After one look at someone using a stair climber, it becomes clear this machine can be challenging. Find out if this is also good for weight loss.
Something to note first is that you have to use more energy than is coming in from the things you eat to lose weight.
The movements involved in stair climbers are likely more intense than your typical activities. This burns more energy and in turn, you can say that stair climbers are good for weight loss.
In fact, stair climbers and steppers are one of the best workout choices for weight loss. Especially for individuals who are looking for a low-impact form of exercise.
That being said, you do need to remember that your habits in areas like nutrition will influence whether you see any weight loss results from stair climbers.
Additionally, two potential downsides to keep in mind are that stair climbers and steppers either require you to do to a local gym or invest a decent amount in your own machine.
Can stair climbers help you lose weight?
It is worth quickly mentioning again that stair climbers can indeed help you lose weight. However, this will not always happen. There are conditions too.
The human body requires energy (measured in calories) to keep you alive and move you around. More intense movements will generally use up more energy.
Your body gets this energy from the foods you eat. These calories do not always have the exact same effect but knowing they exist is helpful.
If you absorb more energy from the foods you eat than you use, your body stores the remaining amount for future use.
This process was helpful when food was not always available. On the flip side, storing too much energy, aka having too much body fat, can have negative health consequences.
Luckily, you can also lose these excess energy stores. With or without stair climbers.
When you make it so your body uses more energy than is coming in from food, you start using energy stores like body fat.
So stair climbers and steppers can help you lose weight by increasing the energy you use. This increases your chances of getting into the situation above.
However, your habits in other lifestyle areas like nutrition still need to be good enough. It is possible to use the stair climber a lot and not see any weight loss results.
Does a stair climber help you lose belly fat?
Many people who want to lose weight also want to lose belly fat. It is a common misbelief that you have to do specific workouts to achieve this goal.
Unfortunately, focusing your fat loss efforts in specific areas is generally not possible in significant amounts. To lose belly fat, you have to lose enough weight overall.
So after fulfilling certain conditions, a stair climber can help you burn belly fat. The thing to keep in mind is that you don’t necessarily only target your stomach area.
Additionally, losing belly fat tends to be relatively challenging. Many people will also want to focus on areas like their diet on top of implementing more stair climber workouts.
How long should you use the stair climber to lose weight?
By now you understand that the stair climber can help you lose weight. You likely also want to know how long you need to use this machine for what types of results.
From the principles above, it should be clear that your actual weight loss results from using a stair climber depend a lot on details like your nutrition.
That being said, you can imagine a situation where all the calorie-burning comes from body fat. One pound of body fat is about 3500 calories (one kg +-8000 calories).
Some rough predictions are that the average person will burn around 133 – 229+ calories (depending on body weight) while using a stair climber or stepper at a moderate pace for 15 minutes.
Let’s say a 155-pound (70 kg) person does a workout like this for 10 days. In that case, they would burn an extra 1330 calories or about 0.38 pounds (0.17 kg) of body fat.
After doing the same workout for a month (30 days), this same person would burn an extra 3990 calories which is about 1.14 pounds (0.5 kg) of body fat.
So how long should you use the stair climber to lose weight depends on many details in reality. The numbers above give you somewhat of an idea of what you can expect.
Additional ways stair climbers help weight loss
The estimations above are for during the stair climber and stepper workouts because these are the easiest to measure.
However, there are a few other ways stair climbers help weight loss. These tend to be harder to put into exact numbers.
The main one to keep in mind is that working out very intensely can cause something called afterburn.
Afterburn means you burn a few extra calories for some time, typically not more than 72 hours, after you stop using the stair climber machine.
Next, using stair climbers and steppers can influence the levels of certain hormones that in turn, influence to some extent how much weight you lose.
These (potential) weight loss effects of stair climber workouts are hard to put into exact numbers. Even so, they could influence your actual results.
How to avoid hitting early plateaus
As briefly mentioned, your body weight influences how many calories you burn with any activity, including stair climber and stepper sessions.
At first, this may sound innocent but it has important consequences.
As you lose more weight with stair climbers and other lifestyle habits, you will burn fewer calories with the same habits and workouts.
If you don’t make any other changes, you will get to a point where the things you eat provide as much energy as is going out. In simpler words, you will hit a weight loss plateau.
You may not be at your desired weight yet in this situation. In that case, you have to make it so you burn more energy again and/or make positive changes in your diet.
For your stair climbers workouts that would mean implementing modifications like longer sessions, stepping faster, and/or increasing the resistance.
How to lose more weight with stair climbers
Even if you have not hit a weight loss plateau yet, making your stair climbers more effective can be helpful. This will help you get to your goals faster.
There are a few different ways you can try to burn more calories per minute of using the stair climbers. Some of these include:
- Step faster: As mentioned, more intense movements tend to burn more energy. In turn, your step speed when using a stair climber can make a big difference in weight loss results.
- Turn up the resistance: Stair climbers typically allow you to change how hard it is to push down the steps. Higher resistances tend to burn up more energy.
- Add healthy weight: Gaining weight is not always unhealthy. You can build muscle mass with resistance training exercises. This extra weight will help you burn more calories during your stair climbers and stepper workouts. Another option is wearing something like a weighted vest.
The effects of these modifications are hard to put into exact numbers of calories burned. That being said, they are still worth considering if you want to see more weight loss from the same time spent working out.
Besides these tips, you can also consider using stair climbers and steppers for more minutes. As long as you avoid overtraining, this will typically help you lose more weight.
Another option is paying more attention to the things you eat. Sometimes one meal can undo your weight loss results from a few workouts.
Stair climbers vs other activities for weight loss
It is great to know that stair climbers and steppers can help you lose weight but there are other important details too.
Because you have limited time, you likely want to know how effective other activities are too.
To do this you can look at the calories burned with stair climbers and these other exercise options.
The numbers below are based on MET values. A 155-pound (70 kg) person can burn more or less the following amounts of calories while doing the exercises for 30 minutes (1):
- Stair climber (light effort): 234 calories
- Stair climber (moderate effort): 330 calories
- Stair climber (vigorous effort): 428 calories
- Walking (3 mph/4.8 kmh) (on a treadmill or not): 128 calories
- Elliptical machine (moderate effort): 183 calories
- Rowing machine (moderate effort): 256 calories
- Stationary bike (moderate effort): 256 calories
- Running (5 mph/8.1 kmh) (on a treadmill or not): 366 calories
You should not take these numbers too seriously in terms of fat loss results. They are rough estimations that are not perfect for everyone.
That being said, they do make it clear that stair climbers can be very effective for losing weight compared to many other equipment options and workouts.
Should you use a stair climber to lose weight?
You can definitely say that using stair climbers and steppers can be a good exercise choice for losing weight.
There are still a few more effective alternatives but the differences are generally not that big.
One of the more unique benefits of stair climbers is that they are low-impact. This can be helpful for injury-sensitive individuals who want a workout without jumping.
On the flip side, there are two things to keep in mind. To use a stair climber you either have to go to your local gym or invest in your own machine.
These things take up some extra money or time compared to something like going out for a run.
That aside, it can also be smart to do resistance exercises to build muscle on top of your stair climber routine. The extra muscle mass can help you burn more calories throughout the day and your other workouts.
Lastly, to make it so all the extra calorie-burning from stair climbers comes from body fat, you likely need to make positive changes in areas like your nutrition too.