When using stair climbers and steppers you will burn more calories than usual. Find out how many and how to burn more.
Some rough estimations are that the average person can expect to burn around 266 – 457+ calories per 30 minutes of using a stair climber or stepper at a moderate pace.
However, there are many details that will influence your personal results. You should not take these numbers too precisely either.
For example, the 266 calories burned when using a stair climber for 30 minutes is the estimation for a 125-pound (56 kg) person whereas the 457 calories are the estimation for a 215-pound (97 kg) person.
That aside, this article will also go over more detailed estimations for different intensities, body weights, and time intervals, how you can get more results from your stair climber and stepper workouts, and more.
Factors that influence calories burned with stair climbers
Estimating how many calories someone burns with stair climbers and steppers is not an easy task. There are just so many details that influence the actual results.
That being said, you can still make your estimations somewhat more accurate. Especially if you know about the factors that will influence your results the most.
You can also use these factors to make your stair climber and stepper workouts burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.
A few details that play big roles in how many calories you burn while using a stair climber or stepper are:
- Body weight: How much you weigh influences how many calories you burn while using stair climbers and steppers (and the rest of your day). Heavier people tend to burn more calories.
- Stair climber resistance setting: Many stair climbers and steppers allow you to change how hard it is to move the pedals. Making this harder will typically require more energy from your body.
- Body composition: Two people can weigh the same amount but have different ratios of tissues aka body composition. This is worth mentioning because an amount of body fat tends to burn fewer calories than the same amount of muscle.
- Stair climber intensity: You can use stair climbers and steppers at different speeds. Moving faster tends to require more energy from your body.
Hidden calorie burning from using stair climbers and steppers
Another detail that makes it harder to estimate your results from stair climbers and steppers is a concept called afterburn.
If you use your stair climber or stepper intensely enough, you will burn more calories than usual even after you stop the workout.
This afterburn will not be the biggest amount and generally does not last longer than 72 hours.
At the same time, small amounts can really add up.
Additionally, stair climber workouts will influence the levels of a variety of hormones which in turn can benefit your metabolism in the long term.
Lastly, by moving your body more you influence the levels of certain hormones that in turn can benefit your metabolism.
The calorie-burning estimations for stair climbers typically don’t take these effects. You could actually get more results than the numbers below imply.
Estimations calories burned with stair climbers
A cheat sheet from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention mentions you can burn between 3.5 – 7 calories per minute at a light to moderate pace and more than 7 calories per minute at a fast pace on stair climbers (1).
Luckily, you can also get more useful estimations with MET values. These are numbers that indicate how intense certain workouts are.
In turn, you can apply these METs, your body weight, and a number of minutes to find out how many calories stair climbers burn
Formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute
An MET estimation for using a stair-treadmill ergometer at a general pace is 9 (2). This machine is not exactly the same as stair climbers and steppers but the intensity should be very similar.
For rough estimations about the METs of using stair climbers and steppers at different intensities, we can apply the ratios of the different stationary bike METs to the MET above.
The first table below will give the results of using a moderate-pace stair climber MET.
After that, you can compare the calorie-burning results of different stair climber and stepper intensities and how this type of gym machine compares to other exercises.
It is worth briefly mentioning again that these numbers will be far from perfect. The MET formula does not include all important details.
Calories burned with a stair climber/stepper
While you could count your steps too, most people will prefer looking at the durations of their stair climber and stepper workouts for estimations about the calories burned.
The numbers below assume you use your machine at a moderate pace.
|1 Minute||15 Minutes||30 Minutes||45 Minutes||60 Minutes|
|9 calories||133 calories||266 calories||399 calories||532 calories|
|11 calories||165 calories||330 calories||494 calories||659 calories|
|13 calories||197 calories||393 calories||590 calories||787 calories|
|15 calories||229 calories||457 calories||686 calories||914 calories|
Calories burned at different stair climber intensities
Some of the benefits of stair climbers and steppers are that you can typically adjust the resistance and how fast you use them. These details will influence the number of calories you burn.
The calorie amounts below are estimations for 30-minute stair climber and stepper workouts.
|Light Effort||Moderate Effort||Vigorous Effort|
|189 calories||266 calories||346 calories|
|234 calories||330 calories||428 calories|
|280 calories||393 calories||511 calories|
|325 calories||457 calories||594 calories|
Calories burned with stair climbers vs other activities
Because there is only so much time, you likely also want to know how stair climbers and steppers compare to other machines and exercises.
In the table below, you can find estimations of calories burned with stair climbers, treadmills, elliptical machines, running, and rowing machines.
Again, the numbers are for 30-minute sessions.
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||185 Pounds (84 kg)||215 Pounds (97 kg)|
(3 mph/4.8 kmh)
|128 calories||153 calories||178 calories|
|183 calories||219 calories||254 calories|
|256 calories||306 calories||356 calories|
|330 calories||393 calories||457 calories|
(5 mph/8.1 kmh)
|366 calories||437 calories||508 calories|
|428 calories||511 calories||594 calories|
(9 mph/14.5 kmh)
|469 calories||559 calories||650 calories|
How to burn more calories with a stair climber
The different results from stair climber and stepper intensities should make it clear that you can change the number of calories you burn per minute.
This can be worth paying some attention to if you are short on time for longer workouts.
The first way to burn more calories with stair climbers and steppers is by speeding up your movements.
Besides just the extra energy these movements require, you could get to the point where you experience an afterburn effect.
Secondly, you can make your movements harder for your body.
Changing the resistance setting of your stair climbers or steppers will be the best for this. If the weight limit of the machines allows it, you could consider wearing a weighted vest too.
Lastly, building muscle mass with resistance training workouts will also make your stair climber sessions more effective.
How long does it take to see results from stair climbers?
The amounts of calories above sound and are big but you are likely interested in how much fat loss this can cause.
Before going into a few numbers, it is worth mentioning that while stair climbers can help you lose weight, this is not always the result.
Your habits in areas like diet still need to be good enough too.
That being said, let’s say you hit a weight loss plateau, keep the rest of your routine the same, and implement some stair climber workouts.
If you weigh around 185 pounds (84 kg), you could burn an extra 786 calories or about 0.23 pounds (0.1 kg) by implementing three 20-minute stair climber workouts in a week.
After doing the same stair climber routine for a month (four weeks), you would have burned more or less an extra 3144 calories or about 0.9 pounds (0.39 kg) of body fat.
One important thing to note is that as you get lighter, your stair climber workouts will burn fewer calories.
Are stair climbers good for burning calories?
Stair climbers and steppers can help you burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
Something like running could be even more effective but you can still call stair climbers and steppers some of the top options.
Especially if you have one of these machines at home since this makes it so convenient to work out.
To make your routine even more effective for burning calories, it can be smart to build muscle mass with resistance training too.
This will make not only your stair climber and stepper sessions more effective but helps you burn more calories throughout the day too.