I would just like to expand on my video post on how to improve your lactic acid threshold levels. This is the key to becoming a faster athlete and stairclimber. It is also very useful for individuals looking to loose weight. Enjoy!
If you want to climb stairs faster then you must increase your lactic threshold levels. What does this mean? Lactic Threshold simply means your body’s ability to deal with and remove lactic acid from the muscles while climbing stairs.
Lactic acid is a byproduct of anaerobic metabolism. In simple terms lactic acid is produced when you exercise so vigorously that the body cannot get enough of the oxygen it requires. When this happens, lactic acid is formed in the muscles. Lactic acid is your body’s way of shutting down muscle contractions to help the body meet with the increased demands of exercise.
When you first begin to climb stairs, you will notice a “burning sensation” in your legs. As you continue to climb eventually there will be enough lactic acid in the muscles that you will be unable to climb another step. This is called your “Lactate Acid Threshold”
Lactic Acid Threshold is again the point at which your body cannot keep up with the amount of lactic acid in the muscles. In beginner stairlcimbers this usually will happen around 50-60 percent of your maximum heart rate (220-age = Max HR)
The lactic acid threshold can be actually improved through continuous training and demanding more from the body physically each and every time you climb stairs.
Top elite stairclimbers have a Lactic Acid Threshold of approx 80-90 percent of their maximum heart rate.
To actually improve your own lactic acid threshold try the following training methods:
1)Interval Training – Interval training is one of the best ways to improve your lactic acid threshold fast! This can be done on the stairs and is really simple to do. Interval training is simply increasing the tempo or speed over a certain distance and then slowing the body down for a short rest period. If you are a beginner you will need to start off slow. Start off by warming up the body very well and completing a cycle of 5-6 floors. When finished warming up complete the following interval
1 cycle of 15 floors – 1 set of stairs run, 1 set of stairs climb
The combination of running up one flight of stairs and then slowly climbing the next flight and alternating until you reach the 15th floor is a great interval workout that will really help increase your Lactic Acid Threshold.
You may want to start out by doing a interval of only 6-8 floors, especially if your just getting into climbing stairs for fitness. Complete as many “cycles” as you can in an hour.
For stairclimbers that are more advanced try this exercise. Set your stopwatch for one hour. In the building you train at perform 10 squats per floor. Remember to run up to the next floor and perform 10 squats. Depending on the number of floors in the building you may end up doing 500+ squats in one cycle.
After you have completed this go back down to the bottom of the stairs and then do 20 squats per floor.
The next time you go up try 10 jumping squats per floor.
Lastly you may want to try higher squat numbers such as 40 squats per floor, however it does take some time to build up to this point.
Doing a training session like this will certainly increase your lactic acid threshold!
The Canada StairClimbing Association