Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stair Climbing For the Older Adult

There are many people who can be benefit from stair climbing. One of the populations that has not been talked about is the older adults, or seniors.

Why Stair Climbing for the Older Adult?

Many seniors have trouble with their hip musculature as they age. This is because as we age generally speaking we are less and less active. We sit around more, and are bodies become more "fragile." The senior may become more prone to illness or colds which will in turn make them less active.

As an adult who is aging this is not a good sign. The less active you are the heavier the senior may become leading to more pressure on the hip, knee and ankle joint. This additional pressure puts more stress on the overall musculature of the lower body, especially the hip region.

This "snowball effect" leads to many hip surgeries. Its unfortunate but the easiest way to actually remedy this problem is simply to use your own bodyweight. No weights are needed, no fancy machines, just you and a set of stairs.

A caveat please, if you already have hip problems please seek the guidance of a health professional before beginning any stair climbing program.

Why Stair Climbing?

Stair climbing is a natural human movement that human beings have done since the beginning of time. We all have climbed a flight of stairs in our lives no matter how little activity we have done.

The great thing about stair climbing is that it is a "natural movement" meaning it causes no injury to the human body. In fact if done properly under the supervision of a health professional, someone with hip issues should be able to strengthen the hip joint and surrounding musculature with ease.

The key is to start of very slowly climbing stairs. We will be blogging about starting a stair climbing program for seniors shortly.

There are many examples of older stair climbers who have done very well and maintain excellent hip and cardiovascular health well into their 80's and 90's.

One example of an "Older Adult" Stair Climber is Anthony Simanavicius who is 53 years young!

Anthony is a great example of someone who began climbing stairs not to long ago and made terrific gains!

Twice a year he competes in the CN Tower Climb in Toronto, Ontario Canada. His time this year was 13 minutes and 58 seconds, beating many climbers who are 20 or 30 years younger then he is! The average time to climb the CN Tower is 20-30 minutes for males and 25-35 minutes for females.

Of course you do not have to have a goal of completing the CN Tower in 14 minutes or even a goal to climb the CN Tower, but that would be great!

A goal for the senior is to start of slow and perhaps just climb a flight a day. Thats it! All you have to do is start!

For more information on stair climbing please visit

or phone 1-877-51-CLIMB

In True Health,

Trevor Folgering
The Canada StairClimbing Association

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Training for A Stair Climbing Race...Without Climbing Stairs

So your wanting to compete in a stair climbing race but do not have a proper set of stairs to train on. What do you do?? Is it even possible? Can you get a good time by NOT training on stairs.


Tip #1 - Training with weights

One of the overlooked aspects of stair climbing is training with weights. Many athletes do not want to train with weight due to the misconception that they will become bulky and carry to much weight for a stair climbing race.

Just the opposite will happen. You will become more efficient and quicker stair climber. The secret is to train smarter, not harder in the weight room.

Secret Tip - Train with your bodyweight only:
Your not a bodybuilder or powerlifter so you shouldn't train like one. For a stair climber the best exercises to choose from are exercises that use the most amount of muscle per repetition. For examples please go to featured exercises on our website.

Tip #2 - Train Hamstrings More then the front of your legs Since climbing stairs involves more hamstrings and glute muscles you must train them to be the stronger and more dominant muscle in the leg. Make sure to train hamstrings and glutes (buttocks) first thing in the week. You must also train the outside of the hips as well as this is usually the weaker link for the stair climber.

Tip #3 - Become an efficient Cardio Master. Since you do not have stairs to train on, the next best thing is to have an amazing cardiovascular program to fall back on.

You just train on either s stepmill or stair master. Make sure to start doing interval training at least 8 weeks before the big race. begin with 30 seconds on 30 seconds off and to increase your intervals every week. Ex: - 1 minute on - 30 seconds off.

The key in your cardiovascular training sessions is to train near or above your lactate acid threshold. Your heart rate should be close to 75-85 percent of your maximum. You should try to mimic the stair climb race as much as possible. To figure out your lactate acid threshold heart rate: 220-age x .75-.85.

Try to hold that heart rate for as long as you can. You may only at the beginning be able to hold a 75 percent max heart rate for only 5 minutes, but over time you should be able to improve this number significantly.

Tip #4 - Rest For Better Results
The one thing you can do for your body is to make sure you get enough rest. This includes 8 hours of sleep, but also requires you to schedule proper rest days. Make sure to take a full two days off a week, especially if your getting ready for an important race! An example of a training schedule follows:

Sunday - Long cardio session
Monday - Weights
Tuesday - interval training
Wednesday - OFF
Thursday - Weights
Friday - Interval training
Saturday - OFF

I hope this helps those of you who have no stairs to train on for a stair climbing race.

For more information about stair climbing go to

or Phone


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The CN Tower Stair Climb, October 2011...The results

Ahhh it all over! The big race up the CN Tower 2011 has ended. I wanted to share my experience with everyone on this amazing race!

The CN Tower is 144 stories or 1,776 steps of pure pain and pleasure! It was great fun to get up at 4 am and go down and meet some amazing people! This was my 10th time racing up the tower and I must say it was the best race I have had so far.

I arrived at the tower at 5 am Saturday October 23rd and was greeted by many people who were already standing in line. I lined up and got ready to register.

I had an amazing film crew film my warm-up and stretching routine. I will post this as soon as they have completed the video.

My plan was to climb as fast as I could to the 72nd floor and then keep on pushing until I had nothing left.

The beginning of the race was great. We had timing chips on which made the race that much more accurate and exciting. As I began to climb I had a burst of energy and really pushed hard.

I made it to the 72nd floor in 5 minutes. This was a new record for me as it took me longer to reach mid way previous climbs. I continued to really push myself, pulling on the handrails and driving up two steps at a time. It was great!

I knew I was close to beating my PB. As I climbed I really noticed my lungs hurting. It is never the legs that hurt, its always the lungs.

The best feeling is getting to the 144th floor and swiping that chip timer over the mat. Its over and done. 11 minutes of pain and hurt DONE!

The best thing about the climb is after its all over you have to climb another 6 floors! OUCH!

As I got to the observation deck I was the first climber there and was greeted by the volunteers. I pumped my fists in the air and smiled. I loved the feeling of being the first climber to the top.

As others finished many people commented how fast I was going. It was a great feeling to be complimented by other athletes.

I finished the climb in 11 minutes and 19 seconds. Second overall in the public climb and 3rd overall for 12,000 total climbers.

I still have been denied beating the 10 minute mark and proving that it can be done!

In April I will beat the 10 min mark!

Now I am taking a nice week off to myself, and letting my body heal and relax.

In True Health,

Canada StairClimbing Association

Monday, October 18, 2010

Want a Cheap Alternative to the Gym? Try Stair Climbing!

By Janice Lloyd, USA TODAY

Lindy Goss says she is the anti-jock.
The mother of three daughters and wife of a golf coach has zero interest in hitting the gym or a golf ball.

READ: More ways to stay fit on the cheap
But don't underestimate her fitness level: Goss is hooked on a form of exercise that is rising in popularity. It has helped her drop a dress size, improved her overall strength and endurance and supports a cause close to her heart.

Goss, 38, is training to climb the 103 floors of the Willis Tower when the second annual SkyRise Chicago takes place Nov. 14. She and several girlfriends are lifers, she says, after trekking up the 2,109 steps last year and helping raise funds for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. "I'm definitely healthier because of this," says Goss, whose father-in-law has been a patient at the institute. "We weren't at all winded afterwards."

Their training is one of the least expensive ways to get healthy. They meet twice a week at a high-rise condo near Goss' home in Evanston, Ill., and head to the stairwell. "We have to do it as early as possible to get it over with," Goss says. "It's still exercise. The hard part is finding time."

Stair climbing is one of the best ways to strengthen the glutes and leg muscles, according to the American Council on Exercise. It's a great cardiovascular workout and burns more calories than jogging and walking.

Events are held in skyscrapers and towers all over the world. One of the first was in 1977 at New York's Empire State Building (1,577 steps to the observation deck), which celebrated its 33rd climb in February. There are hundreds of climbs and "tower running" events.

Goss and girlfriends do not race. "We see the people with their sweatbands and outfits, doing their stretches beforehand," she says. "It looks kind of silly, really." But everyone has priorities. "I dropped a full dress size to a size 6," she says. "I definitely lost weight on my hips."

In addition to two days of stair climbing, she and her friends walk or jog other days as part of their training. That routine would meet the federal guidelines for physical activity if they did it all year, but they only train in preparation for this event. Goss took up training again in August.

Fitness experts applaud her efforts but would like to see her step it up a notch.

"You need to do cardio work three to five days a week," says Barbara Bushman, an exercise physiologist at Missouri State University. "And it has to be a habit to get the full health benefits."

One huge benefit for Goss: Hitting the steps is a major stress buster. "We talk all the way up the stairs, complaining about work and other things," says Goss, a real estate agent in the Chicago suburbs. "You find by the time you get there, you're feeling much better about everything."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

For The Beginner Stair Climber

Oh what amazing fun, climbing sets of stairs! NO? Not fun for you right? Do you feel somewhat anxious and scared looking at all the flights of stairs to climb?

Lets start with the basics of how to climb stairs

Tip #1 - Going DOWN!

Yes the best way to start climbing stairs is to climb down stairs. It is easier on the cardiovascular system going down 25 flights of stairs then going up 25 flights of stairs. Yet your quadriceps get a more efficient workout going down flights of stairs then going up.

Begin by starting at a top of a large building and going down to the bottom. The slower you can climb down stairs the better it will be for your legs. Take the elevator up and continue this process at least 4-5 times more.

You will be surprised that the next day you will experience muscle soreness in your legs and yet you never climbed a single set of stairs!

Tip #2 - Climb like a "heel"

The trick to climb stairs is to plant the heel of the foot down on every second step. By planting the heel down and pushing from the heel you will be able to contract more hamstring and butt muscles. This will allow you to become a more stronger and more efficient stair climber. Always climb slowly. Do not rush your pace. You should really try to "feel" the muscles contract. Dont just go through the motions.

Tip #3 - Build onto your foundation

The above two tips are the foundation for stair climbing. Just like building a house you want to complete and continue to develop your stair climbing. Once you have mastered the above two tips, the next step is to focus on increasing your muscular conditioning in your legs and your cardiovascular capacity. Both will come quickly if you stay the path. Stair climb twice a week: Ex - Monday and Saturday. Each time out try to break your previous best.

For example if you climbed up 10 floors and then stopped to take a break,go to floor 11, then take your break. Always keep the mind hungry and your body wanting more!

Keep the workout short and sweet 45 minutes max! Remember to stretch afterwards, especially the front, back of the legs and the sides of the hip!

For more information check out the rest of our blogs!!! Dont forget to join our nin community!

Until next time!

Trevor Folgering
Canada StairClimbing Association

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Top Tips On Getting Ready For a Stair Climbing Race

Getting ready for a stair climbing race takes a lot of tough physical and also mental preparation.

Whatever level you are at, whether your a beginner stair climber or advanced stair climber there are specific strategies that you should employ to help you achieve your personal best on race day.

This article will only look at the last week or so before the competition, not the months leading up to the race.

Last Week Mental Preparation

Lets say the stair race is Saturday morning at 9 am. We must be able to come into this race feeling completely relaxed and confident.

When I race there are a lot of competitors who are nervous, or unsure of how quick they will race up the building. Many competitors are even questioning their own abilities before the race even starts!

I never race like this. You must come into the race 100 percent mentally focused. Especially in a stair race where 80 percent of the race is mental! Even if you are not the fastest, you must act like you are. Take control of your emotions!

If you are doubting yourself in your mind, the race is over before it has even begun. You should of worked on this during the physical preparation towards the race.

You should really begin mental preparations throughout your training, but during the last week, this is very important.

Make sure to do a lot of mental visualizations during the week. Especially as you fall asleep and wake up. Picture yourself climbing up those stairs as quick as possible, no pain in your legs, as fast as you can. Whatever images evoke feelings of confidence use them!

The day before the race your mind should be quiet and still. You know what you have to do. The body should feel relaxed. If you have done your tapering week right your legs should feel dynamite.

Taper for Better Results.

Your last hard stair climbing workout should be one full week out from the race. Your legs, Central Nervous System and all other musculature need a good rest considering all the hard workouts they have been through.

Many people train right up until Wednesday or Thursday of the event. However the body cannot completely recover with only two days rest. If you wait till the last minute to cut your training down the systems of the body will not have a chance to recover and you will end up going slower then you thought.

Here is a typical tapering scenario. You may alter this to fit your training week.

SATURDAY - Stair Run Time Trial OR Last "Long Stair Climb Training"
MONDAY - Last full body conditioning workout (30 minutes, stretch 30 minutes)
TUESDAY - 30 minutes light cardio - (stretch for a minimum of 30 minutes)
WEDNESDAY - Upper body conditioning only - 20 minutes, 10 minutes light cardio, 30 minutes stretcing
FRIDAY - Light spin on stationary bike - 20 minutes 40 minutes of stretching

This Tapering week allows for adequate recovery of both the CNS and the Muscular System and still allows you to do some light training. This system helps to loosen up the body and keep it relaxed for race day.

TIP #3

Stretching is one of the last things athletes think about. Yet it can help you better your time by minutes!


Because tight muscles do not contract properly limiting their range of motion. Think about how your hips help you climb stairs. If your hip flexors and the surrounding hip musculature are tight do you think that you will be able to climb up a flight of stairs efficiently? You won't be as efficient as you could be.

Therefore it is important to make sure you include stretching in every single workout and stretch more the week leading up to the event!

TIP #4
Increase Carbohydrates Slightly

We are not running a marathon, but you should increase your carbohydrate intake slightly starting no later then Wednesday morning.

After all the hard training that you have done for the event, a slight increase in carbohydrate intake will just help reload your muscles with needed glycogen (fuel) for the race.

You want to keep your carbohydrate intake under control. Do not shovel loads of pasta into your system. Divide your carbohydrates out evenly throughout the day and taper your carbohydrate intake down around 6pm.

Use a carbohydrate source that your system agrees with. Oatmeal, brown rice, and yams are all good choices. Stay away from white pasta, white potatoes and white bread. These foods are too processed and will spike your blood sugars to quickly, possibly leading to water retention which will slow you down.

Tip #5

This is a fun event after all! Go out there and give it your all, but in the end have a good time and after your finished give yourself a pat on the back and smile! Not many people can do what you just did!

If you have any questions regarding getting ready for a stair climbing event please contact me!

In True Health

The Canada StairClimbing Association

Friday, October 8, 2010

Plan Your Fitness Strategy Like You are Going to War!

Most people fail at the game of fitness because they fail to plan. What is that famous saying again?

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

This is so true and you must be able to plan your fitness strategy from the fist day you want to get fit. Do whatever it takes! I will outline some of the most important strategies below.

You must be like the general taking his solders to war!You must be very diligent and make sure that everything is taken care of, from your nutrition to your training, and you must be able to break this down to the hour. You must become obsessed. (Yes most people hate that word...but these are the people who lead an average life, with an average body. You want more then that.

Can you imagine if there was a war going on and the commander of the war was very indecisive???

"Lets see, Ill take 50 solders, hmmm no maybe 100?? Ill take some bullets, and some explosives ...not sure how many ...but yeah ...ohh no wait ..I need land mines too ...or is that hand grenades?? Oh yeah ..well ill take a few of those to, and maybe some tanks...Naa, forget the tanks."

The above scenario would never happen, but most people who try to get fit do the EXACT SAME THING!

"Let's see, ill work out this week 3x next week. Oops, I forgot to workout on Wednesday. Maybe I should go out with the guys this weekend, Ill only have a few wings, and no beer. Oops...I had a beer ..Oh well, I think Ill hit the gym harder, next week. I am so tired at 6am ...I cant get up, do I really need to get up this early? What if I eat good for Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then I can have fun during the weekend?" Yeah that seems ok."

It does not look like this person will ever reach his fitness goals if he thinks like this.

You must be exact on your fitness routine, and exact on your nutrition! PERIOD!

Now another question to ask yourself is how much are you willing to give up? Sure its nice to talk the talk, but when push comes to shove most people can't give up the things they love.

Remember this, for everything you gain you give up something else.

For myself I have had to give up many, many things in order to be fit and healthy, but thats my priority and no one else's No one cares about your health as much as you should!

Ive had to give up a lot of my friends because they just didn't understand why I was going to bed at 9:30. I couldn't go out to the bars and have a good time, I didn't go out with friends to a pub and drink beer and wings. Mind you, it didn't seem like a big sacrifice anyways.

I am just saying that If you want amazing health you will have to sacrifice and give up things that you love to do. And do not be surprised if you lose friends. Its part of the game of fitness. Sad but true ....what kind of friends were they anyways???

So here are the top three strategies you need to focus on.

1) Nutrition - The most important strategy of all. If you do not have a good strategy for your nutrition you will fail. PERIOD. You must be able to break your nutrition to the exact hour and know what and when to eat. For detailed information on nutrition check out the fitness freebies on the Canada StairClimbing website

2) Training - Second strategy comes into training. If you are not sure how to properly train, hire a trainer for a month and get good advice and a good system of how to workout. Ask a lot of questions.

3) Mental Conditioning - I would almost rank this at #1. Your mental outlook on what your body can accomplish is set by your mind and your thinking. Negative thoughts and poor mental conditioning will for sure bring you down. Always talk positively to yourself. Key Phrases:

1) I am fit and healthy
2) My body is a fat burning machine
3) No one can stop me from reaching my fitness goals.
4) I am a machine
5) I am on top of my nutrition
6) Every meal I eat is one step closer to a lean, sexy, fit and healthy body
7) I am in control of my body and my health!

There are more. Make up phrases that fit your life and situation.

I wish you luck, and remember, plan your fitness strategy like your going to WAR!

The Canada StairClimbing Association

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mind + Body + Spirit = The Spiritual Connection That We All Seek

What is Spiritual Fitness?

Spiritual Fitness is the ultimate connection with your body. Being active is far more then just physical exercise. Being active is only a small part of what fitness truly means.

One of the reasons that most people do not stick to a fitness program is that they do not value a true intimate connection with themselves. They view exercise as obtaining a goal rather then obtaining an inner connection with who they really are.

Yes having a fitness goal is very important, but it really is a superficial way of viewing fitness. Have you experienced setting a goal (fitness or other) and then obtaining the goal and saying to yourself "Is this all there Is?"

I know I have been there. Its a pretty scary place to be. I remember early on in my fitness career I set a specific goal to be a certain weight, and when I got there I still was not happy!

Being spiritually fit, is viewing fitness from a different angel. That angle is that every time you are exercising or working out you are connecting with yourself. You are feeding your spirit.

Getting in touch with that deep place is scary for a lot of people. Many people live from the neck up, meaning they have disconnected their minds from their bodies. They have forgotten how to actually get in touch with their spiritual side.

Now I know your reading this and thinking "You have lost it Trevor!" But what I am saying has so much relevance that once you tap into this side of fitness you will become addicted! Truly addicted, because every time you work out you actually be spending time with you! You will be nurturing your body and developing from the inside out, rather from the outside in!

Its a big hurdle to leap over, but once you get there it is amazing. Many many times I have felt actually high from working out and I have a feeling of being on cloud nine. Connection with yourself is so important!

I hope you can find that connection with yourself through fitness, it is a great place to be!

Till next time!

The Canada StairClimbing Association

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Consequence of Fitness

Everything we do in life has a consequence, small or large. Every decision and every action we take there is a positive or negative reaction.

It is the same with your lifestyle pattern. Every lifestyle choice we make has some type of consequence, either small or large.

Even the simplest choices, which seem minor at the time can add up to huge negative consequences.

For example, thinking that chocolate bar won't hurt you down the road? Think again. Cutting out refined sugars like the ones found in chocolate bars will help you lose an average of 10 lbs per year!

Another example is drinking alcohol. Sure its fun to go out a get a little crazy, but alcohol and smoking cause a significant negative consequence on your health for the long term.

On the flip side, Choosing to eat 5-6 servings of vegetables a day, eating healthy protein and exercising every day has a positive and rewarding consequence.

Look at the actions you are taking in your life. Are they the actions that have positive consequences, or are they hurting and destroying the quality of life that you want for the long term.

We must remember that self-gratification is not the goal for living. We must take a step back a realize that in order to live a healthy life we must forgo our impulses and make sure that we are choosing healthy lifestyle choices.

So the next time you reach for that chocolate think about the negative consequences that that one little piece of chocolate can do for you.

Take control of your lifestyle patterning and enjoy a fulfilling fitness filled life!

Until next time...