Conquering the Stairs

Model: Elaine Lo // Sportswear: Asics

We often come across these good old-fashioned steps in parks. Although dreaded by many, stairs can provide you with a strengthening and lung busting interval workout. In this issue, I will show you some simple stair workouts alongside some tricep workouts.

Tricep Dip, Wall Tricep Extension, Jumping Bench Step Overs, Running Up Stairs, Jumping Up Stairs, Single Leg Jump Up Stairs.

Bear in mind that these workouts are on an advanced level and will bring your heart rate up very high. Hence, proceed with caution and know your limits. The wall tricep extension over here may be replaced with a bar if you prefer. With a wall, you may adjust the distance of your feet to make the workout easier or tougher.

Running up those stairs can be tough sometimes. You might feel weary to the point that your mind and footing may not synchronize well. You might misplace your footing on the stairs and trip. A good tip would be, when jumping on the stairs for the first time, attempt with a single step. Feel confident before moving on a continuous jumping motion all the way up.


Interval training or better known nowadays as high intensity interval training is one of the best ways to get fit. This workout has many benefits but keep in mind that without overall strength and fitness, it’s a good recipe for injuries. That’s why it’s always good to start slowly. Building a strong base is a smart choice before “going fast”.

Medical Clearance/advice

Regardless of your age, you should get a doctors clearance before embarking on the exercises shown here, especially if you are a smoker, have generic heart problems, high blood pressure or any serious injuries of past or present. Regardless of your age, you should get a doctors clearance before embarking on the exercises shown here, especially if you are a smoker, have generic heart problems, high blood pressure or any serious injuries of past or present.  Chances of minor injuries and minor muscle pulls are possible from any form of exercises and extra care should be taken to understand the exercise shown here. Proper warm up must also be executed. At any time if you are unsure of the exercises, please write to


Moving up the stairs vertically carrying your body weight is harder with better activation of the legs and gluteal muscles but it gives you stronger lower body strength in terms of muscular endurance and power in return. Hence, giving you a stronger run. This training is particularly benefiting when you race a hill run. It will give your body an edge to faster recovery and stronger joints.

How To Start

If you have never done any strength training before, after the first few sessions, you may feel extreme muscle soreness but that is normal and it should subside in a few days. Take it really easy on your first attempt and increase the intensity gradually by adding more repetitions every other week.

Rule Of Thumb

  • Intensity: Always use the RPE scale (rate of perceived exertion) from 1-10, one being the easiest and 10 being the hardest. On your first few sessions always keep the scale at 5-7 and then progress to 8 or max gradually as you get stronger.
    Focus on 8-12 repetitions (reps) to fatigue of 3 sets per exercise for general fitness and after a few weeks, increase to 15-25 reps to fatigue to train on muscular endurance for running benefits.
  • Frequency: Twice a week will be a good start with some days of rest inserted in between strength training days. You may do three sessions a week with a day of rest in between days after a few weeks.
  • Caution: Stay away from strength training 2-3 days before your key races so that your muscles are not sore and fresh for the race. Focus on stretching instead.
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