Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Beginner Workouts For Stair Climbers Training for the CN Tower

Well you decided to sign up to climb the CN Tower? You are very brave! Climbing up 1,776 steps or 144 floors is very brave! However with the right training you can climb to the top quicker then you can imagine!

This brief blog post will show you just how to train for a stair race such as the CN Tower Climb! There is a specific was to train that allows you to develop better explosive muscle contractions to help drive you up those stairs faster!

Before I elaborate on what you must do to help you complete the CN Tower Climb, lets take a look at muscle physiology, please bear with me!

Our leg muscles are comprised of different types of muscle fiber types, Type 1 and Type 2. These types are sometimes referred to as slow twitch and fast twitch muscles types.

Explanations of the Characteristics of Both Muscle Fiber Types

Muscle Type I (Slow Twitch)
Known as Red muscles fibers

These muscle fibers can use more oxygen to generate more muscle contractions

They are known to fire more slowly and fatigue slower then fast twitch muscle fiber types

They are used in aerobic activity such as running and marathon or cycling

Muscle Fiber Type II (Fast Twitch)
Known as white muscle fiber
Known for generating short bursts of energy and speed

Type II fibers fire more rapidly and generate a great deal of force.

They are used in anaerobic activities, such as 100 meters sprints or explosive weight

Stair Climbing is very unique in that the activity uses BOTH muscle fiber types for the duration of the climb, therefore you must develop both your Fast and Slow Twitch muscle fibers!

If you only develop Type I muscle fiber types, (For example running long distances) Then you are only going to be using less of your legs muscle to drive you up the stairs!

Now what can you do to improve your performance? Great Question, and its not climb more stairs, although that does factor into the equation.

You must develop your leg muscles so that they can perform explosive movements over a length of time.

Strength Training is a wonderful way to increase your leg strength and explosiveness and will allow for a more dynamic movement up the stairs.

Some sample exercises that we would prescribe to you would be:

1) Bodyweight Squats,
2) Bounding from one leg to the other,
3) Standing Lunges
4) Hamstring Swiss Ball Curls
5) Dumbbell Step Ups
6) Plate Pushes
7) Bench Jumps
8) Wall Touches
9) Plyometric Jumps

Of course some of these exercises you will not know. For a introductory online training session to help you climb faster please visit Step Up Canada

In addition there is the traditional cardiovascular work that must be done. You should be completing two to three cardiovascular workouts per week and then building to four cardiovascular workouts and two strength training workouts per week.

I would highly recommend that the beginner stair climber should begin their training doing the following:

Monday - Weight Training (Consisting of lower body work and core)
Tuesday - Long Duration Cardiovascular work (20 minutes if possible and build up to 45 minutes
Wednesday - Upper body strength training and core work
Thursday - Interval training OR a full stair climbing workout. (Interval training allows for better cardiovascular endurance and helps burn body fat faster as well)
Friday - DAY OFF!
Saturday - Lower Body Strength training, focusing on bodyweight movements only, key on this workout is to build the explosiveness
Sunday - Day OFF or Long Duration Cardiovascular work. If your body is tired take a day off, if it feels good train!

Of course this program would be personalized for you. You may need to start with a different intensity, everyone is different that is why when the online coaches work with you they need to know everything about your fitness history and fitness background.

Our online trainers would be happy to assist you in your WWF CN Tower Climb! If you are interested please visit STEP UP CANADA to get started!

If you have any questions please email me at Trevor@stairclimbcanada.com

I look forward to working with you!

Trevor Folgering
The Canada Stair Climbing Associaiton
Step Up Canada!


  1. Nice. That looks like a mighty good program.

  2. Thanks! I like your fit deck program! very cool!