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Melt Fat And Burn Up Your Legs With The Stairmaster Blaster HIIT Cardio Workout

stairmaster, stairmaster hiit, stairmill hiit, stairmaster workout, stair climber, stair stepper, stair stepper workout, stairmill workout, hiit, hiit cardio, high intensity interval training, stairmaster intervals

Step up your HIIT game.

If you’re looking to build a plump, Jen Selter-esque booty, demolish your legs, and send fat pouring off like Victoria Falls, amp up the intensity with our latest HIIT cardio workout — The Stairmaster Blaster HIIT Cardio Workout.

It’s killer. If you’ve ever run stairs for fun or done any variety of HIIT, you know just how excruciating both can be. Combined, it forms a tsunami of fat incineration.

Moreso than any of the 5 other HIIT protocols we’ve unleashed in the past (and constantly sprinkle throughout our WOTMs), the stairmaster variety is designed to adeptly blend endurance-based resistance training with cardio. It works efficiently over the course of 18 minutes to rev metabolism and torch calories, develop lateral mobility, and thoroughly crush the glutes and hamstrings.

Additionally, it’s PERFECT for people of all fitness levels. Stair climbing is naturally low impact and sustainable at a high intensity over a longer duration (unlike a treadmill romp).

And if you’re gearing up for a Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, or Kilamanjaro trek, it’s a stellar training tool. Given that mud runs prominently feature hilly terrain over long distances, stair stepping is an optimal way to simultaneously develop cardiovascular AND muscular stamina.

BOOM. Follow the routine 2-4x/week POST-lifting and you’ll quickly drop body fat, tone and define the lower body, and upgrade your physical prowess.

Ready? HIIT IT.


The Stairmaster Blaster HIIT Cardio Workout

The Stairmaster Blaster HIIT Cardio Workout runs 18 minutes and requires a stair mill (this thing) — it’ll allow you to take lunge steps and shift foot positioning. Not only does that keep the workout from getting painfully monotonous, but it effectively hits different muscles across various movement patterns.

Some rules before stepping up:

  • Level is a baseline speed guideline using standard settings. Tweak the speed/level to your own fitness level, and shoot to increase it over time.
  • Complete 6 total rounds. Double the chart below.
  • Each interval involves a different stance —
    • Lunge: take 2 steps up.
    • Normal: single steps.
    • Side Shuffle: pivot to your left/right side and hold onto the bars. For each step, bring your outer foot across your body and take 1 step up. It should look like this.
  • Use these tactics to recover faster and avoid burnout.


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Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
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  • Emily Ritter

    I’ve been trying this the last few days at the gym, and it is KILLER. I can’t get through six rounds yet, but I’m working up to it.

  • Fred Nielson, NASM CPT, FNS

    As an older guy I have been a stair master nut since the machines were just a couple of paddles connected to shock absorbers. A half hour of just regular stair climbing will leave you drenched but using the machines for HIIT training borders on cruelty!

  • Lindsey Lopez

    Hi! Just curious if you could post a link to what the side shuffle should look like? I’m confused whether I’m supposed to go from a shuffle on my left and jump to a shuffle on my right, or if I’m only shuffling on the left side for one round and then shuffling on only the right side for the other round.

    • Hey Lindsey! It’ll look like this:

      So for the side shuffle intervals, you’ll do 45s ONLY on your left side and then turn around and do it for 45s ONLY on your right side.

      • Lindsey Lopez

        Thanks! Still loving this HIIT routine! Your site is amazing!

  • Nicole

    Where can I find out what the steps per minute are for each level? I have to enter steps per minute when using the manual function on the machine at my gym 🙁

    • I’m almost positive level 1 is 24 steps per minute and it jumps another 8 SPM per level (or in equation form: 24 + (desired level – 1)*8)

      So level 3 would be 40 SPM, 7 = 72 SPM, 12 = 112 SPM.

      Again those are rough numbers and adjustable per person and fitness level. Find a low/moderate/high intensity that works for you and then follow the cadence I’ve laid out.


  • Brett

    My previous gym had a stairmill and this was a favorite workout of mine. I had worked up to a 45 minute set and it increased my cycling speed by 3 MPH which is huge. My current gym does not have a stairmill or climber. Is there an alternative to this you can recommend that uses a treadmill and incline.

    • Hey Brett — it won’t be exactly the same, but here’s an incline HIIT routine I love:

      -10% incline
      -Alternate 30 second intervals at 3MPH / 10MPH for a total of 15 minutes.

      • Brett Calta

        To increase the intensity of this workout would you first increase the incline or the speed? Understanding they will both happen I am just curious what order would be most beneficial to continue the gains in duration. I am already doing this for 35 minutes with the goal being 45 minutes.

        • Hey Brett — you’re crushing it, you DEFINITELY need to up the intensity.

          I wouldn’t touch the incline. You should either increase your top speed (the work interval) or the duration of your intervals.

          Instead of doing 30 seconds at 3/10MPH, try 45 seconds each. If you’re able to do 45 second intervals comfortably for the duration of the workout, I’d then up your top speed into the 11-12 MPH range.

          A 1:1 ratio of work:rest is phenomenal, but likely unsustainable for the full workout once you hit 45 second intervals. Feel free to adjust rest to 60-90s.

  • Shelby

    How many calories does this workout typically burn?

    • It’ll depend on the weight of the person doing it, but typically between 300-400 cals per session. Because it’s HIIT, you’ll also get an “afterburn” metabolism boost for about 24 hours post-workout.

  • Carm

    Tried to view the video for the side shuffle but the video is unavailable. Anyway you can re upload it? I love the stairs and would like to try this HIIT workout!

  • Alicia Spellman

    I’m amazed at the results of HIIT on the stairmaster; I’ve exhausted most other forms of workout with little to no results possibly because of my age (67); but I only started with about 3 rounds and went as high as 14 for a minute+ and the lowest at 7; I recover fast (30 sec max) and shoot on over to the weights between intervals.

    • Totally agree! It’s my personal favorite way to do HIIT, plus it helps build your butt/legs/calves along the way ;).