you are looking for.

HIIT Stairmaster Workout MP3

10 sets 60 secs 60 secs
If you are a beginner, start at about three sets. If you are doing this after your weight training for a metabolic workout, limit it to 5 sets. If you find that 60 seconds sprint is too long, start with 30 seconds.
HIIT Stairmaster workout

Before we get into the workouts, let’s remember what you are aiming for with HIIT. HIIT is all about pushing your body past your normal cardio workout, into the anaerobic zone. This is where your body works so hard, it can’t get enough oxygen and you burn energy without it. You can get there in exercise in two ways, either going faster, or having more resistance. What you will find when doing HIIT Stairmaster workouts is that you will run out of speed fairly quickly so need to discover ways to add more resistance.

Warm up:

Warm up for the Stairmaster is simple, just start climbing stairs. You can set the speed at around 5, just enough to start a bit of a sweat. Warm up for five minutes, making sure that you are ready to push yourself in the first set.

Hiit Stairmaster Workout Sprint

You are going to sprint for a minute on the Stairmaster. It’s a longer interval because you are going to max out the speed on this quickly…

In terms of form, don’t hang onto the hand holds during the sprint, you will get a better workout by not holding on.

Now I know what’s going to happen. You are going to jump on the Stairmaster, have a go at this and around 30 seconds you will be desperate because you aren’t used to climbing steps, your muscles in you legs will burn. It’s perfectly ok, to start with a shorter interval. Just concentrate on building up your speed.

So what kind of setting are you looking for here? You are looking to push it above 10, getting as close as you can to 20. And here is where the weakness of the Stairmaster is exposed. You need to pick a speed that you can cope with for the whole interval, including when you are getting tired and can’t match the speed.

Consider a HIIT bike workout, you can start off sprinting as fast as you can but as you get tired and slow down the bike slows with you. Other workouts like Battle Rope HIIT are the same. You wont be able to quite match the metabolic intensity of other workout formats. Saying that, it will still be a great workout and variety is still a major benefit.

HIIT Stairmaster workout - other options

So in terms of your heart rate, you are looking to get to 80% of your maximum heart rate. This makes the intensity of these intervals a little easier than your standard HIIT training, but you are still going to burn because you are pulling your weight up stairs. You can work out 80% of your max heart rate below.


The ratios for this interval training are 1:1, so you will rest for a minute after your sprint. Try to recover as much as possible. Don’t stop climbing stairs, just set the speed down low so you can catch your breath. Make sure you aren’t working hard enough to keep your heart rate high during your recovery period. It should be a very slow climb.

Variations that add resistance.

Take two steps at a time: Once you can max out your speed you can start adding in sets where you take double steps up the stairs. You will need to slow your sprints back down to cope with this, but it will definitely take your breath away with the extra effort.

Make yourself heavier: Another option for making the intervals harder is to wear a weight vest or take dumbbells onto the Stairmaster. The more weight you carry, the harder it will be to climb stairs. Just be realistic with this.

Another option using dumbbells is to add exercises onto your steps, so with each double step you do a military press (I’ve seen this, but never had the inclination to try this.)

Stairmaster benefits: What does the Stairmaster HIIT Workout do for your body

So although the Stairmaster might not be the ideal exercise for HIIT it will definitely be a favorite for the things it can do for your body.

Apart from the calories you will burn through, the lower body workout it gives you will work your quadriceps, glutes, your hamstrings and your calves. It’s a great exercise for giving your legs a fantastic tone.

If you don’t hang onto the handles, you will work your core as well. These workouts will do a lot for your fitness and shape of your body.


So the Stairmaster is a convenient option for a beginner to do HIIT. It’s well worth giving it a go or incorporating it into a range of other HIIT options such as a HIIT rower, treadmill, elliptical machine or bike.

It’s now up to you. Go give this Stairmaster HIIT workout a try and let me know how you found it.

Don’t forget to use the high intensity interval training mp3.

Let me know how you found it in the comments.

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