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Training specifically for not getting out of breath walking uphill & up stairs?

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  • Training specifically for not getting out of breath walking uphill & up stairs?

    So I have not developed a good training habit, but I looking to change it. However, I currently attend university, and I have to walk up hill everyday and climb a lot of steps. I am quite frankly sick of breathing hard after walking uphill (~30% incline) for 3/4 to one whole football field length and/or after climbing stairs (6-8 flights of ~10 ft in length) wearing a pack. I keep attempting to to the beginner template, and when I do, I can complete a run on the treadmill for 25 minutes at 6-6.5 speed pretty easily. Obviously, I am not in shape, and I am still trying to learn to manage my time better so that I feel better about going to the gym on a regular basis. However, I would really like not to breathe heavily after walking uphill at my university, and holding my breath passing people out of embarrassment. I am especially interested in focusing on this since the time spent doing cardio is less than resistance training. I understand the long-term benefits of resistance training, but I am just more interested in doing cardio at the moment.

    Maybe this is dumb, but is there a more specific way to train for my goal (not being horribly out of breath walking uphill and up stairs)? I was thinking of briskly walking on an incline on the treadmill. Thoughts? Any specific recommendations (settings, frequency, etc.)? (I will not take a backpack with me onto the treadmill just in case someone is tempted to suggest this. Not confident enough to get the stares and possible questions for doing that.)
    Last edited by reygunz; 02-21-2021, 04:52 PM.

  • #2
    If you haven't been training consistently then you should probably do the beginner template. If time is really an issue then you could use supersets or density blocks to shorten the workouts and maybe turn it into 2x weekly.

    You could aim to increase you step count (every week increase by ~500 steps/day until your getting 6500-10000 steps/day), and if you add a ~30min LISS session to the beginner template's cardio that may be reasonable. You could also check out the endurance template or general s/c. Depending on your current stats you may also benefit from weight loss.

    I'm betting that you don't need to do anything super specific to achieve this goal, but doing your cardio on an incline treadmill or stair master is fine. If the specificity helps you adhere from a psychological stand point then go for it, but if you prefer the bike, elliptical or rower I wouldn't have any qualms about using them instead.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 4l3x View Post
      If you haven't been training consistently then you should probably do the beginner template. If time is really an issue then you could use supersets or density blocks to shorten the workouts and maybe turn it into 2x weekly.

      You could aim to increase you step count (every week increase by ~500 steps/day until your getting 6500-10000 steps/day), and if you add a ~30min LISS session to the beginner template's cardio that may be reasonable. You could also check out the endurance template or general s/c. Depending on your current stats you may also benefit from weight loss.

      I'm betting that you don't need to do anything super specific to achieve this goal, but doing your cardio on an incline treadmill or stair master is fine. If the specificity helps you adhere from a psychological stand point then go for it, but if you prefer the bike, elliptical or rower I wouldn't have any qualms about using them instead.
      I definitely need to take advantage of density blocks. I have never tracked steps/day, but I guess its about time I implemented them. Thank you for your input.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 4l3x View Post
        density blocks
        What are the recommendations/instructions for density blocks? I remember reading one in a newsletter, but I didn't save it, and there is too much to rifle through when I do a google search. From what I remember, I am supposed to pick a weight based on some kind of rep max and then perform as many sets of x-y reps for z time.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by reygunz View Post

          What are the recommendations/instructions for density blocks? I remember reading one in a newsletter, but I didn't save it, and there is too much to rifle through when I do a google search. From what I remember, I am supposed to pick a weight based on some kind of rep max and then perform as many sets of x-y reps for z time.
          Yeah try to match the relative intensity and volume, for example: Barbell Row [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] could turn into: max reps in 5minutes at 13rm (use the strategy that let's you get the most reps, but probably accumulate ~30 reps doing sets of 5-6 every ~45seconds). You could probably pull off a briefer warm up with density blocks too, like just [email protected], [email protected]% e1rm. Another form of density block is Myo Reps and there's a BBM article about them https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog/myo-reps/.

          Looking at the first week of the free beginner prescription if you want to make it really quick I'd do something like this:

          Day 1
          Superset: Squat & Bench 3x4&[email protected],7,8
          Deadlift [email protected]
          Day 2
          Superset: OHP & squat 3x4&[email protected],7,8
          Barbell Rows [email protected]
          Day 1
          Superset: Deadlift & Bench 3x4&[email protected],7,8
          Squat [email protected]

          If you need to change exercises to keep it quick (lots of squat unracks is awkward) and/or be gym courteous (using a squat rack and bench at the same time would be frowned upon at my gym) then do so. I'd probably swap to DB Bench, DB OHP, and leg press. If you don't rest during warm ups, keep warm ups really minimal for the density blocks and only rest 2-3 minutes in between supersets I bet you could do each session in 25min. Add in 1-3 30minute LISS sessions (which could be replaced by 10-15minute HIIT sessions if necessary) and up your step count by walking to and from the gym 3x/week and I think you'll be racing up those stairs in no time.

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